Today is Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014 with 153 to follow.
The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mercury, Neptune, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Mars and Saturn.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include:
- Author and jurist James Kent in 1763 - Confederate Army guerrilla leader William Quantrill in 1837 - Kmart founder S.S. Kresge in 1867 - Pollster Elmo Burns Roper Jr. in 1900 - Economist Milton Friedman in 1912 - Former TV talk-show host and columnist Irv Kupcinet - Sports announcer Curt Gowdy in 1919 - Recording industry executive Ahmet Ertegun in 1923 - Actor Don Murray in 1929 (age 85), - Ted Cassidy in 1932; - France Nuyen in 1939 (age 75), - Geraldine Chaplin in 1944 (age 70) - Richard Griffiths in 1947 - Musician Bob Welch in 1945 - Musician Gary Lewis in 1946 (age 68) - Australian tennis star Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1951 (age 63) - Businessman and NBA team owner Mark Cuban in 1958 (age 56) - Actor Wesley Snipes in 1962 (age 52) - Actor Dean Cain in 1966 (age 48) - Author J.K. Rowling in 1965 (age 49)
On this date in history:
In 1498, on his third voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus discovered the island of Trinidad.
In 1556 Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order of Roman Catholic missionaries and educators, died in Rome.
In 1792, director David Rittenhouse laid the cornerstone in Philadelphia for the U.S. Mint, the first building of the federal government.
In 1964, Ranger 7, an unmanned U.S. lunar probe, took the first close-up images of the moon.
In 1974, Watergate figure John Ehrlichman was sentenced to prison for his role in the break-in at the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist. (He was in prison 18 months.) Ellsberg was the Pentagon consultant who leaked the "Pentagon Papers," documents about the war in Vietnam.
In 1991, the U.S. Senate overturned a 43-year-old law and voted to allow women to fly military warplanes in combat.
In 2011, with default by the U.S. government just days away and after months of frustrating debate, U.S. President Barack Obama and congressional leaders announced an agreement that would raise the debt ceiling by up to $2.4 trillion in two stages, enough to keep borrowing into 2013.
In 2012, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, visiting Cairo, said newly elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi "is his own man" and is committed to democracy.
In 2013, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Barack Obama's choice of B. Todd Jones, U.S. attorney for Minnesota, to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Jones had been part-time acting ATF director.
A thought for the day: "Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink and make the combination worthless." --Milton Friedman