Today in History

Today in History

Today is Monday, Aug. 31, the 244th day of 2020. There are 122 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 31, 1997, Prince Charles brought Princess Diana home for the last time, escorting the body of his former wife to a Britain that was shocked, grief-stricken and angered by her death in a Paris traffic accident earlier that day.

On this date:

In 1881, the first U.S. tennis championships (for men only) began in Newport, Rhode Island.

In 1888, Mary Ann Nichols, believed to be the first victim of “Jack the Ripper,” was found slain in London’s East End.

In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an act prohibiting the export of U.S. arms to belligerents.

In 1969, boxer Rocky Marciano died in a light airplane crash in Iowa, a day before his 46th birthday.

In 1972, at the Munich (MYOO’-nik) Summer Olympics, American swimmer Mark Spitz won his fourth and fifth gold medals in the 100-meter butterfly and 800-meter freestyle relay; Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut won gold medals in floor exercise and the balance beam.

In 1980, Poland’s Solidarity labor movement was born with an agreement signed in Gdansk (guh-DANSK’) that ended a 17-day-old strike.

In 1986, 82 people were killed when an Aeromexico jetliner and a small private plane collided over Cerritos, California. The Soviet passenger ship Admiral Nakhimov collided with a merchant vessel in the Black Sea, causing both to sink; up to 448 people reportedly died.

In 1989, Britain’s Princess Anne and her husband, Capt. Mark Phillips, announced they were separating after 15 years of marriage.

In 1992, white separatist Randy Weaver surrendered to authorities in Naples, Idaho, ending an 11-day siege by federal agents that had claimed the lives of Weaver’s wife, son and a deputy U.S. marshal. (Weaver was acquitted of murder and all other charges in connection with the confrontation; he was convicted of failing to appear for trial on firearms charges and was sentenced to 18 months in prison but given credit for 14 months he’d already served.)

In 1994, the Irish Republican Army declared a cease-fire. Russia officially ended its military presence in the former East Germany and the Baltics after half a century.

In 1996, three adults and four children drowned when their vehicle rolled into John D. Long Lake in Union, South Carolina; they had gone to see a monument to the sons of Susan Smith, who had drowned the two boys in Oct. 1994.

In 2005, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin reported “a significant number of dead bodies in the water” following Hurricane Katrina; Nagin ordered virtually the entire police force to abandon search-and-rescue efforts and to instead stop increasingly hostile thieves.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama ended the U.S. combat mission in Iraq, declaring no victory after seven years of bloodshed and telling those divided over the war in his country and around the world: “It is time to turn the page.”

Five years ago: President Barack Obama, opening a three-day visit to Alaska, painted a doomsday scenario for the Arctic and beyond if climate change wasn’t dealt with quickly: entire nations submerged underwater, cities abandoned and refugees fleeing in droves as conflict broke out across the globe. The State Department released roughly 7,000 pages of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails, including about 150 emails that were censored because they contained information deemed classified. Frazier Glenn Miller, a white supremacist who admitted killing three people at two suburban Kansas City Jewish sites, gave jurors in Olathe, Kansas, a Nazi salute after they convicted him of murder and other charges for the shootings. (The same jury sentenced Miller to death.)

One year ago: A gunman carried out a shooting rampage that stretched ten miles between the Texas communities of Midland and Odessa, leaving seven people dead before police killed the gunman outside a movie theater in Odessa. Defending champion Naomi Osaka ended the U.S. Open run by 15-year-old Coco Gauff, defeating the teen 6-3, 6-0 in the third round. Hurricane Dorian bore down on the northern Bahamas with howling winds and surging seas, forcing some evacuations and hotel closures.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Warren Berlinger is 83. Rock musician Jerry Allison (Buddy Holly and the Crickets) is 81. Actor Jack Thompson is 80. Violinist Itzhak Perlman is 75. Singer Van Morrison is 75. Rock musician Rudolf Schenker (The Scorpions) is 72. Actor Richard Gere is 71. Actor Stephen Henderson is 71. Olympic gold medal track and field athlete Edwin Moses is 65. Rock singer Glenn Tilbrook (Squeeze) is 63. Rock musician Gina Schock (The Go-Go’s) is 63. Singer Tony DeFranco (The DeFranco Family) is 61. Rhythm-and-blues musician Larry Waddell (Mint Condition) is 57. Actor Jaime P. Gomez is 55. Rock musician Jeff Russo (Tonic) is 51. Singer-composer Deborah Gibson is 50. Rock musician Greg Richling (Wallflowers) is 50. Actor Zack Ward is 50. Golfer Padraig (PAH’-drig) Harrington is 49. Actor Chris Tucker is 48. Actor Sara Ramirez is 45. Rhythm-and-blues singer Tamara (Trina & Tamara) is 43.

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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