On This Day in:
1498 – Christopher Columbus, on his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, arrived at the island of Trinidad.
1790 – The first U.S. patent was issued to Samuel Hopkins for his process for making potash and pearl ashes. The substance was used in fertilizer.
1792 – The cornerstone of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, PA, was laid. It was the first building to be used only as a U.S. government building.
1919 – Germany's Weimar Constitution was adopted.
1928 – MGM’s Leo the lion roared for the first time. He introduced MGM’s first talking picture, 'White Shadows on the South Seas.'
1932 – Enzo Ferrari retired from racing. In 1950 he launched a series of cars under his name.
1945 – Pierre Laval of France surrendered to Americans in Austria.
1948 – U.S. President Truman helped dedicate New York International Airport (later John F. Kennedy International Airport) at Idlewild Field.
1955 – Marilyn Bell of Toronto, Canada, at age 17, became the youngest person to swim the English Channel.
1959 – The Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) was founded. The group is known for being an armed Basque nationalist and separatist organization.
1961 – The first tie in All-Star Game major league baseball history was recorded when it was stopped in the 9th inning due to rain at Boston's Fenway Park.
1964 – The American space probe Ranger 7 transmitted pictures of the moon's surface.
1971 – Men rode in a vehicle on the moon for the first time in a lunar rover vehicle (LRV).
1980 – China's population reached 1 billion.
1981 – The seven-week baseball players’ strike came to an end when the players and owners agreed on the issue of free agent compensation.
1982 – Yugoslavia imposed a six-month freeze on prices.
1989 – A pro-Iranian group in Lebanon released a videotape reportedly showing the hanged body of American hostage William R. Higgins.
1989 – The Game Boy handheld video game device was released in the U.S.
1991 – U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
1995 – The Walt Disney Company agreed to acquire Capital Cities/ABC in a $19 billion deal.
Disney movies, music and books
1999 – The spacecraft Lunar Prospect crashed into the moon. It was a mission to detect frozen water on the moon's surface. The craft had been launched on January 6, 1998.
2007 – The iTunes Music Store reached 2 million feature length films sold.
Born on July 31:
Maximilian II 1527 – Holy Roman Emperor S.S. Kresge 1867 – Founder of Kmart Corporation Curt Gowdy 1919 – Longtime 'voice' of the Boston Red Sox Henry Albert 'Hank' Bauer 1922- Baseball player and manager Lobo (Roland Kent LaVoie) 1943 – Singer, songwriter Bob Welch 1946 – Musician (Fleetwood Mac) Gary Lewis 1946 – Musician (Gary Lewis and the Playboys) Alan Autry 1952 – Actor ('In the Heat of the Night') Bill Berry 1956 – Musician (R.E.M.) Michael Biehn 1956 – Actor ('The Terminator,' 'The Abyss') Wesley Snipes 1962 – Actor Fatboy Slim 1963 – Musician J.K. Rowling 1965 – Author ('Harry Potter' series) Dean Cain 1966 – Actor (TV: 'Lois & Clark')
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
— Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)