Today is Aug. 31, 2021

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Princess Diana Killed in Car Crash

August 31, 1997

Princess Diana, the Princess of Wales, dies as a result of injuries sustained in a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma road tunnel in Paris, France. Diane’s boyfriend Dodi Fayed and the driver Henri Paul were pronounced dead at the scene. Trevor Rees-Jones, the bodyguard, was the only survivor. An 18-month French judicial investigation found that the crash was caused by the driver Paul, who lost control of the car at high speed while drunk and on antidepressants. The investigation concluded that the paparazzi were not near the Mercedes when it crashed. Fayed’s father, Mohamed Al-Fayed, has claimed that the couple were executed by MI6 agents because Diana was pregnant with Dodi Fayed’s child and were about to announce their engagement.

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Jack the Ripper

August 31, 1888

Serial killer Jack the Ripper claims his first known victim, when he kills Mary Ann Nichols. For three months he murdered and mutilated prostitutes in London’s East End, claiming five victims. He was never caught. He got his name from a letter sent to London’s Central News Agency by someone claiming to have committed the murders. It was signed “Jack the Ripper.”


On August 31, 1897, Thomas Edison received the patent for his kinetograph—the world’s first motion picture camera. The inventor had hopes of synchronizing photographic images with sound, but it took some time to achieve the simultaneous mix. His innovation trumpeted the arrival of the silent movie era, but because of the technological difficulties, the movie industry had to wait until 1927 for its first talkie: Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer.
For more information, the Grateful American Book Prize recommends The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World by Randall E. Stoss.


On August 31st, National Matchmaker Day honors romantics whose dauntless pursuit of perfect purchase for cupid’s arrow results in lasting love stories.

Playing matchmaker requires a bit of social savvy. It also requires the ability to listen and timing. They know each friends’ habits (good and bad), passions, and hobbies. When there is a spark, even when the prospective couple is painfully unaware, the matchmaker knows.

While a matchmaker isn’t always successful, her (or his) heart is certainly in the right place! It is all about love, after all. Even the success stories can be quite entertaining. And National Matchmaker Day celebrates them all. Awkward blind dates. Miscommunications. And yes, even the complete mismatches. The celebration raises a toast to the people who bring lovers together.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalMatchmakerDay

Honor those special matchmakers who work to bring couples together. Some of the best ways to celebrate the day include:

  • Send your matchmaker a thank you note.
  • Give them a shout out on social media.
  • Take out the photo album and relive the memories.

Most importantly, share your matchmaker story!



Observed annually on August 31st, National Trail Mix Day honors the mix developed as a healthy snack for long hikes.

Filled with nuts, dried fruit, and grains, trail mix packs a boost of carbohydrates when the body needs it most. The nuts supply good fats as well as sustained energy, too. Since it’s lightweight, trail mix travels easily, as well. On long trails or while camping, trail mix keeps without spoiling since most of the ingredients are dried.

Two California surfers claim the creation of trail mix. In 1968, they blended peanuts and raisins for an energy snack. However, in the 1958 novel The Dharma Bums written by Jack Kerouac, the two main characters mention trail mix when planning meals for their hiking trip.

Trail mix is sometimes referred to as Gorp.

Trail Mix Tips

Regardless of who created trail mix, the food is an integral part of camping, hiking, and outdoor life. When preparing for a hike, selecting a favorite combination of ingredients comes down to balancing flavor and nutrition. Some factors to keep in mind:

  • Portability – Be sure all the components can withstand heat and bouncing around. For example, potato chips and caramel baking bits probably won’t survive the heat. However, pretzel rods, M&Ms, and other candy-coated chocolates hold up under stress.
  • Protein – Choosing the right nuts and seeds adds healthy proteins and fats, too. Consider adding these top protein-producing seeds and nuts to your trail mix:
    • almonds, peanuts, pistachios, hemp, pepito, sunflower, flax, sesame, chia, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts
  • Salty & Sweet – Not only does the flavor factor increase but the salt, along with drinking plenty of water throughout your hike prevents dehydration. When we sweat, we lose essential electrolytes, and trail mix helps to replenish them. The salt comes from the ingredients already added to the mix. There’s no need to add more. And the sweet? Well, that all depends on your tastes. How much additional glucose do your physical needs require?
  • Spice – Ramp up the flavor profile with some spice. Here are a few combinations to try:
    • Fall blend – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger
    • Savory blend– garlic powder, dill, lemon pepper
    • Spicy blend – wasabi, mustard powder, lemon pepper, dried cilantro, dried lime zest
    • Spicy sweet blend – paprika, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, a touch of brown sugar
  • Energy Booster – For a twist, add chocolate covered roasted coffee beans to your mix. They’re especially nice if time is short or it’s impossible to make a cup of java while roughing it. You’ll get your caffeine and your breakfast while seeking the next fantastic view.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalTrailMixDay

You can make your own trail mix using your favorite ingredients. Many varieties of trail mix are available at your favorite grocery or convenience store. How else can you celebrate:
  • Take a hike and enjoy your favorite trail mix along the way.
  • Share your favorite trail mix recipes.
  • Take a selfie while enjoying your energy boost.