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The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley will hold the Great Futures Literary Challenge kick-off at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 1702 Iowa St., Davenport. People are asked to donate new or gently used books for ages 6-18 at Boys & Girls Clubs and Lagomarcino's in Moline until Dec. 12. Call 309-757-5777 or email for details.

Q. How is the story of pole-vaulting "as much about the pole as it is about the vaulter"?
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What do you call a thieving alligator?

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Israel calls up another 16,000 reserves
Obama takes tougher line against Gaza casualties
State Dept: 'No American is proud' of CIA tactics
Congress races to finish veterans, highway bills
House GOP scrambles for votes on border bill

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  Today is Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: A corps of surgeons now occupies the new hospital quarters at the Garrison Hospital on the Rock Island Arsenal. A fence has been installed to enclose the prison hospital.
1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post .
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.

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