|(1889) Montana becomes the 41st US state|
|President Benjamin Harrison announces the admission of the 41st state in the union. Leaders in Montana, the name of which is derived from the Spanish word montaña (mountain), had been working toward statehood since the early 1860s..|
|(1939) Adolf Hitler narrowly makes it out alive|
|On the 16th anniversary of his failed coup attempt known as the Beer Hall Putsch, the Nazi leader is scheduled to speak when a bomb detonates in the hall. But Hitler, and others in the Nazi leadership, had left several minutes before the explosion..|
|(1960) Americans elect youngest president ever|
|Democratic Senator John F. Kennedy beats Republican Vice President Richard Nixon by a slim margin to become the youngest president ever as well as the first Catholic to hold the office. Many attribute Kennedy’s win to his smooth demeanor in televised debates. .|
|(1971) Led Zeppelin releases ‘Stairway to Heaven’ album|
|The officially unnamed fourth album from the British rock band becomes known as Led Zeppelin IV. The album will be a phenomenal success and contains some of Zeppelin’s greatest hits: ‘Black Dog,’ ‘Rock and Roll,’ and, of course, ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ .|
|(1802) Newspaper alleges US president has an illicit relationship|
|Virginia’s Richmond Recorder newspaper prints a scandalous story regarding President Thomas Jefferson and a woman whom he “kept, as his concubine,” asserting that she is “one of his own slaves.” The truth of Jefferson’s relationship with Sally Hemings will be investigated centuries later via DNA testing..|
Sarah “Sally” Hemings was an enslaved woman of mixed race owned by President Thomas Jefferson. She is believed to have had a long-term relationship and six children of record with him, of whom four survived to adulthood; and were given freedom by Jefferson. Hemings was the youngest of six siblings by the widowed planter John Wayles and his mixed-race slave Betty Hemings; Sally and her siblings were three-quarters European and half-siblings of Jefferson’s wife, Martha Wayles Skelton.
|(1859) The sun spits out a solar superstorm|
|A coronal mass ejection is released from the sun and impacts the earth’s atmosphere with a brilliant “white light flare,” as described by English astronomer Richard C. Carrington, forming fantastical auroras that are said to have been bright enough to read by at night, and packing enough interference to cripple the globe’s telegraph systems. .|
The Solar storm of 1859—known as the Carrington Event—was a powerful geomagnetic solar storm during solar cycle 10 (1855–1867). A solar coronal mass ejection hit Earth’s magnetosphere and induced one of the largest geomagnetic storms on record, September 1–2, 1859. The associated “white light flare” in the solar photosphere was observed and recorded by English astronomers Richard C. Carrington (1826–1875) and Richard Hodgson (1804–1872). Studies have shown that a solar storm of this magnitude occurring today would likely cause more widespread problems for a modern and technology-dependent society. The solar storm of 2012 was of similar magnitude, but it passed Earth’s orbit without striking the planet.
|(1902) Paris moviegoers head to the moon and back|
|Jules Verne novels have inspired a new moving picture from French artist Georges Méliès, a fanciful frolic chronicling a lunar landing and a meeting with inhabitants of the moon. ‘A Trip to the Moon’ will open just over a month later in the US and eventually will be called the first science-fiction film..|
A group of astronomers studies the way to travel to the moon. When they conclude their project, the president selects five other astronomers to travel with him. They embark in a shell and they are shot from a giant cannon to the moon. When they land, they seek shelter in a cave to protect from the snow. They meet the Selenites, the alien inhabitants of the moon, and they are destroyed by the astronomers that find that a strong hit make them explode. However, they arrive in large number and the astronomers are captured by the Selenites. But one astronomer hits their king that explodes and they run to the capsule pursued by the alien. They drop the capsule that falls through the space and reach the ocean. Then they are rescued by a steamer that brings the team safe and sound ashore.
|(1939) History’s most destructive war dawns with a massive invasion|
|In WWII’s opening salvo, Hitler’s armed forces descend on Poland with blitzkrieg force and, getting assistance from the Soviet Union, will decimate the country’s archaic military, controlling the nation within a month. Per their Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Germany and the USSR will divide up the conquered territory..|
The Invasion of Poland, also known as the September Campaign, or the 1939 Defensive War in Poland, and alternatively the Poland Campaign or Fall Weiss in Germany, was a joint invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, the Free City of Danzig, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent, that marked the beginning of World War II in Europe. The German invasion began on 1 September 1939, one week after the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, while the Soviet invasion commenced on 17 September following the Molotov-Tōgō agreement that terminated the Russian and Japanese hostilities in the east on 16 September. The campaign ended on 6 October with Germany and the Soviet Union dividing and annexing the whole of Poland under the terms of the German-Soviet Frontier Treaty.
