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Today in History
7/31/2014
Famous Birthdays
Reference:
 Encyclopaedia Britannica

*1921Whitney M. Young, Jr., born this day in 1921 in Lincoln Ridge, Kentucky, was an articulate American civil rights leader who spearheaded the drive for equal opportunity for blacks in industry and U.S. government service during his 10 years as head of the National Urban League (1961–71), the world's largest social-civil rights organization. His advocacy of a “Domestic Marshall Plan”—massive funds to help solve America's racial problems—was felt to have strongly influenced federal poverty programs sponsored by Democratic presidential administrations in the 1960s. Appointed executive director of the National Urban League in 1961, Young won an impressive reputation as a national black activist who helped bridge the gap between white political and business leaders and poor blacks and militants. Under his direction the organization grew from 60 to 98 chapters and shifted its focus from middle-class concerns to the needs of the urban poor. He was particularly credited with almost singlehandedly persuading corporate America and major foundations to aid the civil rights movement through financial contributions in support of self-help programs for jobs, housing, education, and family rehabilitation. Young, who had been a consultant on racial matters to both Pres. John F. Kennedy and Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson, was in Nigeria at a conference sponsored by the Ford Foundation to enhance Afro-American understanding when he died.  
*1912American economist and educator Milton Friedman, who was one of the leading proponents of monetarism in the second half of the 20th century and who was awarded the 1976 Nobel Prize for Economics, was born this day in 1912.  
1999The spacecraft Lunar Prospect crashed into the moon. It was a mission to detect frozen water on the moon's surface. The craft had been launched on January 6, 1998. 
1998More than 50 people died in Kashmir due to crossfire between India and Pakistan.  
1998Nicolas Cage received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  
1997In New York City, NY, police seized five bombs believed to be bound for terrorist attacks on city subways.  
1995The Walt Disney Company agreed to acquire Capital Cities/ABC in a $19 billion deal.  
1994A UN Security Council resolution authorized the use of “all necessary means” to restore democracy to Haiti. 
1991U.S. President Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.  
1989A pro-Iranian group in Lebanon released a videotape reportedly showing the hanged body of American hostage William R. Higgins.  
1989The Game Boy became available for sale to the public in North America by Nintendo.
The Game Boy was Nintendo's second handheld system following the Game & Watch series introduced in 1980, and it combined features from both the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game & Watch (bundling 4 games in the initial version). It was also the first handheld game to use video game cartridges since Milton Bradley's Microvision handheld console. It was originally bundled with the puzzle game Tetris.
 
1981The seven-week baseball players’ strike came to an end when the players and owners agreed on the issue of free agent compensation.  
1971Lunar Roving Vehicle first used on the Moon. Apollo 15 was launched July 26, 1971, and landed near Hadley Rille and the Apennine Mountains 744 km (462 miles) north of the lunar equator. On this day, U.S. astronauts James B. Irwin and David Scott first used the Lunar Roving Vehicle, a four-wheeled, battery-powered vehicle, to extensively explore the Moon's surface. Apollo 15 returned on August 7, 1971, with 77 kg (170 pounds) of lunar material. 
1964The American space probe Ranger 7 transmitted pictures of the moon's surface.  
1961The first tie in All-Star Game major league baseball history was recorded when it was stopped in the 9th inning due to rain at Boston's Fenway Park.  
1955Marilyn Bell of Toronto, Canada, at age 17, became the youngest person to swim the English Channel.  
1948President Harry S. Truman dedicated Idlewild Airport as New York International Airport; in 1963 it was rededicated as John F. Kennedy International Airport. 
1945Pierre Laval of France surrendered to Americans in Austria.  
1932Enzo Ferrari retired from racing. In 1950 he launched a series of cars under his name.  
1928MGM’s Leo the lion roared for the first time. He introduced MGM’s first talking picture, "White Shadows on the South Seas."  
1919Germany's Weimar Constitution was adopted.  
1792The cornerstone of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, PA, was laid. It was the first building to be used only as a U.S. government building.  
1790The first U.S. patent was issued to Samuel Hopkins for his process for making potash and pearl ashes. The substance was used in fertilizer.  
1667The Treaty of Breda ended the Second Anglo-Dutch War and transferred New Netherland (New York and New Jersey) to England. 
1556St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic church, died in Rome. 
1498Christopher Columbus, on his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, arrived at the island of Trinidad.  
Asterisks (*) denotes birthday

Famous Birthdays
1981 - Eric Lively
1966 - Dean Cain
1965 - J.K. Rowling
1964 - Jim Corr
1962 - Wesley Snipes
1958 - Bill Berry
1951 - Barry Van Dyke
1944 - Geraldine Chaplin
1919 - Curt Gowdy
1912 - Milton Friedman

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