Wikipedia defines history as the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. It came from the Greek word ‘historia’ – which means ‘inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation’.

Today In HistoryThis website utilizes entries from Wikipedia to extract historical events from 3761 BC up to the present. There are 105,062 records in the database that include events, births and deaths of popular individuals. The present day Gregorian calendar was adopted to show dates of interest.

Let us begin with what happened today in history. You may also enter a specific day using the form on the right sidebar.

What happened on August 31? There are more than 283 events that were made this day in history. Here are the important historical events, facts, and some myths about this day.

Interesting Facts & Myths About August 31

August 31 is the 243rd day of the year 2015. There are 122 days remaining until the end of this year. The day of the week is Monday. This day falls under the 36th week of the year 2015.

On this day in Dorset, Ohio 44032 sunrise will occur at 11:48 AM and sunset will occur at 12:57 AM (local time).

The zodiac sign of a person born on this day is Virgo. The modern birthstone for this month is Peridot while the mystical birthstone is Diamond.

According to the Chinese calendar, there are 161 days remaining before the start of the next Chinese New Year (February 8, 2016).

The Meaning of NamesDo you want to be popular with your friends? Create free name posters and give it to them. BONUS: You will also know the meaning of your name. Collect all character designs.

Historical Events For August 31

  • 1056
    After a sudden illness a few days previous, Byzantine Empress Theodora dies without children to succeed the throne, thus ending the Macedonian dynasty.
  • 1218
    Al-Kamil becomes Sultan of Egypt, Syria and northern Mesopotamia on the death of his father Al-Adil.
  • 1314
    King Håkon V Magnusson moves the capital of Norway from Bergen to Oslo.
  • 1422
    King Henry V of England dies of dysentery while in France. His son, Henry VI becomes King of England at the age of 9 months.
  • 1795
    War of the First Coalition: The British capture Trincomalee (present-day Sri Lanka) from the Dutch in order to keep it out of French hands.
  • 1803
    Lewis and Clark start their expedition to the west by leaving Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 11 in the morning.
  • 1813
    At the final stage of the Peninsular War, British-Portuguese troops capture the town of Donostia (now San Sebastián), resulting in a rampage and eventual destruction of the town. Elsewhere, Spanish troops repel a French attack in the Battle of San Marcial.
  • 1864
    During the American Civil War, Union forces led by General William T. Sherman launch an assault on Atlanta, Georgia.
  • 1876
    Ottoman Sultan Murat V is deposed and succeeded by his brother Abd-ul-Hamid II.
  • 1886
    An earthquake kills 100 in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • 1888
    Mary Ann Nichols is murdered. She is the first of Jack the Ripper’s confirmed victims.
  • 1895
    German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin patents his Navigable Balloon.
  • 1897
    Thomas Edison patents the Kinetoscope, the first movie projector.
  • 1907
    Count Alexander Izvolsky and Sir Arthur Nicolson sign the St. Petersburg Convention, which results in the Triple Entente alliance.
  • 1920
