On September 21st

Some people remember September 21st as a day of tragedy, but for others, it’s an occasion of whimsy. From a terrorist attack on a shopping mall in Kenya to the auctioning of a prehistoric monument called Stonehenge, let’s travel through time to discover what historical events happened on this day.

Famous Events

1780: Benedict Arnold Betrays His Country

During the American Revolution, General Benedict Arnold changed allegiances and became the United States’ most famous traitor. He promised to hand over West Point, a fort on the Hudson River, to the British for £10,000. After the pact was discovered, Arnold fought the war on the side of the British and eventually left America for London.

1897: Yes, Virginia There is a Santa Claus

When an 8-year-old girl wrote to the New York Sun wondering if there was a Santa Claus, the newspaper published a now famous editorial to assure her that Santa “exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion.” Francis Pharcellus Church’s response is reprinted every Christmas and has been made into books, an animated TV show, a movie and a musical. Laura Virginia O’Hanlon Douglas, the girl who wrote the letter, died in New York at the age of 81.

1915: Stonehenge is Auctioned

On September 21, 1915, a British lawyer came home from an auction in Salisbury, Wiltshire with an unusual acquisition. Cecil Chubb paid £6,000 for Stonehenge, the famous prehistoric monument built in 2,500 BC. The monument had been privately owned since the reign of Henry VIII. Three years after buying Stonehenge, Chubb gave the monument to the British government. It became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986 and draws a million visitors a year.

1937: J.R.R. Tolkien Publishes The Hobbit

J.R.R. Tolkien’s first novel, The Hobbit, was published on September 21, 1937. His classic tale gave readers the first peek at his richly-drawn fantasy world of Middle-earth and the creatures that inhabit it. The story tells of a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins, who helps a group of dwarves retrieve their treasure from a dragon. This influential work is the prologue for the trilogy The Lord of the Rings.

1949: People’s Republic of China Founded

A decades-long civil war in China came to an end when the Chinese Communist Party declared victory over Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist Kuomintang Party. The two sides had been battling for control of China since 1927. Chairman Mao Zedong announced the creation of the People’s Republic of China and remained in power until his death in 1976.

2013: Terrorists Attack Nairobi Shopping Mall

Unsuspecting shoppers at Westgate Mall in Nairobi were caught in a horrific attack as a group of terrorists lay siege, throwing grenades and firing into crowds. The extreme militants were part of a group allied with al-Qaeda and planned the attack in retaliation for the presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia. The seige lasted 80 hours, killing 68 people and injuring more than 200.

Famous Birthdays

1866: H.G. Wells

Known as the father of science fiction, English author H.G. Wells wrote futuristic novels such as The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897) and The War of the Worlds (1898). The acclaimed writer penned fiction, non-fiction, short stories and articles during a 60-year career.

Famous Deaths

19 BCE: Virgil

Publius Vergilius Maro, known as Virgil, was a great Roman poet. His epic work, Aenid, tells of the founding of Italy by an exiled Trojan prince named Aeneas. The 10,000-line poem comprised 12 volumes and was written between 30 and 19 BCE. It was not yet finished at his death.

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On September 20th

September 20th has been a day to remember throughout history for many reasons. Innovations in thought that led to our understanding of the origin of species were developed on this day. More recently, women had an opportunity to triumph over men in a sporting event, the likes of which have not occurred before or since. Plus, were you one of the people who contributed to making a video game the quickest entertainment product to reach $1 billion in sales on this day?

Notable Events on September 20th in History

1187: Saladin Wages War On Jerusalem

The great warrior Saladin was a fearless Muslim ruler who laid siege to Jerusalem on this day. He was born in the place now known as Iraq and had become the Sultan of Egypt by the time he reached adulthood. The city eventually surrendered to his forces on October 2nd.

1833: Charles Darwin Arrives in Buenos Aires

In search of answers to questions not yet answered by science, Darwin had set off to travel extensively in 1833. He rode on horse-back from Bahia Blanca to Buenos Aires. Along the way, Darwin became acquainted with Juan Manuel Rosas, the most powerful man in Argentina. Throughout South America, he found evidence of larger versions of existing animals that had become recently extinct. This prompted him to strive to understand why these species were no longer around.

