Today is Wednesday, Aug. 31, the 244th day of 2016 with 122 to follow.

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The moon is new. Morning stars are Neptune and Uranus. Evening stars are Venus, Mercury, Mars, Saturn and Neptune.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include Roman Emperor Caligula in A.D. 12; Italian educator Maria Montessori in 1870; actor Fredric March in 1897; entertainer Arthur Godfrey in 1903; writer William Saroyan in 1908; English astronomer Alfred Bernard Lovell in 1913; actor Richard Basehart in 1914; journalist Daniel Schorr in 1916; lyricist Alan Jay Lerner in 1918; comedian Buddy Hackett in 1924; actor James Coburn in 1928; baseball Hall of Fame member Frank Robinson, first African-American to manage a Major League Baseball team, in 1935 (age 81); black militant Eldridge Cleaver in 1935; violinist Itzhak Perlman in 1945 (age 71); musician Van Morrison in 1945 (age 71); musician Bob Welch in 1945; actor Richard Gere in 1949 (age 67); Olympic track star Edwin Moses in 1955 (age 61); Jordanian Queen Rania in 1970 (age 46); singer/actor Debbie Gibson in 1970 (age 46); actor Chris Tucker in 1972 (age 44); Olympic gold medal skier Ted Ligety in 1984 (age 32).

On this date in history:

In 1897, Thomas Edison was awarded a patent for his movie camera, the Kinetograph.

In 1888, prostitute Mary Ann Nichols became the first reported victim of the London serial killer known as "Jack the Ripper."

In 1903, a Packard automobile completed a 52-day journey from San Francisco to New York, becoming the first car to cross the nation under its own power.

In 1986, an Aeromexico DC-9 collided with a single-engine plane over Cerritos, Calif., killing 82 people, including 15 on the ground.

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In 1997, Britain's Princess Diana died of injuries following a car accident in Paris that also killed her companion, Dodi Fayed, and their driver, Henri Paul.

In 2003, a Russian K-159 nuclear-powered submarine was lost in the Barents Sea, claiming the lives of nine of its 10-member crew. Russian authorities blamed negligence by navy officials.

In 2004, in the first major attacks inside Israel in nearly six months, Palestinian suicide bombers blew up two buses almost simultaneously in Beersheba, killing 16 passengers and wounding more than 80.

In 2005, close to 1,000 people, most of whom were Shiite pilgrims, died in a stampede and the partial collapse of a bridge over the Tigris River in northern Baghdad.

In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama announced the end of the American combat mission in Iraq, seven years after the war began.

In 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama, in a TV speech from the White House Rose Garden, said , "Ten days ago, the world watched in horror as men, women and children were massacred in Syria in the worst chemical weapons attack of the 21st century." He said the United States had presented a "powerful case" that the Syrian government was responsible for the attack and was ready to take military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, pending approval by Congress.

In 2014, Iraqi officials said the country's military, with help from Shiite militias, ended the militant Islamic State's two-month siege on the town of Amerli.

A thought for the day: "I can't hate for long. It isn't worth it." - William Saroyan