September 14th – the day of new inventions, achievements, and celebrations, let’s turn back time and take a peek into some of the most remembered happenings that took place on this day.
September 14, 1939 – The World’s First Practical Helicopter Takes (Tethered) Flight
While helicopters had been in development – or at least theorized – since Leonardo da Vinci first drew a prototype helicopter (aerial screw) in the late fifteenth century, they proved to be extremely hard to build, and it was even harder to make them safe.
Igor Sikorsky is credited with building the world’s first “practical” helicopter – though some built helicopters before him, none of them were truly reliable or safe. The first tethered flight of his VS-300 took place in Stratford, Connecticut on September 14, 1939.
While it lasted only a few seconds, the same aircraft would later be flown by Sikorsky on May 13, 1940. The VS-300 implemented the features and building techniques that would become standard for helicopters built around the world in the decades to come.
Observations And Celebrations
While there are no major observations or celebrations related to the first flight of the helicopter, Igor Sikorsky is widely celebrated both in his birthplace of Russia, and in Stratford, Connecticut, where he made his home after emigrating to the US from Russia in 1919.
Other Famous Events On This Day In History
1741: George Frideric Handel Completes “Messiah”
On September 14, 1741, the composer Handel finished his “Messiah” oratorio, which is one of the most well-known pieces of music in the entire world. Reportedly, he had been working on his oratorio for 23 days non-stop, completing the entire work in this time. After it was completed in September, 1741, it was first performed in Dublin in the spring and summer of 1742.
1959: The First-Ever Man-Made Object Lands On The Moon
On September 14, 1959, the Soviet lunar probe Luna 2 landed on the surface of the Moon. This was the first man-made spacecraft not only to land on the moon, but to land on any object beyond the Earth’s surface. It was launched on September 12, and it impacted the Moon’s surface on September 14.
1901: Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt Is Sworn Into Office As Youngest US President
On September 14, 1959, Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as the US President, shortly after President William McKinley died, thanks to the wounds he received when the anarchist Leon Czolgosz shot him at The Temple of Music in Buffalo, New York. At the time of his swearing-in, Roosevelt was 42 years old, making him the youngest man to be sworn in as the US president.
Famous Birthdays On September 14
1879: Margaret Sanger
Margeret Sanger, a feminist, sex educator and nurse, who first popularized the notion of “birth control,” was born on September 14, 1879 in Corning, New York. Though her legacy is controversial due to her support of eugenics, Sanger is still noted as a highly-influential figure in medicine.
1965: Dmitry Medvedev
Dmitry Medvedev, who has served as both the President and Prime Minister of Russia, was born on September 14, 1965 in Leningrad, USSR – now St. Petersburg, Russia. He is widely known for his law enforcement reform efforts in Russia, and for launching a widespread political anti-corruption campaign during his time in office.
1983: Amy Winehouse
On this day in history, September 14, 1983, Amy Winehouse was born in Southgate, London. Winehouse was well-known for her unique vocal style, which won her 5 Grammy awards. She was also known for her well-publicized issues with substance abuse, which led to her death of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011 at the young age of 27.
September 14 was certainly a day to remember, with events that provoke wonder – and while more things have happened on this day than we can pack into a single article, we hope this piece has shed some light on some of the most important events that happened on this day in history!