• On Aug. 30, 31 B.C., Cleopatra, queen of Egypt and lover of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, takes her life following the defeat of her forces against Octavian, the future first emperor of Rome. Although Cleopatra had no Egyptian blood, she alone in her ruling house learned Egyptian.
• On Aug. 31, 1888, Mary Ann Nichols, the first victim of London serial killer “Jack the Ripper,” is found murdered in Whitechapel’s Buck’s Row. On Nov. 7, after a month of silence, Jack took his fifth and final victim, Mary Kelly. In 1892, with no leads found and no more murders recorded, the Jack the Ripper file was closed.
• On Sept. 1, 1983, Soviet jet fighters intercept a Korean Airlines passenger flight in Russian airspace and shoot the plane down, killing 269 passengers and crew members. The KAL flight had veered onto a course that was close to one being simultaneously flown by a U.S. spy plane.
• On Sept. 2, 1996, Michael Jackson earns his 12th and final solo No. 1 with the R&B ballad “You Are Not Alone,” written by R. Kelly. A court in Belgium ruled in 2007 that Kelly had plagiarized “You Are Not Alone” from a Belgian song called “If We Can Start All Over.”
• On Sept. 3, 1777, the American flag is flown in battle for the first time, during a Revolutionary War skirmish at Cooch’s Bridge, Maryland. The national flag, which became known as the “Stars and Stripes,” was based on the “Grand Union” flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776.
• On Sept. 4, 1951, President Harry Truman’s opening speech before a conference in San Francisco is broadcast across the nation, marking the first time a television program was broadcast from coast to coast.
• On Sept. 5, 1972, at the Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, a group of Palestinian terrorists storms the Olympic Village apartment of the Israeli athletes, killing two and taking nine others hostage. The terrorists, known as Black September, demanded that Israel release more than 230 Arab prisoners being held in Israeli jails. In an ensuing shootout at the Munich airport, the nine Israeli hostages were killed.
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