On This Day

Historical Events on July 31

Events 1 - 200 of 212

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

30 BC Battle of Alexandria: Mark Antony achieves minor victory over Octavian, but most of his army subsequently deserts, leading to Octavian's invasion of Egypt

Roman Politician and General Mark Antony
Roman Politician and General
Mark Antony
Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar
Roman Emperor
Augustus Caesar
  • 432 St Sixtus III begins his reign as Catholic Pope
  • 768 [Philip] begins and ends his reign as Catholic Pope
  • 781 The oldest recorded eruption of Mt. Fuji (Traditional Japanese date: July 6, 781)
  • 1291 Egyptian Mamelukken occupies Akko, crusaders driven out of Palestine
  • 1423 Hundred Years' War: Battle of Cravant - the French army is defeated by the English on the banks of the river Yonne in Burgundy
  • 1451 Jacques Cœur is arrested by order of Charles VII of France

DiscoveryHistoric Discovery

1498 Christopher Columbus discovers the island of Trinidad on his third voyage

Explorer of the New World Christopher Columbus
Explorer of the New World
Christopher Columbus
  • 1620 Pilgrim Fathers depart Leiden, Netherlands for England on their way to America
  • 1653 Fronde-leaders surrender in Bordeaux
  • 1655 Russo-Polish War (1654-1667): the Russian army enters the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Vilnius, which it holds for six years
  • 1658 Aurangzeb appoints himself Mongol emperor
  • 1664 Pierre Corneille's "Othon" premieres in Paris
  • 1667 Peace of Breda: 2nd English war-Suriname vs New-Netherlands ends

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1703 Daniel Defoe is placed in a pillory for the crime of seditious libel after publishing a politically satirical pamphlet, but is pelted with flowers

Novelist Daniel Defoe
Novelist
Daniel Defoe
  • 1737 Prince Frederick of Wales escapes English court

  • 1741 Charles Albert of Bavaria invades Upper Austria and Bohemia.
  • 1751 Fire in Stockholm destroys 1,000 houses
  • 1771 Paul Potters "Great ossendrift" sold for Ÿ9050 in Amsterdam

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1777 Marquis de Lafayette, 19, made major-general of Continental Army

French General and Aristocrat Marquis de Lafayette
French General and Aristocrat
Marquis de Lafayette

Book releaseHistoric Publication

1786 "Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish dialect" by Robert Burns is published by John Wilson in Kilmarnock, Scotland

  • 1790 1st US patent granted, to Samuel Hopkins for a potash process
  • 1792 Cornerstone laid for 1st US government building: US Mint in Philadelphia
  • 1794 All Jacobijnse clubs together in Haarlem
  • 1809 1st practical US railroad track (wooden, for horse-drawn cars), Philadelphia
  • 1813 British invade Plattsburgh, NY
  • 1849 Benjamin Chambers patents breech loading cannon
  • 1852 Hottest July in Netherlands since at least 1783 (68.4°F (20.2°C) avg)
  • 1855 Hottest July in Stockholm since at least 1756 (21.4°C avg)
  • 1856 Christchurch, New Zealand, is chartered as a city.
  • 1861 9,300 mm rainfall in July in Cherrapunji, Assam: then world record

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1864 Ulysses S. Grant is named General of Volunteers

Union General and US President Ulysses S. Grant
Union General and US President
Ulysses S. Grant
  • 1865 The first narrow gauge mainline railway in the world opens at Grandchester, Australia
  • 1874 Patrick Francis Healy, SJ, inaugurated as President of Georgetown U
  • 1876 US Coast Guard officers' training school established (New Bedford Massachusetts)
  • 1877 Second Russian assault on Plevna, Turkey fails, during Russo-Turkish War, 7,300 Russian casualties

