Born on August 31

161 Commodus Roman Emperor from 180 to 192. He also ruled as co-emperor with his father Marcus Aurelius from 177 until his father's death in 180
577 John Scholasticus the 32nd patriarch of Constantinople from April 12, 565 until his death in 577. He is also regarded as a saint of the Eastern Orthodox Church
1287 Konrad von Würzburg the chief German poet of the second half of the 13th century.
1398 John Dauphin of France Duke of Touraine the fourth son and ninth child of Charles VI of France and Isabeau of Bavaria. He was born in Paris. After his three elder brothers died, he became Dauphin in 1415. In 1406 he married Jacqueline, heiress of the County of Hainaut, Holland, Zealand, and Frisia. After his marriage to Jacqueline, he was brought up at the castle of Le Quesnoy in Hainaut, at the court of his mother-in-law, Margaret of Burgundy. This arrangement was made between his father and his father-in-law to ensure his safety away from the tulmultous court in Paris, as well as to acquaint him with the lands which he would rule as husband of Jacqueline after her father's death. After the death of his elder brother Louis in December 1415, he became the next Dauphin of France
1542 Isabella de' Medici the daughter of Cosimo I de' Medici, first Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Eleonora di Toledo. She was raised and educated in a humanist manner with her siblings, including Francesco de' Medici who succeeded their father as the Grand Duke of Tuscany. To secure a relationship with the powerful Roman Orsinis, Isabella's father arranged her marriage to Paolo Giordano I Orsini when she was 16. She remained in her father's household after her marriage, giving her an unusual degree of independence for a woman of her period. Following the death of her father, Isabella was probably murdered, with the complicity of her husband and brother, and in retribution for her relationship with Paolo Giordano's cousin Troilo Orsini
1546 Daniel Adam z Veleslavína a Czech lexicographer, publisher, translator, and writer.
1595 Georges Fournier (Jesuit) a French Jesuit priest, geographer and mathematician.
1602 Amalia of Solms-Braunfels a regent of Orange. She was the wife of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange. She was the daughter of count John Albert I of Solms-Braunfels and countess Agnes of Sayn-Wittgenstein
1614 Thomas Wharton (anatomist) an English physician and anatomist best known for his descriptions of the submandibular duct and Wharton's jelly of the umbilical cord.
1652 Ferdinando Carlo Gonzaga Duke of Mantua and Montferrat the only child of Duke Charles II of Mantua and Montferrat, and the last ruler of the Duchy of Mantua of the House of Gonzaga.
1663 Guillaume Amontons a French scientific instrument inventor and physicist. He was one of the pioneers in tribology
1721 George Hervey 2nd Earl of Bristol William Hervey, 2nd Earl of Bristol , the eldest son of John Hervey, 2nd Baron Hervey, by his marriage with Mary , daughter of Nicholas Lepell.
1731 Ignazio Busca an Italian cardinal and Secretary of State of the Holy See. He was the last son of Lodovico Busca, marquess of Lomagna and Bianca Arconati Visconti. he took a degree in utroque iure in 1759 at the Università La Sapienza of Rome. Relator of the Sacred Consulta and referendary of the tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, he was ordained priest on August 20, 1775. Elected titular archbishop of Emesa, he was consecrated on September 17, 1775 in Frascati, by Henry Benedict Stuart. He was apostolic nuncio in Flanders and apostolic vicar for Netherlands from 1776 to 1785 and later was governor of Rome from 1785 until 1789. Created cardinal in the consistory of March 30, 1789, he received the Galero and the title of Santa Maria della Pace on August 3, 1789. He was appointed Secretary of State by Pope Pius VI in 1796. He participated in the conclave of 1800
1734 Gaetano Gandolfi an Italian painter of the late Baroque and early Neoclassic period, active in Bologna.
1740 J. F. Oberlin Oberlin was a French pastor from Alsace and a philanthropist. He has been known as John Frederic Oberlin in English, Jean-Frédéric Oberlin in French, and Johann Friedrich Oberlin in German
1741 Jean-Paul-Égide Martini a composer of classical music. Sometimes known as Martini Il Tedesco, he is best known today for the vocal romance "Plaisir d'amour," on which the 1961 Elvis Presley pop standard "Can't Help Falling in Love" is based. He is sometimes referred to as Giovanni Martini, resulting in a confusion with Giovanni Battista Martini, particularly with regard to the composition "Plaisir d'amour"'
1748 Jean-Étienne Despréaux a French ballet dancer, choreographer, composer, singer and playwright.
1749 Alexander Radishchev a Russian author and social critic who was arrested and exiled under Catherine the Great. He brought the tradition of radicalism in Russian literature to prominence with the publication in 1790 of his Journey from Petersburg to Moscow. His depiction of socio-economic conditions in Russia earned him exile to Siberia until 1797
1760 Aristide Aubert Du Petit Thouars a French naval officer, and a hero of the Battle of Aboukir, where he died.
1764 Johan August Sandels a Swedish soldier and politician, being appointed Governor of Norway 1818 and Field Marshal in 1824. He also served as acting Over-Governor of Stockholm in 1815
1767 Henry Joy McCracken an Irish industrialist and a founding member of the Society of the United Irishmen.
1775 Agnes Bulmer a English poet. She is believed to have written the longest epic poem ever written by a woman. The piece, Messiah's Kingdom, took over nine years to complete
1777 Alexander Bashilov a Russian general officer of Napoleonic Wars period, later engaged in urban planning of Moscow and its suburbs.
