Today's History Trivia for July 31
1988 King Hussein of Jordan gives up all claims to the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
1988 America's last Playboy club closes in Lansing, Michigan.
1987 James Bond The Living Daylights premiers in the U.S., 16th in the James Bond series, it starred Timothy Dalton as 007.
1985 AIDS 13-year-old Ryan White is barred from attending an Indiana public school because he has AIDS.
1976 Face on Mars NASA releases the famous Viking I "Face on Mars" photo.
1969 First Close-Up Pictures of Mars The U.S. space probe Mariner 6 sends back pictures as it makes its closest approach to the planet.
1964 First Close-Up Photos of the Moon Taken by a US Spacecraft Ranger 7 sends back a series of pictures as it impacts into the moon's surface.
1954 First climb of K2 The peak of the world's second highest mountain (28,238 ft.) is reached by Italian climbers A. Compagnoni and L. Lacedelli.
1952 First transatlantic helicopter flight Two U.S. Air Force pilots - in separate helicopters - arrive in Prestwick, Scotland. They had departed from Massachusetts on July 15.
1914 New York Stock exchange closes Due to the war in Europe, the stock exchange closes for the first time since 1873. It didn't reopen until December.
1792 First U.S. government building The cornerstone of the U.S. Mint is laid.
1790 U.S. patent office opens The first U.S. patent is granted on this day to Samuel Hopkins for improvements in making potash and pearlash.
Today's Birthdays for July 31
1965 J.K. Rowling (Joanne "Jo" Rowling), English author of the Harry Potter series, which have sold over 300 million copies.
1962 Wesley Snipes American actor. Film: New Jack City (1991), Jungle Fever (1991), White Men Can't Jump (1992), Rising Sun (1993), and Blade (1998).
1951 Evonne Goolagong Australian tennis pro.
1947 Karl Green English bass player, with Herman's Hermits. Music: I'm Into Something Good (1964, #1 in UK), Mrs Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter (1965, #1), I'm Henry VIII, I Am (1965, #1), and There's a Kind of Hush (1967).
1944 Geraldine Chaplin American actress, Charlie's daughter.
1939 Susan Flannery American Emmy-winning actress. TV: Days of Our Lives (1966-75, Dr. Laura Spencer Horton) and The Bold and the Beautiful (1987-2012, Stephanie Douglas Forrester).
1939 France Nuyen (France Nguyen Vannga), French-Chinese actress. Broadway: The World of Susie Wong (1958, title role). Film: South Pacific (1958). TV: St. Elsewhere (Dr. Paulette Kiem).
1932 Ted Cassidy d. 1979 (Theodore Crawford Cassidy), American actor. TV: The Addams Family (Lurch and Thing) and The Incredible Hulk (opening narrator and voice for Hulk's growls and roars).
1929 Don Murray American actor. TV: Knots Landing (Sid Fairgate).
1919 Curt Gowdy d. 2006 American Hall of Fame sports announcer, "The Voice of the Redsox." TV: The American Sportsman (host).
1916 Bill Todman d. 1979 American TV producer. TV: To Tell the Truth, What's My Line?, The Price Is Right, and Family Feud.
1912 Milton Friedman d. 2006 American Nobel-winning economist (1976), free market economy advocate. He believed in the virtues of a free market economic system with minimal intervention. Friedman was an advisor to U.S. President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
1867 Sebastian Spering Kresge d. 1966 American businessman, founder of Kmart (1962).
1864 Edward Nash Hurley d. 1933 American tool maker, founder of Standard Pneumatic Tool Co. of Chicago (1896). He created the first piston-type pneumatic drill (1896), forerunner to the modern jackhammer.
1858 Richard Dixon Oldham d. 1936 Irish geologist and seismologist. He discovered evidence of the Earth's molten core (1906) by studying the 1897 Indian Earthquake.
1803 John Ericsson d. 1889 Swedish-born American Naval engineer. He invented the twin-screw propeller and built the first armored turret warship (1862, USS Monitor).
1577 Juliet Capulet d. 1591 fictional character in the Shakespearean tragedy.
1527 Maximilian II d. 1576 Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (1564-76).
Deaths for July 31
Leroy Edgar Burney
U.S. Surgeon General (1956-61). He was the first U.S. federal official to acknowledge the connection between smoking and cancer (1957). The American Medical Association, which for years had investments in tobacco, countered in 1959 that there was insufficient evidence to warrant the assumption that smoking was the principal factor for the increase in lung cancer.
1875 Andrew Johnson b. 1808 17th U.S. President (1865-69) and the 16th U.S. Vice-President (1865). He was almost impeached (1868), with the Senate only one vote short of the required two-thirds majority. The impeachment charges centered around his removal of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.
2013 Michael Ansara b. 1922 American actor. TV: Broken Arrow (Cochise) and as Klingon Commander Kang in three different Star Trek series.
2012 Gore Vidal b. 1925 (Eugene Luther Vidal), American author. Quote: "A narcissist is someone better looking than you are."
2010 Mitch Miller b. 1911 American music producer, arranger. Music: Let Me Go, Lover (1954, #1). The FBI used his songs in an attempt to drive the cult Branch Davidians from their compound (1993).
1972 Paul-Henri Spaak b. 1899 Belgian statesman, prime minister (1938-39, 1946-49), secretary general of NATO (1957-61), and the first president of the United Nations General Assembly (1946).
1964 Jim Reeves b. 1924 American Country Music Hall of Famer (1967). Music: Mexican Joe (1953, #1). He had 17 top 10 hits after his death.
1918 Francis E. Stanley b. 1849 American automaker. He and his twin brother formed the Stanley Steamer Co. (1897-1924), which produced steam-powered automobiles. He also invented a dry photographic plate, which he sold along with his photography business to the Eastman Kodak Co. He died from injuries sustained when he crashed his car into a woodpile while attempting to avoid farm wagons travelling side by side on the road.
1886 Franz Liszt b. 1811 Hungarian composer. He is famous for his Hungarian rhapsodies.
1867 Benoît Fourneyron b. 1802 French inventor, "Father of the Turbine." He designed the first practical water turbine (1827).
1854 Samuel Wilson b. 1766 American meatpacker, the original "Uncle Sam." During the War of 1812 he stamped his merchandise with "U.S." - the initials of his nickname - causing it to be confused with government approved packages.
1556 Saint Ignatius of Loyola b. 1491 Spanish ecclesiastic, in 1535 he founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuit order).