On August 31:
1894 The Arbitration Act became law, a flagship policy of Richard Seddon’s Liberal government, made New Zealand the first country in the world to outlaw strikes in favour of compulsory arbitration.
1918: US lyracist Alan Jay Lerner was born.
1940: Australian actor Jack Thompson was born.
1945 The Australian Liberal Party was formed by Robert Menzies.
1945 Irish musician Van Morrison was born.
1949 US actor Richard Gere was born.
1957 The Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia) gained its independence from Britain.
1962 Trinadad and Tobago became independent.
1974 Prime Minsiter Norman Kirk died.
1991 Kyrgyzstan declared its independence from the USSR.
1994 The Provisional Irish Republican Army declared a cease fire.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.