31st July, on this day

30 BC - Battle of Alexandria: Mark Antony achieves a minor victory over Octavian's forces, but most of his army subsequently deserts, leading to his suicide
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).
Thessalonica falls to the Arabs, who destroy the city.
1423 Hundred Years' War: Battle of Cravant - The French army is defeated at Cravant on the banks of the river Yonne.
1451 Jacques Cœur is arrested by order of Charles VII of France.
1498 Christopher Columbus discovers island of Trinidad
1588 The Spanish Armada is spotted off the coast of England.
1655 Russo-Polish War (1654-1667): Russian army enters the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Vilnius, which it holds for six years.
1658 Aurangzeb is proclaimed Moghul emperor of India.
1667 Second Anglo-Dutch War: Treaty of Breda ends the conflict.
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.
1741 Charles Albert of Bavaria invades Upper Austria and Bohemia.
1777 Marquis de Lafayette, 19, made major-general of Continental Army
1790 1st US patent granted, to Samuel Hopkins for a potash process
1809 1st practical US railroad track (wooden, for horse-drawn cars), Phila
1813 British invade Plattsburgh, NY
1865 The first narrow gauge mainline railway in the world opens at Grandchester, Australia.
1908 Official founding of the Boy Scout Movement by Robert Baden-Powell
1910 Dr Crippen, wanted for the murder of his wife, is arrested aboard the SS Montrose as it docks at Quebec, Canada at the end of its voyage from Britain. The first criminal to be caught by the use of radio
1912 US government prohibits movies and photos of prize fights (censorship)
1913 The Balkan States signs an armistice at Bucharest
1917 World War I: The Battle of Passchendale
1919 German national assembly adopts the Weimar constitution (to come into force on August 14)
1920 Formation of British Communist Party
1922 18-year-old Ralph Samuelson rides world's 1st water skis (Minn)
1925 Unemployment Insurance Act passed in England
1930 The radio mystery program The Shadow is aired for the first time.
1932 The NSDAP wins more than 38% of the vote in German elections.
1936 The International Olympic Committee announces that the 1940 Summer Olympics will to be held in Tokyo. However, the games are given back to the IOC after the Second Sino-Japanese War breaks out, and are eventually cancelled altogether because of World War II.
1938 Bulgaria signs a non-aggression pact with Greece and other states of Balkan Antanta (Turkey, Romania, Yugoslavia)
1938 Archaeologists discovered engraved plates of gold and silver from King Darius in Persepolis.
1940 A doodlebug train in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio collides with a multi-car freight train heading the opposite way, killing 43 people.
1941 Under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Nazi official Hermann Göring, orders SS General Reinhard Heydrich 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."
1942 German SS gases 1,000 Jews in Minsk, Belorussia
1945 Pierre Laval, fugitive former leader of Vichy France, surrenders to Allied soldiers in Austria.
1945 John K. Giles attempts to escape from Alcatraz prison.
1948 President Truman dedicates Idlewild Field (Kennedy Airport), NY
1950 Opening of Britain's first self-service supermarket - Sainsbury's, in Croydon, south London
1954 An Italian expedition, led by Ardito Desio, is the first to successfully climb Mount Godwin-Austin (K2) in the Himalayas
1956 English cricketer Jim Laker takes all 10 Australian wickets in the second innings of the Test Match at Old Trafford, Manchester
1960 Elijah Muhammad, leader of Nation of Islam, calls for a black state
1962 Federation of Malaysia formed
1964 Al Parker glides 644 miles without any motor
1964 US Ranger 7 takes 4,316 pictures before crashing on Moon
1965 Cigarette adverts are banned on British television
1966 Alabamans burn Beatle products due to John Lennon's anti-Jesus remark
1966 Charles Whitman wounds 46 and kills 5 at University of Texas
1968 Beatles close Apple Boutique, giving clothes away for free
1969 Mariner 6 flies past Mars
1969 National Guard mobilises in racial disturbances in Baton Rouge, La
1970 Black Tot Day: The last day of the officially sanctioned rum ration in the Royal Navy.
1971 American astronauts David Scott and James Irwin steer the first vehicle to be driven on surface of the moon
1973 Delta Airlines Flight 723 DC-9 crashes in fog at Logan Airport, Boston killing all but one of 89 aboard. Lone survivor dies 6 months later
1975 In Detroit, Michigan, Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa is reported missing.
1976 Viking 1 - NASA releases the famous Face on Mars photo.
1978 Gunman shoots his way into the Iraqi Embassy in Paris
1980 John Phillips of the Mamas and Papas is arrested on drug charges
1980 Soyuz 37 crew returns to Earth aboard Soyuz 36

1981 42-day strike of Major League Baseball ends in the United States.
1982 46 children and 7 adults die as 2 buses and several cars collide in France
1987 Rockwell International awarded contract to build a 5th shuttle
1987 A rare, class F4 tornado rips through Edmonton, Alberta, killing 27 people and causing $330 million in damage.
1988 32 people are killed and 1,674 injured when a bridge at the Sultan Abdul Halim ferry terminal collapses in Butterworth, Malaysia.
1988 Miami Dolphins beat SF 49ers 27-21 in London
1991 US President Gerald Ford and Russian President Mikail Gorbachev sign the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in Moscow
1991 The Medininkai Massacre in Lithuania. Soviet OMON attacks Lithuanian customs post in Medininkai and kills 7 officers, 1 of severely wounded (after a head shot) becomes disabled.
1992 A Thai Airways Airbus A300-310 crashes into mountain north of Kathmandu, Nepal killing 113.
1999 Lunar Prospector - NASA intentionally crashes the spacecraft into the Moon, thus ending its mission to detect frozen water on the moon's surface.
2006 Fidel Castro hands over power temporarily to brother Raúl Castro. This leads to a celebration in Little Havana [La Pequeña Habana in Spanish], Miami, Florida, where many Cuban Americans participated.
2007 Operation Banner, the presence of the British Army in Northern Ireland, and longest-running British Army operation ever, comes to an end.

