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Today in history: July 30

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Sunday, July 31, the 212th day of 2005. 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 Station, Tenn., at age 66.

In 1919, Germany’s Weimar Constitution was adopted.

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

In 1953, Sen. Robert A. Taft of Ohio, known as “Mr. Republican,” died in New York at age 63.

In 1964, the American space probe Ranger 7 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 1981, a seven-week-old Major League Baseball strike ended.

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

Ten years ago: The Walt Disney Co. agreed to acquire Capital Cities-ABC Inc. in a $19 billion deal.

Five years ago: The Republican National Convention opened in Philadelphia, with George W. Bush’s name put into nomination for president. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak survived a no-confidence vote. North and South Korea agreed to reopen border liaison offices and reconnect a railway linking their capitals.

One year ago: The Vatican issued a document denouncing feminism for trying to blur differences between men and women and threatening the institution of families based on a mother and a father. Actress Virginia Grey died in Woodland Hills, Calif., at age 87.

Today’s Birthdays: Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman is 93. Sportscaster Curt Gowdy is 86. Record executive Ahmet Ertegun is 82. Actor Don Murray is 76. Jazz composer-musician Kenny Burrell is 74. Actor Geoffrey Lewis is 70. Actress France Nuyen is 66. Actress Susan Flannery is 62. Singer Lobo is 62. Actress Geraldine Chaplin is 61. Movie studio executive Sherry Lansing is 61. Singer Gary Lewis is 59. Rock singer Bob Welch is 59. Tennis player Evonne Goolagong Cawley is 54. Actor Barry Van Dyke is 54. Actor Alan Autry is 53. Actor James Read is 52. Actor Michael Biehn is 49. Rock singer-musician Daniel Ash (Love and Rockets) is 48. Rock musician Bill Berry is 47. Actor Wesley Snipes is 43. Country singer Chad Brock is 42. Musician Fatboy Slim is 42. Rock musician Jim Corr is 41. Author J.K. Rowling is 40. Actor Dean Cain is 39. Actor Ben Chaplin is 36. Actor Loren Dean is 36. Actress Annie Parisse (“Law & Order”) is 30. Actor Robert Telfer is 28. Country singer Blaire Stroud (3 of Hearts) is 22. Singer Shannon Curfman is 20.

Thought for Today: “Living is a constant process of deciding what we are going to do.” — Jose Ortega Y Gasset, Spanish philosopher (1883-1955).