July 31 in history:
American swimmer Michael Phelps set the individual record for Olympic medals on this date at the London Olympics of 2012, with a gold medal in a freestyle relay. By the end of the London Games, Phelps had won 22 Olympic medals in all.
On July 31st, 1936, the International Olympic Committee announced that Tokyo would host the summer games in 1940. By 1938, the Japanese government cancelled plans for the Olympics, because the country was at war with China.
More than one-third of the 1981 major league baseball season in the U.S. was cancelled because of a strike by the players’ association over the free agent system. The strike was settled on July 31st, and the season resumed with the All-Star Game in Cleveland.
Wesley Snipes played ball for the Cleveland Indians in the movie “Major League.” Snipes, born in 1962, shares a July 31st birthday with long-time baseball announcer Curt Gowdy (1919), and the inventor of the fictional sport Quidditch, “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling (1965).
January 10th in history:
The world’s first subway opened on January 10th, 1863, when an underground train began operating in London.
It was January 10th of 1901 when an oil gusher erupted at the Spindletop drilling site near Beaumont, Texas, leading to an oil industry boom in that state.
John D. Rockefeller made his vast fortune in the oil business. Rockefeller incorporated Standard Oil on this date in 1870.
For about 30 years, Mobil Oil — formerly the Standard Oil Company of New York — was the chief sponsor of “Masterpiece Theatre” on PBS. “Masterpiece Theatre” made its debut on American television January 10th, 1971.