  • 1879 The first cable connection between South Africa and Europe is laid by the British electrical engineer Charles Tilston Bright as part of his project to link the British Empire with growing telecommunications technologies
  • 1893 Gaelic League is founded by Douglas Hyde and Eoin MacNeill in order to encourage Irish people to speak the language and take a greater interest in their culture
  • 1899 Albert Trott hits Monty Noble over the Pavilion at Lord's
  • 1900 Boer Generals Prinsloo & Roux surrender in Brandwater Basin
  • 1901 Abraham Kuyper becomes premier of Netherlands
  • 1905 Matumbi rebellion at Samanga, German East Africa
  • 1910 Chic Cub King Cole no-hits St Louis, 4-0 in a 7 inning game
  • 1910 Clement van Maasdijk gives flying demonstration
  • 1910 8th Tour de France: Octave Lapize of France wins by just 4 points from Team Alcyon team mate François Faber of Luxembourg
  • 1911 Hungarian education is only taught in German
  • 1912 US government prohibits movies and photos of prize fights (censorship)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1914 German Emperor Wilhelm II threatens war, orders Russia to demobilize

German Emperor and King of Prussia Wilhelm II
German Emperor and King of Prussia
Wilhelm II
  • 1914 Oil discovered in Lake of Maracaibo
  • 1917 World War I: Battle of Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres) begins, goes on to cause approximately 500,000 casualties
  • 1919 The Weimar Constitution establishing the German Republic is adopted
  • 1922 18-year-old Ralph Samuelson rides world's 1st water skis (Minnesota)
  • 1922 General strike in Italy against fascist violence
  • 1923 Belgian Chamber discusses bilinguality at Ghent University
  • 1925 Last allied occupying troops leave Ruhrgebied
  • 1925 Unemployment Insurance Act passed in Britain
  • 1928 Halina Konopacka of Poland hurls discus world record 39.62m to win first gold medal in women's Olympic athletics at the Amsterdam Games; American Lillian Copeland and Ruth Sveberg of Sweden take minor medals
  • 1928 American sprinter Elizabeth Robinson equals her own world record 12.2s to win 100m gold medal in Amsterdam, first women’s Olympic track event; Canadians Fanny Rosenfeld & Ethel Smith dead-heat (12.3s)
  • 1929 Aristide Briand becomes premier of France for the 6th time

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1930 NY Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig drives in 8 runs with a grand slam and 2 doubles in a 14-13 win over the rival Boston Red Sox

Baseball Player Lou Gehrig
Baseball Player
Lou Gehrig
  • 1932 27th International Lawn Tennis Challenge, Paris: Jean Borotra beats American Wilmer Allison 1-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 to give France unassailable 3-1 lead; ends 3-2
  • 1932 Cleveland Indians christen their new home, Municipal Stadium before more than 76,000 fans; lose opener, 1-0 to the Philadelphia A's
  • 1932 German Election (NSDAP gets 37.3%)
  • 1932 26th Tour de France: French cyclist André Leducq wins after tallying 6 stage victories; his second Tour triumph (1930)
  • 1934 29th International Lawn Tennis Challenge, Wimbledon: Fred Perry beats American Frank Shields 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 15-13 to give Great Britain unassailable 3-1 lead; ends 4-1
  • 1935 3rd Dutch government of Colijn sworn in
  • 1936 IOC awards Tokyo, Japan 1940 Summer Olympic Games (later cancelled, Second Sino-Japanese War)
  • 1938 NY Yanks suspend Jake Powell, after he said on Chicago radio he'd "hit every colored person in Chicago over head with a club"
  • 1938 Archaeologists discover engraved gold and silver plates from King Darius in Persepolis.
  • 1938 32nd Tour de France: Italian cyclist Gino Bartali wins both general and mountain classifications
  • 1940 Riechskommissar Seyss-Inquart bans homosexuals
  • 1941 U-boats sink and damage 21 allied ships this month (80,521 tons)
  • 1942 German SS gases 1,000 Jews in Minsk, Belorussia
  • 1943 Transport #58 departs with French Jews to Nazi Germany
  • 1944 Last deportation train out Mechelen departs to Auschwitz
  • 1944 Transport #77 departs with French Jews to Nazi Germany
  • 1944 US troops occupy Sansapor, New-Guinea