1973: Billie Jean King Plays Bobby Riggs in Battle of the Sexes Match

Bobby Riggs made quite the claim at the age of 55. He declared that he could beat any female tennis player. This was during the time women first started to get edgy about earning less than men in the sport. They played three sets and Billie Jean romped to victory on a triumphant day for women everywhere.

1975: Fame by David Bowie Goes to Number One

David Bowie was a hugely talented and unique artist who has influenced pop chart-toppers from Lady Gaga to Jay-Z. This was his first number-one single in the United States where he also hit the number one spot with 1983’s Let’s Dance. In the United Kingdom, where he hailed from, he secured a whopping five number one hits.

2009: Bryan Cranston Wins an Emmy for Breaking Bad

In the peak of Breaking Bad mania across the world, Cranston was winning several awards every year. He bagged the prize for best lead actor in a drama series on September 20th, 2009.

2013: Video Game Becomes the Fastest Entertainment Product to Gross $1 Billion

Rockstar Games released Grand Theft Auto V on the 17th of September 2013. Just three days later, the game had become the fastest ever item sold by the entertainment industry to reach $1 billion in sales. The game broke five other world records that year and smashed the time taken by its predecessors to hit the same target.

Famous Birthdays on the 20th of September

1934: Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren is one of the last surviving stars from the glamorous golden age of Hollywood. This was a time in the mid-twentieth century when Hollywood produced thousands of films everywhere and the glitz associated with cinema was still fresh and new. She starred in at least 45 movies and one an Oscar.

1948: George R. R. Martin

The creator of the Song of Ice and Fire series has become something of a universal hero in the last decade. He created the popular fantasy series in 1991 and unleashed it to the world in 1996. HBO picked up a series that started in 2011 and has become one of the most popular TV shows ever.

On September 11th

The 254th day of the year based on the Gregorian Calendar; September 11th is a day that most associate with the tragedy that befell the World Trade Center Towers in 2001. While the horrifying events of that day will likely live on in infamy forever, there are several other interesting events from that date throughout history. From the theft of the Hope Diamond to the birth of an American rapper/actor to the tragedy of the terrorist attacks, September 11th is a historic date.

Historical Events

On this day in …

1297: Braveheart Wins

Immortalized in the movie Braveheart, William Wallace was a leader in the Scottish rebellion against English rule in the late 13th century. On September 11, 1297, Wallace and his troop of Scottish rebels were confronted at the river (Forth) near Stirling in lower Scotland.

Although they were greatly outnumbered, Wallace led his men to a victory over the British by slaughtering them as they crossed the Stirling Bridge. This overwhelming victory and subsequent capture of Stirling Castle along the Scottish/English border left Scotland nearly free of English occupants for a time.

1792: Theft of the Hope Diamond

During the confusion of the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror, many of the crown jewels of France where stolen. Known as French Blue at the time (among other names) the Hope Diamond was cut down to its current size of 45.52 carats to disguise it. Little is known about what happened to it until it reappeared in England in 1812 or 1830, depending upon who you believe.

1857: Mountain Meadows Massacre

Dubbed “the darkest deed of the nineteenth century,” 120 men, women and children were slaughtered by Mormons disguised as Indians in a southern Utah area known as Mountain Meadows. Only one man was prosecuted, John D. Lee, but many other members of the Mormon community were suspected of participating. In fact, there is still much controversy over how much Brigham Young, the leader of the Mormon religion, had to do with the massacre.

1941: Construction of the Pentagon begins

Across the Potomac River from Washington DC, in the state of Virginia and just a stone’s throw east of Arlington National Cemetery sits the US Pentagon. Housing the countries Department of Defense, this building’s construction began on this day in 1941. Originally known as Arlington Farm, the plot of land used was once part of Robert E. Lee’s estate.

2017: Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma was the most powerful hurricane in the open Atlantic region. It cut a path of destruction that included Barbuda, Saint Barth, Saint Martin, Anguilla, the Virgin Islands and several mainland US states. On September 11th, it took out power to more than seven million homes throughout Georgia and Florida.

Famous Birthdays

On this day in …

1977: Christopher Bridges (Ludacris)

American rapper and actor Christopher Bridges is better known as Ludacris. Born in Champaign, IL, he started rapping at only nine years of age. Today, he is known for his music as well as his role in the Fast & Furious franchise of movies.

