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On this day in history - August 31

What Happened On This Day – August 31

  • 1998 North Korea Announces the Launch of its First Satellite

    According to government sources of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the satellite called Kwangmyongsong-1 was successfully launched into lower Earth orbit. Most space agencies around the world, have not been able to confirm whether the launch was successful.

  • 1997 Princess of Wales, Diana, Dies in a Car Crash

    Diana, the former wife of Charles, the heir apparent to the British Crown, was fatally injured when the driver of her car lost control while speeding away from paparazzi, and crashed in a road tunnel in Paris, France. Diana’s companion Dodi al Fayed and the car’s driver also died as a result of the accident. Her funeral was one of the most watched televised events of the century.

  • 1994 Russian Troops Leave Estonia 3 years after Estonia declared independence from the Soviet Union

    USSR had occupied the Baltic country in 1944, during the Second World War. Many Western countries never recognized the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic, which was first established in 1940. Between 1941 and 1944, Nazi Germany occupied the country.

  • 1991 Uzbekistan declares its independence from the Soviet Union

    The Central Asian country had become a part of the Russian Empire in the 19th century, and was made part of the Soviet Union as the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic in 1924. The country celebrates September 1 as its Independence Day.

  • 1957 Federation of Malaya Gains Independence

    The Federation, now known as Malaysia gained its independence from the British. The Southeast Asian country, which was one of the world's largest producer of rubber, came under British rule in the late 18th century.

Illustration of stork, signifying birth

Births On This Day,
August 31

  • 1979 Mickie James

    American wrestler, singer

  • 1979 Yuvan Shankar Raja

    Indian composer

  • 1977 Jeff Hardy

    American wrestler, singer, painter, writer

  • 1945 Van Morrison

    Irish singer-songwriter

  • 1870 Maria Montessori

    Italian physician, educator

Illustration of tombstone, signifying death

Deaths On This Day,
August 31

  • 1997 Diana, Princess of Wales

  • 1985 Frank Macfarlane Burnet

    Australian biologist, Nobel Prize laureate

  • 1973 John Ford

    American director

  • 1927 Andranik Ozanian

    Armenian military commander

  • 1688 John Bunyan

    English preacher, author