This day in history. Read about what happened today. A short and interesting account of historical events and facts about this day as well as any other day of the year. Find historical birthdays, deaths, tragedies, war events, disasters and sports events.

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On August the 31st
Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a car crash in Paris. She was 36 years old at the time.
A Soviet passenger ship sank in the Black Sea after colliding with a bulk carrier ship. 398 people died in the accident.
The Solidarity trade union was formed in Poland in what was then the Lenin Shipyards. It was lead by Lech Walesa and was a major anti-communist movement in Poland, which even managed to survive the Martial Law that was imposed upon Poland in order to destroy the union.
American boxer, Rocky Marciano, died at the age of 45. He is considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all time and the only boxing champion of any weight class to retire undefeated and without any draws.
Walter Cronkite became the anchor of the CBS Evening News. He held the position for 19 years during which time he was regarded as 'the most trusted man in America'.
The Caribbean island nations of Trinidad and Tobago became independent form the rule of England.
American actor, Richard Gere, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His acting career took off in 1980, with the successful film American Gigolo, after which he has been one of the main leading of American cinema.
The Liberal Party of Australia was founded.
American actor, James Coburn, was born in Laurel, Nebraska. He was a popular 'tough guy' actor who became a big star after starring in the hit movie, Our Man Flint.
American inventor, Thomas Edison, was awarded the patent for the Kinetoscope, the first movie projector.
The first murder by the notorious figure known as Jack the Ripper took place in London, England.
Italian educator, Maria Montessori, was born in Ancona. Her method of education is a very popular method of education around the world. She was the first woman to graduate from medical school in Italy.
Byzantine Empress Theodora died without children to succeed the throne. She was the last of the Macedonian dynasty which had ruled the Byzantine Empire for 189 years.
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