What Happened Today – July 31?

History is written by the victors, the strongest and the most determined. Truth is found most often in the silence, in the quiet places. – Kate Mosse

On this day:

30 BC – Mark Antony achieves minor victory over Octavian in the Battle of Alexandria, but with most of his army deserting him, Octavian invades Egypt.

1423 – The French army is defeated by the English on the banks of the river Yonne in Burgundy in the Battle of Cravant in the Hundred Years’ War.

1498 – The Island of Trinidad was discovered by Christopher Columbus on his third voyage.

1556 – Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order of Roman Catholic missionaries and educators, died in Rome.

1715 – More than 10 Spanish treasure ships full of gold and silver, sunk in the east coast of Florida, due to a hurricane, killing nearly 1000 people. The treasures were recovered nearly 250 years later.

1777 – Marie-Joseph Paul Roch Yves Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, a 19-year-old French aristocrat, accepts a commission as a major-general in the Continental Army—without pay.

1879 – The first cable connection between South Africa and Europe was 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 was 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.

1917 – Third Battle of Ypres: The Allies launch a renewed assault on German lines in the Flanders region of Belgium, in the much-contested region near Ypres, during World War I. It went on to cause more than 500,000 casualties.

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

1941 – Hermann Göring, writing under instructions from Hitler, ordered Reinhard Heydrich, SS general and Heinrich Himmler’s number-two man, “to submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question.”

1948 – U.S. President Harry S. Truman dedicated Idlewild Airport as New York International Airport (renamed as John F. Kennedy International Airport in 1963).

1959 – Cliff Richard and the Shadows have their 1st British No. 1 single with “Living’ Doll” (biggest British single of 1959)

1964 – Ranger 7 takes the first close-up images of the moon, a total of 4308, which were 1,000 times as clear as anything ever seen through earth-bound telescopes.

1971 – Apollo 15 astronauts James B. Irwin and David Scott first used the four-wheeled battery-powered Lunar Roving Vehicle to extensively explore the Moon’s surface, in particular the Hadley-Apennine site.

1975 – James Riddle Hoffa, one of the most influential American labor leaders, is officially reported missing. Till date, the real truth behind his disappearance remains unknown.

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.

1994 – UN Security Council resolution authorized the use of “all necessary means” to restore democracy to Haiti.

2006 – Because of health problems, longtime Cuban leader Fidel Castro handed over provisional power to his brother Raúl; the latter served as the country’s acting president until officially assuming the post in 2008.

2012 – American swimmer Michael Phelps captured an unprecedented 19th career Olympic medal when he helped the U.S. team win the 4 × 200-metre freestyle relay at the Summer Games in London, surpassing the record set by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina.

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

2018 – Rihanna becomes the first black woman to appear on the cover of British Vogue’s September issue

2019 – American officials announce Osama bin Laden’s son, Hamza bin Laden and potential successor has been killed in US air strikes in Pakistan

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