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

1945 Pierre Laval, fugitive former leader of Vichy France, surrenders to Allied soldiers in Austria

Prime Minister of France and Head of Vichy France Pierre Laval
Prime Minister of France and Head of Vichy France
Pierre Laval
  • 1948 "Brigadoon" closes at Ziegfeld Theater NYC after 581 performances
  • 1948 US President Harry Truman dedicates Idlewild Field (now Kennedy Airport), NY
  • 1948 American swimmer Wally Ris wins the coveted 100m freestyle gold medal at the London Olympics beating team mate Alan Ford by 0.4 seconds
  • 1948 American sprinter Harrison Dillard runs an Olympic record 10.3s to beat countryman Barney Ewell for the 100m gold medal at the London Olympics
  • 1951 Japan Airlines is established
  • 1954 Milwaukee first baseman Joe Adcock becomes only the 3rd player in 20th century to hit 4 HRs in 9-inning game (Lou Gehrig & Gil Hodges); 15-7 Braves' win over Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field; MLB record 18 total bases
  • 1954 First ascent of K2, by an Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio
  • 1955 KRNT (now KCCI) TV channel 8 in Des Moines, Iowa (CBS) 1st broadcast
  • 1955 WHIS (now WVVA) TV channel 6 in Bluefield, West Virginia (NBC) 1st broadcast
  • 1956 England cricket spin bowler Jim Laker takes 10-53 in Australia's 2nd innings, 19-90 for 4th Test at Old Trafford; England win by innings and 170 runs
  • 1958 Anti-Chinese uprising in Tibet
  • 1959 1st exhibit of bongos at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo opens

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1959 Cliff Richard and the Shadows have their 1st British No. 1 single with "Living' Doll" (biggest British single of 1959)


Event of interestEvent of Interest

1960 Elijah Muhammad, leader of Nation of Islam, calls for a black state

Religious Leader Elijah Muhammad
Religious Leader
Elijah Muhammad
  • 1960 KSOO (now KSFY) TV channel 13 in Sioux Falls, SD (NBC) 1st broadcast
  • 1961 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Olympia Fields CC: Jerry Barber wins his only major title in a Monday 18-hole playoff with Don January (67-68)
  • 1961 31st MLB All Star Game (2nd), Fenway Park, Boston: First tie in history; called due to rain after 9 innings with the score, 1–1
  • 1961 Israel welcomes its one millionth immigrant
  • 1962 England fast bowler Brian Statham becomes Test cricket's leading wicket-taker with world-record tally of 237 as Australian wicketkeeper Barry Shepherd is caught by Fred Truman for 10 in drawn 4th Test in Adelaide
  • 1963 Arturo Illia elected President of Argentina
  • 1963 Cleve ties record of 4 consecutive HRs (Held, Ramos, Francona, Brown)
  • 1963 Cleveland Indians hit 4 consecutive home runs to beat Angels, 9-5; Woodie Held, Pedro Ramos, Tito Francona and Larry Brown all go deep off Paul Foytack in 6th inning
  • 1964 Al Parker glides 644 miles without a motor
  • 1964 Rolling Stone concert in Ireland halts after 12 minutes due to riot
  • 1964 US Ranger 7 takes 4,316 pictures before crashing on Moon
  • 1965 Cigarette advertising banned on British TV

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1966 Alabamans burn Beatle products due to John Lennon's anti-Jesus remark

Musician and Beatle John Lennon
Musician and Beatle
John Lennon

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1967 Rolling Stone Mick Jagger and Keith Richards end 1 month jail sentence

Guitarist and Songwriter Keith Richards
Guitarist and Songwriter
Keith Richards
Rock Star Mick Jagger
Rock Star
Mick Jagger
  • 1968 The Beatles close Apple Boutique in London, giving clothes away for free
  • 1969 KWIH TV channel 44 in Winona, MN (IND) begins broadcasting
  • 1969 Mariner 6 makes its closest approach to planet Mars at 3410 km
  • 1969 National Guard mobilizes in racial disturbances in Baton Rouge, Lousiana
  • 1970 37th NFL Chicago All Star Game: Kansas City 24, All Stars 3 (69,940)
  • 1970 Chet Huntley retires from NBC, ends "Huntley-Brinkley Report"

