On this day

In 2012, Michael Phelps broke the record set in 1964 by Larisa Latynina for most Olympic medals. Image: Wikimedia Commons

On This Day: What happened on 31 July?

We look back on this day in history and remember the people and events that shaped the world we live in today.

On this day

In 2012, Michael Phelps broke the record set in 1964 by Larisa Latynina for most Olympic medals. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Here’s a look at what happened on this day, 31 July, throughout history. We remember the news, events, and people that influenced the course of history forever.

ON THIS DAY: 31 JULY

1981 | Federation of South African Women (FSAW or FEDSAW) President, Fatima Meer was banned for a second time and she was prohibited from attending any public gatherings.

2014 | At least 20 people were killed and more than 270 injured in gas explosions in southern Taiwan’s Kaohsiung city.

2012 | Michael Phelps broke the record set in 1964 by Larisa Latynina for most Olympic medals.

2007 | Operation Banner, which showcased the British Army’s presence in Northern Ireland, and was the longest-running British Army operation ever, came to an end.

2006 | Fidel Castro handed over power to his brother, Raúl.

1999 | Discovery Program: Lunar Prospector: NASA intentionally crashed the spacecraft into the Moon, thus ending its mission to detect frozen water on the Moon’s surface.

ALSO READ: What happened on 30 July? 

BIRTHDAYS

1927 | English author and playwright, Peter Nichols.

1986 | Russian ice hockey player, Evgeni Malkin.

1948 | Australian singer and songwriter, guitarist, Russell Morris.

1949 | English journalist and politician, Alan Meale.

1939 | English pianist and conductor, Steuart Bedford.

ON THIS DAY: DEATHS

1953 | American soldier and politician, Robert A. Taft, 64. 

2014 | American lawyer and judge, Wilfred Feinberg, 94.

2012 | American novelist, screenwriter, and critic, Gore Vidal, 87.

2013 | American captain and author, John Graves, 93. 

2004 | American actress, Virginia Grey, 87. 

SPORTS

2009 | On this day, the footballing world joined together to mourn the death of Sir Bobby Robson. 

ENTERTAINMENT

2009 | The Luanda International Jazz Festival was launched in Luanda, Angola. 

AFRICA FACT 

Ethiopia is the first country in Africa to own and operate a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.