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THIS DAY IN HISTORY


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September 19
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1957
Nevada is site of first-ever underground nuclear explosion
On September 19, 1957, the United States detonates a 1.7-kiloton nuclear weapon in an underground tunnel at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), a 1,375-square-mile research center located 65 miles north of Las Vegas. The test, known as Rainier, was the first fully contained underground detonation and produc... read more
1990s
1995
Unabomber manifesto published
American Revolution
1777
Arnold and Gates argue at First Battle of Saratoga
Art, Literature, and Film History
1973
Country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons dies
2000
Michael Chabon's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel debuts
Cold War
1959
Khrushchev barred from visiting Disneyland
Women's History
1893
New Zealand first in women's vote
Latin America
1955
Perón deposed in Argentina
Natural Disasters & Environment
1985
Earthquake shakes Mexico City
U.S. Presidents
1881
President James Garfield dies
Vietnam War
1969
Nixon cancels draft calls for November and December
Westward Expansion
1827
Jim Bowie stabs a Louisiana banker with his famous knife
World War II
1941
Germans bombard Leningrad
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September 20
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1973
Billie Jean King triumphs in "Battle of the Sexes"
On September 20, 1973, in a highly publicized "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match, top women's player Billie Jean King, 29, beats Bobby Riggs, 55, a former No. 1 ranked men's player. Riggs (1918-1995), a self-proclaimed male chauvinist, had boasted that women were inferior, that they couldn't handle ... read more
American Revolution
1777
Redcoats kill sleeping Americans in Paoli Massacre
Art, Literature, and Film History
1878
Upton Sinclair is born
1946
First Cannes Film Festival
Colonial America
1565
First European battle on American soil
Crime
2012
Amish convicted in beard-cutting attacks
Exploration
1519
Magellan sets sail from Spain
Natural Disasters & Environment
2002
Avalanche thunders into Russian village
Sports
1988
Louganis wins Olympic gold the day after suffering head injury
U.S. Presidents
1881
Chester Arthur becomes third president to serve in one year
1963
Kennedy proposes joint mission to the moon
Westward Expansion
1806
The returning Lewis and Clark reach the first white settlement on the Missouri
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September 21
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1780
Benedict Arnold commits treason
On September 21, 1780, during the American Revolution, American General Benedict Arnold meets with British Major John Andre to discuss handing over West Point to the British, in return for the promise of a large sum of money and a high position in the British army. The plot was foiled and Arnold, a ... read more
Art, Literature, and Film History
1985
George Clooney makes "Facts of Life" debut
China
1949
Mao Zedong outlines the new Chinese government
Crime
1983
A 13-year-old newspaper delivery boy is found dead
France
1792
Monarchy abolished in France
Native American History
1904
The great Nez Perce leader Chief Joseph dies in Washington
Natural Disasters & Environment
1938
The Great New England Hurricane
1999
Earthquake kills thousands in Taiwan
U.S. Presidents
1939
FDR urges repeal of Neutrality Act embargo provisions
Sports
2008
Last baseball game played at historic Yankee Stadium
World War II
1942
The Superfortress bomber takes flight
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September 22
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1862
Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation
On September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issues a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which sets a date for the freedom of more than 3 million enslaved in the United States and recasts the Civil War as a fight against slavery. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, shortly after Lincoln's ... read more
1990s
1993
Train derails in Alabama swamp
Africa
1828
Shaka Zulu assassinated
American Revolution
1776
Nathan Hale is executed by the British for spying
Art, Literature, and Film History
1985
The first Farm Aid concert is held in Champaign, Illinois
1994
"Friends" debuts
Crime
1980
So-called Midtown Stabber kills his first victim
EARLY 20th CENTURY U.S.