|(1835) The New York Sun publishes a story of utter lunacy|
|‘Great Astronomical Discoveries Lately Made,’ reads the New York Sun’s headline, claiming the discovery, via an enormous telescope, of a surreal civilization on the moon. Reports of man-bats, unicorns, and goats living in a verdant paradise are unfortunately later proven to be a hoax..|
|(1939) Dorothy Gale goes somewhere over the rainbow|
|L. Frank Baum’s children’s story comes to the silver screen as MGM’s big-budget film version of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ opens in theaters across America. A box-office disappointment, the tale of Dorothy’s trip from Kansas to the Emerald City will grow in popularity through re-releases and TV broadcasts. .|
Follow the yellow brick road again! Young Dorothy lives on a farm in Kansas where a large tornado picks her house, and her dog up and deposits them in the land of Oz. Things in Oz are strange and beautiful, but Dorothy just wants to get back home. She’s helped by the Good Fairy of the North, but she’s also in trouble with the Wicked Witch of the West, who seeks revenge for the death of the Wicked Witch of the East, for which she blames Dorothy. While searching her way home she meets a Scarecrow who needs a brain, a Tin Man who needs a heart, and a cowardly lion who needs courage.
|(1945) Chinese communists kill a US intelligence officer|
|US missionary and intelligence officer John Birch is shot near Xi’an while traveling to meet with Allied POWs 10 days after Japan’s WWII surrender. Considered the first fatality of the Cold War, he will inspire American conservatives 13 years later to establish the John Birch Society in his honor..|
John Morrison Birch was an American Baptist minister, missionary, and United States Army captain who was a U.S. military intelligence officer in China during World War II. Birch was killed in a confrontation with Chinese Communist soldiers a few days after the war ended. He was posthumously awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal.
|(1950) A tennis trailblazer breaks a racial barrier|
|Tennis player Althea Gibson celebrates her 23rd birthday on the same day she makes history as the first African American to play in the US National Championship. A record crowd watches as she competes in Forest Hills, New York, in the tournament that will be later called the US Open..|
Althea Gibson was an American tennis player and professional golfer, and the first black athlete to cross the color line of international tennis. In 1956, she became the first person of color to win a Grand Slam title. The following year she won both Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals, then won both again in 1958, and was voted Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press in both years. In all, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. “She is one of the greatest players who ever lived,” said Robert Ryland, a tennis contemporary and former coach of Venus and Serena Williams. “Martina couldn’t touch her. I think she’d beat the Williams sisters.” In the early 1960s she also became the first black player to compete on the women’s professional golf tour.
|(1536) Anne Boleyn is arrested and imprisoned|
|Three years after King Henry VIII broke away from Rome’s Catholic dictates and annulled his first marriage to marry Anne Boleyn, he now has his eye on another potential bride. He has Queen Anne arrested on charges of adultery, witchcraft, and treason, and taken to the Tower of London. .|
|(1939) Yankee’s ‘Iron Horse,’ Lou Gehrig, ends game streak|
|First baseman Lou Gehrig benches himself following a record-smashing 2,130 consecutive games played with his baseball team, the New York Yankees. Gehrig will soon be diagnosed with a fatal case of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or what will come to be known as Lou Gehrig’s disease..|
|(1945) The Fall of Berlin heralds the beginning of the end of WWII|
|Soviet Red Army forces raise their flag over the former Nazi high command center, the Reichstag building, as the Battle of Berlin comes to an end. In the months to come, the German capital will be divided into Allied zones, with the USSR controlling East Berlin..|
|(1952) The jet airliner takes its first commercial flight|
|After years of testing and development, British airline BOAC welcomes passengers to the jet age as the De Havilland Comet 1 takes off from London for Johannesburg, South Africa. Although the route will make five stops, and take 21 hours and 20 minutes, it’s about 50 percent faster than conventional aircraft..|
|(1841) Poe publishes world’s first detective story|
|A story concerning two grisly murders committed in a windowless room, and featuring a large ape-like creature wielding a razor, Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue’ will inspire the creation of future fictional detectives such as Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. .|
|(1902) Madame and Monsieur Curie isolate radioactive radium|
|The married scientific research team of Marie and Pierre Curie chemically isolate one-tenth gram of pure radium chloride, an element not naturally occurring in isolation. Their work with radium and radioactivity will lead to the first Nobel Prize awarded to a woman..|
|(1939) Billie Holiday records landmark civil rights song|
|One of the first songs to explicitly call out the murderous brutality suffered by African Americans in the Jim Crow South, the painful and poetic ‘Strange Fruit’ is recorded by Billie Holiday. A relatively small jazz label, Commodore, records it after Holiday’s label, Columbia Records, refuses to..|
|(1999) Columbine High School shooting shocks a nation|
|Two students enter a Colorado high school armed with semi-automatic handguns, carbine rifles, and explosives, and begin a massacre that leaves 13 people dead and 21 wounded. The incident will be one of the deadliest modern-day mass shootings. .|