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 22-28, 2014
1789 – The Office of Postmaster General is created under the Treasury Department. Ben Franklin is the first Postmaster General.
1863 – President Lincoln makes his Emancipation Proclamation speech.
1893 – The Duryea brothers build America’s first automobile in Springfield, Massachusetts. It has a one-cylinder engine, three speeds, and travels at 10 miles an hour.
1911 – Baseball pitcher Cy Young, age 44, wins his 511th and final game. The best pitcher of the year award is named for Cy Young, who died in 1955. Don Newcombe is first Cy Young winner in 1956.
1920 – A Chicago grand jury convenes to investigate charges that 8 White Sox baseball players conspired to fix the 1919 World Series. (See August 2, 1921)
1966 – The unmanned spacecraft Surveyor 2, launched on September 20th, crashes on the Moon in a failed landing attempt.
1975 – Sara Jane Moore tries to assassinate President Gerald Ford in San Francisco, California, just 17 days after Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme’s assassination attempt. Moore is convicted and given a life sentence. She is released in 2007 after serving 32 years. Moore is now 84 years old.
1985 – Willie Nelson’s first Farm Aid concert is held in Champaign, Illinois. The concert is attended by 80,000 people and raises $9 million. The 2014 concert is held in North Carolina on September 13.
1993 – Nolan Ryan pitches his last game at age 46. He holds the record for the most strikeouts of all time (5,714), the most no-hitters of all time (7), and the fastest “officially recorded” pitch thrown in a baseball game (100.9 miles per hour). Ryan is the only player to have his number retired by three baseball teams (Angels, Astros, and Rangers). He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999 with the second highest percentage of irginotes of all time (98.7% of ballots). Amazingly, Nolan Ryan never won the Cy Young Award.
1806 – Lewis and Clark return to St. Louis from the first overland journey from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Northwest and back.
1845 – The first official baseball team, the New York Knickerbockers, organizes and adopts a 20-rule code. The club started playing in Manhattan in 1842.
1862 – President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation is published in Northern newspapers.
1912 – The first of Mack Sennett’s Keystone Cops Comedy movies is released.
1938 – A time capsule is buried at World’s Fair in New York City. It is to be opened in 6939, some 5,000 years after it is buried. The capsule contains such items as a Life Magazine, kewpie doll, slide rule, Sears Roebuck catalog, pack of Camel cigarettes, seeds, and microfilm.
1952 – The first closed circuit pay-TV telecast of a sporting event, the Marciano-Walcott fight, airs in 49 theaters in 31 cities. Rocky Marciano knocks out the heavyweight champion “Jersey Joe” Walcott in 13 rounds for heavyweight boxing title.
1957 – “That’ll Be Day” by Buddy Holly & the Crickets reaches #1 on the music charts. February 3, 1959, is the day the music died when Holly is killed in a plane crash.
1961 – “How to Marry a Millionaire” is the first movie to become a TV series.
1977 – Cheryl Ladd replaces Farrah Fawcett on the TV show Charlie’s Angels.
1984 – Sparky Anderson is the first baseball manager to win 100 games in both leagues.
1997 – The Seattle Mariners break the record for the most home runs in a single season with 258. The record still stands.
1657 – The first autopsy and coroner’s jury verdict in the United States is recorded in the colony of Maryland.
1789 – President George Washington nominates John Jay as the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
1869 – Panic on Wall Street results from Jay Gould and Jim Fisk’s attempt to corner the gold market. The price of gold plummets in what is referred to as Black Friday.
1929 – Lt. James H. Doolittle guides a Consolidated N-Y-2 Biplane over Mitchell Field in New York in the first all-instrument (IFR) flight.
1934 – Only 2,500 fans see Babe Ruth’s farewell appearance as a Yankee at New York’s Yankee Stadium. Ruth goes on to finish his baseball career with the Boston Braves.
1955 – President Eisenhower suffers his first of several heart attacks while on vacation in Denver, Colorado.
1960 – The first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, launches from Newport News, Virginia. It was the oldest active ship in the U.S. Navy until it was decommissioned last December.
1963 – The U.S Senate ratifies a Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty with Britain and the USSR to limit nuclear testing.
1968 – “60 Minutes” premieres on TV and is still on the air.
1969 – The trial of the “Chicago 8” begins (protesters at the 1968 Democrat National Convention). The case of Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panthers, is declared a mistrial and the remaining group becomes the “Chicago 7.” On February 19, 1970, they are found not guilty of conspiracy, five are convicted of lesser crimes, and all (plus two of their attorneys) are cited for criminal contempt and sentenced to anywhere from three months to four years in prison.
1976 – Newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst sentenced to 7 years in prison for her part in a 1974 bank robbery while a captive of the SLA. Hearst is released by President Carter after 22 months. Hearst is now 60 years old.
