August 31 in History Events, Birthdays, & News

To know what happened today in history, famous events occurred, famous birthdays, death days, legend quotes, and historical news on August 31.

August 31

Events on August 31

1422 Henry V, King of England, dies of dysentery while in France; Henry VI accedes to the throne, aged nine months.

1688 Death of John Bunyan, English author famed for The Pilgrim’s Progress.

1900 Coca-Cola goes on sale in Britain.

1957 Malaya achieves independence from Britain.

1962 The former British possessions of Trinidad and Tobago became independent.

1963 Death of Georges Braque French Cubist painter.

1965 India and Pakistan threaten war over Kashmir.

1972 American swimmer Mark Spitz wins five gold medals in the Munich Olympics.

1986 Death of Henry Moore, major English sculptor.

1994 IRA announces a “complete cessation of military activities”.

1998 India sent 10,000 litres of edible oil and five tonnes of milk powder to Namibia during the severe drought there.

Famous Birthdays on August 31

Caligula 12 CE, Roman emperor remembered for his murderous reign.

Maria Montessori 1870, Italian educationist who developed the Montessori teaching system which encourages children to take the initiative.

DuBose Heyward 1885, American author of Porgy.

Sir Bernard Lovell 1913, English astronomer.

James Coburn 1928, American actor probably best known for his role in James Bond spoofs such as Our Man Flint.

Van Morrison 1945, Irish-born international singer whose songs include “Moondance” and “Gloria”.

Edwin Moses 1955, American athlete who made a world record when he ran in the 400 metre hurdles in 1976 – his first Olympics.

Historical News on August 31

Anne And Mark Split

1989 Buckingham Palace officially confirmed today that the marriage of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips is on the rocks.

Speculation heightened five months ago when it was revealed that the Princess’ cquerry, Commander Timothy Lawrence, had written affectionate letters to her.

The statement issued today said that although the couple have agreed to separate, there are no plans for divorce proceedings.

The Great Grace Declares At Sixty

The great Grace declares at sixty on August 31
The great Grace declares at sixty

1908 W.G. Grace, who celebrated his sixtieth birthday last month, has decided to call it a day and retire from first-class cricket.

In a first-class career spanning 43 years, Grace has scored a phenomenal 54,896 runs, notched up 126 centuries, knocked 2879 wickets and grabbed 871 catches.

Such is his love of the game that Dr Grace intends to continue playing in minor cricket.

His enormous success as a cricketer, and indeed his cricketing longevity, is put down to the solid technique instilled in him by his indomitable mother.

A stickler for the straight bat, she coached him out of making loose shots during his formative years in county cricket.

1969 Rocky Marciano, former undefeated heavyweight champion of the world, died in an air-crash near Newton, lowa, tonight, just hours before his 46th birthday.

Short by heavyweight standards (under 6 ft/1.8 m), stocky Marciano (born Rocco Marchegiano in Brockton, Massachusetts) had a remarkable record as a fighter, winning all 49 of his professional bouts, 43 of them inside the distance.

A veritable brute in the ring, although unfailingly sporting, he was affable, modest and gentle outside it.

He retired from the ring in April 1956 to devote himself to his business interests.

Spleen Machine

1867 The French poet and critic Charles Baudelaire died in his mother’s arms today in Paris.

He was 46.

Born into a well-off middle-class family, Baudelaire determined from an early age to live as an artist and embraced eccentricity, affectation and immorality.

By his early twenties he was an opium addict and had acquired the venereal disease that would eventually kill him.

He won plaudits for translating the works of Edgar Allan Poe, but few for his own work.

Les fleurs du mal was a failure and labelled obscene.

Most readers were either baffled by the poet’s use of symbolism or deplored his themes.

Declared bankrupt in 1862, Baudelaire died in poverty.

Diana Dies In Paris Car Crash

Diana dies in paris car crash on August 31
Diana dies in paris car crash

1997 Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car crash in Paris, She was taken to hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning where surgeons tried to save her life.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said the Queen and the Prince of Wales were both “deeply shocked and distressed” by the news.

The accident happened after the princess left the Ritz Hotel in Paris with her companion Dodi Al Fayed, son of Harrods owner, Mohammed Al Fayed.

Dodi Al Fayed and the car’s chauffeur were also killed in the crash which happened in a tunnel under the Place de l’Alma in the centre of the city.

The princess’ Mercedes was apparently being pursued at high speed by photographers on motorbikes when it hit a pillar and smashed into a wall.

Tributes to the princess have been pouring in from around the world.

1928 The taste of the critics and the Berlin public are poles apart if the reception given to Kurt Weill’s Threepenny Opera is any guide.

The audience loved its jazz rhythms but Berlin’s most influential critics hated it, especially the libretto by Bertold Brecht.

Any good words were reserved for the music.

Dylan Blowin' Again

1969 Bob Dylan, the “voice of a generation”, appeared live on stage today for the first time since his serious motorcycle accident three years ago.

With The Band he performed 17 of his compositions, including golden oldies like “Tambourine Man”, for an appreciative 150,000-strong audience at the three-day Isle of Wight music festival.

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