1777 Ernst August Friedrich Klingemann a German writer. He is generally agreed to be the author of the 1804 novel Nachtwachen under the pseudonym Bonaventura
1778 William Wilkins (architect) an English architect, classical scholar and archaeologist. He designed the National Gallery and University College London, and buildings for several Cambridge colleges
1779 Archduke Anton Victor of Austria an Archduke of Austria and a Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights. He was also briefly the last Archbishop and Elector of Cologne and Prince-Bishop of Münster before those territories were secularised in 1803
1786 Michel Eugène Chevreul a French chemist whose work with fatty acids led to early applications in the fields of art and science. He is credited with the discovery of margaric acid, creatine, and designing an early form of soap made from animal fats and salt. He lived to 102 and was a pioneer in the field of gerontology. He is also one of the 72 people whose names are inscribed on the Eiffel Tower
1789 Heinrich Christoph Wilhelm Sigwart a German philosopher and logician. He was the father of Christoph von Sigwart , who also was a philosopher and logician
1797 James Ferguson (American astronomer) an American astronomer and engineer born in Scotland who made the first discovery of an asteroid from North America. Starting in 1847, he worked at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, DC
1797 Ramón Castilla a Peruvian caudillo and President of Peru two times. His earliest prominent appearance in Peruvian history began with his participation in a commanding role of the army of the Libertadores that helped Peru become an independent nation. Later, he led the country when the economy boomed due to the exploitation of guano deposits. Castilla's government abolished slavery and modernized the state
1797 Philipp von Brunnow a Russian diplomat. Brunnow represented Russia in several conferences, and held ambassadorial positions in London , Frankfurt , Berlin , and then returned to London. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wood, James, ed.. "article name needed". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne
1798 Georg Friedrich Puchta a German jurist.
1802 Husein Gradaščević a Bosniak general who fought against the Ottoman Empire and new reforms implemented by the Sultan Mahmud II which abolished the ayan system. He is often referred to as "Zmaj od Bosne", meaning "the Dragon of Bosnia". Gradaščević was born in Gradačac in 1802—hence his surname Gradaščević, meaning "of Gradačac"—and grew up surrounded by a political climate of turmoil in the western reaches of the Ottoman Empire. The young Husein developed a reputation for wise rule and tolerance and soon became one of the most popular figures in Bosnia
1807 John Young 1st Baron Lisgar the second Governor General of Canada, in office from 1869 to 1872. From 1848 to 1870 he was known as Sir John Young, 2nd Bt
1809 Oswald Heer born at Niederuzwil in Canton of Gallen and died in Lausanne.
1811 Goode Bryan a planter, politician, military officer, and American Civil War general in the Confederate States Army. His brigade played a prominent role during the Battle of the Wilderness, fighting stubbornly until exhausting its ammunition
1815 Heinrich Ernst Beyrich a German palaeontologist. Born in Berlin, he was educated at the university in that city, and afterwards at Bonn, where he studied under Georg August Goldfuss and Johann Jakob Nöggerath. He obtained his degree of Ph.D. in 1837 at Berlin, and was subsequently employed in the mineralogical museum of the university, becoming director of the palaeontological collection in 1857, and director of the museum in 1875
1820 Carl Fredrik Nyman a Swedish botanist who was a native of Stockholm. The plant genus Nymania is named in his honor
1821 Hermann von Helmholtz a German physician and physicist who made significant contributions to several widely varied areas of modern science. In physiology and psychology, he is known for his mathematics of the eye, theories of vision, ideas on the visual perception of space, color vision research, and on the sensation of tone, perception of sound, and empiricism. In physics, he is known for his theories on the conservation of energy, work in electrodynamics, chemical thermodynamics, and on a mechanical foundation of thermodynamics. As a philosopher, he is known for his philosophy of science, ideas on the relation between the laws of perception and the laws of nature, the science of aesthetics, and ideas on the civilizing power of science. The largest German association of research institutions, the Helmholtz Association, is named after him
1822 Fitz John Porter a career United States Army officer and a Union General during the American Civil War. He is most known for his performance at the Second Battle of Bull Run and his subsequent court martial
1822 Galusha A. Grow a prominent U.S. politician, lawyer, writer and businessman, and was a Pennsylvania representative and Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1861 to 1863. He was defeated for reelection in 1862. He remained the last sitting House Speaker to be defeated until Tom Foley of Washington lost his seat in the Republican Revolution of 1994
1832 Charles Wirgman an English artist and cartoonist, the creator of the Japan Punch and illustrator in China and Meiji period Japan for the Illustrated London News.
1834 Amilcare Ponchielli an Italian composer, mainly of operas.
1837 Édouard Stephan a French astronomer. His surname is sometimes spelled Stéphan in some literature, but this is apparently erroneous
1842 Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin an African-American publisher, journalist, civil rights leader, suffragist, and editor of Women’s Era, the first newspaper published by and for African-American women.
1843 Georg von Hertling a Bavarian politician who served as Minister-President of Bavaria 1912–1917 and then as Minister-President of Prussia and Chancellor of the German Empire from 1917 to 1918. He was the first party man to hold the office
1852 John Neville Keynes a British economist and father of John Maynard Keynes.
1853 Aleksei Brusilov a Russian general most noted for the development of new offensive tactics used in the 1916 Brusilov Offensive. The innovative and relatively successful tactics used were later copied by the Germans. His war memoirs were translated into English and published in 1930 as A Soldier's Notebook, 1914–1918
1855 Vsevolod Rudnev a career naval officer in the Imperial Russian Navy, noted for his heroic role in the Battle of Chemulpo Bay during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905.
1856 Harry Kerr (sport shooter) a Canadian sports shooter. He competed in two events at the 1908 Summer Olympics winning a bronze medal in the team military rifle event