Famous Deaths

On this day in …

2001: 9/11 victims

No discussion of September 11th is complete without considering those souls who were lost during the terrorist attacks that took place in the U.S. on this date. At the World Trade Towers themselves, more than 2,606 people died in the collapse as well as several firefighters, police officers, and other first responders in the resulting rescue effort.

Another 125 people lost their lives in the attack on the Pentagon that followed soon after. In addition, 64 people died while stopping a third attack and causing their plane to crash early in a Pennsylvania field.

The total death toll came to 2,977 people killed in New York City, Washington DC, and outside of Shanksville, PA.

On September 8th

September 8 is the 251st day of the year in a standard year and marks the founding of the oldest city in the continental United States, as well as the creation of Scotch tape and the day the United States moved past one of the greatest constitutional crises in its history.

Famous Events

1565 – First American City

St. Augustine is founded by Spanish settlers in the New World in what becomes modern-day Florida. St. Augustine is the longest inhabited city in the continental United States.

1888 – English Football League

The Football League begins in England with the first of six matches played between the largest clubs in England. Relegation would come 10 years later, and the First Division would be the top league in England until 1992, when the Premier League was established.

1930 – Scotch Tape

In the 1920s and 1930s, Scotch was used as slang to describe someone as cheap or stingy. When Richard Drew invented this clear tape, workers at 3M allegedly accused bosses of being Scotch with the tape — and the name stuck.

1945 – The Division of Korea

With the end of World War II, the world turned its eyes to the Hermit Kingdom of Korea and its conflict. The United States and Soviet Union chose sides in the Korean War and divided the nation into North and South, and as of 2019, the two nations never signed a peace treaty, leaving them locked in a frozen war.

1966 – Beam Me Up

The popular science fiction show Star Trek makes its first appearance on the air, introducing the world to Captain James Kirk. “Beam me up, Scotty” enters pop culture, although Kirk never actually says the phrase verbatim on the show.

Citing a need for the United States to move on from Watergate, president Gerald Ford grants former president Richard Nixon a full pardon for his alleged crimes against the United States. The move helps the nation move forward, but ultimately costs Ford his chance for re-election in 1976 against Jimmy Carter.

1974 – The Pardon of Nixon

1991 – Macedonian Independence

The fall of Communism across eastern Europe results in the start of the breakup of Yugoslavia, and the Republic of Macedonia declares its independence from the amalgamated country. Because of a dispute with Greece, the country changes its name to North Macedonia in 2019.

What Holidays Are Celebrated?

In addition to Macedonian independence, the day is also a day of celebration for Pakistan, as Sept. 8 commemorates the first successful use of the Pakistani navy, against India, and is celebrated as Victory Day. In the United States, it’s known as National Date Nut Bread Day.

Famous Births

1941 – Bernie Sanders

The famously independent senator from Vermont won election in 2006, taking a seat Republicans had held since 1862. He unsuccessfully ran for president as a Democrat in 2016 and chose to again run in 2020.

1972 – Kennedy

Born Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, Kennedy gained fame as both a talk show and game show host, hosting the grunge-based music show Alternative Nation.

1979 – Pink

Born Alecia Moore, Pink was named the Pop Song Artist of the 2000s in 2009 and has sold 90 million albums worldwide.

Famous Deaths

1970 – Percy Spencer

Spencer was the creator of the microwave oven, which he patented in 1945.

1978 – Zero Mostel

The actor and comedian won three Tony Awards, playing comedic characters such as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof.

2014 – S. Truett Cathy

Cathy was the founder and longtime head of Chick-fil-A, the popular chicken sandwich restaurant that has famously refused to open on Sundays.

On September 7th

By the time September 7th rolls around, most school-aged children of the Northern Hemisphere are back in classrooms or soon returning. It’s a time of new beginnings for many, and it’s also a date that’s seen some famous events in the past, like the ones you’ll find below.

September 7th Notable Events

1630: The Founding of Boston, Massachusetts

The settlement that became Boston was first called Tremontaine because of its three hills, but on September 7th, 1630, Puritan settlers renamed it Boston, after a town in England. Among its many claims to fame, Boston was home to the first-ever public school and is a thriving port city to this day.

1921: The First Miss America Pageant

The Miss America Pageant is approaching its 100th birthday, and it’s come a long way since its start as a way to boost Atlantic City tourism. The first event featured only six contestants vying for a $100 prize. Miss America essentially began as a bathing-suit contest, but the organization is striving to be more inclusive of all body types and removed the swimsuit portion of the pageant in 2018.

