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THIS DAY IN HISTORY - AUGUST 31st

This Day in History

August 31st, 1056

Byzantine Empress Theodora dies without children to succeed the throne, thus ending the Macedonian dynasty

Byzantine Empire (East Roman Empire):
1056 - Byzantine Empress Theodora dies without children to succeed the throne, thus ending the Macedonian dynasty.

Wikipedia  Image: The Baptism of Constantine painted by Raphael's pupils (1520–1524, fresco, Vatican City, Apostolic Palace); Mural of Saints Cyril and Methodius, 19th century, Troyan Monastery, Bulgaria; Justinian I depicted on one of the famous mosaics of the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna; The Greek fire was first used by the Byzantine Navy during the Byzantine-Arab Wars (from the Madrid Skylitzes, Biblioteca Nacional de España, Madrid); Alexios I, founder of the Komnenos dynasty.


August 31st, 1795

Napoleonic Wars: (1803–15) were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions War of the First Coalition: The British capture Trincomalee (present-day Sri Lanka) from the Dutch in order to keep it out of French hands

French Revolutionary Wars / Napoleonic Wars:
1795 - War of the First Coalition: the British capture Trincomalee (present-day Sri Lanka) from the Dutch in order to keep it out of French hands.
1813 - Peninsular War - Battle of San Marcial; British-Portuguese troops capture the town of Donostia (now San Sebastián), resulting in the Siege of San Sebastián and eventual destruction of the town.

Wikipedia  Painting: Battle of Trafalgar: The British HMS Sandwich fires to the French flagship Bucentaure (completely dismasted) in the battle of Trafalgar; Napoleon in Berlin (Meynier). After defeating Prussian forces at Jena, the French Army entered Berlin on 27 October 1806; Battle of the Bridge of Arcole Napoleon Bonaparte leading his troops over the bridge of Arcole, by Horace Vernet; Napoleon as King of Italy (Appiani); Napoleon Crossing the Alps (David). In 1800 Bonaparte took the French Army across the Alps, eventually defeating the Austrians at Marengo; Charge of the Russian Imperial Guard cavalry against French cuirassiers at the Battle of Friedland, 14 June 1807; Battle of Borodino as depicted by Louis Lejeune. The battle was the largest and bloodiest single-day action of the Napoleonic Wars; Napoleon's withdrawal from Russia, a painting by Adolph Northen; Wellington at Waterloo by Robert Alexander Hillingford; Napoleon is often represented in his green colonel uniform of the Chasseur à Cheval, with a large bicorne and a hand-in-waistcoat gesture.
War of the First Coalition; The Battle of Valmy was a decisive victory for the French revolutionary army.


August 31st, 1864

Lincoln Memorial: an American national monument built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln - located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. across from the Washington Monument American Civil War: Battle of Antietam; Stone Bridge at Antietam Battlefield - Sharpsburg, Maryland American Civil War: American Civil War: First Battle Between Ironclads; CSS Virginia/Merrimac (left) vs. USS Monitor, in 1862 at the Battle of Hampton Roads

American Civil War:
1864 - Union forces led by General William T. Sherman launch an assault on Atlanta, Georgia.

Wikipedia  Image: ● Lincoln Memorial; an American national monument built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln - located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. across from the Washington Monument.
● The northern army led by George McClellan and the southern army led by Robert E. Lee met at Antietam Creek, Maryland in September, 1862. It was a bloody battle where 13,000 Confederates and 12,000 Union troops died in just one day. McClellan had hesitated to attack before the battle thus letting the southern troops regroup. Also, he had saved reserves and refused to use them at the end of the battle thinking that Lee was holding reserves for a counterattack, even though those reserves didn't exist. The Union victory stopped Lee's northward advance and was a turning point in the war.
Battle of Antietam / Stone Bridge at Antietam Battlefield - Sharpsburg, Maryland
● First Battle Between Ironclads: CSS Virginia/Merrimac (left) vs. USS Monitor, in 1862 at the Battle of Hampton Roads.
Although photography was still in its infancy, war correspondents produced thousands of images, bringing the harsh realities of the frontlines to those on the home front in a new and visceral way. The Atlantic.


August 31st, 1888

Mary Ann Nichols is murdered. She is the first of Jack the Ripper's confirmed victims

Mary Ann Nichols is the first of Jack the Ripper's confirmed victims.

Wikipedia  Sketch - Painting: "With the Vigilance Committee in the East End: A Suspicious Character" from The Illustrated London News, 13 October 1888 / Mary Ann Nichols, the first victim of London serial killer "Jack the Ripper".


August 31st, 1939

World War II: Second firestorm raid on Germany, the Royal Air Force conducts an air raid on the town of Kassel, killing 10,000 and rendering 150,000 homeless World War II: Battle of Leyte Gulf; Battle of Leyte Gulf; The first kamikaze attack: A Japanese plane carrying a 200-kilogram (440 lb) bomb attacks HMAS Australia off Leyte Island World War II: German V1 flying-bomb and V2 Rockets - Preparations for a Salvo Launch of V-2 Rockets in the Heidelager near Blizna (Poland) (1944) World War II: Eastern Front (World War II); was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945

World War II:
1939 - Nazi Germany mounts a staged attack on the Gleiwitz radio station, creating an excuse to attack Poland the following day thus starting World War II in Europe.
1941 - Battle of Loznica; Serbian paramilitary forces defeat Germans.

