July 31 in Pop Culture History

July 31 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

July 31 History Highlights

  • 1790 – The United States Patent Office opened
  • 1792 – The cornerstone of the first US Federal Building was laid, the Philadelphia Mint
  • 1948 – Idlewild Field in New York, New York International Airport (later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport) was dedicated.
  • July 31, 1980 Birthday (fictional) Harry Potter, Harry Potter
  • July 31, 1989 – Game Boy released, video game
  • 1991 – The United States and Soviet Union both sign the START I Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty
  • 2006 Cuba’s leader Fidel Castro handed over power to his brother, Raúl.
  • If you were born on July 31st,
    You were likely conceived the week of… November 7th (prior year)

National Jump for Jelly Beans Day

In the Middle East, a delicacy called lokum has been around since biblical times. It’s known as Turkish Delight in English-speaking countries and it is made of sugar syrup boiled with gelatin or pectin which spreads into thin sheets when cool enough to handle. This jelly candy was an inspiration for Jelly beans but they were actually based on Jordan almonds that are coated in powdered sugar by shaking them about inside a container until their outside becomes hard like our favorite chewy sweets.

The earliest known reference of a Jelly Bean was an 1861 advertisement for William Schrafft of Boston that promoted the sending of jelly beans to soldiers in the Union Army during the Civil War. Jelly Beans were also mentioned in the Chicago Daily News in 1905.

Jelly beans became associated with the Easter holiday in the 1930s, due to their egg-shaped appearance. They grew in popularity from the 1960s through the 1980s, thanks to famous devotees like John Lennon and President Ronald Reagan. But it was really Harry Potter that made them a staple of our lives today; the Jelly Belly company created flavors inspired by the Potter books and films. With over 100 flavors today, Jelly Belly® Jelly Beans were introduced that year only eight flavors: Root Beer, Green Apple, Licorice, Cream Soda, Lemon, Tangerine, Very Cherry, and Grape.

July 31 is…

National Avocado Day
National Cotton Candy Day
National Jump for Jelly Beans Day

July 31 Birthday Quotes

“Always wake up with a smile knowing that today you are going to have fun accomplishing what others are too afraid to do.”
– Mark Cuban

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”
– Milton Friedman

“I never took myself too seriously.”
– Curt Gowdy

“There are no menial jobs, only menial attitudes.”
– William Bennett

“Every man is our brother, and every man’s burden is our own. Where poverty exists, all are poorer. Where hate flourishes, all are corrupted. Where injustice reins, all are unequal.”
– Whitney M. Young

“It’s not in the dreaming, it’s in the doing.”
– Mark Cuban

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
– J.K. Rowling

“One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”
– Milton Friedman

“The songwriters whom we think of being the greatest songwriters usually write one hit and six or seven flops.”
– Ahmet Ertegun

July 31 Birthdays

1858 – Marion Talbot, influential American educator (d. 1948)
1886 – Fred Quimby, American animation producer (d. 1965)
1912 – Milton Friedman, American economist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2006)
1919 – Curt Gowdy, American sportscaster and actor (d. 2006)
1921 – Whitney Young, American activist (d. 1971)
1923 – Ahmet Ertegun, Turkish-American songwriter and producer, founded Atlantic Records (d. 2006)
1932 – Ted Cassidy, American actor (d. 1979)
1943 – Lobo (Roland Kent LaVoie), American singer-songwriter
1943 – William Bennett, American journalist and politician
1958 – Mark Cuban, American businessman
1965 – J. K. Rowling, English author and film producer
1966 – Dean Cain, American actor
1978 – Zac Brown, American country singer-songwriter
1979 – B.J. Novak, American actor, director, producer and screenwriter
1981 – M. Shadows, American musician, lead singer of Avenged Sevenfold

July 31 History

781 – The oldest recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan.

1492 – Jews were expelled from Spain when the Alhambra Decree took effect.

1790 – The first US patent (X000001) was issued, to inventor Samuel Hopkins for a potash process.

1930 – The radio mystery program The Shadow aired for the first time.

1931 – New York television station W2XAB (now known as WCBS) began broadcasting.

1948 – Idlewild Field in New York, New York International Airport (now John F. Kennedy International Airport) was dedicated.

1961 – At Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, the first All-Star Game tie in Major League Baseball history happened, after the game was stopped in the ninth inning because of rain.

1971 – #1 Hit July 31, 1971 – August 6, 1971: James Taylor – You’ve Got a Friend

July 31, 1980 Birthday (fictional) Harry Potter, Harry Potter

July 31, 1989 – Game Boy released, Video game

1995 – The Walt Disney Company announced their plans to purchase both ABC and ESPN

1999 – #1 Hit July 31, 1999 – September 3, 1999: Christina Aguilera – Genie In A Bottle

2003 – Broadway Show – Avenue Q (Musical) July 31, 2003

2006 – Cuba’s Fidel Castro handed over power to his brother, Raul Castro.

2010 – #1 Hit July 31, 2010 – September 17, 2010: Eminem featuring Rihanna – Love the Way You Lie

2015 – Millions of people went outside and looked up, and when they came back in they said, “They lied to us. That moon’s not blue.”

2015 – Descendants aired on The Disney Channel

Today’s Random Trivia and Shower Thoughts

“So, when you divide the world into music lovers, music fans and then those people who are just very casual about their music, it’s wallpaper to them, it’s elevator music, it’s just the thing that’s playing in the background that helps them through their day.” – Michael Stipe

The Capital of Mexico is Mexico City

You can’t have a depressing scene in a movie without extreme close-ups and rain.

The biggest film of 1949: Samson and Delilah (Drama) earned ~ $29,000,000

Clark Kent (Superman) is the male movie counterpart to the girl who takes off her glasses, and everyone realizes she’s pretty. #movies

Alan Napier, the actor who played Alfred in the 1960s version of Batman, was the show’s only cast member who had never heard of Batman and had no idea who the character was before the show began filming.

The Capital of Mauritius is Port Louis

I think Freud would have something to say about all of the people who upload pictures of their attractive mothers onto Facebook.

“I suggest you not underestimate the staggering drawing power of the Garden State, and show up two hours in advance.” – Ticket Lady #moviequotes

There are 18 different animal shapes in the animal cracker zoo.

TV Quotes… “Up your nose with a rubber hose” (Vinnie Barbarino) on “Welcome Back, Kotter”

Helen Keller was once a pupil of Alexander Graham Bell at his school for the deaf.

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