    Polish-Bolshevik War: a decisive Polish victory in the Battle of Komarów.
  • 1920
    The first radio news program is broadcast by 8MK in Detroit, Michigan.
  • 1936
    Radio Prague, now the official international broadcasting station of the Czech Republic, goes on the air.
  • 1939
    Nazi Germany mounts a staged attack on the Gleiwitz radio station, creating an excuse to attack Poland the following day thus starting World War II in Europe.
  • 1940
    Pennsylvania Central Airlines Trip 19 crashes near Lovettsville, Virginia. The CAB investigation of the accident is the first investigation to be conducted under the Bureau of Air Commerce act of 1938.
  • 1941
    World War II: Serbian paramilitary forces defeat Germans in the Battle of Loznica.
  • 1943
    The USS Harmon, the first U.S. Navy ship to be named after a black person, is commissioned.
  • 1945
    The Liberal Party of Australia is founded by Robert Menzies.
  • 1949
    The retreat of the Democratic Army of Greece in Albania after its defeat on Gramos mountain marks the end of the Greek Civil War.
  • 1957
    The Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia) gains its independence from the United Kingdom.
  • 1958
    A parcel bomb sent by Ngo Dinh Nhu, younger brother and chief adviser of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, fails to kill King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia.
  • 1962
    Trinidad and Tobago becomes independent.
  • 1963
    Sarawak, North Borneo and Singapore achieve technical independence pending accession to the Federation of Malaysia
  • 1965
    The Aero Spacelines Super Guppy aircraft makes its first flight.
  • 1980
    After two weeks of nationwide strikes, the Polish government was forced to sign the Gdańsk Agreement, allowing for the creation of the trade union Solidarity.
  • 1982
    Anti-government demonstrations are held in 66 Polish cities to commemorate the second anniversary of the Gdańsk Agreement.
  • 1986
    Aeroméxico Flight 498 collides with a Piper PA-28 over Cerritos, California, killing 67 in the air and 15 on the ground.
  • 1986
    The Soviet passenger liner Ship sinks in the Black Sea after colliding with the bulk carrier Pyotr Vasev, killing 423.
  • 1987
    Thai Airways Flight 365 crashes into the ocean near Ko Phuket, Thailand, killing all 83 aboard.
  • 1991
    Kyrgyzstan declares its independence from the Soviet Union.
  • 1992
    Pascal Lissouba is inaugurated as the President of the Republic of the Congo.
  • 1994
    The Provisional Irish Republican Army declares a ceasefire.
  • 1996
    Saddam Hussein’s troops seized Irbil after the Kurdish Masoud Barzani appealed for help to defeat his Kurdish rival PUK.
  • 1997
    Diana, Princess of Wales, her companion Dodi Al-Fayed and driver Henri Paul die in a car crash in Paris.
  • 1998
    North Korea reportedly launches Kwangmyŏngsŏng-1, its first satellite.
  • 1999
    A LAPA Boeing 737-200 crashes during takeoff from Jorge Newbury Airport in Buenos Aires, killing 65, including two on the ground.
  • 1999
    The first of a series of bombings in Moscow kills one person and wounds 40 others.
  • 2005
    A stampede on Al-Aaimmah bridge in Baghdad kills 1,199 people.
  • 2006
    Stolen on August 22, 2004, Edvard Munch’s famous painting The Scream is recovered in a raid by Norwegian police.
  • 2010
    The last episode of The Bill, the longest-running police procedural television series in the United Kingdom, is aired on ITV1.

