July 31 is the 212th day (213th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 153 days remaining, as the final day of July.
- 1423 - Hundred Years War: Battle of Cravant - The French army is defeated at Cravant on the banks of the river Yonne.
- 1498 - On his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to discover the island of Trinidad.
- 1667 - The Treaty of Breda ends the Second Anglo-Dutch War.
- 1703 - Daniel Defoe is placed in a pillory for the crime of seditious libel after publishing a politically satirical pamphlet but is pelted with flowers.
- 1790 - First US patent issued; granted to inventor Samuel Hopkins.
- 1856 - Christchurch, New Zealand chartered as a city.
- 1917 - The Third Battle of Ypres starts in Flanders.
- 1919 - German national assembly adopts the Weimar constitution (to enter into force August 14)
- 1930 - The radio mystery program The Shadow airs for the first time.
- 1941 - Holocaust: Under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Nazi official Hermann Göring, orders SS general Reinhard Heydrich to "submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question."
- 1945 - Pierre Laval, fugitive former leader of Vichy France, surrenders to Allied soldiers in Austria.
- 1948 - At Idlewild Field in New York, New York International Airport (later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport) is dedicated.
- 1954 - First ascent of K2.
- 1961 - At Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, the first All-Star Game tie in major league baseball history occurs when the game is stopped in the 9th inning due to rain.
- 1964 - Ranger program: Ranger 7 sends back the first close-up photographs of the moon (images are 1,000 times clearer than anything ever seen from earth-bound telescopes).
- 1971 - Apollo program: Apollo 15 astronauts become the first to ride in a lunar rover.
- 1973 - A Delta Airlines jetliner crashed while landing in fog at Logan Airport, Boston, Massachusetts killing 89
- 1975 - In Detroit, Michigan, Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa is reported missing.
- 1976 - NASA releases the famous Face on Mars photo, taken by Viking 1
- 1992 - A Thai Airways Airbus A300-310 crashes into mountain south of Kathmandu, Nepal killing 113.
- 1996 - MIL-STD-1750A was declared inactive for use in new designs.
- 1999 - NASA intentionally crashes the Lunar Prospector spacecraft into the Moon, thus ending its mission to detect frozen water on the moon's surface.
- 1396 - Philip III of Burgundy, duke of Burgundy (d. 1467)
- 1803 - John Ericsson, Swedish inventor and engineer (d. 1889)
- 1816 - George Henry Thomas, American general (d. 1870)
- 1901 - Jean Dubuffet, painter and sculptor (d. 1985)
- 1911 - George Liberace, musician (d. 1983)
- 1912 - Irv Kupcinet, newspaper columnist (d. 2003)
- 1912 - Milton Friedman, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize in economics
- 1913 - William Todman, game show producer
- 1914 - Louis de Funčs, actor and comedian (d. 1983)
- 1916 - Bill Todman, game show producer (d. 1979)
- 1918 - Hank Jones, pianist
- 1919 - Curt Gowdy, sports announcer
- 1919 - Primo Levi, author, chemist (d. 1987)
- 1921 - Whitney Young, civil rights activist (d. 1971)
- 1923 - Ahmet Ertegun, record company executive
- 1928 - Kurt Sontheimer, political scientist
- 1929 - Don Murray (actor)
- 1930 - Oleg Popov, clown
- 1931 - Kenny Burrell, guitarist
- 1939 - France Nuyen, actress
- 1941 - Amarsinh Chaudhary, politician
- 1943 - William Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education and "drug czar"
- 1943 - Susan Flannery, actress
- 1944 - Geraldine Chaplin, actress
- 1946 - Gary Lewis, rock and roll musician
- 1946 - Bob Welch, rock and roll musician
- 1951 - Evonne Goolagong, tennis star
- 1951 - Barry Van Dyke, actor
- 1952 - Alan Autry, American football player, actor, mayor of Fresno, California
- 1958 - Bill Berry, rock and roll musician (of the band R.E.M.)
- 1958 - Mark Cuban, billionaire businessman, producer, Dallas Mavericks owner
- 1959 - Stanley Jordan, jazz guitarist
- 1962 - Wesley Snipes, actor
- 1964 - Jim Corr, singer, musician ("The Corrs")
- 1965 - J. K. Rowling, novelist
- 1966 - Dean Cain, actor
- 1981 - Eric Lively, actor
- 1099 - Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar ("El Cid"), Spanish warrior
- 1108 - King Philip I of France
- 1556 - Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits
- 1875 - Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States (b. 1808)
- 1886 - Franz Liszt, composer
- 1914 - Jean Jaurčs, French Socialist politician (d. 1859)
- 1917 - Francis Ledwidge, Irish poet
- 1937 - Charles Martine, Apache scout
- 1944 - Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French pilot and writer
- 1953 - Robert Taft, Senator from Ohio, former candidate for President of the United States, son of William Howard Taft, "Mr. Republican"
- 1980 - Mohd. Rafi, Bollywood playback singer. (b. 24 December1924)
- 1993 - Baudouin I of Belgium
- 2001 - Poul Anderson, science fiction author
Holidays and observances
July 30 - August 1 - June 30 - August 31 -- listing of all days
ca:31 de juliol
es:31 de julio
eo:31-a de julio
oc:31 de julhet
pt:31 de Julho
wa:31 di djulete