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July 31, 2013

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, July 31, the 212th day of 2013. 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, 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 (VY'-mahr) Constitution was adopted by the republic's National Assembly.
  • In 1930, the radio character "The Shadow" made his debut as narrator of the "Detective Story Hour" on CBS Radio.
  • In 1933, the radio series "Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy," made its debut on CBS radio station WBBM in Chicago.
  • In 1942, Oxfam International had its beginnings as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief was founded in England.
  • In 1953, Sen. Robert A. Taft of Ohio, known as "Mr. Republican," died in New York at age 63.
  • In 1971, Apollo 15 crew members David Scott and James Irwin became the first astronauts to use a lunar rover on the surface of the moon.
  • In 1972, Democratic vice-presidential candidate Thomas Eagleton withdrew from the ticket with George McGovern following disclosures that Eagleton had once undergone psychiatric treatment.
  • In 1973, Delta Air Lines Flight 723, a DC-9, crashed while trying to land at Boston's Logan International Airport, killing all 89 people on board.
  • In 1989, a pro-Iranian group in Lebanon released a grisly videotape showing the body of American hostage William R. Higgins, a Marine lieutenant-colonel, dangling from a rope.
  • In 1991, President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in Moscow.

Ten years ago: The Vatican launched a global campaign against gay marriages, warning Catholic politicians that support of same-sex unions was "gravely immoral" and urging non-Catholics to join the offensive. Two of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's daughters and their nine children were granted refuge in Jordan.

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