This Day In History — The Birth of J. K. Rowling

July 31

1498
Columbus arrived at the island of Trinidad.

1777
The Marquis de Lafayette became a major-general in the American Continental Army.

1790
The first U.S. patent was issued to Samuel Hopkins of Vermont for a process of making fertilizer.

1875
Andrew Johnson, the 17th president of the United States, died in Tennessee.

1954
Mount Godwin-Austen (K2), the world’s second-highest peak, was climbed for the first time, by an Italian team led by Ardito Desio.

1964
The U.S. space probe Ranger 7 transmitted pictures of the Moon’s surface.

Birthdays

J. K. Rowling
1965–, writer

S. S. Kresge
merchant, philanthropist (1867)

Jean Dubuffet
painter and sculptor (1901)

Milton Friedman
economist (1912)

Whitney M. Young, Jr.
social reformer (1921)

Wesley Snipes
actor, producer (1962)

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