August 31 in Pop Culture History

August 31st History, Trivia and Fun Facts

August 31st History Highlights

  • 1888 – Mary Ann Nichols was murdered; the first of Jack the Ripper’s confirmed victims.
  • 1962 – Trinidad and Tobago became independent, within the British Commonwealth.
  • 1980 – The Solidarity Movement began in Poland against the Soviet Union. It was led by Lech Walesa.
  • 1997 – Princess Diana was killed in a car crash, involving photographers chasing her and alcohol in the system of her driver.
  • If you were born on August 31st,
    You were likely conceived the week of… December 8th (prior year)

Jack The Ripper

Jack the Ripper is probably a name you’ve come across at some point in time. The memories of the infamous serial killer of the 19th century still haunt people today, thanks to his merciless tactics to kill women. According to historical sources, the man had killed at least five women, and all of them were prostitutes by profession.

While serial killers have existed throughout the history of humankind, this case had people’s attention for a long period of time. Despite many attempts to solve it, the police forces and crime investigation departments were almost helpless and eventually gave up, and ever since then, it has remained an unsolved mystery.

Even though there are only five murders to his name so far, investigators of the time suspected that he killed over a dozen women between 1888 and 1892. Among some of his victims were Mary Ann Nichols, Mary Jane Kelly, Catherine Eddowes, Elizabeth Stride, and Annie Chapman. Interestingly, one of his victims managed to escape, but all the rest were killed ruthlessly.

The killer had the same pattern in almost every instance. He would lure them into having sex with him and would clit their throat later. Moreover, he would mutilate the body in a manner where it became apparent that he had good knowledge of human anatomy.

The killer once sent a half-cut human kidney to the police after extracting it from a victim. There were also occasional notes sent to the police by someone who called himself “Jack the Ripper.”

As police forces and investigation officers failed to catch the killer and bring justice to the victims, there was a huge uproar demanding the authorities to either catch him or resign. Unfortunately, the failure to do so led one of the commissioners to resign. Since serial killing instances are known more commonly today than over a century ago, the case managed to retain its hold on people’s minds for a long time.

Only a few decades after the case came to the surface, several dramatic and literary works started taking inspiration to write their plots. For example, the famous 1913 horror novel called “The Lodger” was based on the case and also went on to inspire numerous films in the future. So far, more than a hundred books on the subject have been written and published.

Moreover, several conspiracies were also formulated around the true identity of Jack the Ripper. One such theory stated that Walter Sickert, a famous Victorian painter, was the culprit, while others suspected Queen Victoria’s grandson as the face to the name. Some forensic evidence points to a man named  Aaron Kosminski.

Hence, there is widespread folklore that took birth after 1888 when several wrong suspects were accused of being Jack the Ripper. Even today, it remains a mystery as to who was the serial killer who killed women in a similar fashion for many years.

August 31st is…

Diatomaceous Earth Day
Eat Outside Day
Matchmaker Day
South Carolina Day
Trail Mix Day

August 31st Birthday Quotes

” Do not tell them how to do it. Show them how to do it and do not say a word. If you tell them, they will watch your lips move. If you show them, they will want to do it themselves.”
– Maria Montessori

“It’s not an act, it’s just my way. “
– Arthur Godfrey

“As a child, my family’s menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it.”
– Buddy Hackett

“It takes intelligence to make real comedy, and it takes a reality base to create all that little stuff I like to do that makes you giggle inside.”
– Chris Tucker

“Music is spiritual. The music business is not.”
– Van Morrison

“The first job I went out on in New York I got, and when I came back, the first job I went out on, I got.”
– James Coburn

“I don’t just want to be successful I want to have fun”
– Julie Brown

August 31st Birthdays

12 AD – Caligula, Roman emperor (died in 41 AD)
1870 – Maria Montessori, Italian physician, and educator (died in 1952)
1897 – Fredric March, American actor (died in 1975)
1903 – Arthur Godfrey, American radio and television host (died in 1983)
1913 – Helen Levitt, American photographer, and cinematographer (died in 2009)
1914 – Richard Basehart, American actor (died in 1984)
1924 – Buddy Hackett, American comedic actor (died in 2003)
1928 – James Coburn, American actor (died in 2002)
1944 – Roger Dean, English illustrator, and painter
1945 – Van Morrison, Northern Irish singer-songwriter
1945 – Bob Welch, American singer (died in 2012)
1954 – Julie Brown, American comedic actress
1957 – Glenn Tilbrook, English singer-songwriter
1962 – Dee Bradley Baker, American voice actor
1970 – Debbie Gibson, American singer-songwriter
1971 – Chris Tucker, American comedian, and actor

August 31st History

1803 – Lewis and Clark started their expedition to the west by leaving Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1888 – Mary Ann Nichols was murdered, the first of Jack the Ripper’s confirmed victims.

1897 – Thomas Edison received his patent (# 589168) for his Kinetoscope, the first movie projector.

1957 – #1 Hit August 31, 1957 – September 13, 1957: Debbie Reynolds – Tammy

1962 – Trinidad and Tobago became independent from Britain.

1963 – #1 Hit August 31, 1963 – September 20, 1963: The Angels – My Boyfriend’s Back

1965 – The Aero Spacelines Super Guppy aircraft made its inaugural flight.

1987 – Comic strip “Crankshaft” by Tom Batiuk, debuted in syndication.

1993 – Barney’s Favorites Volume 1, was released featuring 27 songs by the purple dinosaur.

1997 – Diana, Princess of Wales, her companion Dodi Fayed (with driver Henri Paul) died in a car crash in Paris.

2006 – Edvard Munch’s famous painting The Scream, stolen on August 22, 2004, was recovered in a raid by Norwegian police.

Today’s Random Trivia and Shower Thoughts

If you stopped by the Pop Culture Madness office and looked at the television, chances are, Full House would be on! #nowyouknow

What’s the difference between a nook and a cranny?
A nook is a corner and cranny is a crack.

A duck’s quack does not echo. (actually, there is a slight echo-ey sound, according to TV’s Mythbusters)

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

A jellyfish is 95% water. You are about 60% water.

The first human-made object to break the sound barrier was a whip.

There are 63,360 inches in a mile.

The Capitol building in Washington DC has 365 steps fro the basement to the top of the dome.

You weigh less at the top of a mountain then sea level.

The first lighthouse to use electricity was the Statue of Liberty in 1886.

There are more than 30,000 different diets you can try.

Heard in Summer School: “Germinate: To become a naturalized German.”

Emus and Kangaroos cannot walk backward.

The first penny had the motto “Mind your (own) business”

If you doubled your money, starting with a penny, just one penny, every day for 30 days, you would have $5,368,709.

Brady Bunch Address:
Carol, Mike, Greg, Marcia, Jan, Peter, Bobby, Cindy, and Alice Nelson lived at
11222 Dilling St., Studio City, California, NOT the fictional 4222 Clinton Way, somewhere around Los Angeles

A “jiffy” is actually 1/100 of a second.

In 1878, the first telephone book ever issued contained only 50 names, all New Haven CT businesses (that had phones).