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31 July: On this day in history

What events happened on 31 July in history? We round up the events, births and deaths…

Published: July 31, 2022 at 7:04 am
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31 July 1703

Daniel Defoe spent the last of his three days in the pillory after being convicted of seditious libel. He was surrounded at the pillory by his supporters, thus sparing him the indignities normally suffered by those sentenced to such a punishment.


31 July 1932

In Germany’s federal elections, Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party wins 38 per cent of the vote and 230 seats to become the largest party in parliament for the first time.

31 July 1972

British forces launched Operation Motorman, an attempt to regain control of the ‘no-go’ areas established by Republican paramilitaries, notably in Belfast and Derry/ Londonderry.


31 July 1991

After nine years of negotiation between their two countries, US president George Bush and Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in the Moscow Kremlin.

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