This Week in History, September 1 – 7, 2014


This Week In History
by Dianne Hermann

“The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”
– Winston Churchill

Week of September 1-7, 2014

September 1

1752 – The Liberty Bell arrives in Philadelphia from France. The Pennsylvania Assembly orders the Bell in 1751 to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of William Penn’s 1701 Charter of Privileges, Pennsylvania’s original Constitution. The cause of the bell’s famous crack is unknown.

1859 – The first Pullman sleeping car is put in service on the Chicago and Alton Railroad. George M. Pullman and Benjamin C. Field use rebuilt day coaches.


1862 – Federal tax is levied on tobacco for the first time. Taxes are also levied on such items as feathers, telegrams, pianos, yachts, billiard tables, drugs, and whiskey to help pay for the Civil War.

1897 – The Boston subway opens, becoming the first underground rapid transit system in North America.

1914 – The passenger pigeon becomes extinct when a female pigeon named Martha dies in captivity in the Cincinnati Zoo. The passenger pigeon was once the most common bird in the United States, numbering in the billions. Its demise is the result of overhunting, habitat loss, and disease. A Smithsonian taxidermist mounts Martha’s skin and she is on display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.


1918 – The baseball season ends due to World War I.

1942 – A Federal judge upholds the detention of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

1972 – Bobby Fischer of the United States defeats Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union for the world chess title.

1975 – The TV show Gunsmoke goes off the air. It first airs in 1955.

1979 – A Los Angeles Court orders actor Clayton Moore to stop wearing the Lone Ranger mask in public appearances after Jack Wrather, who owned the rights to the character, files a restraining order. Clayton Moore (The Lone Ranger) changes his mask slightly and in 1985 wins the right to wear his mask. Moore, who started his career as a child circus star, dies in 1999.


1982 – The maximum speedometer reading mandated in the U.S. is 85 MPH.

1985 – A U.S.-French expedition led by Robert Ballard locates the wreckage of the Titanic off the coast of Newfoundland.

1995 – The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, designed by I. M. Pei, opens in Cleveland, Ohio. It is founded in 1983.


September 2

1789 – Congress establishes the U.S. Treasury Department.

1901 – Vice President Theodore Roosevelt advises to, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

1902 – “A Trip To The Moon,” the first science fiction film, is released.


1919 – The Communist Party of America organizes in Chicago, Illinois, as a result of a split in the Socialist Party of America. It now claims about 20,000 members.

1941 – The Academy of Motion Pictures copyrights the Oscar statuette. From the year it was first awarded in 1929 until 1941 the Academy claimed common law copyright protection.


1945 – V-J Day (Victory in Japan) is when World War II ends after the formal surrender of Japan aboard the battleship USS Missouri.

1952 – Dr. Floyd J. Lewis is first surgeon to use the deep freeze technique (hypothermia) during open-heart surgery. His 5-year-old patient Jacqueline Johnson survives.

1963 – Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace prevents the integration of Tuskegee High School by shutting down the school.

1969 – The first automatic teller machine (ATM) in the United States is installed in Rockville Center, New York.


September 3

1752 – The United Kingdom and its American colonies (now the U.S.) adopt the Gregorian calendar and September 3rd becomes September 14th. Pope Gregory XIII replaces the Julian calendar with the Gregorian calendar in 1582 and the change takes effect in most Catholic states.

1783 – The Treaty of Paris is signed, ending the U.S. Revolutionary War of Independence.

1838 – Frederick Douglass escapes from slavery disguised as a sailor.


1895 – The first professional football game is played. Quarterback John Brallier is paid $10 per game plus expenses. His team Latrobe wins that first game 12-0 over Jeannette in Indiana.

1928 – Baseball Hall of Famer Ty Cobb gets his 4,191st and final career hit.

1967 – The last broadcast of “What’s My Line” airs on CBS-TV. The final mystery guest (where the panelists are blindfolded) is John Daly, the host since the show premiered in 1950.

1977 – The last broadcast of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” airs on NBC-TV. The show premiered in 1970.

1995 – eBay is founded by Pierre Omidyar, the French-born, American-educated son of Iranian immigrants. eBay is originally called “Auction Web.”



September 4

1813 – The “Religious Remembrancer Christian Observer” is the first religious newspaper published in the United States. It is started at the Presbyterian Publishing Center of Philadelphia.

1833 – Ten-year-old Barney Flaherty is hired by the New York Sun as the first newsboy in America.

1886 – Apache Chief Geronimo surrenders, ending last major US-Indian war. He dies at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1909 at the age of 79.


1888 – George Eastman patents the first roll-film camera and registers the name “Kodak.”

1923 – The USS airship Shenandoah makes her maiden flight at Lakehurst, New Jersey. On September 3, 1925, on its 57th flight, the Shenandoah crashes after it is caught in a storm over Ohio, killing all 14 crewmembers on board.


1940 – CBS-TV begins broadcasting as station W2XAB.

1950 – For the first time a helicopter is used to rescue an American soldier behind enemy lines. Captain Robert E. Wayne is rescued after his aircraft is shot down over Korea. H-5 helicopter pilot First Lieutenant Paul van Boven is awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action.

1950 – Darlington Raceway is the site of the inaugural Southern 500, the first 500-mile NASCAR race.

1957 – Ford Motor Company introduces the Edsel. The car is named for Edsel P. Ford, son of the founder of Ford Motor Company. The car is in production for only three years.