1906
Atlanta Race Riot of 1906 begins
Inventions & Science
1953
The famous "four-level" opens in Los Angeles
Middle East
1980
Iran-Iraq War begins
U.S. Presidents
1961
President Kennedy signs Peace Corps legislation
1975
President Ford survives second assassination attempt
Vietnam War
1971
Captain Ernest Medina is acquitted of all My Lai Massacre charges
World War I
1914
U-boat devastates British squadron
World War II
1945
General Patton questions necessity of Germany's "denazification"
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September 23
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1875
Billy the Kid arrested for first time
On September 23, 1875, Billy the Kid is arrested for the first time after stealing a basket of laundry. He later broke out of jail and roamed the American West, eventually earning a reputation as an outlaw and murderer and a rap sheet that allegedly included 21 murders. The exact details of Billy th... read more
American Revolution
1779
John Paul Jones wins in English waters
Art, Literature, and Film History
1972
Mac Davis earns one of the 1970s' most head-scratching #1 hits with "Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me"
Cold War
1949
President Truman announces Soviets have exploded a nuclear device
Crime
1981
A two-month manhunt for a murdering writer comes to an end
Exploration
1806
Lewis and Clark return to St. Louis
Inventions & Science
1846
Planet Neptune is discovered
1933
Standard Oil geologists arrive in Saudi Arabia
Sports
1908
Controversial call gives Cubs the pennant
1992
Canadian woman breaks pro sports barrier
U.S. Presidents
1944
FDR defends his dog in a speech
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September 24
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1789
The first Supreme Court is established
The Judiciary Act of 1789 is passed by Congress and signed by President George Washington, establishing the Supreme Court of the United States as a tribunal made up of six justices who were to serve on the court until death or retirement. That day, President Washington nominated John Jay to preside ... read more
Art, Literature, and Film History
1968
First episode of "60 Minutes" airs
Crime
1971
A game warden is reported missing
Inventions & Science
1948
Honda Motor Company is incorporated
Religion
622
Muhammad completes Hegira
1890
The Mormon Church officially renounces polygamy
Sports
1988
Ben Johnson wins gold, temporarily
U.S. Presidents
1964
Warren Commission report delivered to President Johnson
Vietnam War
1969
Chicago 8 trial opens in Chicago
BLACK HISTORY
2016
The National Museum of African American History and Culture opens
World War I
1918
Bulgaria seeks ceasefire with Allied powers
World War II
1941
Japanese gather preliminary data on Pearl Harbor
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September 25
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1957
Little Rock Nine begin first full day of classes
Under escort from the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division, nine Black students enter all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Three weeks earlier, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus had surrounded the school with National Guard troops to prevent its federal court-ordered racial integratio... read more
1970s
1978
Mid-air collision kills 153
American Revolution
1775
Ethan Allen is captured
Art, Literature, and Film History
1970
"The Partridge Family" premieres on ABC
Cold War
1959
Eisenhower and Khrushchev meet for talks
Crime
1959
New York mobster Little Augie Pisano is murdered
Great Britain
2005
IRA officially disarms
Sports
1965
Fifty-nine-year-old Satchel Paige pitches three innings
U.S. Presidents
1894
Grover Cleveland pardons bigamists, adulterers, polygamists and unlawful cohabitants
United States Constitution
1789
Bill of Rights passes Congress
Westward Expansion
1867
Cattle pioneer Oliver Loving dies of gangrene
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September 26
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1960
Kennedy and Nixon square off in first televised presidential debate
For the first time in U.S. history, a debate between major party presidential candidates is shown on television. The presidential hopefuls, John F. Kennedy, a Democratic senator of Massachusetts, and Richard M. Nixon, the vice president of the United States, met in a Chicago studio to discuss U.S. d... read more
Art, Literature, and Film History
1888
T.S. Eliot is born
1957
"West Side Story" opens on Broadway
1969
"The Brady Bunch" premieres
Crime
2007
Mistrial declared in Phil Spector murder case
Exploration
1580
Francis Drake circumnavigates the globe
Inventions & Science
1928
Work begins at company that designs first mass-produced car radios
Space Exploration
1996
Shannon Lucid returns to Earth
Sports
1971
Four 20-game winners
Vietnam War
1945
First American soldier killed in American Phase of Vietnam War
Westward Expansion
1820
The famous frontiersman Daniel Boone dies in Missouri
World War I
1918
Meuse-Argonne offensive opens
World War II
1944
Allies slaughtered by Germans in Arnhem
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September 27
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1779
John Adams appointed to negotiate peace terms with British
On September 27, 1779, the Continental Congress appoints John Adams to travel to France as minister plenipotentiary in charge of negotiating treaties of peace and commerce with Great Britain during the Revolutionary War. Adams had traveled to Paris in 1778 to negotiate an alliance with France, but h... read more
1960s
1962
Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" is published
19th Century
1854
Ships collide off Newfoundland, killing 322
Art, Literature, and Film History
1991
"My Own Private Idaho" premieres in theaters
Crime
1989
Zsa Zsa Gabor storms out of the courtroom
WOMEN'S HISTORY
1960
British suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst dies
Religion
1540
Jesuit order established
U.S. Presidents
1938
Franklin Roosevelt appeals to Hitler for peace
Westward Expansion
1869
Sheriff Wild Bill Hickok proves too wild for Kansas
World War I
1915
John Kipling killed at the Battle of Loos
World War II
1939
Warsaw falls to German forces
1940
The Tripartite Pact is signed by Germany, Italy and Japan
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September 28
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1941
Ted Williams becomes last player to hit .400
On September 28, 1941, the Boston Red Sox's Ted Williams plays a double-header against the Philadelphia Athletics on the last day of the regular season and gets six hits in eight trips to the plate, to boost his batting average to .406 and become the first player since Bill Terry in 1930 to hit .400... read more
