Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 31 August
National days of Malaysia, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Traditional date for return of the dove to Noah’s Ark with an olive leaf.
1422: Henry VI of England acceded to the throne at the age of nine months.
1888: The first victim of Jack the Ripper, Mary “Polly” Nichols, a prostitute, was found dead in Whitechapel, London.
1900: Coca-Cola went on sale in Britain.
1908: WG Grace retired from first-class cricket at the age of 60. He scored 54,896 runs (126 centuries), took 2,879 wickets and held 871 catches over 43 years.
1928: The first performance took place of Brecht and Weill’s The Threepenny Opera, in Berlin, with their wives playing the leading roles.
1936: Elizabeth Cowell, Britain’s first woman TV announcer, made her debut at Alexandra Palace.
1939: Wartime evacuation of women and children from London to country areas began.
1951: Deutsche Grammophon marketed first 33rpm long-playing record.
1957: Malaya achieved independence.
1962: Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies became independent.
1963: The “hot line” linking the Kremlin with the White House went into service.
1976: Carallyn Bowes ran 3,841 miles across Canada, from Halifax to Burnaby.
1983: Soviet plane shot down a South Korean airliner. All 269 aboard were killed.
1990: Baton-wielding French riot police clashed with farmers demonstrating against imported British meat.
1990: President FW de Klerk announced that membership of South Africa’s National Party was to be open to all races.
1994: Peace in Northern Ireland moved a step closer as the IRA announced a “complete cessation of military operations”.
1997: Diana, Princess of Wales, 36, and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, died in a car crash in Paris.
2005: A stampede on al-Aaimmah bridge in Baghdad killed 1,199 people.
2010: The last episode of iconic British TV series The Bill was aired on ITV1.
2011: Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, held a service to mark the end of military repatriations there.
Isao Aoki, Japanese golfer, 69; Martin Bell OBE, broadcaster, MP 1997-2001, 75; Serge Blanco, French rugby player, 55; Todd Carty, British actor, 50; Dame Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Forgan DBE, British writer and broadcaster, 69; Richard Gere, American actor, 64; Padraig Harrington, golf major winner, 42; Clive Lloyd CBE, West Indies cricketer, 69; Van Morrison, singer and songwriter, 68; Edwin Moses, American Olympic athlete, 58; Bryan Organ, British artist, 78; Itzhak Perlman, Israeli-born violinist and conductor, 68; Glenn Tilbrook, British rock musician (Squeeze), 56.
Births: AD12 Caligula, Roman emperor; 1774 Charles Turner, engraver; 1870 Maria Montessori, educationist; 1913 Sir Bernard Lovell OBE, astronomer; 1918 Alan Jay Lerner, songwriter; 1928 James Coburn, film actor.
Deaths: 1422 Henry V of England; 1688 John Bunyan, author of The Pilgrim’s Progress; 1969 Rocky Marciano, world heavyweight boxing champion 1952-56 (air crash);1973 John Ford, film director; 1986 Henry Moore, abstract sculptor; 1997 Diana, Princess of Wales (in a car crash in Paris); 2012 Max Bygraves OBE, British entertainer.