updated 7/31/2007 12:03:42 AM ET 2007-07-31T04:03:42

BC-History-July 31,0582

Today in History

By The Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, July 31, day 212 of 2007. There are 153 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 31, 1777, 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 1875, the 17th president of the United States, Andrew Johnson, died in Carter County, Tenn., at age 66.

In 1919, Germany’s Weimar Constitution was adopted by the republic’s National Assembly.

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 1948, President Harry Truman helped dedicate New York International Airport (later John F. Kennedy International Airport) at Idlewild Field.

In 1957, the Distant Early Warning Line, a system of radar stations designed to detect Soviet bombers approaching North America, went into operation.

In 1964, the American space probe Ranger VII transmitted pictures of the moon’s surface.

In 1972, Democratic vice-presidential candidate Thomas Eagleton withdrew from the ticket with George McGovern following disclosures Eagleton had once undergone psychiatric treatment.

In 1987, Iranian pilgrims and riot police clashed in the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, resulting in some 400 deaths, according to the Saudi government, which blamed the Iranians for the violence.

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

Ten years ago: In Brooklyn, N.Y., police seized five bombs believed bound for terrorist attacks on New York City subways.

Five years ago: A bomb exploded inside a cafeteria at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, killing nine people, including five Americans. Pope John Paul II canonized Juan Diego, the first Indian saint in the Americas, in a Mexico City ceremony.

One year ago: Cuban President Fidel Castro temporarily ceded power to his brother, Raul, after gastrointestinal surgery.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Don Murray is 78. Jazz composer-musician Kenny Burrell is 76. Actor Geoffrey Lewis is 72. Actress France Nuyen is 68. Actress Susan Flannery is 64. Singer Lobo is 64. Actress Geraldine Chaplin is 63. Former movie studio executive Sherry Lansing is 63. Singer Gary Lewis is 62. Rock singer Bob Welch is 61. Tennis player Evonne Goolagong Cawley is

56. Actor Barry Van Dyke is 56. The mayor of Fresno, Calif., actor Alan Autry, is 55. Actor James Read is 54. Actor Michael Biehn is

51. Rock singer-musician Daniel Ash (Love and Rockets) is 50. Rock musician Bill Berry is 49. Actor Wesley Snipes is 45. Country singer Chad Brock is 44. Musician Fatboy Slim is 44. Rock musician Jim Corr is 43. Author J.K. Rowling is 42. Actor Dean Cain is 41. Actor Ben Chaplin is 38. Actor Loren Dean is 38. Actress Annie Parisse is 32. Actor Robert Telfer is 30. Actor-producer-writer B.J. Novak is 28. Country singer Blaire Stroud (3 of Hearts) is 24. Singer Shannon Curfman is 22.

Thought for Today: “The trouble with the public is that there is too much of it.” — Don Marquis, American journalist, poet and dramatist (1878-1937).

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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