Today is Monday, August 31, the 243rd day of 2015. There are 122 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 31, 1965, the U.S. House of Representatives joined the Senate in voting to establish the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
On this date:
In 1886, an earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 7.3 devastated Charleston, South Carolina, killing at least 60 people, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
In 1888, Mary Ann Nichols, believed to be the first victim of “Jack the Ripper,” was found slain in London’s East End.
In 1939, the first issue of Marvel Comics, featuring the Human Torch, was published by Timely Publications in New York.
In 1941, the radio program “The Great Gildersleeve,” a spinoff from “Fibber McGee and Molly” starring Harold Peary, debuted on NBC.
In 1954, Hurricane Carol hit the northeastern Atlantic states; Connecticut, Rhode Island and part of Massachusetts bore the brunt of the storm, which resulted in some 70 deaths.
In 1962, the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago became independent of British colonial rule.
In 1972, at the Munich Summer Olympics, American swimmer Mark Spitz won his fourth and fifth gold medals in the 100-meter butterfly and 800-meter freestyle relay; Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut won gold medals in floor exercise and the balance beam.
In 1980, Poland’s Solidarity labor movement was born with an agreement signed in Gdansk (guh-DANSK’) that ended a 17-day-old strike.
In 1985, Richard Ramirez, later convicted of California’s “Night Stalker” killings, was captured by residents of an East Los Angeles neighborhood.
In 1986, 82 people were killed when an Aeromexico jetliner and a small private plane collided over Cerritos, California. The Soviet passenger ship Admiral Nakhimov collided with a merchant vessel in the Black Sea, causing both to sink; up to 448 people reportedly died.
In 1989, Britain’s Princess Anne and her husband, Capt. Mark Phillips, announced they were separating after 15 years of marriage.
In 1997, a car crash in Paris claimed the lives of Princess Diana, Dodi Fayed and their driver, Henri Paul.
Ten years ago: New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said there was “a significant number of dead bodies in the water” following Hurricane Katrina; Nagin ordered virtually the entire police force to abandon search-and-rescue efforts and instead stop increasingly hostile thieves. President George W. Bush, who viewed the devastation from Air Force One, pledged to do “all in our power” to save lives and provide sustenance but cautioned that recovery of the Gulf Coast would take years. Some 1,000 people were killed when a religious procession across a Baghdad bridge was engulfed in panic over rumors of a suicide bomber.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama ended the U.S. combat mission in Iraq, declaring no victory after seven years of bloodshed and telling those divided over the war in his country and around the world: “It is time to turn the page.”
One year ago: On the Sunday talk shows, leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees prodded President Barack Obama to take decisive action against what they said were growing threats from Islamic State militants on U.S. soil.
Today’s Birthdays: Japanese monster movie actor Katsumi Tezuka is 103. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Frank Robinson is 80. Actor Warren Berlinger is 78. Rock musician Jerry Allison (Buddy Holly and the Crickets) is 76. Actor Jack Thompson is 75. Violinist Itzhak Perlman is 70. Singer Van Morrison is 70. Rock musician Rudolf Schenker (The Scorpions) is 67. Actor Richard Gere is 66. Olympic gold medal track and field athlete Edwin Moses is 60. Rock singer Glenn Tilbrook (Squeeze) is 58. Rock musician Gina Schock (The Go-Go’s) is 58. Singer Tony DeFranco (The DeFranco Family) is 56. Rhythm-and-blues musician Larry Waddell (Mint Condition) is 52. Actor Jaime P. Gomez is 50. Baseball pitcher Hideo Nomo is 47. Rock musician Jeff Russo (Tonic) is 46. Singer-composer Deborah Gibson is 45. Rock musician Greg Richling (Wallflowers) is 45. Actor Zack Ward is 45. Golfer Padraig Harrington is 44. Actor Chris Tucker is 43. Actress Sara Ramirez is 40. Rhythm-and-blues singer Tamara (Trina & Tamara) is 38.
Thought for Today: “When you pray, rather let your heart be without words than your words without heart.” — John Bunyan (1628-1688).