Today in history – July 31

1498 – On his third voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus became the first European to discover the island of Trinidad.

1777 – The Second Continental Congress passes a resolution that the services of the Marquis de Lafayette “be accepted, and that, in consideration of his zeal, illustrious family and connexions, have the rank and commission of major-general of the United States.”

1790 – The first U.S. patent is issued to inventor Samuel Hopkins for a potash process.

1792 – Director David Rittenhouse laid the cornerstone in Philadelphia for the U.S. Mint, the first building of the federal government.

1932 – the Nazi Party wins more than 38% of the vote in German elections.

1964 – Ranger 7 sends back the first close-up photographs of the moon.

1974 – Watergate figure John Ehrlichman was sentenced to prison for his role in the break-in at the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist. He was in prison for 18 months. Ellsberg was the Pentagon consultant who leaked the “Pentagon Papers.”

1991 – Congress voted to overturn a 43-year-old law and voted to allow women to fly military warplanes in combat.

2012 – Michael Phelps breaks the record set in 1964 by Larisa Latynina for the most medals won at the Olympics.

2017 – Anthony Scaramucci resigned after 10 days as President Donald Trump’s communications director.