1923: Interpol Forms in Vienna

The only worldwide police force, the International Criminal Police Organization, also known as Interpol, was founded on this date in 1923 as a response to increasing international crime that was especially affecting Austria. Today, it continues to fight crime from its headquarters in Lyon, France.

1960: Lyudmila Shevtsova Sets Olympic Record

On this date in 1960, Soviet runner Lyudmila Shevtsova ran a record 2:04.3 800-meter run at the Olympics in Rome. That’s noteworthy not only because of her time but also because the women’s 800-meter run had been banned from the Olympics since 1928. Male organizers believed that women were too delicate to run further than 200 meters. Shevtsova proved them wrong.

1979: Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) Debuts

Sports fans can thank father-and-son entrepreneurs Bill and Scott Rasmussen for their favorite TV network. ESPN debuted on this date, giving viewers 24/7 sports coverage for the first time in the U.S. In fact, in 1979, there weren’t any other 24 hour networks. Today, ESPN is viewed in millions of households around the world.

Famous September 7th Birthdays

1533: Elizabeth I

England’s celebrated Queen Elizabeth I was born on this date in Greenwich Palace, London, the daughter of King Henry VIII and his soon-to-be-beheaded second wife, Anne Boleyn. Surviving a harsh upbringing and imprisonment in the Tower of London, Elizabeth I took the throne at age 25 and ruled successfully for 45 years.

1860: Grandma Moses

Acclaimed folk artist Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as Grandma Moses, still serves as an inspiration to anyone embarking on a second (or third) career. Born on a farm in Greenwich, New York, she didn’t take up painting until she was 77 years old but managed to achieve incredible success critically and monetarily.

1949: Gloria Gaynor

Gloria Gaynor was born this day as Gloria Fowles in Newark, New Jersey. Best known for her disco hits, especially the break-up anthem I Will Survive, she continues to tour the world and record new music.

Famous September 7th Deaths

1978: Keith Moon

The Who’s Keith Moon was one of rock and roll’s original bad boys, famously driving his car through the glass doors of a hotel rather than walking to the front desk to ask for his room key. The revered drummer died in London at age 32 from an accidental drug overdose. Eerily, he passed away in the same apartment where singer Mama Cass Elliot died four years earlier.

On September 5th

September 5 is the 248th day of the year in a standard year and helped shape the United States by way of the First Continental Congress and the election of the president of the Republic of Texas. In the sporting world, the forward pass was invented, forever changing the way the United States’ most popular sport was played.

Famous Events

1774 – First Continental Congress

The First Continental Congress formed in response to the British Empire’s continued taxing of the American colonists, leading the independent colonies to start to think of themselves as one nation that would become the United States.

1836 – President Sam Houston

With the newly independent Republic of Texas hoping to join the United States, democracy reigned and elections were held, resulting in Sam Houston becoming the first president of Texas.

1882 – Come On Ye Spurs

The North London soccer club Tottenham Hotspur is founded and eventually becomes a member of the First Division of English football. Today, Spurs is one of the biggest names in the English Premier League, although it had not won a title as of 2019.

1906 – The First Pass

Prior to 1906, all American football movement involved running the ball, but that changed when St. Louis’ Bradbury Robinson tossed the first pass in a football game. Today, passing has become the dominant way for teams to gain yards.

1960 – The Greatest is Golden

Several years before changing his name to Muhammad Ali and winning the heavyweight championship of the world, Cassius Clay was an Olympic gold medalist, winning a gold medal representing the United States at the 1960 Rome Olympics.

1977 – Voyage to Jupiter and Saturn

The Voyager probe was launched to explore Jupiter and Saturn, getting some of the earliest up-close shots of the gas giants and the moons in their orbits.

1978 – Camp David Accords

The Camp David Accords marked a historic agreement between the leaders of Israel and Egypt, leading to the first time that an Arab nation recognized the Jewish state of Israel and established diplomatic relations.

What Holidays Are Celebrated?

In 2012, the United Nations deemed Sept. 5 to be the official International Day of Charity to raise awareness about worldwide charitable efforts. In the United States, Sept. 5 is also known as National Cheese Pizza Day.

