Famous events and birthdays today

TODAY is the last day of July and it hasn’t been anything particularly spectacular, so what’s in a day? Well, quite a lot if it is July 31st.

On this day in 1498 Christopher Columbus discovered the island of Trinidad, in 1588 the English fleet destroyed the Spanish Armada and in 1620 the Pilgrim Fathers left England for America.

In 1792 the cornerstone was laid for the first US government building, the US mint in Philadelphia, and in 1856 Christchurch in New Zealand became chartered as a city.

In 1893 Henry Perky patented shredded wheat while in 1912 the US government banned films and photos of prize fights.

Teenager Ralph Samuelson, 18, hit the headlines in 1922 when he rode the world’s first water skis while in 1936 Japan was awarded the 1940 Olympics which were later cancelled.

In 1953 the Department of Health, Education and Welfare was created and Jim Laker took 10-53 in Australia’s second innings and 19-90 in the match.

In 1964 a Rolling Stones concert in Ireland was halted after 12 minutes because of a riot while 1970 saw the final day of the Royal Navy rum ration.

Astronauts took an electric car ride on the Moon in 1971 while in 2007 Operation Banner, the presence of the British Army in Northern Ireland – which was the longest ever British Army operation — came to an end.

The famous with birthdays on this day include American film producer Fred Quimby of Tom & Jerry fame, economist Milton Friedman, wine maker Jose Ignacio Domecq, French resistance leader Raymond Aubrac, Russian clown Oleg Popov, Australian tennis player Evonne Goolagong, US actor Wesley Snipes, Harry Potter author J.K.Rowling and Belarusian tennis player Victoria Azarenko.

And, while it now seems a lifetime ago, it is exactly a year ago today that Michael Phelps set a new record for the greatest number of medals won at the Olympics with an incredible new mark of 22.

So if you have a birthday or have achieved something memorable today, take a bow.

 

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