On This Day 31 August

By TheBoldAge. Published 2020-08-31
In 12 Caligula was born; in 1939 the Nazi forces pretended to be Poles attacking a radio station, triggering WWII; in 1997 Diana and Dodi died in Paris. In 1888 the first Jack the Ripper victim was claimed.

Mary Ann Nichols was the first victim of Jack the Ripper.

Born in Dean Street, Soho, she was married at 18 and had 5 children. She divorced from her husband and moved between her father's house and the Lambeth workhouse and earned through handouts and as a prostitute. In the summer of 1888 she was in a common lodging-house in Spitalfields and subsequently Whitechapel.

She left the Frying Pan on Brick Lane at 0:30am on the 31st of August and is known to have returned to the lodging-house as she was asked for the money required for her bed. She was ordered to leave as she didn't have any money and it is assumed she then left to earn some money via the streets.

At 340am as a carman was walking to work he noticed a tarpaulin lying on the ground at Buck's Row and discovered that it contained a body. After Police arrived, and eventually a surgeon, she was pronounced dead.


The press linked her murder to the murder of two other prostitutes in the same area. This led to the suspicions of a serial killer at large - known as Jack the Ripper. She was buried on the 6th of September, and it wasn't until 1996 that a plaque was put in place to mark her grave.


Other events on this day

  • 12: Caligula was born
  • 1888: first Jack the Ripper victim claimed (Mary Ann Nichols)
  • 1939: Nazi forces pretending to be Poles attacked German radio station which created the excuse to start WWII
  • 1997: death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in Paris
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