What Happened On This Day – July 31
1998 The British government bans landmines
The move came after the public pressurized the parliament to pass the Landmines Act.
1992 Thai Airways International Flight 311 crashes while approaching Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal.
All 113 people onboard were killed in the crash.
1991 US and USSR sign Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty
The treaty, also known as START I, limited the number of nuclear weapons and missiles the signatories could deploy. It came into force in December 1994, and expired 15 years later in 2009.
1981 First female president of the US National Bar Association is appointed
Arnette R. Hubbard became the first woman to preside over the US National Bar Association, the country's largest group of association of African-American lawyers and judges.
1917 Third Battle of Ypres begins
Also known as the Battle of Passchendaele, the battle was part of World War I and took place between July 31 and November 6 for control of the Belgian city of Ypres.
Births On This Day – July 31
1965 J. K. Rowling
1962 Wesley Snipes
American martial artist, actor, producer
1919 Primo Levi
Italian chemist, author
1912 Milton Friedman
American economist, Nobel Prize laureate
1884 Carl Friedrich Goerdeler
Deaths On This Day – July 31
2012 Gore Vidal
American author, screenwriter, actor
1980 Mohammed Rafi
Indian actor, singer
1964 Jim Reeves
1944 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
1875 Andrew Johnson
American politician, 17th President of the United States