July 31st is the birthday of free-market economist Milton Friedman. (Pictured, born 1912, died November 16, 2006.)
On July 31st, 1958 the Anti-Chinese uprising began in Tibet.
July 31st, 1921, was the birthday of Army Air Corps veteran David Thatcher, one of the Doolittle Raider. Thatcher was the tail gunner in the rear of the Mitchell B-25 medium bomber christened the Ruptured Duck, the seventh of 16 planes. Returning from the raid, the bomber crashed into the sea from low fuel and the crewmen survived, in no small part to Thatcher’s heroic efforts. The five airmen washed ashore and were given aid by Chinese fishermen who found them. Thatcher bound their wounds and being the only crewman able to walk, joined with armed guerrillas to carry the other crewmen to a hospital while evading Japanese troops. He was born in Bridger, Montana, and later lived in Missoula, Montana. He died in 2016, at age 94. Only one other Doolittle Raider outlived him: Dick Cole