TODAY’S HISTORY LESSON: AUG 31
1535 Pope Paul II deposed & excommunicated King Henry VIII
1756 The British at Fort William Henry, New York, surrender to Louis Montcalm of France.
1802 Captain Meriwether Lewis leaves Pittsburgh to meet up with Captain William Clark and begin their trek to the Pacific Ocean.
1842 US Naval Observatory authorized by an act of Congress
1887 Thomas Edison received a patent for his “Kinetoscope,” and moving pictures were born.
1888 Mary Ann Nicholls, considered to be Jack the Ripper’s first victim, was found murdered in London.
1919 The Communist Labor Party is founded in Chicago, with the motto, “Workers of the world unite!”
1920 John Lloyd Wright was issued a patent for “Toy-Cabin Construction,” which are known as Lincoln Logs.
1935 FDR signs an act prohibiting export of US arms to belligerents
1942 The British army under General Bernard Law Montgomery defeats Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps in the Battle of Alam Halfa in Egypt.
1949 Six of the 16 surviving Union veterans of the Civil War attend the last-ever encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic, held in Indianapolis, Indiana.
1951 The 1st Marine Division begins its attack on Bloody Ridge in Korea. The four-day battle results in 2,700 Marine casualties.
1954 Census Bureau established
1957 Federation of Malaya gains independence from Great Britain
1961 A concrete wall replaces the barbed wire fence that separates East and West Germany, it will be called the Berlin wall.
1965 US Congress creates Department of Housing & Urban Development.
1970 Lonnie McLucas convicted of torturing and murdering fellow Black Panther Party member Alex Rackley in the first of the New Haven Black Panther Trials.
1978 Symbionese Liberation Army founders William & Emily Harris plead guilty to 1974 kidnapping of newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst
1980 Poland’s Solidarity labor movement had its beginnings when an agreement ending a 17-day strike was signed in Gdansk.
1985 Police capture Richard Ramirez, dubbed the “Night Stalker” for a string of gruesome murders that stretched from Mission Viejo to San Francisco, Cal.
1990 East and West Germany sign the Treaty of Unification (Einigungsvertrag) to join their legal and political systems.
1991 Uzbekistan and Kirghiziz declared their independence from the Soviet Union. They were the 9th and 10th republics to announce their plans to secede.
1994 The Irish Republican Army (IRA) announces a “complete cessation of military operations,” opening the way to a political settlement in Ireland for the first time in a quarter of a century.
1994 Russian Troops Leave Estonia 3 years after Estonia declared independence from the Soviet Union
1997 Diana, Princess of Wales, dies in a Paris car crash along with her companion Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul while fleeing paparazzi.
1998 A ballistic missile was fired over Japan by North Korea. The missile landed in stages in the waters around Japan. There was no known target.
REFERENCE: HISTORY.NET, ONTHISDAY.COM, TIMEANDDATE.COM, INFOPLEASE.COM, FACTMONSTER.COM, SCOPESYS.COM, ON-THIS-DAY.COM, THEPEOPLEHISTORY.COM