August 31st is the 243rd day of the year (244th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 122 days remaining until the end of the year.
1888 – The body of Mary Ann Nichols was found in Buck’s Row, London, allegedly the first victim of the unidentified serial killer known as Jack the Ripper.
1897 – Thomas Edison was granted a patent for the Kinetoscope, a precursor to the movie projector.
1941 – During World War II a detachment of Chetniks captured the town of Loznica in German-occupied Serbia.
1978 – Musa al-Sadr, the Iranian-born Shia cleric and then religious leader of Lebanon, disappeared during an official visit to Libya.
1998 – North Korea claimed to have successfully launched Kwangmyŏngsŏng-1, its first satellite, although no objects were ever tracked in orbit from the launch.
Actor Richard Gere turns 69
Comedian Chris Tucker turns 47
Wrestler Jeff Hardy turns 41
Wrestler Mickie James turns 39