On July 31, 1715, a fleet of Spanish ships carrying gold, silver and jewelry sank during a hurricane off the east Florida coast.
In 1777, during the Revolutionary War, the Marquis de Lafayette, a 19-year-old French nobleman, was made a major-general in the American Continental Army.
In 1919, Germany’s Weimar Constitution was adopted by the republic of Germany.
In 1941, Hermann Göring, writing under instructions from Hitler, ordered Reinhard Heydrich, SS general and Heinrich Himmler’s number-two man, “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.”
In 1970, “The Huntley- Brinkley Report” came to an end as co-anchor Chet Huntley signed off; the broadcast was renamed “NBC Nightly News.”
In 1971, James Taylor went to No.1 on the US singles chart with the Carole King song ‘You’ve Got A Friend’, (included in her album Tapestry and James Taylor’s album Mud Slide Slim). The song would go on to win the 1971 Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal male Performance and Song Of The Year.
In 2014, the death toll from the worst Ebola outbreak in history surpassed 700 in West Africa.
On July 30, 1619, the first representative assembly in America convened in Jamestown.
In 1954, Slim Whitman, Billy Walker, Sugarfoot Collins, Sonny Harvelle, Tinker Fry, Curly Harris and a young Elvis Presley all appeared at the Hillbilly Hoedown, Overton Park Shell, in Memphis Tennessee. Elvis was so nervous he stood up on the balls of his feet and shook his leg in time with the music, when he came offstage he asked why people were yelling at him. Someone told him it was because he was shaking his leg, which with the baggy pleated pants created a wild gyrating effect in time with the music.
In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a measure making “In God We Trust” the national motto, replacing “E Pluribus Unum.”
In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a measure creating Medicare, which began operating the following year.
In 1975,Jimmy Hoffa disappeared in suburban Detroit; although presumed dead, his remains have never been found.
In 2003, the last of 21,529,464 Volkswagen Beetles built since World War II rolls off the production line at Volkswagen’s plant in Puebla, Mexico.
Also in 2003, President George W. Bush took personal responsibility for the first time for using discredited intelligence in his State of the Union address. And also in 2003, Sam Phillips the founder of Sun Records and studio died of respiratory failure at St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. In the 1940s, Phillips worked as a DJ for Muscle Shoals, Alabama radio station WLAY. Phillips recorded what some consider to be the first rock and roll record, ‘Rocket 88’ by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats in 1951. He discovered Elvis Presley, worked with Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Ike Turner, B.B. King and Jerry Lee Lewis.