Historic CommunicationBlack Tot Day

1970 Black Tot Day: the last day of the officially sanctioned rum ration in the Royal Navy (started 1740)
Learn More >>

Royal Navy sailors lining up for their daily rum ration
Royal Navy sailors lining up for their daily rum ration
  • 1970 Daniel O'Hagan (19), a Catholic civilian, is shot dead by the British Army during a serious riot in the New Lodge Road area of Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • 1971 Apollo 15 astronauts take 6½ hour electric car ride on Moon
  • 1971 4-time Eredivisie soccer champions Go Ahead from Dutch city of Deventer add 'Eagles' to famous name
  • 1971 Venezuela's Hydrocarbons Reversion Law mandates gradual transfer to government ownership of all "unexploited concession areas" by 1974 and "all their residual assets" by 1983
  • 1972 Chicago infielder Dick Allen becomes only 7th player in MLB history to hit 2 inside-the-park home runs in a game; both off Bert Blyleven in 8-1 White Sox win over Minnesota Twins
  • 1972 Thomas Eagleton withdraws as Democratic VP candidate
  • 1972 Operation Motorman: the British Army use 12,000 soldiers supported by tanks and bulldozers to re-take the "no-go areas" controlled by the Provisional Irish Republican Army
  • 1972 Claudy bombing: nine civilians were killed when three car bombs exploded in County Londonderry, North Ireland; no group has since claimed responsibility

  • 1973 Delta Airlines DC-9 crashes in fog at Logan Airport, Boston, killing all but one of 89 aboard. Lone survivor dies 5 months later
  • 1973 England cricket batsman Frank Hayes scores unbeaten 106 in Test debut in 1st Test v West Indies at The Oval, London; tourists win by 158 runs
  • 1974 6th San Diego Comic-Con International opens at El Cortez Hotel
  • 1975 The Miami Showband killings: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), a loyalist paramilitary group, shoot dead three members of an Irish showband at Buskhill, County Down, Ireland
  • 1976 Seychelles Independence (Independence day)
  • 1976 East German runner Waldemar Cierpinski beats American Frank Shorter by 50 seconds to win the Olympic Games marathon in 2:09:55 in Montreal
  • 1977 E. Henry Knoche, ends term as deputy director of CIA
  • 1977 John F. Blake promoted from acting to deputy director of CIA
  • 1978 Gunman shoots his way into Iraqi Embassy in Paris
  • 1978 NY Yanks now 7½ out of 1st, picked up 7 games in previous 2 weeks

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

1978 Cincinnati infielder Pete Rose singles off Phil Niekro to extend his hitting streak to 44 games as Reds edge Atlanta Braves, 3-2; ties Willie Keeler's 81-year-old NL record

MLB Player and Manager Pete Rose
MLB Player and Manager
Pete Rose
  • 1979 "But Never Jam Today" opens at Longacre Theater NYC for 7 performances
  • 1980 John Phillips of Mamas and Papas is arrested on drug charges
  • 1980 Soyuz 37 crew returns to Earth aboard Soyuz 36
  • 1980 USSR performs nuclear Test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1980 Hurricane Allen forms in the Atlantic Ocean, will go on to become the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Basin with winds of 190mph (305km/h)
  • 1981 Mid-season strike by MLB players ends after 42 days causing cancellation of 713 games; players and owners come to an agreement on free agent compensation
  • 1981 Arnette Hubbard installed as 1st woman president of National Bar Association
  • 1982 46 kids & 7 adults die as 2 buses and several cars collide near Beaune, France
  • 1982 Finland, Italy, Germany, Austria and France form American European Football Federation (AEFF)
  • 1982 USSR performs nuclear Test

