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Sunday, August 31
By The Associated Press
Associated Press
2014-08-24 09:01 AM

Today is Sunday, August 31, the 243rd day of 2014. There are 122 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1290 - Jews are exiled from England by proclamation of King Edward I.

1704 - Forces of Russia's Czar Peter the Great take Narva in Russia.

1876 - Turkey's Sultan Murad V is deposed on plea of insanity and is succeeded by Abdul Hamid II.

1886 - In one of America's worst disasters, 110 people are killed when an earthquake rocks Charleston, South Carolina.

1888 - Mary Ann Nicholls is found murdered in London's East End. She is the first victim of Jack the Ripper.

1900 - British forces under Frederick Roberts occupy Johannesburg, South Africa.

1918 - Bolshevik troops attack British Embassy in Petrograd, Russia.

1922 - Czech-Serb-Croat Alliance is signed at Marienbad.

1923 - Italy starts a brief occupation of the Greek island of Corfu after the murder of a boundary delegation.

1935 - U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs an act prohibiting the export of U.S. arms to belligerents.

1942 - German Gen. Rommel renews offensive against British at Alam Halfa in North Africa in World War II but is driven back to original lines.

1947 - The U.S. Investigating Committee recommends that Great Britain give up control of Palestine.

1957 - Malaysia gains independence as Federation of Malaya.

1962 - Trinidad and Tobago become independent nation within British Commonwealth.

1971 - Cuba terminates the airlift that had brought 246,000, Cuban refugees from Havana to Florida since December 1965.

1977 - Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith's party wins the election and gains all 50 white seats in Parliament. The vote gives Smith a mandate to negotiate with black leaders on greater political representation for the country's six million blacks.

1980 - Polish labor leaders sign agreements with Communist government establishing for first time in a Soviet-bloc nation the rights to strike and to establish free trade unions.

1982 - El Salvador Defenses Minister Jose Guillermo Garcia Merino discloses that the armed forces have suffered 3,657 casualties in a year; bringing the number of peopled killed by rightists during the three-year civil war to more than 35,000.

1986 - Moscow's secret police hold U.S. news correspondent Nicholas Daniloff on spying allegations. His wife calls it a frame-up.

1987 - Government and opposition officials in South Korea agree on revising constitution to clear way for direct presidential elections and other reforms.

1990 - After Armenian Republic's Parliament declares a state of emergency, 250 militant nationalists give up their weapons.

1991 - Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan become the ninth and tenth Soviet republics to declare independence.

1994 - Irish Republican Army declares an open-ended cease-fire in its 24-year campaign against British rule of Northern Ireland.

1995 - A bomb-laden car explodes in a crowded square outside Algeria's national police headquarters, killing 10 and injuring 15.

1996 - Iraq captures Irbil in northern Iraq, a key city inside the Kurdish "safe haven" protected by U.S.-led forces. It is Saddam Hussein's largest military action since the end of the Gulf War in 1991.

1997 - Typhoon Rex veers away from Japan's main island of Honshu, but the record rainfall it spawned forces thousands to flee their homes. Flooding and landslides caused by the rains kill 14 people and injure 45.

1998 - North Korea launches a new, more powerful long-range ballistic missile that crosses over Japan's main island and crashes into the Pacific Ocean. The test draws strong protests from Japan and the United States.

2002 - A Russian Mi-24 assault helicopter is shot down by a missile in Chechnya. Both of the gunship's pilots are killed. Chechen rebels claim responsibility.

2004 - Militants in Iraq kill 12 Nepalese contract workers, in a gruesome video discovered on an Islamic Web site, showing one of them beheaded and the 11 others shot in a methodical series of execution-style slayings.

2005 - Panicked by rumors of a suicide bomber, thousands of Shiite pilgrims break into a stampede on a bridge in Baghdad during a religious procession, crushing one another or plunging into the Tigris river. Nearly 1,000 die, mostly women and children.

2006 - Police in Norway recover the Edvard Munch masterpieces "The Scream" and "Madonna," two years after masked gunmen grabbed the national art treasures in front of stunned visitors at an Oslo museum.

2007 - The 25th Anniversary of "Elk Cloner", regarded as the first virus to hit personal computers worldwide.

2008 - Practitioners of the ancient Greek religion gather among the ruined temples at the Acropolis, praying to Athena to stop the removal of sculptures and pieces of the temples to museums. Participants claim it is the first such gathering since the religion was abolished late in the 4th century.

2009 - Riot police briefly detain about 15 people trying to hold an anti-Kremlin demonstration in central Moscow to defend Russians' constitutional right to assembly.

2010 - Palestinian gunmen open fire on an Israeli car in the West Bank and kill four passengers on the eve of a new round of Mideast peace talks in Washington. The Islamic militant group Hamas claims responsibility.

2011 - Bahraini security forces clash with anti-government protesters after morning prayers, and a 14-year-old boy dies after being hit by a police tear gas canister.

2012 - Kofi Annan's time as a would-be peacemaker among Syria's warring parties is over, and he quietly leaves the role having failed to end the conflict in the Arab state. The task falls to another veteran U.N. diplomat, Lakhdar Brahimi.

2013 - An Indian juvenile court hands down the first conviction in the fatal gang rape of a young woman on a moving New Delhi bus, convicting a teenager of rape and murder and sentencing him to three years in a reform home.

Today's Birthdays:

Theophile Gautier, French author (1811-1872); Maria Montessori, Italian doctor and educator (1870-1952); William Saroyan, U.S. writer (1908-1981); Buddy Hackett, U.S. actor/comedian (1924-2003); Van Morrison, Irish singer (1945--); Itzhak Perlman, Israeli violinist (1945--); Richard Gere, U.S. actor (1949--).

Thought for Today:

Show me the country in which there are no strikes and I'll show you that country in which there is no liberty -- Emma Goldman, American anarchist (1869-1940).

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