Who Were Born On August 31?

  • 12
    Gaius Caligula, Roman Emperor (d. 41)
  • 161
    Commodus, Roman Emperor (d. 192)
  • 1569
    Emperor Jahangir of India (d. 1627)
  • 1602
    Countess Amalia of Solms-Braunfels, wife of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange (d. 1675)
  • 1652
    Ferdinand Charles, Duke of Mantua and Montferrat (d. 1708)
  • 1663
    Guillaume Amontons, French physicist and instrument maker (d. 1705)
  • 1721
    George Hervey, 2nd Earl of Bristol, British statesman (d. 1775)
  • 1741
    Jean Paul Egide Martini, French composer (d. 1816)
  • 1767
    Henry Joy McCracken, Irish political activist, founder of the Society of United Irishmen (d. 1798)
  • 1802
    Husein Gradaščević, Bosnian general (d. 1834)
  • 1821
    Hermann von Helmholtz, German scientist (d. 1894)
  • 1822
    Galusha A. Grow, American politician (d. 1907)
  • 1834
    Amilcare Ponchielli, Italian composer (d. 1886)
  • 1842
    Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, American publisher, journalist, suffragist and civil rights leader (d. 1924)
  • 1843
    Georg von Hertling, Chancellor of Germany (d. 1919)
  • 1870
    Maria Montessori, Italian educator (d. 1952)
  • 1871
    James E. Ferguson, American politician, 26th Governor of Texas (d. 1944)
  • 1878
    Frank Jarvis, American sprinter (d. 1933)
  • 1879
    Alma Mahler, Austrian socialite, wife of composer Gustav Mahler (d. 1964)
  • 1879
    Emperor Taishō of Japan (d. 1926)
  • 1880
    Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands (d. 1962)
  • 1885
    DuBose Heyward, American playwright (d. 1940)
  • 1893
    Lily Laskine, French harpist (d. 1988)
  • 1894
    Albert Facey, Australian writer (d. 1982)
  • 1896
    Félix-Antoine Savard, Canadian priest and novelist (d. 1982)
  • 1897
    Fredric March, American actor (d. 1975)
  • 1900
    Gino Lucetti, Italian anarchist (d. 1943)
  • 1902
    Géza Révész, Hungarian military officer and politician (d. 1977)
  • 1903
    Arthur Godfrey, American radio and television host (d. 1983)
  • 1903
    Vladimir Jankélévitch, French philosopher (d. 1985)
  • 1905
    Sanford Meisner, American actor and teacher (d. 1997)
  • 1907
    Altiero Spinelli, Italian advocate of European federalism (d. 1986)
  • 1907
    Augustus F. Hawkins, American politician (d. 2007)
  • 1907
    Ramon Magsaysay, 7th President of the Philippines (d. 1957)
  • 1907
    William Shawn, American editor (d. 1992)
  • 1908
    William Saroyan, American novelist (d. 1981)
  • 1909
    Ferenc Fejtő, Hungarian-born journalist and political scientist (d. 2008)
  • 1911
    Edward Brongersma, Dutch politician, writer and political activist (d. 1998)
  • 1913
    Helen Levitt, American photographer (d. 2009)
  • 1913
    Sir Bernard Lovell, English radio astronomer
  • 1914
    Richard Basehart, American actor (d. 1984)
  • 1916
    Daniel Schorr, American journalist (d. 2010)
  • 1916
    Danny Litwhiler, American baseball player and coach
  • 1916
    John S. Wold, American politician
  • 1918
    Alan Jay Lerner, American lyricist (d. 1986)
  • 1919
    Amrita Preetam, Indian poet and author (d. 2005)
  • 1920
    G. D. Spradlin, American actor (d. 2011)
  • 1920
    Gustavo Adolfo Palma, Guatemalan singer (d. 2010)
  • 1921
    Raymond Williams, Welsh academic (d. 1988)
  • 1924
    Buddy Hackett, American actor and comedian (d. 2003)