Sport awardUS Women's Golf Open

1983 US Open Women's Golf, Cedar Ridge CC: Australian Jan Stephenson wins her 3rd major title; beats JoAnne Carner and Patty Sheehan by 1 stroke

LPGA Golfer Patty Sheehan
LPGA Golfer
Patty Sheehan
  • 1983 Brooks Robinson, Juan Marichal, George Kell and Walter Alston inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame
  • 1983 Dutch July average temperature is 20.1°C; warmest July since 1852
  • 1984 Leeza Gibbon's 1st appearance on Entertainment Tonight
  • 1984 US men's gymnastics team score emotional upset win over world champion Chinese team in the combined event to take the gold medal at the Los Angeles Olympics
  • 1984 Venz commandos terminate hijacking of an aircraft, 2 killed
  • 1986 19th San Diego Comic-Con International opens at Hotel San Diego
  • 1987 Battle between Iranian pilgrims and Saudi-Arabian troops, 402 killed
  • 1987 Guns & Roses song "Appetite for Destruction" is released

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

1987 Baltimore first baseman Eddie Murray hits his 299th and 300th career home runs to lead Orioles to an 8-4 win over Texas Rangers

MLB 1st Baseman Eddie Murray
MLB 1st Baseman
Eddie Murray
  • 1987 Rockwell International awarded contract to build a 5th shuttle
  • 1987 A rare, class F-4 tornado rips through Edmonton, Alberta, killing 27 people and causing $330 million in damage
  • 1988 Jose Canseco is 1st to hit 30 HRs in 1st 3 years

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1988 Last Playboy Club closes in Lansing, Michigan

Playboy Founder & Businessman Hugh Hefner
Playboy Founder & Businessman
Hugh Hefner
  • 1988 Miami Dolphins beat San Francisco 49ers, 27-21 in the American Bowl at London's Wembley Stadium
  • 1988 Pittsburgh Pirates 1st baseman/left fielder and 7-time All Star Willie Stargell becomes 200th man inducted in Baseball's Hall of Fame
  • 1988 32 people are killed and 1,674 injured when a bridge at the Sultan Abdul Halim ferry terminal collapses in Butterworth, Malaysia
  • 1989 Twins trade AL Cy Young Award winner Frank Viola to Mets
  • 1990 Bosnia-Hercegovina declares independence

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1990 Texas Rangers pitcher Nolan Ryan records his 300th career victory, an 11-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers; 20th MLB pitcher to reach the milestone

MLB Pitching Legend Nolan Ryan
MLB Pitching Legend
Nolan Ryan
  • 1991 Russia and US sign long range nuclear weapons reduction pact
  • 1991 Senate votes to allow women to fly combat aircraft
  • 1991 The Medininkai Massacre in Lithuania. Soviet OMON attacks Lithuanian customs post in Medininkai, killing 7 officers and severely wounding one other
  • 1992 Three world record swims on final night session at the Barcelona Olympics; Australian Kieren Perkins 1,500m (14:43.4); Tamás Darnyi of Hungary 200m backstroke (1:59.36); China's Yang Wenyi women's 50m freestyle (24.79)
  • 1992 Thai Airbus crashes into mountain at Kathmandu, 113 die
  • 1992 Hungarian swimmer Krisztina Egerszegi earns her 3rd gold medal of the Barcelona Olympics winning 200m backstroke for the 100-200 double along with 400m I/M gold

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1993 Toronto Blue Jays obtain future Baseball Hall of Fame OF Rickey Henderson from Oakland in exchange for minor leaguers Steve Karsay and Jose Herrera

