Today is Saturday, July 31, the 212th day of 2021 with 153 to follow.
The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Mars, Neptune, Saturn and Venus.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include Confederate guerrilla leader William Quantrill in 1837; Kmart founder S.S. Kresge in 1867; pollster Elmo Burns Roper Jr. in 1900; actor France Nuyen in 1939 (age 82); actor Geraldine Chaplin in 1944 (age 77); musician Gary Lewis in 1946 (age 75); actor Richard Griffiths in 1947; Australian tennis star Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1951 (age 70); businessman/NBA team owner Mark Cuban in 1958 (age 63); actor Wesley Snipes in 1962 (age 59); author J.K. Rowling in 1965 (age 56); actor Dean Cain in 1966 (age 55); country singer Zac Brown in 1978 (age 43); actor B.J. Novak in 1979 (age 42); actor Charlie Carver in 1988 (age 33); actor Alexis Knapp in 1989 (age 32); rapper Lil Uzi Vert, born Symere Bysil Woods, in 1994 (age 27); actor Rico Rodriguez in 1998 (age 23).
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. The House had already approved similar legislation.
In 1992, a Thai Airways International jetliner carrying 113 people crashed as it tried to fly out of bad weather that prevented it from landing in Kathmandu, Nepal. There were no survivors.
In 1999, NASA intentionally crashes the Lunar Prospector spacecraft into the moon with the hopes of discovering evidence of water. Researchers said it didn't reveal any such signs.
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 2014, officials reported the number of people killed in a 3-week-old Israeli-Hamas Gaza conflict had risen to 1,360 Palestinians and 59 Israelis, including 56 soldiers.
In 2020, the Apple Fire broke out in Southern California, prompting the evacuation of 150 homes. Firefighters contained the wildfire on Nov. 18, 2020, after it burned 33,424 acres.
A thought for the day: "Fifty percent of people won't vote and 50 percent don't read newspapers. I hope it's the same 50 percent." -- American writer Gore Vidal