31st July 2006

Israel 'not yet ready for truce'

Baghdad gunmen kidnap 25 people

Poll protests block Mexico City

31st July 2007

First Khmer Rouge leader charged

Canaries fires force evacuations

Army ending its operation in NI

31st July 2008

Karadzic appears at Hague court

Pakistan spy agency accused by US

Fresh record for euro inflation

31st July 2009

Deadly blasts hit Baghdad mosques

Eurozone jobless at 10-year high

US to reduce Afghan deaths

31st July 2010

Pakistan floods 'kill 800' people

Russia mobilises 240,000 to fight wildfires

Kashmir civilians killed in clashes

Birthdates which occurred on 31st July :

1763 James Kent Fredericksburgh NY, legal scholar (Columbia)
1803 John Ericsson US, invented screw propeller, built USS Monitor
1841 George Melville polar explorer, naval engineer
1894 Roy Bargy Mich, orch leader (Jimmy Durante Show)
19-- Gerald Anthony actor (One Life to Live)
19-- John Nevin Manchester Ct, rocker (Rythm Syndicate)
19-- Lise Cutter LA Calif, actress (Susan-Perfect Strangers)
1900 Elmo Roper pollster (Roper Poll)
1901 Jean Dubuffet France, painter (Landscape with 2 Personages)
1904 Arthur Daley sportswriter (NY Times-Pulitzer 1956)
1911 George Liberace Menasha Wisc, violinist (Liberace Show)
1912 Irv Kupcinet Chicago Ill, TV host (Tonight! America After Dark)
1912 Milton Friedman economist (Nobel 1976)
1919 Curt Gowdy Green River Wyo, sportscaster (ABC)
1919 Primo Levi Italy, chemist/writer (Survival in Aushchwitz)
1921 Whitney M Young Jr civil rights leader, head of Urban League
1923 Ahmet Ertegun CEO (Atlantic Records)
1929 Don Murray Calif, actor (Bus Stop, Advise & Consent, Endless Love)
1935 Geoffrey Lewis Plainsfield NJ, actor (Earl-Flo, Gun Shy)
1939 France Nuyen Marselles France, actress (St Elsewhere, Diamond Head)
1940 Stanley Jaffe producer (Fatal Attraction)
1943 Susan Flannery NYC, actress (Leslie Stewart-Dallas)
1943 William Bennett US Secretary of Education (1985-88)/drug czar
1944 Geraldine Chaplin Santa Monica Ca, actress (Dr Zhivago, 3 Musketeers)
1944 Sherry Lansing Chicago Ill, actress (China Syndrome, Black Rain)
1946 Bob Welch rocker (Fleetwood Mac-Oh Well)
1946 Gary Lewis Jerry's son, singer, (& The Playboys-This Diamond Ring)
1950 Lane Davies actor (Mason-Santa Barbara, Impure Thoughts)
1951 Barry Van Dyke Atlanta Ga, actor (Lt Dillon-Battlestar Galactica)
1951 Evonne Goolagong Cawley Australia, tennis player (Wimbeldon 1971)
1953 Hugh McDowell chelloist (ELO-Telephone Line)
1957 Dirk Blocker LA Calif, actor (Baa Baa Black Sheep, Ryan's Four)
1957 Irina Nazariva USSR, 4 X 400m relay (Olympic-gold-1980)
1957 Victoria E Cooke Hollywood Ca, playmate (Aug, 1980)
1958 Wally Kurth actor (Days of Our Lives)
1962 Kym Malin Dallas Tx, playmate (May, 1982)
1962 Sandra "Sweetness" Hodge basketball player (Harlem Globetrotters)
1963 Norman Cook rocker (Housemartins-Happy Hour, Over There)
1973 Jerry Rivera Puerto Rico, spanish singer


Deaths which occurred on July 31st:
1556 St Ignatius of Loyola founder of Society of Jesus, dies in Rome
1811 Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Mexican hero priest, executed by Spanish
1875 Andrew Johnson 17th pres, dies in Tennessee at 66
1953 Robert Taft (Sen-R-Oh) (Mr Republican), dies in NY at 63
1964 Jim Reeves Country singer.(He'll Have to Go, Four Walls) Plane crash
1977 Stacy Moskowitz shot to death by Son of Sam, at 20
1978 Enoch Light orch leader (Gulf Road Show with Bob Smith), dies at 70
1981 Gen Omar Torrijos leader of Panama, dies in plane crash
1984 Bill Raisch one armed actor (Fred Johnson-Fugitive), dies at 79