Famous Births

1638 – Louis XIV

The Sun King of France ruled for 72 years and served as the last great ruler of the Bourbon dynasty, which fell with the French Revolution.

1847 – Jesse James

Known as one of the most feared outlaws of the Wild West, and his fame only grew in death with his legend.

1936 – Bill Mazeroski

Hall of Fame second baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates who became famous with one swing of the bat, as his home run in the bottom of the ninth of Game 7 won the 1960 World Series for the Pirates.

1951 – Michael Keaton

Known for several famous movie roles, including that of Batman in both Batman and Batman Returns.

Famous Deaths

1548 – Catherine Parr

The final wife of King Henry VIII’s six queens of England and the only one to outlive him, as she outlasted her husband by a year and a half.

1877 – Crazy Horse

One of the leaders of the Lakota Sioux tribe in its efforts to push back against the United States’ settlers expansion into the Midwest, ultimately fighting in vain to preserve the Sioux way of life.

1997 – Mother Teresa

One of the most famous humanitarian workers in the world and honored as a saint in the Catholic Church for her life of service. She earned a Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her work fighting AIDS.

On September 16th

September 16 is the 259th day of the year in a standard year and is an important day in the history of Mexico, as it marks the day that the nation received its independence from Spain. It’s also a day that’s seen some famous people enter the world, including Amy Poehler and David Copperfield.

Famous Events

1880 – Cornell Daily Sun Published

The newspaper of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., is the oldest continuously published collegiate newspaper. To this day, it proudly proclaims itself to have been “independent since 1880”, as it operates without interference from the university.

1908 – General Motors is Founded

GM started in Flint, Mich., as a holding company for Buick, which remains one of GM’s flagship brands to this day. Other GM automobiles that are still produced today include Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC.

1961 – Typhoon Nancy

Devastating storms hitting Japan are nothing new, but few have been close to as devastating as Typhoon Nancy, which struck Osaka in 1961 and killed 172 people after the strongest winds on record.

1963 – The Formation of Malaysia

As the British Empire entered its decline, its former colonies banded together and formed the nation of Malaysia, consisting of five colonies, including the titular colony of Malaysia.

1975 – Papua New Guinea Wins Independence

Much like Malaysia, Papua New Guinea was ready to govern itself by 1975, when it obtained its independence from Australia. Today, it’s a member of the British Commonwealth, as it has its own government but recognizes Elizabeth II as its queen.

1991 – The Trial of Manuel Noriega

For years, Manuel Noriega was a thorn in the side of the United States, a drug lord kept in power because of his ties to U.S. intelligence efforts. That changed in 1989 when the U.S. forcibly removed him from power, and in 1991, his trial began in Miami, leading to his eventual sentencing.

2004 – Hurricane Ivan’s Landfall

Few people in the Southeast will ever forget the terror of Hurricane Ivan, which was at the time the second-costliest storm in United States history behind 1992’s Hurricane Andrew. Ivan did $26.1 billion worth of damage when all was said and done, and it could have been worse: the storm returned to the Southeast, but was too weak by then.

What Holidays Are Celebrated?

In Mexico, Sept. 16 marks the Grito de Dolores, when Mexican priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang the bells of his church in Dolores to symbolize the start of the Mexican War for Independence against Spain. In the United States, Sept. 16 is National Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day.

Famous Births

1925 – B.B. King

The man known as the King of the Blues started his career in Memphis in 1947, eventually releasing more than 50 albums.

1934 – Elgin Baylor

Legendary as a player, but less than stellar as a general manager. Elgin Baylor became one of the greatest players in NBA history with the Los Angeles Lakers, but became known as one of basketball’s worst executives with the Los Angeles Clippers.

1956 – David Copperfield

The magician famously made the Statue of Liberty disappear on national television, earning wide acclaim for his illusions.

1971 – Amy Poehler

From Saturday Night Live to Inside Out, the comedienne has earned a national following as one of the funniest women in the world, with her Hillary Clinton impersonation winning her fans across the United States.

Famous Deaths

2009 – Myles Brand

Known as the man who fired Bob Knight, Brand served as the president of Indiana University before becoming the president of the NCAA.

2016 – Carlo Azeglio Ciampi

Ciampi was an economist turned politician, as he initially governed the central bank from 1979 to 1993 before taking a turn as Italy’s prime minister from 1993 to 1994.

