This Day in History - September 1

September 1

1676 – After Governor William Berkeley refused to defend the Jamestown, Virginia colonists against the Indians, Nathaniel Bacon leads an uprising against him, resulting in the settlement being burned to the ground

1715 – Louis XIV of France dies

1773 – Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral is published by Phillis Wheatley, a slave from Boston

1775 – Britain’s King George III refuses to receive the Olive Branch Petition, authored by John Dickinson and expressing hope for reconciliation between the colonies and Great Britain during the American Revolution

1789 – English socialite and author, Lady Marguerite Blessington, is born

1795 – Editor of the New York Sun, James Gordon Bennet, is born

1802 – The Richmond Recorder publishes an expose on Thomas Jefferson, accusing him of keeping one of his female slaves as a mistress. This would have a grave impact on the legacy of Jefferson and even cause scholarly committees to conduct research to try and prove that Jefferson fathered at least one of the slave’s, Sally Hennings’, children. Jefferson decided against responding to the allegations. He never officially freed Hemings from her service, but he did free her children. She stayed on Jefferson’s plantation in Monticello until he died in 1826

1807 – Aaron Burr is acquitted in Mississippi for complicity in a plot to establish a Southern empire in Louisiana and Mexico. Despite being acquitted, public opinion deemed him a traitor and he had to flee to Europe

1821 – William Becknell leads a group of traders from Independence, MO toward Sante Fe on what would become the Santa Fe Trail

1836 – Protestant missionary Dr. Marcus Whitman leads a party down the Oregon Trail. His wife, Narcissa Whitman, becomes one of the first Anglo women to settle west of the Rocky Mountains

1850 – Circus entrepreneur and showman P.T. Barnum brings Jenny Lind, who will become one of the greatest opera singers in the entire world, from Europe to New York

1862 – Confederate General Robert E. Lee strikes Union forces at Chantilly, Virginia and drives them away during an intense thunderstorm in the Civil War

1864 – Confederate forces under General John Bell Hood evacuate Atlanta after learning Union General William T. Sherman and his troops are coming

1870 – In the last battle of the Franco-Prussian War, the Prussian army crushes the French at Sedan

1875 – Novelist, Edgar Rice Burroughs, is born

1876 – The Ottomans defeat the Serbs at Aleksinac

1882 – The first Labor Day is observed in New York City by the Carpenters and Joiners Union

1894 – Labor Day is declared a national holiday by Congress

1894 – A forest fire destroys Hinckley, Minnesota, killing 440 people in the area

1902 – The Austro-Hungarian army is called into the city of Agram to restore the peace as Serbs and Croats clash

1904 – Helen Keller graduates with honors from Radcliffe College

1905 – Saskatchewan and Alberta become Canadian provinces

1907 – Labor leader who merged the American Federation of Labor with the Congress of International Organizations, Walter Reuther, is born

1916 – World War I enlarges as Bulgaria declares war on Romania

1917 – American soldier in World War I, Stull Holt, writes a letter home describing some of his experiences on the Western Front at Verdun, France during the war, but most notably, his experience with a poison gas shell

1923 – The Japanese cities of Tokyo and Yokohama are destroyed and 140,000 are killed by an earthquake

1923 – World heavyweight boxing champion who retired undefeated, Rocky Marciano is born

1928 – Author, Robert Pirsig, is born

1939 – World War II begins in Europe as Germany invades Poland

1939 – Conductor, Seiji Ozawa, is born

1939 – Multiple award-winning actress, comedian, producer, and writer, Lily Tomlin, is born

1942 – The government’s detention of Japanese-Americans and Japanese nationals is upheld by a federal court in Sacramento, California as a war measure

1942 – Author, C.J. Cherryh, is born

1946 – Drummer and producer, Greg Errico, is born

1946 – 16th President of South Korea, Roh Moo-hyun, is born

1947 – American soldier and adventurer, Frederick Russell Burnham, dies

1951 – ANZUS Treaty, a mutual defense pact, is signed by Australia, New Zealand, and the US

1957 – Songwriter and actress, Gloria Estefan, is born

1964 – Bahraini activist, Nabeel Rajab, is born

1966 – President Charles de Gaulle of Frances urges the US government to pull its troops out of Vietnam during the Vietnam War

1968 – Egyptian terrorist and a ringleader of 9/11 attacks who piloted American Airlines Flight 11 into the World Trade Center’s North Tower, Mohamed Atta is born

1968 – Lt. Col. William Jones III leads a mission to rescue a downed pilot near Dong Hoi, North Vietnam. His plane was hit and set ablaze. He tried to eject but was unable. He returned to base, reporting the position of the downed pilot, who would be rescued the following day, before receiving medical attention for his burns. He was nominated for the Medal of Honor for his actions, but he died in an aircraft accident in the US before he could receive the award

1969 – Following a coup in Libya, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi seizes power

1970 – Dr. Hugh Scott of Washington, DC becomes the first black superintendent of schools in a major US city

1970 – Indian actress, Padma Lakshmi, is born

1972 – America’s Bobby Fischer beats Russian Boris Spassky in Reykjavik, Iceland to become world chess champion

1974 – Founder of Ordet animation studios, Yutaka Yamamoto, is born

1975 – Australian actress, singer, and songwriter, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, is born

1979 – The first-ever flyby of Saturn takes place by US spacecraft Pioneer 11

1981 – 15-year old Eric Witte shoots his father, claiming the gun accidentally went off. Three years later, Eric’s brother John, 14, killed his grandmother with a crossbow. Shortly after, the entire family was arrested for forging the grandmother’s signature on her Social Security checks. The Eric Witte trial brought the facts to light, that Eric’s mother, Hilma Marie Witte, had talked both of her sons into committing the murders and along with her sons, had cut up the grandmother’s body with a knife and scattered the pieces, around California. John and Eric were given 20- and five-year sentences and Hilma was given a 90-year sentence

1981 – German architect, Albert Speer, dies

1983 – Soviet jet fighters shoot down a Korean Airlines passenger flight in Russian airspace, killing 269 passengers and crew members during the Cold War, increasing tensions between the Soviet Union and the US

1983 – American politician, Larry McDonald, dies

1985 – A joint US-French expedition locates the wreck of the RMS Titanic, 73-years after it sunk, about 400 miles east of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic

1998 – Airbags are made mandatory by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991

2004 – An armed gang of Chechen separatist rebels take more than 1,000 people hostage after storming a school in southern Russia. They demanded a withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya and in the coming days, almost 340 people are killed and 700 wounded. The rebels mistreated the hostages, keeping them in an overcrowded gym that became so hot they had to strip nearly naked to cool off, and refusing them food or drink and forcing many to drink their own urine to keep from dehydration. Two bombs are accidentally detonated, which killed many but also allowed Russian special forces to enter the building and put an end to the ordeal

2007 – Sean Penn’s Into the Wild premieres at the Telluride Film Festival

2013 – American boxer, Tommy Morrison, 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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