1990s
1994
Passenger ferry, Estonia, sinks, killing 852
21st Century
2018
Arctic shipping lane opens due to ice melt; cargo ship completes the journey
American Revolution
1781
Battle of Yorktown begins
Ancient Egypt
48 B.C.
Pompey the Great assassinated
Art, Literature, and Film History
1901
TV host Ed Sullivan born
Cold War
1965
Fidel Castro announces that Cubans are free to leave the island
Crime
1988
A cult leader kills one of his followers
Great Britain
1066
William the Conqueror invades England
Inventions & Science
1918
Philadelphia parade exposes thousands to Spanish flu
1928
Penicillin discovered by Sir Alexander Fleming
Sports
1920
Eight MLB players indicted in "Black Sox Scandal"
1960
Ted Williams hits home run in last major league at-bat
Westward Expansion
1542
Spanish explorer sails into San Diego Bay
World War I
1918
British soldier allegedly spares the life of an injured Adolf Hitler
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September 29
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1982
Cyanide-laced Tylenol kills seven
Flight attendant Paula Prince buys a bottle of cyanide-laced Tylenol. Prince was found dead on October 1, becoming the final victim of a mysterious ailment in Chicago, Illinois. Over the previous few days, six other people had died of unknown causes in northwest Chicago. After Prince's death, Richar... read more
1990s
1995
Mexican-American voting rights advocate Willie Velasquez awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom
21st Century
2005
Reporter Judith Miller released from prison
2008
Dow suffers largest single-day drop
American Revolution
1780
Benedict Arnold's accomplice is sentenced to death
Cold War
1953
New York Times article claims Russians want the "American dream"
Crime
2006
School principal murdered by student in Wisconsin
Exploration
1988
Stacy Allison becomes first American woman to reach summit of Mt. Everest
Holocaust
1941
Babi Yar massacre begins
Inventions & Science
1913
Inventor Rudolf Diesel vanishes
Westward Expansion
1907
The great singing cowboy, Gene Autry, is born in Texas
World War I
1918
Allied forces break through the Hindenburg Line
World War II
1939
Nazis and communists divvy up Poland
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September 30
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1954
USS Nautilus—world's first nuclear submarine—is commissioned
The USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear submarine, is commissioned by the U.S. Navy. The Nautilus was constructed under the direction of U.S. Navy Captain Hyman G. Rickover, a brilliant Russian-born engineer who joined the U.S. atomic program in 1946. In 1947, he was put in charge of the navy's ... read more
American Revolution
1776
General George Washington complains about his militia
Art, Literature, and Film History
1868
First volume of "Little Women" is published
1928
Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and best-selling author, is born
1955
James Dean dies in car accident
2005
Michael Eisner resigns as Disney CEO
Black History
1962
Riots over desegregation of Ole Miss
Cold War
1949
Berlin Airlift ends
Sports
1927
Babe Ruth hits 60th homer of 1927 season
1947
World Series broadcast on TV for first time
U.S. Presidents
1918
President Woodrow Wilson speaks in favor of female suffrage
U.S. Government
1822
Joseph Marion Hernández becomes the first Hispanic elected to Congress
Westward Expansion
1889
Wyoming legislators write the first state constitution to grant women the vote
World War II
1938
Munich Pact signed
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