Today in History – Sunday, July 31,2016


Today is Sunday, July 31, the 213th day of 2016. There are 153 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 31, 1991, President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in Moscow.

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On this date:

In 1715, a fleet of Spanish ships carrying gold, silver and jewelry sank during a hurricane off the east Florida coast; of some 2,500 crew members, more than 1,000 died.

In 1777, the Marquis de Lafayette, a 19-year-old French nobleman, was made a major-general in the American Continental Army.

In 1875, the 17th president of the United States, Andrew Johnson, died in Carter County, Tennessee, at age 66.

In 1919, Germany’s Weimar (VY’-mahr) Constitution was adopted by the republic’s National Assembly.

In 1930, the radio character “The Shadow” made his debut as narrator of the “Detective Story Hour” on CBS Radio.

In 1933, the radio series “Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy,” made its debut on CBS radio station WBBM in Chicago.

In 1942, Oxfam International had its beginnings as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief was founded in England.

In 1954, Pakistan’s K2 was conquered as two members of an Italian expedition, Achille Compagnoni (ah-KEE’-lay kohm-pahn-YOH’-nee) and Lino Lacedelli (LEE’-noh lah-cheh-DEHL’-ee), reached the summit.

In 1964, the American space probe Ranger 7 reached the moon, transmitting pictures back to Earth before impacting the lunar surface.

In 1972, Democratic vice-presidential candidate Thomas Eagleton withdrew from the ticket with George McGovern following disclosures that Eagleton had once undergone psychiatric treatment.

In 1973, Delta Air Lines Flight 723, a DC-9, crashed while trying to land at Boston’s Logan International Airport, killing all 89 people on board.

In 1989, a pro-Iranian group in Lebanon released a grisly videotape showing the body of American hostage William R. Higgins, a Marine lieutenant-colonel, dangling from a rope.

Ten years ago: Cuban President Fidel Castro ceded provisional power to his brother, Raul, after gastrointestinal surgery. (Raul Castro became president of Cuba in February 2008.)

Five years ago: Ending a stalemate, President Barack Obama and congressional leaders announced an agreement on emergency legislation to avert the nation’s first-ever financial default. Yani Tseng won the Women’s British Open for the second straight year, beating Brittany Lang by four strokes. Florida handed the Atlanta Braves their 10,000th loss in franchise history; with the 3-1 loss, the Braves became the second team in big league history with 10,000 losses (the Phillies reached that mark in 2007).

One year ago: A firebombing in the West Bank village of Duma killed 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh and his parents; Amiram Ben-Uliel, a Jewish settler, has been charged with murder. Beijing was awarded the 2022 Winter Olympics to become the first city to host both the winter and summer games. Professional wrestler-turned-actor “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, 61, died in Hollywood. Former U.S. senator and Secretary of Health and Human Services Ricahrd S. Schweiker, 89, died in Pomona, New Jersey.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Don Murray is 87. Jazz composer-musician Kenny Burrell is 85. Actress France Nuyen is 77. Actress Susan Flannery is 77. Singer Lobo is 73. Actress Geraldine Chaplin is 72. Former movie studio executive Sherry Lansing is 72. Singer Gary Lewis is 71. Actor Lane Davies is 66. International Tennis Hall of Famer Evonne Goolagong Cawley is 65. Actor Barry Van Dyke is 65. Actor Alan Autry is 64. Jazz composer-musician Michael Wolff is 64. Actor James Read is 63. Actor Michael Biehn is 60. Rock singer-musician Daniel Ash (Love and Rockets) is 59. Actor Dirk Blocker is 59. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban is 58. Rock musician Bill Berry is 58. Actor Wally Kurth is 58. Actor Wesley Snipes is 54. Country singer Chad Brock is 53. Musician Fatboy Slim is 53. Rock musician Jim Corr is 52. Author J.K. Rowling (ROHL’-ing) is 51. Actor Dean Cain is 50. Actor Jim True-Frost is 50. Actor Ben Chaplin is 47. Actor Loren Dean is 47. Actress Eve Best is 45. Retired NFL quarterback Gus Frerotte is 45. Actress Annie Parisse (pah-REES’) is 41. Actor Robert Telfer is 39. Country singer-musician Zac Brown is 38. Actor-producer-writer B.J. Novak is 37. Actor Eric Lively is 35. Country singer Blaire Stroud (3 of Hearts) is 33. Singer Shannon Curfman is 31. Actor Reese Hartwig is 18. Actor Rico Rodriguez is 18.

Thought for Today: “Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink and make the combination worthless.” — Milton Friedman, American economist (born this date in 1912, died in 2006).

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