The History Channel
* On Aug. 30, 30 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. She committed suicide possibly by means of an asp, a poisonous Egyptian serpent and symbol of divine royalty.
* On Aug. 29, 1876, Charles F. Kettering, inventor of the electric self-starter, is born in Loundonville, Ohio. Kettering’s inventions spread far beyond the automotive industry: He helped develop the refrigerant Freon, and took an active role in the medical industry, inventing a treatment for venereal disease, an incubator for premature infants and artificial fever therapy.
* On Aug. 27, 1908, future president Lyndon Baines Johnson is born on a farm near Stonewall, Texas. As president, Johnson pushed through the creation of Medicare/Medicaid, Head Start, the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
* On Aug. 26, 1959, the British Motor Corporation launches its newest car, the small, affordable Mark I Mini. The Mini went on to become one of the best-selling British cars in history. At only 10 feet long, the $800 Mini could sit four adults and had a trunk big enough for a reasonable amount of luggage.
* On Sept. 1, 1964, pitcher Masanori Murakami becomes the first Japanese man to play in U.S. baseball’s major leagues. Murakami was a teenage baseball prodigy in Japan, and his left-handed sidearm delivery proved an asset in the United States.
* On Aug. 28, 1972, the U.S. Air Force gets its first ace designation since the Korean War when Captain Richard S. Ritchie and his “backseater” (radar intercept officer), Captain Charles B. DeBellevue, shoot down his fifth MiG near Hanoi.
* On Aug. 31, 1985, Richard Ramirez, the notorious “Night Stalker,” is captured and nearly killed by a mob in East Los Angeles, Calif., after being recognized from a photograph shown on television and in newspapers. Ramirez was pulled from the enraged mob by police officers.