This Week In History – September 30 to October 6


by Dianne Hermann


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

         – Winston Churchill           


Week of September 30-October 6, 2013


September 30 

1777 – Congress flees to York, Pennsylvania, as British forces advance during the Revolutionary War.

1864 – Following the Battle of New Market Heights in Virginia, thirteen black soldiers earn the Medal of Honor for their valor in leading the charge against Confederate fortifications after many of their officers are killed or wounded.

1939 – The first televised college football game is broadcast when the Fordham Rams play the Waynesburg Yellow Jackets at Triborough Stadium in New York City. Fordham wins the game 34–7.

1953 – President Dwight Eisenhower nominates Earl Warren as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Warren receives Senate confirmation on March 1, 1954, and serves until 1969. Chief Justice Warren dies in 1974 at age 83.


1956 – Chicago White Sox pitcher Jim Derrington, 16, becomes youngest player to start in a baseball game. He never pitched in another major league game after he turned 17 due to a serious arm injury.

1960 – The Flintstones premieres on ABC-TV as the first prime time animation show. It runs until April of 1966.

1960 – On Howdy Doody’s last show Clarabelle the clown finally speaks saying, “Goodbye Kids.”




October 1

1888 – National Geographic magazine is published for the first time.


1890 – Yosemite National Park forms during the Benjamin Harrison administration. In June 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signs a bill ceding the Yosemite Valley area to the state of California with the requirement that it be held as a national public trust “for all time.”

1919 – The World Series begins. The Chicago White Sox allegedly throw the series to satisfy gamblers. It is called the Black Sox Scandal. Eight players are eventually acquitted but they are kicked out of baseball anyway. (See August 3, 1921)

1945 – Heavyweight boxing champ Joe Louis is discharged from the Army.

1962 – Johnny Carson hosts his first Tonight Show. Rudy Vallée, Joan Crawford, Tony Bennett, and Mel Brooks are his first guests. The final Tonight Show airs on May 22, 1992. Johnny has no guests. Carson died in 2005 at age 79.


1971 – Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, opens to the public.

1975 – Muhammad Ali TKOs Joe Frazier in 15 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title in “The Thrilla in Manila.”


1977 – The Department of Energy is established.

1982 – EPCOT Center in Orlando, Florida, opens to the public.



October 2

1871 – Brigham Young, the Mormon leader, is arrested for bigamy.


1916 – Dr. Harry Wegeforth establishes the San Diego Zoo as a result of the abandonment of exotic animal after the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.

1919 – President Woodrow Wilson has a stroke, leaving him partially paralyzed.

1950 – The first comic strips of Charlie Brown and Li’l Folks (later “Peanuts”) appear in nine U.S. newspapers.

1967 – Thurgood Marshall sworn in as the first black Supreme Court Justice. See August 30, 1967.

1980 – Larry Holmes TKOs 38-year-old Muhammad Ali in 11 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title.

2006 – Five girls are murdered by Charles Carl Roberts in a shooting at an Amish school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, before Roberts commits suicide.



October 3

1789 – George Washington proclaims the first national Thanksgiving Day on November 26. In 1863 President Lincoln changes Thanksgiving to the last Thursday in November.

1849 – American author Edgar Allan Poe is found delirious in a gutter in Baltimore, Maryland, under mysterious circumstances. It is the last time he is seen in public before his death on October 7th.

1904 – Educator and activist Mary McLeod Bethune opens the Daytona Normal & Industrial School in Florida, which later becomes Bethune-Cookman College. She also founded the National Council of Negro Women in 1935 and served as an advisor to FDR. Mary died in 1955 at age 79.


1945 – Elvis Presley makes his first public appearance at age 10 in a singing contest at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show. He sings
Old Shep.

1955 – “Captain Kangaroo” premieres on CBS-TV and runs until 1992. Bob Keeshan (a.k.a. Captain Kangaroo) served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves during World War II. The Captain died in 2004 at age 76.


