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On This Day: July 31

Today is Thursday, July 31, 2014. This is the 212th day of the year, with 153 days remaining in 2014.

Fact of the Day: brunch

Brunch is a portmanteau word blending breakfast and lunch, first recorded in 1896, 'To be fashionable nowadays, we must 'brunch'.'


Feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Justin de Jacobis, St. Neot, and St. Helen of Skövde.


1498 - Christopher Columbus first sighted the island of Trinidad.

1777 - Marquis de Lafayette, a 19-year-old French nobleman, became a major-general in the Continental Army of the U.S.

1790 - The first U.S. Patent Office opened and the first patent was issued to Samuel Hopkins of Vermont for a method of making pearlash and potash.

1792 - The first government building's cornerstone was laid: the Philadelphia Mint.

1904 - The Trans-Siberian railroad connecting the Ural Mountains with Russia's Pacific coast, was completed.

1919 - Germany's Weimar Constitution was adopted.

1922 - The first water skis were demonstrated, by Ralph Samuelson.

1948 - New York's International Airport was dedicated; it was later renamed John F. Kennedy Airport.

1964 - Ranger 7, an unmanned U.S. lunar probe, took the first close-up images of the Moon.

1971 - The Apollo 15 astronauts drove a car on the Moon.

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

1981 - A seven-week-old Major League Baseball strike ended.


1867 - S.S. Kresge, American five-and-dime merchant, chain store developer.

1912 - Milton Friedman, American Nobel Prize-winning economist.

1929 - Lynne Reid Banks, English author.


1875 - Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States of America.

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