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This Day in History - September 29

September 29

1197 – Emperor Henry VI dies in Messina, Sicily

1399 – Richard II of England becomes the first English monarch to abdicate his throne and his cousin, Henry of Lancaster, declares himself king under the name of Henry IV

1493 – Christopher Columbus embarks on his second voyage to the new world from Cadiz, Spain

1511 – Spanish theologian, physician, and cartographer, Michael Servetus, is born

1513 – Vasco Nunez de Balboa discovers the Pacific Ocean

1547 – Spanish novelist, Miguel de Cervantes, is born

1758 – British naval commander who defeated the French and her allies on numerous occasions during the age of Napoleon, Horatio Nelson, is born

1780 – During the Revolutionary War, British spy John Andre is court-martialed, found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging for his work as an accomplice of Benedict Arnold

1789 – Congress votes to create a US army

1829 – Sir Robert Peel’s police force, the “bobbies,” begin operations at Scotland Yard

1833 – A civil war breaks out in Spain between Carlists, who believe Don Carlos deserves the throne and supporters of Queen Isabella

1850 – Mormon leader, Brigham Young, is named the first governor of the Utah Territory

1864 – Union troops capture the Confederate Fort Harrison in Virginia during the Civil War in the Battle of New Market Heights or Chaffin’s Farm

1879 – Dissatisfied Ute Indians kill Agent Nathan Meeker and nine others, for trying to force them to become farmers, in the “Meeker Massacre”

1895 – French chemist, Louis Pasteur, dies

1901 – Italian-born US physicist who led the group that created the first man-made nuclear chain reaction, Enrico Fermi is born

1902 – French author and critic, Emile Zola, dies

1907 – Actor/singer, Gene Autry, is born

1913 – Rudolf Diesel, the inventor of the diesel engine, disappears from the steamship Dresden while traveling to England from Belgium. His body was later discovered floating in the water by a Belgian sailor. The details surrounding his death are still not known some claiming he committed suicide as it was officially ruled, but many others still believe he was murdered

1913 – Stanley Kramer, director, and producer of “message” movies, which are controversial political and social movies, is born

1918 – After a 56-hour bombardment, Allied forces breach the Hindenburg Line, the last line of German defenses on the Western Front during World War I

1932 – A five-day work week is established for General Motors workers

1935 – Singer, songwriter, and musician, Jerry Lee Lewis, is born

1936 – 50th Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, is born

1939 – Germany and the Soviet Union agree to divide control of occupied Poland

1941 – Almost 34,000 Jews are gunned down in Kiev when Heinrich Himmler sends four strike squads to exterminate Soviet Jewish civilians and under “undesirables” in what is known as the Babi Yar massacre

1942 – Actress, comedian, and singer, Madeline Kahn, is born

1942 – A young Navy officer named John F. Kennedy writes a letter to playwright and family friend Clare Booth Luce, thanking her for sending him a good-luck coin

1943 – President of Poland in 1990-95, Nobel Peace Prize-winning co-founder of Solidarity, the first independent trade union in the Soviet bloc, Lech Walesa is born

1943 – Adolf Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf, is published in the US

1947 – US Army soldier awarded Medal of Honor for heroic actions near Ap Dong An during Vietnam War, Gary Wetzel is born

1948 – Broadcast journalist and Emmy Award-winning co-host of NBC’s Today, Bryant Gumbel is born

1950 – Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev repeatedly disrupts a UN General Assembly meeting with his violent outbursts over intervention in the Belgian Congo, US U2 spy planes, and arms control

1951 – First women president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, is born

1953 – An article in the New York Times claims that Russian citizens want the “American dream,” private property and a home of their own and was evidence of the idea that some of the best American propaganda directed toward the Russian citizenry during the Cold War relied on describing the immense wealth and comfort available in the US and made evident that the media works with the US government to shape public opinion both at home and abroad

1954 – Willie Mays, centerfield for the New York Giants makes an over-the-shoulder catch of a fly ball hit by Cleveland Indians first basemen Vic Wertz in the 1954 World Series, which has gone down as one of the greatest catches in the history of baseball

1955 – Explorer, author and first woman to reach the North Pole on foot and sled and first woman to cross both polar ice caps, Ann Bancroft, is born

1957 – A passenger train collides with oil tanker train in the Gambar province of western Pakistan due to poor routing and lack of signals on the tracks, killing 300 people and seriously injuring another 150

1960 – General Douglas MacArthur officially returns Seoul, South Korea to President Syngman Rhee

1961 – 27th Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, is born

1962 – Canada launches Alouette 1, its first satellite

1962 – The popular Argentinian comic strip Mafalda begins publication

1965 – Hanoi publishes the text of a letter written to the Red Cross claiming that since there is no formal state of war, US pilots shot down over the North will not receive the rights of POWs and will instead be treated as war criminals

1966 – Chevrolet introduces what will become an iconic car, the Camaro

1968 – Indian actor and model, Samir Soni, is born

1969 – During the Vietnam War, Secretary of the Army Stanley Resor announces that the US Army will drop the murder charges against eight Special Forces accused of killing a Vietnamese national, Thai Khac Chuyen

1971 – Oman joins the Arab League

1973 – English and American poet, WH Auden, dies

1978 – John Paul I dies, just one month after becoming Pope

1979 – John Paul II becomes the first pope to ever visit Ireland

1981 – Scottish soccer player and manager, Bill Shankly, dies

1982 – Flight attendant Paula Prince buys a bottle of cyanide-laced Tylenol which will kill her days later. In fact, six others had suddenly died of “unknown” causes across northwest Chicago until firefighters discovered that all seven victims had ingested Extra-Strength Tylenol prior to becoming ill. While bottles of Tylenol were recalled nationwide, the contaminated capsules were only found in Chicago. The culprit was never caught but the mass murder led to new tamper-proof medicine containers and a string of copycat crimes, as others tried to blackmail companies with alleged poisoning schemes

1988 – Stacy Allison of Oregon becomes the first American woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest

1988 – The space shuttle Discovery is launched, becoming the first American staffed space flight since the Challenger disaster

1990 – The YF-22 flies for the first time and will later be named the F-22 Raptor

1992 – Brazilian President Fernando Collor de Mello impeached for corruption

1997 – American painter and sculptor, Roy Lichtenstein, dies

2001 – Former South Vietnamese President, Nguyen Van Thieu, dies

2005 – New York Times reporter Judith Miller is released from prison in Alexandria, Virginia after agreeing to testify in the investigation into the leaking of the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame; testimony that led to Scooter Libby being sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and fined $250,000 but whose sentence was commuted by George W. Bush before the ex-White House aide served any time

2006 – John Klang, principal of Weston High School in Cazenovia, Wisconsin is shot and killed by 15-year old student Eric Hainstock who was upset about receiving disciplinary warning for bringing tobacco to school

2008 – Dow Jones Industrial Average plummets 777.68 points in the wake of Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual bankruptcies, the largest single-day point loss in Wall Street history

2009 – An 8.1 earthquake causes a tidal wave that kills 189 people in Samoa, American Samoa, and Tonga

2009 – Soviet astronaut, Pavel Popovich, dies


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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