Wikipedia  Photo: Bombing of Dresden in World War II; August Schreitmüller's sculpture 'Goodness' surveys Dresden after a firestorm started by Allied bombers in 1945. USS Bunker Hill was hit by kamikazes piloted by Ensign Kiyoshi Ogawa and another airman on 11 May 1945. 389 personnel were killed or missing from a crew of 2,600; Ensign Kiyoshi Ogawa, who flew his aircraft into the USS Bunker Hill during a Kamikaze mission on 11 May 1945; Kamikaze Missions - Lt Yoshinori Yamaguchi's Yokosuka D4Y3 (Type 33 Suisei) "Judy" in a suicide dive against USS Essex. The dive brakes are extended and the non-self-sealing port wing tank is trailing fuel vapor and/or smoke November 25th, 1944. German V1 flying-bomb and V2 Rockets - Preparations for a Salvo Launch of V-2 Rockets in the Heidelager near Blizna (Poland) (1944), credit German History in Documents and Images GHDI.

Eastern Front (World War II); Germans race towards Stalingrad. August 1942; Soviet children during a German air raid in the first days of the war, June 1941, by RIA Novosti archive; Soviet sniper Roza Shanina in 1944. About 400,000 Soviet women served in front-line duty units Caucasus Mountains, winter 1942/43; Finnish ski patrol: the invisible enemy of the Soviet Army with an unlimited supply of skis; Men of the German Engineers Corps cross a river which is swollen after the first autumn rains, to strengthen bridges linking the German positions on the central front in Russia. by Keystone / Getty Images. October 1942; Russian snipers fighting on the Leningrad front during a blizzard. Photo by Hulton Archive / Getty Images, 1943; German soldiers surrendering to the Russians in Stalingrad, the soldier holding the white flag of surrender is dressed in white so that there could be no doubt of his intentions, a Russian soldier is on the right of the photograph. by Keystone / Getty Images, January 1943.


August 31st, 1957

Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia) gains its independence from the United Kingdom

Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia gains its independence from the United Kingdom.

Wikipedia  Photo: Kammergericht, 1945-1990 Headquarters of the Allied Control Council: View from the Kleistpark


August 31st, 1987

Airliners Crash: ● Pan AM 747 ● U.S. Airways flight 1549 also known as the 'Miracle on the Hudson' navigates an exit ramp near Burlington, New Jersey, June 5, 2011 ● Passengers stand on the wings of a U.S. Airways plane as a ferry pulls up to it after it landed in the Hudson River in New York, Reuters ● US Airways plane crashes into New York Hudson River, Photo: AP

Aviation accidents and incidents:
1987 - Thai Airways Flight 365; crashes into the ocean near Ko Phuket, Thailand killing all 83 aboard.
1999 - LAPA Flight 3142; LAPA Boeing 737-200 crashes during takeoff from Jorge Newbury Airport in Buenos Aires killing 65, including two on the ground.

Wikipedia  Photo: ● Pan AM 747 ● U.S. Airways flight 1549 also known as the "Miracle on the Hudson" navigates an exit ramp near Burlington, New Jersey, June 5, 2011 ● Passengers stand on the wings of a U.S. Airways plane as a ferry pulls up to it after it landed in the Hudson River in New York, Reuters ● US Airways plane crashes into New York Hudson River, Photo: AP


August 31st, 1999

List of modern conflicts in the Middle East

Modern conflicts in the Middle East, social unrest and terrorist attacks:
1999 - Russian_Apartment_Bombings; The first of a series of bombings in Moscow, kills one person and wounds 40 others.
2005 - Al Hillah bombing; A suicide bombing at a police recruiting centre in Al Hillah, Iraq kills 127.

Wikipedia  Photo: Middle East satellite image, NASA. ● Camels are seen early morning on a beach in the Marina area of Dubai October 16, 2008. (Steve Crisp, Reuters) ● A portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad burns during clashes between rebels and Syrian troops in Selehattin, near Aleppo, on July 23, 2012. (Bulent Kilic, AFP / GettyImages) ● Egyptians gather in their thousands in Tahrir Square to mark the one year anniversary of the revolution on Jan. 25, 2012 in Cairo Egypt. Tens of thousands have gathered in the square on the first anniversary of the Arab uprising which toppled President Hosni Mubarak. (Jeff J Mitchell, Getty Images) ● Black smoke rises above the Tehran skyline as supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi burn tires and other material in the streets as they fight running battles with police to protest the declared results of the Iranian presidential election in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, June 13, 2009. (Ben Curtis, AP) ● The Iron Dome defense system fires to interecpt incoming missiles from Gaza in the port town of Ashdod, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012. (Tsafrir Abayov, AP)


August 31st, 2005

Stampede on Al-Aaimmah bridge in Baghdad kills 1,199 people

Stampede on Al-Aaimmah bridge in Baghdad kills 1,199 people.

Wikipedia  Photo: Stampede on Al-Aaimmah bridge; Chilling image … shoes shed as panicked pilgrims fled. Reuters


August 31st, 2006

Stolen on August 22, 2004, Edvard Munch's famous painting The Scream is recovered in a raid by Norwegian police

Stolen on August 22, 2004, Edvard Munch's famous painting The Scream is recovered in a raid by Norwegian police.

Wikipedia  Painting: The Scream (Norwegian: Skrik)