1966 – The first Muscular Dystrophy telethon hosted by Jerry Lewis is first held over this Labor Day weekend. Jerry Lewis started local and regional MD events in 1952.


1972 – U. S. swimmer Mark Spitz becomes the first athlete to win 7 Olympic gold medals (in swimming) while competing in the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany. Michael Phelps holds the record for the most medals won in Olympic history, 22 medals in 2004 and 2008, also for swimming.

1981 – The longest baseball game played at Fenway Park is completed in 20 innings with the final score of Mariners-8, Red Sox-7. The game started the day before! The longest baseball game for time is 8 hours, 6 minutes on May 8-9, 1984, when the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago White Socks 7-6. Carlton Fisk sets a record by catching in all 25 innings. The longest game in innings is a 1-1 tie game in 1920 between the Boston Braves and Brooklyn Robins that lasts 26 innings. The game is stopped at dusk, restarted the following day, and called again at dusk.


September 5

1774- The Continental Congress assembles for the first time in Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia with 56 delegates from twelve colonies (Georgia is not represented).

1882 – An estimated 10,000 workers march in the first Labor Day parade in New York City.

1885 – The first gasoline pump is delivered to a gasoline dealer in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

1906 – Saint Louis University football player Bradbury Robinson makes the first legal forward pass in football to teammate Jack Schneider.

1939 – President FDR declares U.S. neutrality at the start of World War II in Europe.

1960 – Wilma Rudolph, called the world’s fastest woman, wins her second of three gold medals in track and field at the Olympic games in Rome, Italy. Wilma suffered from polio as a child and overcame numerous childhood health issues and racial barriers to compete in the Olympics. After the 1960 Olympics she becomes a teacher and track coach. Wilma dies in November 1994 of brain cancer at age 54.

1966 – Jerry Lewis’ first Muscular Dystrophy telethon ends, raising $15,000. The telethons have since raised over $2 billion in 46 years.

1975 – Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme attempts to assassinate President Gerald Ford in Sacramento, California. Fromme is sentenced to life in prison and is released on parole in 2009. She is now 65 years old.

1978 – Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and U.S. President Jimmy Carter start a peace conference at Camp David, Maryland. Sadat and Begin share the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize.



September 6

1716 – The first lighthouse in the United States, The Boston Light, is built in Boston, Massachusetts.


1866 – Frederick Douglass is the first black delegate to a national convention in the United States.

1899 – Carnation evaporated milk (called Carnation Sterilized Cream) is processed for the first time in a plant in Kent, Washington. The company later changes its name to Carnation Milk Company.

1901 – President William McKinley is shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. He dies 8 days later. Vice President Teddy Roosevelt becomes president.

1909 – Word reaches civilization that Admiral Robert Peary successfully traveled to the North Pole 5 months earlier. The New York Times prints the story on the 7th, but Dr. Frederick A. Cook claims to have reached the pole in April 1908, one year before Peary.

1946 – The All-American Football Conference (AFC) plays its first game. The final score is Cleveland 44, Miami 0.

1954 – WINS radio in New York City begins playing “rock ‘n roll” music when the Alan Freed Show premiers.

1966 – “Star Trek” premiers on NBC and airs for three seasons. There are two highly successful TV spin-offs, and 10 movies from two of the three TV shows.


1975 – Eighteen-year-old Czech tennis star Martina Navratilova asks the United States for political asylum in New York City during the US Open. Martina is granted a green card within a month. (She loses the US Open to Chris Evert.)

1995 – Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles breaks Lou Gehrig’s consecutive game record when he plays in 2,131 consecutive baseball games. Ripken stretches the record to 2,632 consecutive games over his 16-year career.


September 7

1813 – “Uncle Sam” is first used to refer to the United States. The nickname is attributed to meatpacker Samuel Wilson of Troy, New York, who supplies barrels of meat to American troops during the War of 1812. The barrels are stamped with “U.S.” and the meat is soon referred to as Uncle Sam’s.

Uncle Sam

1876 – An attempted robbery by the James/ Younger gang of the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota, fails and a resident is killed as the gang escapes. Frank and Jesse James get away, but Cole, Bob, and Jim Younger are arrested weeks later, tried, convicted of murder, and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Bob dies in prison in 1889. Jim is pardoned in 1901 but commits suicide the next year. Cole is also pardoned in 1901 and dies in 1916. Jesse James is murdered in 1882 and Frank James dies in 1915 at the age of 72.

1888 – Edith Eleanor McLean is the first baby placed in an incubator, then called a “hatching cradle.” She is born premature at State Emigrant Hospital on Ward’s Island, New York, weighing 2 pounds 7 ounces. MORE INFORMATION HERE

first baby in incubator

1915 – Johnny Gruelle patents his Raggedy Ann doll. Gruelle died in 1938 at age 57.

1936 – Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam) begins operation.


1956 – Air Force Capt. Iven Kincheloe, Jr., sets an unofficial manned aircraft altitude record when he flies his Bell X-2 over 126,000 feet above the earth. The U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense refuse to confirm the record and have never changed their decision.


1963 – The Professional Football Hall of Fame is dedicated in Canton, Ohio.

1979 – The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) makes its television debut.

1981 – Judge Wapner and the People’s Court premiers on TV. Judge Wapner is now 94 years old.


2008 – The U.S. Government takes control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two largest mortgage / financing companies in the United States.