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Today in history: August 31

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, Aug. 31, the 243rd day of 2005. There are 122 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Aug. 31, 1886, an earthquake rocked Charleston, S.C., killing up to 110 people.

On this date:
In 1887, Thomas A. Edison received a patent for his “Kinetoscope,” a device which produced moving pictures.

In 1888, Mary Ann Nicholls was found murdered in London’s East End in what is generally regarded as the first slaying committed by “Jack the Ripper.”

In 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt signed an act prohibiting the export of U.S. arms to belligerents.

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 nearly 70 deaths.

In 1962, the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago became independent within the British Commonwealth.

In 1969, boxer Rocky Marciano died in a light airplane crash in Iowa, a day before his 46th birthday.

In 1980, Poland’s Solidarity labor movement was born with an agreement signed in Gdansk 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, Calif.

In 1988, 14 people were killed when a Delta Boeing 727 crashed during takeoff from Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.

Ten years ago: At the O.J. Simpson trial in Los Angeles, Judge Lance Ito ruled the defense could play only two examples of police detective Mark Fuhrman’s racist comments from taped conversations with a screenwriter.

Five years ago: President Clinton vetoed a bill that would have gradually repealed inheritance taxes, saying it would have benefited the wealthiest Americans while threatening the nation’s financial well-being.

One year ago: At the Republican National Convention in New York, first lady Laura Bush and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger praised President Bush as a man of strength and compassion. Palestinian suicide bombers blew up two buses in Beersheba, Israel, killing 16 passengers. A woman strapped with explosives blew herself up outside a busy Moscow subway station, killing at least 10 people.

Today’s Birthdays: Broadcast journalist Daniel Schorr is 89. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Frank Robinson is 70. Actor Warren Berlinger is 68. Rock musician Jerry Allison (Buddy Holly and the Crickets) is 66. Actor Jack Thompson is 65. Violinist Itzhak Perlman is 60. Singer Van Morrison is 60. Rock musician Rudolf Schenker (The Scorpions) is 57. Actor Richard Gere is 56. Rock singer Glenn Tilbrook (Squeeze) is 48. Rock musician Gina Schock (The Go-Go’s) is 48. Singer Tony DeFranco (The DeFranco Family) is 46. Singer Chris Whitley is 45. Rhythm-and-blues musician Larry Waddell (Mint Condition) is 42. Actor Jaime P. Gomez is 40. Rock musician Jeff Russo (Tonic) is 36. Singer-composer Deborah Gibson is 35. Rock musician Greg Richling (Wallflowers) is 35. Actor Chris Tucker is 33. Rhythm-and-blues singer Tamara (Trina & Tamara) is 28.

Thought for Today: “Fashion can be bought. Style one must possess.” — Edna Woolman Chase, American fashion editor (1877-1957).