On This Day, August 31

Posted on 31st Aug 2012 by ian under On This Day | No Comments »

Friday already!  And the end of winter (well, officially…)

On this day in 1888 Mary Ann Nichols was murdered. She was the first of Jack the Ripper’s confirmed victims…

In 1895 German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin patented his navigable balloon…

In 1897 Thomas Edison patented his Kinetoscope, which was the first movie projector…

And a century later, in 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales, her companion Dodi Al-Fayed and driver Henri Paul die in a car crash in Paris.

In 2006 two years after it was stolen, Edvard Munch’s famous painting The Scream is recovered in a raid by Norwegian police.

To those born on this day…

In 12 AD, the Roman emperor who got me interested in Ancient History, the appallingly cruel, bizarre, twisted, crazy emperor, Gaius Caligula…

He had a seemingly insatiable sexual appetite for women, men, his sisters and possibly animals.  He turned his palace into a brothel and made his sisters sell themselves to men.  He made one of his horses, Incitatus, a priest and would probably have made him a Consul if he hadn’t been assassinated at age 28. He enjoyed killing people on a whim.  Once, when presiding over some games, he got bored and because there were no criminals waiting to be prosecuted, he ordered his guards to chuck an entire section of the audience into the arena during intermission to be eaten by animals.

Others born on this day – American actor/comedian, Buddy Hackett, in 1924 and actor James Coburn in 1928…  Aussie actor, Jack Thompson, was born in 1940, Irish singer Van Morrison in 1945 and, in 1949, American actor, Richard Gere.