July 31, 1777 – French aristocrat Marie-Joseph Paul Roch Yves Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, then age 19, was commissioned a major general in the Continental Army by the U.S. Congress – without pay. He would visit Claiborne in Monroe County on April 6, 1825.
July 31, 1806 – Rev. Pitts Milner, the founder of Georgiana, Ala., was born.
July 31, 1816 - Union General George H. Thomas, who deserves a share of the credit for the Union success in the west, was born in Southhampton County, Va.
July 31, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred near the Watkins’ Plantation in Northern Alabama.
July 31, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. William F. Atchinson of Thomasville was killed in action.
July 31, 1930 - The radio mystery program “The Shadow” aired for the first time.
July 31, 1938 – The Dothan Browns baseball team beat the Evergreen Greenies, 10-0, in Dothan. Also that day, Evergreen’s amateur baseball team beat the Atmore prison team, 7-6, behind the pitching of Bill Seales and Wendell Hart.
July 31, 1964 - The first close-up photographs of the moon were sent back to Earth by Ranger 7.
July 31, 1990 - Nolan Ryan won the 300th game of his career, throwing 7-2/3 strong innings with eight strikeouts to lead his Texas Rangers to an 11-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
July 31, 1998 – Local weather reporter Harry Ellis reported a high temperature of 100 degrees in Evergreen.