  • 1928
    Jaime Sin, Philippine cardinal and patriot (d. 2005)
  • 1928
    James Coburn, American actor (d. 2002)
  • 1931
    Jean Béliveau, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1931
    Noble Willingham, American actor (d. 2004)
  • 1934
    Nikos Xanthopoulos, Greek actor
  • 1935
    Eldridge Cleaver, American political activist (d. 1998)
  • 1935
    Frank Robinson, American baseball player and manager
  • 1937
    Bobby Parker, American blues-rock guitarist
  • 1937
    Warren Berlinger, American actor
  • 1938
    Martin Bell, British journalist
  • 1938
    Murray Gleeson, Chief Justice of Australia
  • 1939
    Jerry Allison, American drummer (The Crickets)
  • 1940
    Jack Thompson, Australian actor
  • 1940
    Roger Newman, British-born American television actor and writer (d. 2010)
  • 1940
    Wilton Felder, American musician
  • 1941
    William DeWitt, Jr., American businessman
  • 1943
    Leonid Ivashov, Russian general
  • 1944
    Clive Lloyd, Guyanese West Indies cricketer
  • 1944
    Jos LeDuc, Canadian professional wrestler (d. 1999)
  • 1944
    Roger Dean, English artist
  • 1945
    Itzhak Perlman, Israeli violinist
  • 1945
    Van Morrison, Northern Irish singer-songwriter
  • 1946
    Jerome Corsi, American writer
  • 1946
    Tom Coughlin, American football coach
  • 1947
    Luca di Montezemolo, Italian businessman
  • 1947
    Mona Marshall, American voice actress
  • 1947
    Somchai Wongsawat, 26th Prime Minister of Thailand
  • 1947
    Yumiko Ōshima, Japanese manga artist
  • 1948
    Harald Ertl, Austrian racing driver (d. 1982)
  • 1948
    Holger Osieck, German footballer and coach
  • 1948
    Ken McMullen, English film director
  • 1948
    Lowell Ganz, American screenwriter
  • 1948
    Rudolf Schenker, German guitarist (Scorpions)
  • 1949
    H. David Politzer, American physicist, Nobel laureate
  • 1949
    Richard Gere, American actor
  • 1952
    Herbert Reul, German politician
  • 1953
    György Károly, Hungarian author
  • 1953
    Miguel Ángel Guerra, Argentine racing driver
  • 1953
    Pavel Vinogradov, Russian cosmonaut
  • 1954
    Julie Brown, American actress, singer-songwriter and screenwriter
  • 1955
    Anthony Thistlethwaite, musician, member of The Waterboys and The Saw Doctors
  • 1955
    Edwin Moses, American hurdler
  • 1955
    Gary Webb, American journalist (d. 2004)
  • 1955
    Olek Krupa, Polish actor
  • 1956
    Maria Balazova, Slovak painter
  • 1956
    Masashi Tashiro, Japanese television performer
  • 1957
    Colm O'Rourke, Irish footballer and commentator
  • 1957
    Gina Schock, American drummer (The Go-Go’s)
  • 1957
    Glenn Tilbrook, English singer and guitarist (Squeeze)
  • 1958
    Julie Brown, American actress
  • 1958
    Serge Blanco, French rugby union footballer
  • 1959
    Ralph Krueger, Canadian ice hockey coach
  • 1960
    Chris Whitley, American blues singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2005)
  • 1960
    Vali Ionescu, Romanian long jumper
  • 1962
    Dee Bradley Baker, American voice actor
  • 1963
    Reb Beach, American guitarist (Winger, Whitesnake)
  • 1963
    Sonny Silooy, Dutch footballer
  • 1963
    Todd Carty, Irish actor
  • 1964
    Raymond P. Hammond, American poet and editor
  • 1965
    Céline Bonnier, French-Canadian actress
  • 1965
