Today in History: July 31

Today in History: July 31

Pick a day:

July 30 August 1

0904

Arabs capture Thessalonica.

1703

English novelist Daniel Defoe is made to stand in the pillory as punishment for offending the government and church with his satire The Shortest Way With Dissenters.

1760

Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, drives the French army back to the Rhine River.

1790

The U.S. Patent Office opens.

1875

Former president Andrew Johnson dies at the age of 66.

1882

Belle and Sam Starr are charged with horse stealing in the Indian territory.

1891

Great Britain declares territories in Southern Africa up to the Congo to be within its sphere of influence.

1904

The Trans-Siberian railroad connecting the Ural mountains with Russia's Pacific coast, is completed.

1917

The third Battle of Ypres commences as the British attack the German lines.

1932

Adolf Hitler's Nationalist Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazis) doubles its strength in legislative elections.

1944

The Soviet army takes Kovno, the capital of Lithuania.

1962

Federation of Malaysia formally proposed.

1971

Apollo 15 astronauts take a drive on the moon in their land rover.

1987

An F4 tornado in Edmonton, Alberta kills 27 and causes $330 million in damages; the day is remembered as "Black Friday."

1988

Bridge collapse at Sultan Abdul Halim ferry terminal in Butterworth, Malaysia, kills 32 and injures more than 1,600.

1990

Bosnia-Herzegovina declares independence from Yugoslavia.

1991

The US and the USSR sign a long-range nuclear weapons reduction pact.

1999

NASA purposely crashes its Discovery Program's Lunar Prospector into the moon, ending the agency's mission to detect frozen water on Earth's moon.

2006

Fidel Castro temporarily hands over power to his brother Raul Castro.

2007

The British Army's longest continual operation, Operation Banner (1969-2007), ends as British troops withdraw from Northern Ireland.