It happened today – this day in history – August 31

12AD: Birth of Caligula, third emperor of Rome.

1422: Henry VI becomes King of England at the age of nine months on the death of Henry V.

1688: Pilgrim’s Progress author John Bunyan dies aged 59..

1751: British troops under Sir Robert Clive occupy Arcot, India.

1876: Ottoman sultan Murat V is deposed and succeeded by his brother Abd-ul-Hamid II.

1888: The body of Jack the Ripper’s first victim, Mary Anne Nichols, is found in Whitechapel.

1897: General Horatio Kitchener’s army occupies Berber, North of Khartoum.

1900: British troops overrun Johannesburg.

1907: Britain, Russia and France form Triple Entente.

1913: A massive protest rally on Sackville Street is attacked by the Dublin Metropolitan Police. Two protestors are killed.

1923: Italian troops occupy Corfu. Mussolini orders the Greek Government to apologize for the deaths of an Italian general and his staff on the Greco-Albanian border.

1928: Brecht & Weil’s play ” The Threepenny Opera ” premieres.

1935: US President Franklin D Roosevelt signs an act prohibiting export of US arms to belligerents.

1939: The Japanese invasion army is driven out of Mongolia.

1940: Laurence Olivier marries actress Vivien Leigh.

1944: French troops liberate Bordeaux.

1946: Foghorn Leghorn debuts in the Warner Bros cartoon “Walky Talky Hawky”.

1957: Malaya becomes independent from Britain. On the same day, Elvis Presley appears at the Empire Stadium in Vancouver, Canada – the third and final time he would ever perform outside the US.

1959: Prime minister Harold Macmillan and US president Dwight Eisenhower give an historic live television broadcast from Downing Street.

1962: Trinidad & Tobago gains independence from Britain.

1963: Georges Braque, French cubist painter and sculptor, dies aged 81.

1968: The Move, The Pretty Things, The Crazy World Of Aurthur Brown, Jefferson Airplane, Fairport Convention and Tyrannosaurus Rex appeared at the first Isle Of Wight Festival held over two days. On the same day, Gary Sobers becomes the first cricketer to hit 6 sixes in one over for Notts against Glamorgan at Swansea.

1969: Boxing legend Rocky Marciano dies in a plane crash aged 45.

1969: Marvin Gaye

Singles chart:

  1. In The Year 2525 – Zager and Evans
  2. Bad Moon Rising – Credence Clearwater Revival
  3. Honky Tonk Women – The Rolling Stones
  4. My Cherie Amour – Stevie Wonder
  5. Don’t Forget To Remember – The Bee Gees
  6. Too Busy Thinking ‘Bout My Baby – Marvin Gaye
  7. Viva Bobby Joe – The Equals
  8. Je t’Aime… Moi Non Plus – Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg
  9. Saved By The Bell – Robin Gibb
  10. Natural Born Bugie – Humble Pie

1972: Lasse Viren of Finland runs a world record 10,000m , Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut wins gold in the balance beam and floor exercise and American super swimmer Mark Spitz wraps up the Olympic butterfly double with a world record 54.27 in the 100m at the Munich Olympics.

1975: Album chart:

  1. Atlantic Crossing – Rod Stewart
  2. The Best Of The Stylistics – The Stylistics
  3. Once Upon A Star – The Bay City Rollers
  4. Greatest Hits – Cat Stevens
  5. Thank You Baby – The Stylistics
  6. Horizon – The Carpenters
  7. Venus and Mars – Wings
  8. One Of These Nights – The Eagles
  9. Tubular Bells – Mike Oldfield
  10. The Singles 1969-1972 – The Carpenters

1976: George Harrison was found guilty of ‘subconscious plagiarism’ of the Ronnie Mack song ‘He’s So Fine’ when writing My Sweet Lord. Earnings from the song were awarded to Mack’s estate.

1977: Ian Smith’s ruling Rhodesian Front wins an overwhelming victory in the country’s general election.

1980: Poland’s Solidarity trade union is officially recognised by the Polish government and the Gdańsk Agreement is signed, allowing Polish citizens to bring democratic changes within the communist political structure.

1983: Edwin Moses of the USA sets the 400m hurdle record (47.02) in Koblenz.

1984: Pinklon Thomas beats Tim Witherspoon in 12 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title.

1986: Death of artist and sculptor Henry Moore aged 88.

1989: Buckingham Palace confirms that after 16 years of marriage Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips are to separate.

1991: Uzbekistan declares independence from the Soviet Union.

1993: “Short Cuts” directed by Robert Altman and “Three Colors: Blue” directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski are jointly awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

1994: The IRA announces a “complete cessation of military operations” after 25 years of bombing and killing.

1997: Diana, Princess of Wales is killed along with Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul when her car crashes in a Paris underpass.

2002: Jazz vibraphone player Lionel Hampton dies aged 94.

2005: A stampede on Al-Aaimmah bridge in Baghdad kills 1,199 people. On the same day, Brokeback Mountain directed by Ang Lee and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger wins the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

2006: Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream, stolen in 2004, is recovered in a raid by Norwegian police.

2012: Entertainer Max Bygraves dies from Alzheimer’s disease at 89.

2013: Broadcaster Sir David Frost dies from a heart attack at 74.

2015: President Barack Obama officially re-designates Alaska’s Mt. McKinley as Denali, its native American name.

2016: The Brazilian Senate votes to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, removing her from office.

2019: Gunman kills seven and injures 22 during high speed chase in Odessa, Texas. On the same day, singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding marries art dealer Caspar Jopling at York Minister.

BIRTHDAYS: Martin Bell, journalist/politician, 82; Jerry Allison, drummer (The Crickets) 81; Roger Dean, artist/album cover designer, 76; Clive Lloyd, cricketer, 76; Sir Van Morrison, singer-songwriter, 75; Rudolf Schenker, guitarist (The Scorpions) 72; Richard Gere, actor, 71; Gina Schock, drummer (The Go-Gos) 63; Glenn Tilbrook, singer-songwriter/guitarist (Squeeze) 63; Todd Carty, actor, 57; Gerard Love, bassist (Teenage Fanclub) 53; Debbie Gibson, singer, 50; Pádraig Harrington, golfer, 49; Chris Tucker, actor 48; Del Marquis (Derek Gruen), guitarist (Scissor Sisters) 43; Simon Neil, singer-songwriter/guitarist (Biffy Clyro) 41; Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, 35.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]