It happened today – this day in history – August 31

1422: King Henry V of England died in Vincennes, France, struck down with dysentery. He was succeeded by his nine-month-old infant son, Henry VI.

1888: Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols, first victim of Jack the Ripper, was found mutilated in Buck’s Row in the East End.

1900: Coca-Cola first went on sale in Britain.

1908: At the age of 60, and after a career spanning 43 years, the legendary WG Grace retired from first-class cricket. He scored 54,896 runs (126 centuries), took 2,879 wickets and held 871 catches.

1936: Elizabeth Cowell, Britain’s first woman TV announcer, made her debut at Alexandra Palace.

1957: Malaya became independent. On this same day in 1962, Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies also became independent, having been a British possession since 1802.

1962: Chris Bonington and Ian Clough became the first Britons to conquer the north face of the Eiger.

1968: Gary Sobers (now Sir Garfield) of Nottinghamshire became the first cricketer to score six sixes off an over, at Swansea against Glamorgan. The hapless bowler was Malcolm Nash.

1969: Rocky Marciano, American world heavyweight boxing champion from 1952 to 1956, who retired undefeated, was killed in an air crash in Iowa.

1972: American swimmer Mark Spitz won his fifth gold medal at the Munich Olympics.

1997: Diana, Princess of Wales was killed in a car crash in central Paris along with Dodi Fayed.

2012: The German manufacturer of anti-morning sickness drug thalidomide apologised for the thousands of children born without limbs as a result of its use.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: Scientists revealed they had fully mapped out the genetic codes of the golden eagle in a development they believe would help efforts to protect and monitor the species.

BIRTHDAYS: Martin Bell, former broadcaster and MP, 81; Clive Lloyd, former cricketer, 75; Van Morrison, singer, 74; Richard Gere, actor, 70; Edwin Moses, former athlete, 64; Glenn Tilbrook, rock musician (Squeeze), 62; Todd Carty, actor, 56; Debbie Gibson, singer, 49; Padraig Harrington, golfer, 48; Chris Tucker, actor, 48; Andrei Medvedev, former tennis player, 45; Ian Harte, footballer, 42.

Subscribe to get your latest local news articles by email each day...

Or click here to subscribe to our weekly digital edition. Your details will be stored to support your experience in line with our privacy policy.
Advertisement