• On Aug. 31, 1888, the first known victim of London serial killer “Jack the Ripper” is found murdered in the city’s impoverished Whitechapel district. At least four more women were found murdered in similar fashion over the next few months. In 1892, with no leads found and no more murders recorded, the Jack the Ripper file was closed.
• On Sept. 1, 1928, Robert Pirsig, author of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” is born. Despite being rejected by more than 120 publishing houses, his 1974 book became a cult classic, selling more than 4 million copies over the next 25 years.
• On Sept. 2, 1945, aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, Japan formally surrenders to the Allies, bringing an end to World War II.
• On Aug. 27, 1955, the first edition of “The Guinness Book of Records” is published in Great Britain. The book was intended to be given away for free in pubs to promote the Guinness brand; however, it became so popular that the Irish brewer started selling it.
• On Aug. 29, 1962, American poet Robert Frost leaves for the Soviet Union. The goodwill tour was sponsored by the U.S. State Department in an effort to thaw Cold War relations.
• On Aug. 30, 1983, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Colonel Guion S. Bluford becomes the first African American to travel into space following lift off aboard the space shuttle Challenger. During their six days in space, the Challenger crew launched an Indian communications satellite.
• On Aug. 28, 1996, Charles, Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne, and his wife, Princess Diana, formally divorce. In 1981, nearly 1 billion television viewers in 74 countries tuned in to witness their marriage ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
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