Thursday, July 31
The Associated Press
Jul. 23, 2014
Today is Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1498 - During his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus arrives at the island of Trinidad.
1658 - Aurangzeb is proclaimed Mogul Emperor in India.
1789 - Austrian and Russian troops under Francis Duke of Coburg and Count Alexander Suvorov defeat Turks at Focshani in Romania.
1812 - Venezuelan Republic falls to Spanish forces, and Francisco de Miranda is arrested.
1919 - Germany adopts Weimar Constitution.
1926 - Afghanistan signs nonaggression pact with Soviet Union.
1944 - U.S. troops break through the German lines around the Normandy beachhead, opening the way to liberating the rest of France.
1951 - French Brigadier General Charles Marie Chanson and Governor Thai Lap Thanh, of French-backed South Vietnam, are killed 97 kilometers (60 miles) south of Saigon by a Communist suicide bomber.
1956 - Britain and West Germany sign 10-year agreement on nuclear cooperation.
1962 - Britain agrees to establish wider Malaysian federation.
1964 - U.S. Ranger 7 spacecraft transmits to Earth first closeup pictures of the moon.
1971 - Two U.S. Apollo 15 astronauts begin three days of moon exploration in an electric car.
1974 - Cease-fire takes effect between Turkey and Greece in fighting on Cyprus.
1978 - Gunman shoots his way into Iraqi embassy in Paris and holds hostages for several hours before surrendering to French police.
1980 - Eleven people are executed in Tehran, Iran, after being convicted of participating in an attempted anti-government coup earlier in the month. Ten of them were members of the armed forces.
1986 - Britain's cabinet unanimously supports Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's resistance to stiff sanctions against South Africa.
1988 - Pier jammed with thousands of festival travelers collapses at ferry terminal in northwest Malaysia, killing at least 30 people and injuring about 370.
1989 - Thousands of residents flee Beirut, Lebanon, as fierce shelling continues.
1990 - U.S. government panel approves use of gene therapy for first time in treatment of human disease.
1991 - U.S. President George Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev sign a long-range nuclear weapons reduction pact at Moscow summit.
1992 - A Thai Airways jetliner crashes into a Himalayan mountain minutes after the pilot reports a technical problem, killing all 113 people on board.
1993 - Truce ends weeklong Israeli offensive against guerrillas in southern Lebanon that killed 140 people and sent 500,000 fleeing north.
1994 - U.N. Security Council approves possible U.S.-led invasion of Haiti.
1995 - Hundreds of Israeli police and soldiers drag Jewish settlers away from an encampment on a West Bank hilltop where they protested the emerging Israel-Palestine Liberation Organization accord.
1996 - African leaders agree to impose sanctions on Burundi for the July 25 military coup that ousted the country's fragile coalition government.
1997 - As Israelis bury the 13 dead from the worst terrorist bombing in more than a year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatens to send troops into the autonomous Palestinian areas.
1998 - South Africa ends the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's public exploration of apartheid's horrors after two years of hearings that laid bare decades of massacres, beatings and torture.
1999 - Two years after devastating earthquakes, 17th-century church of St. Francis of Assisi reopens in central Italy.
2002 - U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds hearings on U.S. plans to attack Iraq and oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
2003 - The Vatican issues a 12-page document strongly urging Roman Catholic lawmakers worldwide to reject legislation sanctioning same-sex civil unions and adoption rights.
2004 - World Trade Organization members approve a plan to end export subsidies on farm products and cut import duties across the world, a key step toward a comprehensive global accord that has been discussed since 2001, trade officials say.
2005 - Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora visits Syria in an attempt to repair relations damaged after Damascus was forced to end its 29-year military presence in Lebanon.
2006 - The U.N. Security Council passes a resolution giving Iran one month to suspend uranium enrichment or face the threat of economic and diplomatic sanctions.
2007 - Deployment of British troops to support Northern Ireland police, codenamed Operation Banner, officially ends after 38 years.
2008 - Haitian lawmakers ratify Michele Pierre-Louis to be the country's prime minister, ending more than three months of political bickering and deadlock in Parliament.
2009 - A string of bombings targets Shiite worshippers in the Baghdad area, killing at least 29 people in an apparently coordinated attack against followers of an anti-U.S. cleric who were blamed for some of Iraq's worst sectarian violence.
2010 - The death toll in the massive flooding in Pakistan surges past 800 as floodwaters receded in the hard-hit northwest. The threat of disease looms as some evacuees arrive in camps with fever, diarrhea and skin problems.
2011 - Syrian security forces backed by tanks and snipers launch a ferocious assault on defiant cities and towns, killing at least 70 people and possibly many more as the regime raced to crush dissent ahead of Ramadan.
2012 - New Delhi's metro shut down and hundreds of coal miners were trapped underground after three Indian electric grids collapse in a cascade, cutting power to 620 million people in the world's biggest blackout.
2013 — A former U.S. general says the classified information Pfc. Bradley Manning revealed through WikiLeaks fractured U.S. military relationships with foreign governments and Afghan villagers.
Augustus, leader of Protestant Germany (1526-1586), John Ericsson, Swedish-born inventor (1803-1889); Milton Friedman, U.S. economist (1912-2006); Henri Brisson, French statesman (1835-1912), Primo Levi, Italian writer/chemist (1919-1987); Whitney Young, U.S. civil rights leader (1921-1971); Wesley Snipes, U.S. actor (1962--); J.K. Rowling, British author of Harry Potter books (1965--); Dean Cain, U.S. actor (1966--).
Thought For Today:
Equal opportunity means everyone will have a fair chance at being incompetent — Laurence J. Peter, U.S. writer (1919 - 1990).