On September 9th

Throughout history, September 9th has been a day of importance for many reasons. In countries such as Tajikstan and China, September 9 holds great significance and for famous people including Queen Elizabeth II, Hugh Grant and even Colonel Sanders, the date marks birthdays and other special events.

Events That Happened on September 9th

1956 – Elvis Presley Performed on the Ed Sullivan Show for the First Time

Elvis Presley appeared on the Ed Sullivan show several times and was often criticized for his dancing, which mostly consisted of gyrating hip movements. However, when he first appeared on September 9, 1956, he was only filmed from the waist up.

1965 – Tibet Becomes an Autonomous Region of China

While Tibet has been a part of the People’s Republic of China since 1950, it didn’t become an autonomous region, or province, of China until September 9, 1965.

1967 – Saturn V Has Its First Successful Test Flight

Saturn V, a heavy-lift launch vehicle used by NASA, had its first successful test flight on September 9, 1967. It was launched 13 times between 1967 and 1973 and is the tallest and heaviest rocket that NASA has launched to date.

1971 – Imagine by John Lennon is Released

On September 9, 1971, John Lennon released his Imagine album, which was his second album release after leaving the Beatles. The album topped the charts in eight countries and was awarded double platinum status in the U.S.

1991 – Tajikistan Becomes an Independent Country

On September 9, 1991, Tajikistan, formerly known as the Tajikstan Soviet Socialist Republic, declared its independence from the Soviet Union and became an independent country.

2000 – Venus Williams Wins the U.S. Open

Venus Williams, one of the most well-known tennis players of the last decade, won her first U.S. Women’s Open on September 9, 2000, beating Lindsay Davenport.

2015 – Queen Elizabeth II Celebrates Becoming the Longest Reigning British Monarch

On September 9, 2015, Queen Elizabeth II surpassed her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria’s record by becoming the longest-reigning British monarch.

Famous Birthdays

1828 – Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy, the Russian novelist who penned timeless classics War and Peace and Anna Karenina, was born on September 9, 1828, in Yasnaya Polyana, Russia.

1890 – Colonel Sanders

Colonel Sanders, the famous name and face behind KFC, was born on September 9, 1890, in Henryville, Indiana.

1960 – Hugh Grant

The famed British actor and star of movies such as Notting Hill and Love Actually, was born on September 9, 1960, in London, England.

1975 – Michael Buble

Canadian singer Michael Buble, known for smooth hits such as Home and Love You Anymore, was born on September 9, 1975.

Famous Deaths

1087 – William the Conqueror

On September 9, 1087, William the Conqueror, the King of England who was also sometimes known as William the Bastard, succumbed to his injuries after falling from his horse.

1984 – Walter Kaufmann

Classical music and opera composer Walter Kaufmann, who was known for creating music with Indian, Chinese and Tibetan influences, passed away in Bloomington, Indiana on September 9, 1984.

2003 – Edward Teller

Edward Teller, known as the father of the hydrogen bomb, died in Stanford, California on September 9, 2003.

On September 6th

September 6 is the 249th day of the year in a standard year and is one of the most important days in history in terms of exploration of the New World. Some of the events that occurred on this day that shaped our world include the return of Ferdinand Magellan’s ship Victoria, the settling of Salem, Massachusetts and the tragedy of the Munich Massacre, an act of terrorism during the Summer Olympics.

Famous Events

1492 – Columbus Sails

Christopher Columbus set sail from La Gomera, his final port before crossing the Atlantic Ocean in search of the West Indies.

1522 – The Victoria Returns

Ferdinand Magellan’s ship returns after circumnavigating the world, but without its captain, who was killed during the voyage.

1620 – The Mayflower

The Pilgrims set sail from England and journeyed to Plymouth Rock, setting up the second successful English settlement in America in what would become Massachusetts.

1628 – Settling of Salem

The Puritans made the city of Salem a part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, setting the stage for its famous witch trials years later.

1972 – Munich Massacre

During the 1972 Summer Olympics, a Palestinian terrorist group known as Black September invaded the Olympic Village and took 11 Israeli athletes hostage, killing all 11.

1991 – Baltic Independence

The Soviet Union officially recognized the independence of the three Baltic nations: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This marked the beginning of the end for the Soviet Union, which broke apart later that year.

1995 – The Iron Oriole

Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr. officially breaks Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played by participating in his 2,131st straight baseball game. Ripken ended his streak in 1998 at 2,632 games.

