Today is July 31, Sunday, the 212th day of 2022. There are 153 days left until the end of the year.
Today’s Big Moment 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.
In 1715, a fleet of Spanish ships carrying gold, silver, and jewelry sank in a hurricane off the east coast of Florida; of about 2,500 crew members, more than 1,000 died.
In 1919, the Weimar (VY’-mahr) Constitution of Germany was adopted by the National Assembly of the Republic.
In 1945, Pierre Laval, prime minister of the pro-Nazi Vichy government, surrendered to US authorities in Austria; he was handed over to France, who later tried and executed him.
In 1953, Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio, known as “Mr. Republican,” died in New York at age 63.
In 1957, the system of Distant Early Warning Line radar stations began to operate, designed to detect Soviet bombers approaching North America.
In 1970, “The Huntley-Brinkley Report” came to an end after nearly 14 years, with co-host Chet Huntley signing 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 rover on the surface of the Moon.
In 1972, Democratic vice presidential candidate Thomas Eagleton withdrew from the race against George McGovern after it was revealed that Eagleton had once undergone psychiatric treatment.
In 1981, Major League Baseball’s seven-week strike ended.
In 1991, President George W. Bush and USSR President Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in Moscow.
In 2003, the Vatican launched a global campaign against gay marriage, warning Catholic politicians that support for same-sex unions was “seriously immoral” and urging non-Catholics to join the offensive.
In 2020, a federal appeals court overturned Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death sentence in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing case, saying the trial judge did not adequately screen the jury for potential bias. (The Supreme Court later reinstated the conviction.) Mexico has the third-highest number of deaths from COVID-19 in the world, after the United States and Brazil.
Ten years ago: Three Indian power grids collapsed in a cascade, knocking out power for 620 million people in the world’s worst blackout. At the London Games, the team of Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman (AL’-ee RAYS’-mihn), Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber won the USA’s first Olympic team title in women’s gymnastics since 1996. Michael Phelps broke his 19th Olympic medal as the United States cruised to a dominant victory in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay. The writer, playwright, politician and commentator Gore Vidal died in Los Angeles at the age of 86.
Five years ago: Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly was sworn in as White House chief of staff, replacing Reince Priebus. Hours later, White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci was fired, just 11 days after being appointed to the position. Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio was convicted in a criminal case for refusing to stop anti-immigrant highway patrols. (Arpaio was later pardoned by President Donald Trump.) The Trump administration imposed financial sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro after a weekend election that gave his ruling party virtually unlimited power. Los Angeles has agreed with international Olympic leaders to host the 2028 Summer Games.
One year ago: U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky closed out the Tokyo Olympics with another gold medal, becoming the first swimmer to win six individual gold medals in her career with a victory in the 800-meter freestyle. Elaine Thompson-Herra broke Florence Griffith Joyner’s 33-year-old Olympic record in the women’s 100 meters, crossing the line in 10.61 seconds. Florida reported its highest one-day tally of new COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, 21,683, as more theme park resorts resumed asking visitors to wear masks indoors. A nationwide eviction ban imposed in response to the COVID-19 crisis as many workers lost income has expired, putting millions of Americans at risk of being forced from their homes. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reinstated the moratorium within days, but the Supreme Court later found that the agency lacked the authority to do so.)
Today’s Birthday: Actor Don Murray is 93. Jazz composer and musician Kenny Burrell is 91 years old. Actor France Nuyen is 83 years old. Actor Susan Flannery is 83 years old. Singer Lobo is 78 years old. Actor Geraldine Chaplin is 78 years old. The former head of the film studio Sherry Lansing is 78 years old. Singer Gary Lewis is 77 years old. Actor Lane Davis is 72 years old. Actor Susan Wooldridge is 72 years old. International Tennis Hall of Famer Evona Gulagong Cowley is 71 years old. Actor Barry Van Dyke is 71 years old. Actor Alan Autry is 70 years old. Jazz composer and musician Michael Wolff is 70 years old. Actor James Reid 69. Actor Michael Bean 66. Rock singer and musician Daniel Ash (Love and Rockets) 65. Actor Dirk Blocker 65. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban 64. Rock musician Bill Berry 64. Actor Wally Kurt 64. Actor Wesley Snipes 60. Country singer Chad Brock 59. Musician Fatboy Slim 59. Rock musician Jim Corey 58. Writer Joan Rowling (ROHL’-ing) 57. Actor Dean Cain 56. Actor Jim True-Frost — 56. Actor Ben Chaplin — 53. Actor Lauren Dean — 53. Actress Eve Best — 51. Actress Annie Par isse (pah-REES’) — 47. Actor Robert Telfer — 45. Country singer and musician Zac Brown — 44. Actor, producer, and writer B. J. Novak — 43. Actor Eric Lively — 41. Singer Shannon Karfman — 37. NHL center Evgeni Malkin — 36. Hip-hop artist Lil Uzi Vert — 28. Actor Reese Hartwig — 24. Actor Rick Rodriguez — 24.
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