July 31 (31.07) is the 212th day of the year according to the Gregorian calendar (213rd in a leap year). There are still 153 days until the end of the year.
1201 — John Komnenos the Fat briefly took over the Byzantine throne from Alexios III Angelos, but was soon captured and executed.
1423 — English and Burgundian armies defeated the French in the Hundred Years' War at the Battle of Cravan near Auxerre.
1498 - Spanish navigator Christopher Columbus on his third voyage to the New World discovered an island he named Trinidad.
1648 — The celebrated Serbian hero from Ravni Kotar, Vuk Mandušić, died in the battle with the Turks, along with Stojan Janković and Ilija Smiljanić, the most beloved hero of the Uskok folk epic.
1658 — The great Mughal Aurangzeb proclaimed himself emperor in India.
1789 — Russian and Austrian troops, under the command of Count Alexander Suvorov and the Duke of Coburg, defeated the Turkish army at Foksani in Romania.
1849 — The Hungarian poet and revolutionary Sándor Pétefi, one of the leaders of the national movement in 1848, died in the Battle of Šegešvar.
1914 — The French politician and historian Jean Jaures, one of the founders of the French Socialist Party and the founder and editor of "Imanite", later the paper of the French Communists, was killed.
1917 — The Battle of Passchendaele began with British artillery fire.
1919 — The Weimar Assembly adopted the Weimar Constitution, which abolished the empire and established a republic.
1941 - German Marshal Hermann Goering gives written directive to police chief Reinhard Heydrich to draft a plan to exterminate European Jews.
1944 — French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of "The Little Prince", one of the most read books in the world, died over the Mediterranean as a pilot of an Allied plane in World War II.
1954 — An Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio was the first to conquer the peak of Godwin Austin, known as K2, in the Karakoram, the second highest mountain peak in the world, at 8,611 meters.
1959 — A group of Basque students founded the separatist organization ETA.
1964 — The US unmanned space probe Ranger 7 broadcasts the first images of the dark side of the Moon.
1969 — Pope Paul VI arrived in Uganda, in the first papal visit to Africa.
1971 — American astronauts David Scott and James Irwin, members of the "Apollo 15" mission, spent more than six hours on the second day of their stay on the moon