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On this day: July 31

POSTED: 10:36 PM CDT Jul 30, 2012    UPDATED: 01:00 AM CDT Jul 31, 2014 

Mt. Fuji erupts, the Apollo 15 astronauts go for a ride, major-league baseball players end their strike, and Michael Phelps swims into Olympic history, all on this day.

OTD July 31 - Gore Vidal
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Charley Gallay/Getty Images

2012: Author and political activist Gore Vidal ("Lincoln," "The City and the Pillar," "Myra Breckenridge") dies of complications from pneumonia in Hollywood Hills, California. He was 86.

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