    Willie Watson, New Zealand cricketer
  • 1965
    Zsolt Borkai, Hungarian gymnast
  • 1966
    Jan Einar Thorsen, Norwegian alpine skier
  • 1967
    Anita Moen, Norwegian cross-country skier
  • 1967
    Gene Hoglan, American drummer (Devin Townsend, Strapping Young Lad, Testament, Fear Factory)
  • 1967
    Jonathan Cake, British actor
  • 1967
    Nigel Avery, New Zealand weightlifter
  • 1968
    Hideo Nomo, Japanese baseball player
  • 1968
    Valdon Dowiyogo, Nauruan politician and Australian football player
  • 1969
    Andrew Cunanan, American spree killer (d. 1997)
  • 1969
    Javagal Srinath, Indian cricketer
  • 1969
    Jonathan LaPaglia, Australian actor
  • 1969
    Nathalie Bouvier, French alpine skier
  • 1970
    Amy Stein, American photographer
  • 1970
    Arie van Lent, Dutch-born German footballer
  • 1970
    Deborah Gibson, American singer
  • 1970
    Nikola Gruevski, 6th Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia
  • 1970
    Queen Rania of Jordan
  • 1970
    Zack Ward, Canadian actor
  • 1971
    Pádraig Harrington, Irish golfer
  • 1972
    Chris Tucker, American actor and comedian
  • 1973
    Scott Niedermayer, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1974
    Andriy Medvedev, Ukrainian tennis player
  • 1975
    Craig Cumming, New Zealand cricketer
  • 1975
    Daniel Harding, British conductor
  • 1975
    John Grahame, American ice hockey player
  • 1975
    Sara Ramírez, American actress
  • 1975
    Takahiro Suwa, Japanese professional wrestler
  • 1976
    Radek Martínek, Czech ice hockey player
  • 1976
    Roque Júnior, Brazilian footballer
  • 1976
    Vincent Delerm, French singer-songwriter, pianist and composer
  • 1977
    Craig Nicholls, Australian singer and guitarist (The Vines)
  • 1977
    Ian Harte, Irish footballer
  • 1977
    Jeff Hardy, American wrestler
  • 1978
    Philippe Christanval, French footballer
  • 1979
    Clay Hensley, American baseball player
  • 1979
    Mark Johnston, Canadian swimmer
  • 1979
    Mickie James, American professional wrestler
  • 1979
    Ramón Santiago, Dominican baseball player
  • 1979
    Simon Neil, Scottish singer and guitarist (Biffy Clyro)
  • 1979
    Yuvan Shankar Raja, Indian film music composer
  • 1980
    Joe Budden, American rapper
  • 1981
    Dwayne Peel, Welsh rugby union footballer
  • 1981
    Steve Saviano, American ice hockey player
  • 1982
    Alexei Mikhnov, Ukrainian-born Russian ice hockey player
  • 1982
    Chris Duhon, American basketball player
  • 1982
    Ian Crocker, American swimmer
  • 1982
    José Manuel Reina, Spanish footballer
  • 1982
    Josh Kroeger, American baseball player
  • 1982
    Lien Huyghebaert, Belgian sprinter
  • 1982
    Michele Rugolo, Italian racing driver
  • 1983
    Deniz Aydoğdu, Turkish footballer
  • 1983
    Larry Fitzgerald, American football player
  • 1984
    Charl Schwartzel, South African golfer
  • 1984
    Matti Breschel, Danish road bicycle racer
  • 1984
    Ryan Kesler, American ice hockey player
  • 1984
    Ted Ligety, American alpine skier
  • 1985
    Andrew Foster, Australian rules footballer
  • 1985
    Rolando, Portuguese footballer
  • 1986
    Feng Tianwei, Singaporean table tennis player
  • 1987
    Ondřej Pavelec, Czech ice hockey player
  • 1987
    Petros Kravaritis, Greek footballer
  • 1989
    Dezmon Briscoe, American football player

