TodayInHistory

Today is Friday, July 31, the 213th day of 2020. There are 153 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history

On July 31, 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.

On this date

In 1556, St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus — the Jesuit order of Catholic priests and brothers — died in Rome.

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 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 1964, the American space probe Ranger 7 reached the moon, transmitting pictures back to Earth before impacting the lunar surface.

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 1981, a seven-week-old Major League Baseball strike ended.

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in Moscow.

In 2002, a bomb exploded inside a cafeteria at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, killing nine people, including five Americans.

In 2014, the death toll from the worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history surpassed 700 in West Africa.

Ten years ago

Tom Mankiewicz, 68, a screenwriter of James Bond films such as “Diamonds Are Forever” and “Live and Let Die,” and the first two “Superman” movies, died in Los Angeles.

Five years ago

Professional wrestler-turned-actor “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, 61, died in Hollywood.

One year ago

At a Democratic debate in Detroit, former Vice President Joe Biden faced pointed attacks from his younger, diverse rivals; California Sen. Kamala Harris criticized Biden for his willingness to work with segregationists in the Senate during the 1970s.

The Federal Reserve cut its key interest rate for the first time in a decade to try to counter the impact of President Donald Trump’s trade wars.

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