MLB Outfielder Rickey Henderson
MLB Outfielder
Rickey Henderson
  • 1993 Allman Bros guitarist Dickey Betts arrested for shoving 2 cops
  • 1993 Inkatha-arm forces killed 49 ANC-followers in Johannesburg
  • 1993 Prince Ronald "Ronnie" Mutebi crowned king of Uganda
  • 1994 102.7°F (39.3°C) in Pleschen, East-Germany
  • 1994 28th Curtis Cup Women's Golf, The Honors Course: US and GB & Ireland draw, 9-9
  • 1994 Arcen Limburg averages 71.6°F (22.0°C) in July: record
  • 1994 Netherlands' warmest July since 1783 - average 21.4°C
  • 1994 Phil Rizzuto (Yanks) & Steve Carlton (Phils) enter the Hall of Fame
  • 1994 Sergei Bubka ploe vaults his 35th world record (6.14 m)
  • 1994 Stockholm averages 21.5°C; the warmest July since 1855
  • 1994 UN votes 12-0 (2 abstentions) to authorize use of force against Haiti
  • 1995 Walt Disney announces the acquisition of Capital Cities/ABC for $19 billion; network of properties now consists of Disney, ABC Sports, ESPN and ESPN2

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

1997 A's first baseman Mark McGwire becomes MLB's top home run hitter to be traded in the middle of a season when he moves from Oakland to St. Louis Cardinals (34 home runs and 81 RBI)

MLB First Baseman Mark McGwire
MLB First Baseman
Mark McGwire
  • 1997 College Football's all-time winningest coach Eddie Robinson and his Grambling State University program are placed on 2-years' probation for rules violations, including recruiting and academic eligibility
  • 1999 Discovery Program: Lunar Prospector - NASA intentionally crashes the spacecraft into the Moon, thus ending its mission to detect frozen water on the moon's surface
  • 2002 Polaroid Corporation is purchased by One Equity Partners, continuing to operate under the Polaroid Corporation name
  • 2005 US Senior Open Men's Golf, NCR CC: Allen Doyle wins by 1 stroke ahead of Loren Roberts and D. A. Weibring for his 3rd Champions Tour major title
  • 2005 British Open Women's Golf, Royal Birkdale GC: Jeong Jang of South Korea leads wire-to-wire to win her first LPGA event and lone major title, 4 strokes ahead of Sophie Gustafson

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2006 Fidel Castro temporarily hands over power to brother Raúl Castro. This leads to a celebration in Little Havana (La Pequeña Habana in Spanish), Miami, Florida, where many Cuban Americans participated.

President of Cuba Raúl Castro
President of Cuba
Raúl Castro
  • 2007 Operation Banner, the presence of the British Army in Northern Ireland, and longest-running British Army operation ever, comes to an end
  • 2007 Boston Celtics obtain former MVP and 10-time All-Star Kevin Garnett in a 7-for-1 deal with Minnesota Timberwolves; then the NBA's biggest ever trade for one player
  • 2011 US Senior Open Men's Golf, Inverness Club: Olin Browne wins by 3 strokes ahead of Mark O'Meara; 5th player in history to win on Nationwide Tour, PGA Tour and Champions Tour
  • 2011 British Open Women's Golf, Carnoustie GL: Yani Tseng of Taiwan becomes first to successfully defend the Open as a major championship, 4 strokes ahead of Brittany Lang
  • 2012 Two car bombs kill 21 people in Baghdad, Iraq
  • 2012 A second power grid failure in India in two days leaves 670 million people without power

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2012 Germany wins London Olympic equestrian eventing final; daughter of Princess Anne, Zara Phillips part of GB silver medal winning team

Daughter of Princess Anne Zara Phillips
Daughter of Princess Anne
Zara Phillips

OlympicsOlympic Gold

2012 Michael Phelps becomes the greatest medal winner in Olympic history as part of the winning American 4 x 200m freestyle relay team in London; Phelps' 19th career Olympic medal and 15th overall gold

  • 2014 The US agree to resupply arms to Israel - including rocket launchers, mortar rounds, grenades - despite condemnation of civilian casualties in Gaza
  • 2014 Israel and Hamas agree to a 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2015 It is announced that creative director Alexander Wang will leave Balenciaga

Fashion Designer Alexander Wang
Fashion Designer
Alexander Wang

Book releaseHistoric Publication

2016 “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child", a play by Jack Thorne with contributions by J. K. Rowling is published worldwide at midnight

Novelist J. K. Rowling
Novelist
J. K. Rowling