Today in History for August 31st


Highlights of this day in history: Britain's Princess Diana killed in a Paris car crash; Poland's Solidarity labor movement born; Jack the Ripper's first victim found dead in London; Violinist Itzhak Perlman and singer Van Morrison born. (Aug. 31)

August 31st, 1997:

(AP Archive Video / AP Photos)

A tragedy that sparks mass public grief around the world.

Britain's Princess Diana is killed in a car crash in Paris. She was 36 years old.

Also killed in the crash: Dodi Fayed (FY'-ehd), Diana's boyfriend --- and the car's driver, Henri (on-REE) Paul.

Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones, badly injured in the crash, is the only survivor.


(AP Archive Video)

In Poland, the Solidarity labor movement is born, under an agreement ending a shipyard strike.

Co-founded by Lech Walesa (LEHK vah-WEHN-sah), it's the first free trade union behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War.

During the next decade, Solidarity plays a key part in bringing down communism in Eastern Europe.


(AP Photos)

Mary Ann Nicholls - considered the first victim of Jack the Ripper - is found murdered in London's East End.

At least five women, all of them prostitutes, are brutally slain by the Ripper. The murders, and the killer's true identity, remain unsolved to this day.


(AP Photos)

Rocky Marciano - the retired heavyweight boxing champ - dies in a light plane crash in Iowa, a day before what would have been his 46th birthday.

And, 1945:

(AP Photos)

(NAT of Perlman from 'Schindler's List' theme)

Virtuoso violinist Itzhak Perlman is born in Tel Aviv, in what's now Israel.

Also that same year:

(AP Photos)

(NAT of 'Brown Eyed Girl')

Singer and songwriter Van Morrison is born in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Today in History, August 31st, Camille Bohannan, The Associated Press.

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