This Week in History: Sept. 2-8, 2019


This Week in History
by Dianne Hermann

“No problem of human making is too great to be overcome by
human ingenuity, human energy, and the untiring hope of the human spirit.”
President George H. W. Bush

Week of Sept. 2-8, 2019


September 2

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

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

1902 – “A Trip To The Moon,” the first science fiction film, is released. It is released in the U.S. in October. Watch part of the silent film:

1919 – The Communist Party of America organizes in Chicago, Illinois, as a result of a split in the Socialist Party of America. In 1954, President Eisenhower signed legislation outlawing the Communist Party in the U.S. Its current membership is about 5,000 people.

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

1963 – Gov. George C. Wallace (D-AL) prevents the integration of Tuskegee High School by shutting down the school. In June 1963, Governor Wallace blocked the entrance to the University of Alabama as a symbolic attempt to keep his campaign promise, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

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

1987 – Donald Trump spends almost $100,000 on a full page New York Times ad criticizing the U.S. trade policies with countries like Japan.

1992 – The U.S. and Russia agree to a joint venture to build a space station. The first module was launched in 1998. The first crew arrived in 2000. By 2011, 159 components had been added. The ISS has an estimated cost of $150 billion.

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 replaced the Julian calendar with the Gregorian calendar in 1582 and the change took effect in most Catholic states.

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

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

1925 – The dirigible “Shenandoah” crashes near Caldwell Ohio, and 13 passengers die. Watch the crash (no sound):

1935 – Sir Malcolm Campbell becomes the first person to drive an automobile over 300 miles an hour. He reaches 304.331 MPH on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

1954 – The final episode of “The Lone Ranger” is heard on radio after 2,956 episodes over a period of 21 years. The Lone Ranger also aired on TV from 1949 to 1957. The theme song was the “William Tell Overture” by Gioachino Rossini. Watch the opening of The Lone Ranger show:

1990 – Helen Hudson sings the national anthem in all 26 baseball stadiums in one season. The previous record was singing “The Star Spangled Banner” at 13 parks in one season.

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

September 4

1781 – Los Angeles, California, is founded by Spanish settlers. The original name is “El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula,” which translates as “The Town of the Queen of Angels.”

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

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

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

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

1951 – The first live, coast-to-coast TV broadcast in the U.S. takes place in San Francisco, California, from the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference. It was seen also seen in New York City.

1957 – The Arkansas National Guard is ordered by Democrat Governor Orval Faubus to keep nine black students from going into Little Rock’s Central High School. President Eisenhower subsequently issued an executive order federalizing the Arkansas National Guard and ordering them to protect the students.

1966 – The first Muscular Dystrophy telethon hosted by Jerry Lewis is held over this Labor Day weekend. Jerry Lewis started local and regional MD events in 1952. The first telethon raises $15,000. The telethons have raised over $2 billion in 50 years. Lewis died in 2017 at age 91. Watch an early telethon clip:

1967 – Michigan Gov. George Romney, who was a presidential candidate for the 1968 republican nomination, said during a TV interview that he had undergone “brainwashing” by U.S. officials while visiting Vietnam in 1965. Romney dropped out of the presidential race in February of 1968.

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 gold medals won in Olympic history, 23 medals total in 2004, 2008, and 2012 also for swimming. Spitz is now 69 years old. Watch Spitz swim for his 7 gold medals:

1998 – Google is incorporated by founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, students at Stanford University in California. The domain name was registered on September 15, 1997.

September 5

1774- The Continental Congress assembles for the first time in Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia with 56 delegates from 12 colonies (Georgia is not represented).

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.

1945 – Iva Toguri D’Aquino is arrested for being the wartime radio propagandist “Tokyo Rose.” She served six years in prison and is later pardoned by President Gerald Ford. D’Aquino died in 2006 at age 90.

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 became a teacher and track coach. Wilma died of brain cancer in November 1994 at age 54.

1960 – Cassius Clay (later Mohamed Ali) captures the light heavyweight boxing gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rome. Watch a report with actual fight footage:

1975 – Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme attempts to assassinate President Gerald Ford in Sacramento, California. Fromme was sentenced to life in prison and was released on parole in 2009. She is now 70 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 shared the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize.

2003 – In London, American magician David Blaine enters a clear plastic box and is suspended by a crane over the banks of the Thames River. He remained there until October 19 surviving only on water. Watch a video of his feat:

September 6

1716 – The first lighthouse in the U.S., The Boston Light, is built in Boston, Massachusetts.

1899 – Carnation evaporated milk (called Carnation Sterilized Cream) is processed for the first time at a plant in Kent, Washington. The company later changed 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 died 8 days later. Vice President Teddy Roosevelt became president.

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

1954 – The Alan Freed Show premiers at WINS radio in New York City and he begins playing what he calls “Rock ‘n Roll” music. In 1962, Freed plead guilty during the “payola” scandal to two charges of commercial bribery, was fined, and received a suspended sentence. Freed, who died in 1965 at the age of 43, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. In 1914, Freed’s ashes were removed from the Hall of Fame and moved to a Cleveland cemetery.

1975 – Eighteen-year-old Czech tennis star Martina Navratilova asks the U.S. for political asylum in New York City during the US Tennis Open. Martina was granted a green card within a month. (She lost 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. Watch him homer in the game:

2000 – The U.N. Millennium Summit begins in New York. It was the largest gathering of world leaders in history with more than 150 dignitaries attending.

2002 – Congress convenes at Federal Hall in New York City for a rare special session to express the nation’s mourning for the loss on September 11, 2001, and express unity in the war against terrorism.

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.

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, called a “hatching cradle.” She is born premature at State Emigrant Hospital on Ward’s Island, New York, weighing only 2 pounds 7 ounces.

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

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

1981 – Judge Wapner and the People’s Court premiers on TV and aired until 1993. The judges for the second version were former NYC Mayor Ed Koch (1997-1999), Jerry Sheindlin, husband of Judge Judy (1999-2001), and currently Marilyn Milian. Judge Joseph Wapner died in 2017 at age 97. Watch the Judge Wapner discuss his most memorable case:

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

September 8

1565 – St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest city in the U.S., is established.

1892 – The “Pledge of Allegiance” first appears in print in The Youth’s Companion. Baptist minister Francis Bellamy is the author.

1900 – Over 8,000 people are killed when a hurricane and tidal wave destroy Galveston, Texas. It is the deadliest hurricane in U.S. history.

1916 – President Woodrow Wilson signs the Emergency Revenue Act, doubling the rate of income tax and adding inheritance and munitions profits tax.

1921 – The first Miss America, 16-year-old Margaret Gorman of Washington, D.C, is crowned in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The Fall Frolic, held a year earlier as a way to keep tourists in Atlantic City, is the precursor to the pageant. The longest serving Miss America Pageant host was Bert Parks (1955-1979).

1951 – Japan signs a treaty of peace with 48 countries in San Francisco following the end of World War I.

1974 – President Gerald Ford pardons former President Richard Nixon of all federal crimes related to the Watergate scandal.

1994 – The MTV awards feature newlyweds Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. They were secretly married four months earlier and filed for divorce in 1996. Watch the pair open the awards ceremonies:

2005 – Two EMERCOM Il-76 aircraft land at a disaster aid staging area at Little Rock Air Force Base, making it the first time Russia had flown such a mission to North America.


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