Today In History 7/31

Published 4:00 am Monday, July 31, 2023

30 BC 

Battle of Alexandria: Mark Antony achieves minor victory over Octavian, but most of his army subsequently deserts, leading to Octavian’s invasion of Egypt.


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St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic Church, died in Rome.


Pilgrim Fathers depart Leiden, Netherlands for England on their way to America.


The Treaty of Breda ended the Second Anglo-Dutch War and transferred New Netherland (now New York and New Jersey) to England.


A hurricane strikes the east coast of Florida, sinking 10 Spanish treasure ships and killing nearly 1,000 people.


US government prohibits movies and photos of prize fights (censorship).


Third Battle of Ypres begins in Flanders.


Whitney M. Young, Jr., who spearheaded the drive for equal opportunity for African Americans in industry and U.S. government service while he was head of the National Urban League (1961–71), was born in Lincoln Ridge, Kentucky.


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.


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.”


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


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


Israel welcomes its one millionth immigrant.


British author J.K. Rowling, creator of the immensely popular Harry Potter series, was born.


 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.


 Delta Flight 723 strikes a concrete seawall as it makes its final descent into Boston’s Logan International Airport amid heavy ground fog.


Labor leader Jimmy Hoffa is reported missing.


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.


Operation Banner, the presence of the British Army in Northern Ireland, and longest-running British Army operation ever, comes to an end.


At the Summer Games in London, 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; he surpassed the record set by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina.


American theatrical producer and director Harold Prince—the recipient of a record-setting 21 Tony Awards, including one for lifetime achievement—died at age 91.