1971 – Billie Jean King becomes the first female athlete to win $100,000.


October 4

1648 – Peter Stuyvesant, governor of New Amsterdam (later New York), establishes America’s first volunteer firemen when he appoints four men to act as fire wardens.TIS_4_Peter_Stuyvesant

1924 – The New York Giants become first baseball team to appear in four consecutive World Series. The New York Yankees play in five consecutive World Series from 1949-1953. Casey Stengel was the manager for all five series. The Yankees win all five.

1931 – The Dick Tracy comic strip by Chester Gould debuts.

1965 – Pope Paul VI becomes the first Pope to visit the Western Hemisphere when he addresses the General Assembly at the United Nations in New York City.

1976 – The Supreme Court lifts a 1972 ban on the death penalty for convicted murderers

1984 – The U.S. government closes down for two days due to budget issues. The U.S. government has shut down a total of 17 times since 1976 due to budgetary problems.

2004 – SpaceShipOne wins the $10 million Ansari X Prize. This prize is awarded to a privately built spacecraft that could safely haul a pilot and the equivalent weight of two passengers to the edge of space and then repeat the feat within two weeks. SpaceShipOne cost over $20 million to design and build.




October 5

1877 – Chief Joseph surrenders to the U.S. Army, ending Nez Perce War.


1892 – The Dalton Gang’s daylight 2-bank holdup in Coffeville, Kansas, ends in a shoot-out when townspeople recognize the gang and organize the town to confront them. All the gang members except Emmett Dalton are killed. Emmett is tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison but is paroled after 14 years. He uses his notoriety to become a Hollywood screenwriter. He dies in 1937 at age 66.


1921 – The first radio broadcast of the World Series airs. The Yankees beat the Giants 3-0. The Giants go on to defeat the Yankees 5 games to 3.

1923 – Astronomer Edwin Hubble identifies Cepheid as a variable star. His measurements place “M31” a million light-years away, far outside the Milky Way, making it a galaxy containing millions of stars. The Hubble Space Telescope is named for the Rhodes Scholar Edwin Hubble. He dies in 1953 at the age of 63.


1931 – The first nonstop trans-pacific flight lands in Wenatchee, Washington, having left Misawa, Japan, some 41-hours earlier. Pilots Hugh Herndon and Clyde Pangborn perform a controlled crash landing and emerge unhurt.


1945 – “Meet the Press” premieres on the radio. It begins airing on TV in November of 1947, making it the longest running TV show in history.

1947 – Harry Truman delivers the first televised Presidential address from the White House.

2001 – Robert Stevens becomes the first of five victims in the 2001 anthrax attacks.


October 6 

1781 – American and French troops begin the siege of Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia, the last battle of Revolutionary War.

1857 – The American Chess Association is organized and the first major U.S. chess tournament is played in New York City.

1866 – John and Simeon Reno stage the first train robbery in U. S. (by stopping a moving train) when the brothers steal $13,000 from an Ohio and Mississippi train in Indiana. The Reno Brothers gang goes on to rob several other trains. Vigilantes at the New Albany jail hang the brothers on December 12, 1868.

1882 – The first World Series baseball game is played. Cincinnati Red Stockings (American Association) beats the Chicago White Stockings (National League) 4-0. The American Association lasted only ten years. The Cincinnati Red Stockings become the Cincinnati Reds.

1889 – Thomas Edison screens his first motion picture.

Thomas EdisonThomas Edison

1893 – Nabisco Foods invents Cream of Wheat.

1911 – Cy Young’s makes his farewell appearance in a major league baseball game at age 44. He loses to Brooklyn 13-3 in a Brave’s uniform in his 906th game. The award that bears his name is given annually to the best pitcher in each league.


1927 – “Jazz Singer,” the first movie with a sound track, premieres in New York City. The movie is based on the life story of Al Jolson.

1979 – President Carter welcomes Pope John Paul II, who is the first Pope to visit the White House.



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