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This Day In HISTORY

July 31, 1964

Ranger 7 photographs Moon

Ranger 7, an unmanned U.S. lunar probe, takes the first close-up images of the Moon--4,308 in total--before it impacts with the lunar surface northwest of the Sea of the Clouds. The images were 1,000 times as clear as anything ever seen through earth-bound telescopes. The National Aeronautics and Sp...

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July 31, 1853

Pharmacist Introduces Kerosene Lamp, Saves Whales

On this day in 1853, Polish pharmacist Ignacy Lukasiewicz gave a new invention he'd been tinkering with—a kerosene lamp—to a local hospital. "This liquid is the future wealth of the country," claimed Ignacy Lukasiewicz in 1854. "It's the wellbeing and prosperity of its inhabitants, it's a n...

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July 31, 1971

First Off-Planet Automobile Ride

On this day in 1971, Apollo 15 astronauts David Scott and James Irwin drove the Lunar Roving Vehicle on the surface of the moon. It was the first off-planet automobile ride. And what a ride it was. The lunar rover was among the coolest gadgets designed for the Apollo program. It was designed t...

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July 31, 1902

Mt Kembla Colliery Gas Explosion

An explosion at 2pm on July 31, 1902, at Mt. Kembla colliery killed 96 men and boys. The sound of the explosion could be heard in Wollongong, some 7 miles away. At the end of the day 33 women were widows and 120 children were fatherless. The hundreds of rescuers were headed by former Keira Mine m...

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