Who Died On August 31?

  • 651
    Aidan of Lindisfarne, Irish bishop and missionary (birth date unknown)
  • 683
    Pacal II, ruler of the Maya polity of Palenque (b. 603)
  • 1218
    Al-Adil I, Sultan of Egypt, Syria and northern Mesopotamia (b. 1145)
  • 1234
    Emperor Go-Horikawa of Japan (b. 1212)
  • 1372
    Ralph Stafford, 1st Earl of Stafford, English soldier (b. 1301)
  • 1422
    King Henry V of England (b. 1387)
  • 1645
    Francesco Bracciolini, Italian poet (b. 1566)
  • 1654
    Ole Worm, Danish physician (b. 1588)
  • 1688
    John Bunyan, English writer (b. 1628)
  • 1730
    Gottfried Finger, Czech composer
  • 1741
    Johann Gottlieb Heineccius, German jurist (b. 1681)
  • 1772
    William Borlase, English naturalist (b. 1695)
  • 1795
    François-André Danican Philidor, French chess player (b. 1726)
  • 1799
    Nicolas-Henri Jardin, French architect (b. 1720)
  • 1811
    Louis Antoine de Bougainville, French explorer (b. 1729)
  • 1814
    Arthur Phillip, British admiral (b. 1738)
  • 1817
    John Thomas Duckworth, Royal Navy admiral (b. 1747)
  • 1867
    Charles Baudelaire, French poet (b. 1821)
  • 1869
    Mary Ward, Irish scientist (b. 1827)
  • 1888
    Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols, British victim of Jack the Ripper (b. 1845)
  • 1920
    Jens Oliver Lisberg, Faroese vexillographer (b. 1896)
  • 1920
    Wilhelm Wundt, German psychologist (b. 1832)
  • 1924
    Todor Aleksandrov, Bulgarian revolutionary (b. 1881)
  • 1927
    William Carver, American sharpshooter & show hoster (b. 1851)
  • 1940
    Georges Gauthier, French-Canadian religious figure (b. 1871)
  • 1941
    Marina Tsvetaeva, Russian poet (b. 1892)
  • 1948
    Billy Laughlin, American actor (b. 1932)
  • 1952
    Henri Bourassa, French-Canadian politician (b. 1868)
  • 1954
    Elsa Barker, American writer (b. 1869)
  • 1963
    Georges Braque, French painter (b. 1882)
  • 1967
    Ilya Ehrenburg, Russian writer (b. 1891)
  • 1969
    Rocky Marciano, American boxer (b. 1923)
  • 1973
    John Ford, American film director (b. 1894)
  • 1974
    Norman Kirk, New Zealand prime minister (b. 1923)
  • 1974
    William Pershing Benedict, American pilot (b. 1928)
  • 1978
    John Wrathall, Rhodesian politician (b. 1913)
  • 1979
    Sally Rand, American dancer and actress (b. 1904)
  • 1979
    Tiger Smith, England cricketer (b. 1886)
  • 1984
    Audrey Wagner, American baseball player [AAGPBL] (b. 1927)
  • 1985
    Frank Macfarlane Burnet, Australian biologist, Nobel laureate (b. 1899)
  • 1986
    Henry Moore, English sculptor (b. 1898)
  • 1986
    Urho Kekkonen, Finnish politician (b. 1900)
  • 1995
    Barry Lee Fairchild, American convicted murderer (b. 1954)
  • 1997
    Diana, Princess of Wales (b. 1961)
  • 1997
    Dodi Al-Fayed, Egyptian film producer (b. 1955)
  • 1997
    Henri Paul, Deputy Head of Security at Hôtel Ritz Paris (b. 1956)
  • 2000
    Dolores Moore, American baseball player (b. 1932)
  • 2000
    Lucille Fletcher, American screenwriter (b. 1912)
  • 2000
    Patricia Owens, Canadian actress (b. 1925)
  • 2002
    Farhad Mehrad, Persian singer, guitarist and pianist (b. 1944)
  • 2002
    George Porter, English chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1920)
  • 2002
    Lionel Hampton, American vibraphone player (b. 1908)
  • 2004
    Carl Wayne, English singer (b. 1943)
  • 2005
    Józef Rotblat, Polish-born British physicist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1908)
  • 2005
    Michael Sheard, British actor (b. 1940)
  • 2006
    Derrick Wayne Frazier, American convicted murderer (b. 1977)
  • 2006
    Mohamed Abdelwahab, Egyptian footballer (b. 1983)
  • 2006
    Tom Delaney, British racing driver (b. 1911)
  • 2007
    Gay Brewer, American golfer (b. 1932)
  • 2007
    Jean Jacques Paradis Canadian general (b.1928)
  • 2007
    Karloff Lagarde, Mexican professional wrestler (b. 1928)
  • 2008
    Ike Pappas, American news correspondent (b. 1933)
  • 2008
    Victor Yates, New Zealand rugby player (b. 1939)
  • 2009
    Eraño Manalo, Filipino religious figure (b. 1925)
  • 2010
    Laurent Fignon, French bicycle racer (b. 1960)
  • 2011
    Wade Belak, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1976)


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