Today Yesterday



31st August

1887 Thomas Edison received a patent for his "Kinetoscope," and moving pictures were born.

1888 The infamous Jack the Ripper struck for the first time in Whitechapel, London. The victim Mary Ann Nicholls.

1900 Coca-Cola went on sale in Britain for the first time.

1918 * Alan Jay Lerner, US librettist who worked on the musical Paint Your Wagon (1951).

1928 * James Coburn, US actor who starred in the film Our Man Flint (1966).

1955 * Edwin Moses, US athlete who dominated the 400m hurdles for over ten years.

1957 Malaya celebrated its independence from Britain after a midnight handover ceremony.

1958 * Serge Blanco, French international rugby player.

1959 British prime minister Harold Macmillan and American president Dwight Eisenhower gave an historic live television broadcast from Downing Street.

1962 Trinidad and Tobago gained independence from Great Britain.

1972 US swimmer Mark Spitz won 5 out of 7 medals at the Munich Olympics.

1977 Ian Smith's ruling Rhodesian Front won an overwhelming victory in the country's general election.

1980 Poland's Solidarity labour movement had its beginnings when an agreement ending a 17-day strike was signed in Gdansk.

1989 Buckingham Palace confirmed that Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips were to live apart.

1994 Russia officially ended its military presence in the former East Germany and the Baltic states.

1994 The IRA announced a "complete cessation of military operations" after 25 years of bombing and killing.

1997 Diana, Princess of Wales died with Dodi Al-Fayed in a car crash in Paris, France.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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