1493 – Christopher Columbus sets sail with 17 ships on his second voyage to America.
1639 – The first printing press in America begins operating at Harvard in Massachusetts.
1775 – American Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen, who captured Fort Ticonderoga from the British, is arrested and imprisoned in England. He is later released and returns to America.
1789 – Congress proposes the Bill of Rights, which are written largely by George Mason.
1867 – Congress creates Howard University in Washington DC, the first all-black university in America.
1919 – President Woodrow Wilson is paralyzed by a stroke. He serves the rest of his second term (1913-1921). Wilson died in 1924 at age 67.
1926 – Henry Ford announces an 8-hour, 5-day work week.
1936 – Joe Medwick sets a National League baseball record of batting 64 doubles in one season. The record still stands.
1981 – Sandra Day O’Connor sworn in as the first female Supreme Court justice.
1789 – Thomas Jefferson is appointed the first U.S. Secretary of State. Jefferson serves as President from March 1801 to March 1809.
1892 – John Philip Sousa’s band makes its first public appearance at Stillman Music Hall in Plainfield, New Jersey. The March King dies in 1932 at the age of 77. In 1987, “The Stars and Stripes Forever” is designated as the national march of the United States.
1957 – The musical “West Side Story” opens on Broadway.
1960 – The first of four presidential TV debates with Richard Nixon and John Kennedy takes place in Chicago. Kennedy wins the election in 1960. Nixon goes on to become president in 1972.
1962 – “The Beverly Hillbillies” premiers on TV.
1973 – Wilt Chamberlain signs with the American Basketball Association’s San Diego Conquistadors as a coach. He is drafted by the Philadelphia Warriors in 1959 and ends his plating career with the LA Lakers in 1973. Chamberlain holds an astounding 72 NBA records, including the most number of points scored in a season (4,029). He died in 1999 at the age of 63.
1978 – New York District Court Judge Constance Baker Motley rules that women sportswriters cannot be banned from sports locker rooms.
1986 – William Rehnquist becomes Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He is an Associate Justice and is nominated following the death of Chief Justice Warren Burger. Rehnquist dies in 2005 while serving on the bench and is succeeded by John Roberts.
1986 – Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) returns to the TV show “Dallas.” His death is attributed to his wife Pam’s bad dream and erases all of the previous season.
1995 – “George” magazine premieres, published by John F. Kennedy Jr. Kennedy dies in a plane crash at the age of 38 along with his wife and sister-in-law in July of 1999.
1779 – John Adams negotiates the Revolutionary War peace terms with England.
1892 – The Diamond Match Company patents matchbooks.
1908 – The first Ford Model T automobile is built at the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan.
1928 – The United States recognizes the Nationalist Chinese government, and vice versa.
1937 – The first Santa Claus school opens in Albion, New York.
1941 – The first World War II liberty ship, the freighter Patrick Henry, launches.
1954 – Steve Allen’s “Tonight Show” premiers on TV and Allen hosts the show until 1957. Jack Parr hosts the show 1957-1962, Johnny Carson hosts 1962-1992, and Jay Leno hosts 1992-2014 (except for 2009-2010 when Conan O’Brian hosts). Jimmy Fallon is the current host. It is the longest-running talk show in TV history.
1954 – Charles V. Bush is the first African-American Supreme Court page.
1964 – The Warren Commission releases its findings on the Kennedy assassination and determines that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. Oswald is killed by Jack Ruby on November 24,1963, as police transfer Oswald to another jail.
1701 – Divorce is legalized in Maryland.
1850 – The U.S. Navy abolishes flogging as punishment for sailors.
1904 – A woman is arrested for smoking a cigarette in a car on 5th Avenue in New York City.
1928 – The first music recording session in Nashville is by Warmack’s Gully Jumpers.
Hear the recording at:
1944 – “The Boys from Boise” airs as the first TV musical comedy.
1949 – “My Friend Irma” is the first of twelve movies starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
1967 – Walter Washington appointed as the first mayor/ commissioner of Washington, DC by President LBJ. Washington is elected mayor in 1975-1979.
1968 – Singer Janis Joplin announces she’s leaving “Big Brother and the Holding Company.” Janis dies form a heroin overdose on October 4, 1970, at the age of 27.
1974 – First Lady Betty Ford undergoes a radical mastectomy. The former first lady is the co-founder of the Betty Ford Center in California. Ford died in 2011 at age 93.
1997 – Newscaster David Brinkley, 74, retires after 54 years in broadcasting. He hosted the Huntley-Brinkley report with Chet Huntley until 1970. Huntley died in 1974 at age 62. Brinkley died in 2003 at age 82. Goodnight David.