1997 – Princess Diana’s Funeral

The first wife of Prince Charles, Lady Diana Spencer, was officially laid to rest after her tragic death from a car accident at the age of 36.

What Holidays Are Celebrated?

Swaziland celebrates its independence from the United Kingdom, which it achieved in 1968. In the United States, Sept. 6 is known as National Coffee Ice Cream Day.

Famous Births

1954 – Carly Fiorina

Became the first woman to lead a Fortune Top 20 company when she became CEO of Hewlett Packard in 1995. She would eventually run for United States Senate in California in 2010 and for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, losing both races.

1958 – Jeff Foxworthy

Became famous for his You Might be a Redneck standup routine, as well as becoming the host of the game show Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

1962 – Chris Christie

Became the governor of New Jersey in 2011 and served two full terms. In doing so, he became the first Republican in the Garden State’s history to complete two full terms as governor. He ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

1972 – Idris Elba

Elba is one of the 20 highest-grossing actors in history, having made $3.6 billion in North America. He has won a Golden Globe for his role as the title character in the BBC series Luther.

Famous Deaths

2007 – Madeline L’Engle

Wrote A Wrinkle In Time as well as four sequels, the first of which is acclaimed as one of the 100 Greatest Chapter Books.

2012 – Art Modell

Bought the NFL’s Cleveland Browns in 1961 and owned them until controversially moving them to Baltimore in 1996, where he renamed them the Ravens.

2018 – Burt Reynolds

Starred in hit movies such as The Longest Yard, Smokey and the Bandit, The Cannonball Runand Boogie Nights, the last of which won him a Golden Globe Award.

On September 4th

People born on September 4th are Virgos per the Western zodiac — a sign that’s associated with traits like hard-working, analytical and kind. In addition to several notable births on this day, lots of important and interesting events took place on September 4th. Keep reading for some famous facts about the 247th day of the year.

Historical Events of September 4th

1682: Halley Sees His Comet

English astronomer Edmond Halley observed the comet that was later named in his honor on this date in 1682. Before that time, scientists believed that comets only passed through our solar system once. Now we know that periodic comets, like Halley’s, are repeat visitors to our skies.

1781: Los Angeles Is Founded

Originally dubbed The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of Porciúncula, the West Coast city of Los Angeles was founded on this date by 44 settlers of African, European and Native American backgrounds. They arrived from northern Mexico to set up a farming village that’s home to about 4 million residents today.

1888: Kodak Is Born

Rochester, New York, is the place where the Eastman Kodak Company got its start on this date in 1888. Its founder, George Eastman, invented flexible roll film, which, along with Kodak cameras and photo processing services, made photography more accessible to the average consumer.

1965: Help! Reaches #1

The Beatles’ single Help! reached the top spot on September 4th of this year and stayed there for three weeks. Help! was the title song for the movie and soundtrack album, and John Lennon said in an interview that it was one of his personal favorites from the Beatles’ catalog.

1998: Google Gets Its Start

Google was founded on this day in Menlo Park, California, by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. It started as a streamlined search engine but grew into offering more than 50 products and services. Even so, more than 70% of online searches worldwide are conducted using Google.

Famous Birthdays of September 4th

1960: Damon Wayans

American stand-up comedian, actor, writer and producer Damon Wayons was born on this day in New York City, into what would become a family of entertainers now considered to be a comedy dynasty. The Wayans family created the Scary Movie film series among other entertainment hits, and Damon recently starred in Fox TV’s Lethal Weapon.

1981: Beyoncé Knowles

Beyoncé was born on this day in Houston, Texas. From her early days singing in local talent shows, the Destiny’s Child vocalist has gone on to become a top-selling solo artist and film actress.

Famous Deaths of September 4th

2006: Steve Irwin

Steve Irwin grew up at his family’s reptile park in Australia and gained worldwide fame as TV’s Crocodile Hunter. He died at age 44 while filming an underwater documentary. In a tragic accident, his heart was pierced by a stingray barb. He’s remembered fondly and celebrated every November 15th at the Australia Zoo’s Steve Irwin Day.

2014: Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers was a comedy legend who died on this day in 2014, at age 81. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Russian immigrants. She was a frequent guest host on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and remained a popular TV personality up until her death. She died after experiencing complications during a routine medical procedure.