Today in History
Today is Wednesday, July 31, the 212th day of 2019. There are 153 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 31, 1954, Pakistan’s K2 was conquered as two members of an Italian expedition, Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli, reached the summit.
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, during the Revolutionary War, the Marquis de Lafayette, a 19-year-old French nobleman, was made a major-general in the American Continental Army.
In 1945, Pierre Laval, premier of the pro-Nazi Vichy government, surrendered to U.S. authorities in Austria; he was turned over to France, which later tried and executed him.
In 1961, IBM introduced its first Selectric typewriter with its distinctive “typeball.”
In 1964, the American space probe Ranger 7 reached the moon, transmitting pictures back to Earth before impacting the lunar surface.
In 1970, “The Huntley-Brinkley Report” came to an end after nearly 14 years as co-anchor Chet Huntley signed off for the last time; the broadcast was renamed “NBC Nightly News.”
In 1971, Apollo 15 crew members David Scott and James Irwin became the first astronauts to use a lunar rover on the surface of the moon.
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 1991, President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in Moscow.
In 1992, the former Soviet republic of Georgia was admitted to the United Nations as its 179th member. Thai Airways Flight 311, an Airbus A310, crashed while approaching Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal; all 113 people aboard died.
In 2002, a bomb exploded inside a cafeteria at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, killing nine people, including five Americans.
In 2008, scientists reported the Phoenix spacecraft had confirmed the presence of frozen water in Martian soil.
Ten years ago: Three American tourists were arrested by Iran on suspicion of espionage while hiking along the Iraq-Iran border. (Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were sentenced to eight years after being convicted on spy-related charges, but were released after more than two years; Sarah Shourd was released on health grounds after 14 months.) Space shuttle Endeavour and its seven astronauts returned to Earth, completing a long but successful construction job that boosted the size and power of the international space station.
Five years ago: The CIA’s insistence that it did not spy on its Senate overseers collapsed with the release of a stark report by the agency’s internal watchdog documenting improper computer surveillance and obstructionist behavior by CIA officers. The death toll from the worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history surpassed 700 in West Africa.
One year ago: Jury selection began in the trial of Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman; he was accused of failing to report tens of millions of dollars in Ukrainian political consulting fees. (Manafort was sentenced to a total of seven and a-half years in prison after being convicted at trial in Virginia and pleading guilty in Washington to two conspiracy counts.) Actor Alan Alda revealed that he has Parkinson’s disease, telling “CBS This Morning” that he’d been diagnosed three and a half years ago.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Don Murray is 90. Jazz composer-musician Kenny Burrell is 88. Actress France Nuyen is 80. Actress Susan Flannery is 80. Singer Lobo is 76. Actress Geraldine Chaplin is 75. Former movie studio executive Sherry Lansing is 75. Singer Gary Lewis is 74. Actor Lane Davies is 69. Actress Susan Wooldridge is 69. International Tennis Hall of Famer Evonne Goolagong Cawley is 68. Actor Barry Van Dyke is 68. Actor Alan Autry is 67. Jazz composer-musician Michael Wolff is 67. Actor James Read is 66. Actor Michael Biehn is 63. Rock singer-musician Daniel Ash (Love and Rockets) is 62. Actor Dirk Blocker is 62. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban is 61. Rock musician Bill Berry is 61. Actor Wally Kurth is 61. Actor Wesley Snipes is 57. Country singer Chad Brock is 56. Musician Fatboy Slim is 56. Rock musician Jim Corr is 55. Author J.K. Rowling (ROHL’-ing) is 54. Actor Dean Cain is 53. Actor Jim True-Frost is 53. Actor Ben Chaplin is 50. Actor Loren Dean is 50. Actress Eve Best is 48. Retired NFL quarterback Gus Frerotte is 48. Actress Annie Parisse is 44. Actor Robert Telfer is 42. Country singer-musician Zac Brown is 41. Actor-producer-writer B.J. Novak is 40. Actor Eric Lively is 38. Country singer Blaire Stroud (3 of Hearts) is 36. Singer Shannon Curfman is 34. NHL center Evgeni Malkin is 33. Hip-hop artist Lil Uzi Vert is 25. Actor Reese Hartwig is 21. Actor Rico Rodriguez is 21.
Thought for Today: “The art of life is to show your hand. There is no diplomacy like candor. You may lose by it now and then, but it will be a loss well gained if you do. Nothing is so boring as having to keep up a deception.” — E.V. Lucas, English author and critic (1868-1938).