Wednesday August 31 2016
Historical events of August 31
1986KGB arrest journalist Nicholas Daniloff (US News World Report) on a charge of spying and hold him for 13 days.
1983Lieutenant Colonel Guion S. Bluford, Jr., becomes the first African-American astronaut to travel in space.
1983Eiffel Tower welcomes its 150 millionth visitor, 33-year-old Parisian Jacqueline Martinez.
1982Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) forced out of Lebanon after 10 years in Beirut during Lebanese Civil War.
1979First recorded instance of a comet (Howard-Koomur-Michels) hitting the sun; the energy released is equal to approximately 1 million hydrogen bombs.
1976Tom Brokaw becomes news anchor of Today Show.
1972Cameron Diaz, model, award-winning actress (The Mask, There's Something About Mary, Any Given Sunday).
1967US Senate confirms Thurgood Marshall as first African-American Supreme Court justice.
1964Gavin Fisher, mechanical engineer; chief designer of the Williams Formula One racing team (1997–2005).
1963Hot Line communications link installed between Moscow and Washington, DC.
1961President John F. Kennedy appoints General Lucius D. Clay as his personal representative in Berlin.
1960Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Lebanese political-paramilitary group Hezbollah since 1992.
1960US Army Master Sgt. Gary Gordon, receives posthumorous Medal of Honor for his actions in the Battle of Mogadishu, Somalia.
1958Anna Politkovskaya (Anna Mazepa), New York-born Ukrainian journalist, writer, human rights advocate best known for her reporting from Chechnya.
1956Jayne Irving, TV broadcaster (Good Morning Britain).
1944Molly Ivins, American political humorist, newspaper columnist.
1944Ploesti, the center of the Rumanian oil industry, falls to Soviet troops.
1943Robert Crumb (R. Crumb), satiric "underground" cartoonist (Fritz the Cat), musician.
1932Nazi leader Hermann Goering is elected president of the Reichstag.
1931Carrie Saxon Perry, 1st black mayor of a major US city (Hartford CT).
1930Warren Buffett, business magnate; listed as world's wealthiest person in 2008.
1919Kitty Wells (Ellen Muriel Deason), first female singer to top the Country Music charts in US ("It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels," 1952).
1918Ted Williams, Hall of Fame outfielder for the Boston Red Sox, the last man to hit .400 in a season.
1893Huey P. Long, Louisiana politician who served as governor and U.S. senator, known as "The Kingfish."
1892The Moravia, a passenger ship arriving from Germany, brings cholera to the United States.
1871Ernest Rutherford, physicist who discovered and named alpha, beta and gamma radiation and was the first to achieve a man-made nuclear reaction.
1861Union General John Fremont declares martial law throughout Missouri and makes his own emancipation proclamation to free slaves in the state. President Lincoln overrules the general.
1860The first British tramway is inaugurated at Birkenhead by an American, George Francis Train.
1813Creek Indians massacre over 500 whites at Fort Mims Alabama.
1797Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, novelist best known for Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus.
1781The French fleet arrives in the Chesapeake Bay to aid the American Revolution.
1721The Peace of Nystad ends the Second Northern War between Sweden and Russia, giving Russia considerably more power in the Baltic region.
1617Rosa de Lima of Peru becomes the first American saint to be canonized.
30 BCCleopatra VII, Queen of Egypt, commits suicide.
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