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Today in History for September

Sep 02

Who established the US Treasury Department today?

September 2, 1789 — The First Congress of the United States was called to convene in New York on March 4, 1789, marking the beginning of government under the Constitution.  But it wasn't until six months later — on Sept. 2, 1789 — that...

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Sep 03

Which New York newspaper began publishing today?

September 3, 1833 — The nation's first newspaper — the New York Sun — began publishing today. It was the first general-interest broadsheet, and published until 1950. Considered a serious paper — like the city's two more successful broadsheets, The New York Times and the New...

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Sep 04

Which California city was founded today in 1781?

September 4, 1781 — Los Angeles is founded by 44 Spanish speaking mestizos in the Bahia de las Fumas (Bay of Smokes). Felipe de Neve, Governor of Spanish California, names the settlement El Pueblo Sobre el Rio de Nuestra Señora la Reina de...

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Sep 05

Where did the first Opium War begin today in 1839?

September 5, 1839 — The First Opium War began in China today, and lasted until 1842. Also known as the Anglo-Chinese War, the battle was fought between Great Britain and Ireland and the Qing Empire over their conflicting viewpoints on diplomatic relations, trade, and the administration of justice...

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Sep 06

Which collegiate institute went co-ed today in 1837?

September 6, 1837 — Oberlin Collegiate Institute of Ohio went co-ed today in 1837 with 4 women and 30 men. Oberlin College pioneered "the joint education of the sexes," enrolling women students beside men from its opening in 1833. As Philo P....

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Sep 07

What is the origin of the nickname, “Uncle Sam”?

September 7, 1813 — Today, the United States got its nickname, "Uncle Sam." Credit goes to a meat-packer from Troy, New York, named Samuel Wilson, who supplied barrels of beef to the US Army during the War of 1812, stamping the barrels with “U.S.” for United States. But...

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Sep 09

Who is the first US aeronaut to fly a balloon?

September 9, 1830 — Charles Durant is the first US aeronaut to fly a balloon. He flew about 25 miles — off from Castle Garden in New York City and landed in Perth Amboy, New Jersey — in three hours. Durant dressed up...

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Sep 10

Who received the first US patent for a sewing machine?

September 10, 1846 — American inventor Elias Howe, Jr. (July 9, 1819 – October 3, 1867) today received U.S. Patent 4,750 for a sewing machine using a lockstitch design. Contrary to popular belief, Howe was not the first to conceive of the idea of a sewing machine....

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Sep 11

What was the goal of the Staten Island Peace Conference?

September 11, 1773 — Today's Staten Island Peace Conference was a brief meeting held in the hope of bringing an end to the American Revolutionary War. Held at Billop Manor, the residence of Colonel Christopher Billop, participants included British Admiral Lord Richard Howe, and members of the Second Continental Congress —...

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Sep 12

What didn’t George Mason sign the Bill of Rights?

September 12, 1787 — In early 1776, before the Declaration of Independence was written, American statesman George Mason drafted the Virginia Declaration of Rights and framed Virginia’s constitution. He was rightfully proud of the Declaration, and pleased that it became a model for other states. But when...

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Sep 13

Who suffered the first boxing fatality in the US?

September 13, 1842 — Today, in Hastings, New York, a prize fight between Christopher Lilly and Thomas McCoy lasted 2.41 hours. In the 77th round, McCoy collapsed and died in front of 2,000 fans. According to news sources, the coroner's investigation of McCoy's remains showed...

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Sep 15

What adventure did Charles Darwin embark on today in 1835?

September 15, 1835 — Charles Darwin and the H.M.S. Beagl reached the Galapagos Islands today. His five-year voyage is legendary, as insights gained on his trip to exotic places greatly influenced his masterwork, Origin of Species. Of course, Darwin didn’t actually formulate his...

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Sep 16

Who published “Old Ironsides” today in 1830?

September 16, 1830 — Oliver Wendell Holmes writes "Old Ironsides" today, a poem that is a tribute to the 18th century frigate USS Constitution. Thanks in part to the poem, the boat was saved from being decommissioned, and is now the oldest commissioned ship...

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Sep 17

Who helped Harriet Tubman escape from slavery today?

September 17, 1849 — Harriet Tubman escaped slavery today in Maryland, thanks to the help of two of her brothers, Ben and Henry. Tubman had been hired out to Dr. Anthony Thompson, who owned a large plantation in an area called Poplar...

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Sep 22

What famous announcement did President Lincoln issue today?

September 22, 1862 — President Lincoln announced today that he will free slaves in all states on January 1, 1863. This preliminary proclamation led to the official Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all slaves residing in territory in rebellion against the federal government. However, the...

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Sep 23

Where did explorers Lewis & Clark land today?

September 23, 1806 — Explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark returned today to St. Louis, MO from their trek to the Pacific Northwest. They brought back a wealth of information about the largely unexplored region, as well as US claims to Oregon Territory. The...

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Sep 24

What did the US Federal Judiciary Act accomplish?

September 24, 1789 — President George Washington signed the US Federal Judiciary Act today, creating a six-person Supreme Court. "The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time...

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Sep 25

What did French Physicist Francois Arago discover today in 1820?

September 25, 1820 — French Physicist Francois Arago (Feb. 26, 1786, Estagel, Roussillon, France—died Oct. 2, 1853, Paris) discovered the principle of the production of magnetism by rotation of a nonmagnetic conductor. He also devised an experiment that proved the wave theory of lightand engaged with others in...

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Sep 26

Who won the second British Golf Open in 1861?

September 26, 1861 — The second British Golf Open is held today, and golfer Thomas Mitchell Morris, Sr. (16 June 1821 – 24 May 1908) shoots a 163 at the Prestwick Club. Otherwise known as Old Tom Morris, the Scottish golfer was born...

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Sep 27

Who deciphered the Rosetta stone today in 1822?

September 27, 1822 — Jean-François Champollion (23 December 1790 – 4 March 1832) announced today that he has deciphered the Rosetta stone, a decree issued at Memphis, Egypt, in 196 BC on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The decree appears in three scripts:...

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Sep 29

Who established London’s Metropolitan Police today in 1829?

September 29, 1829 — British Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel established the London's Metropolitan Police today, hence the nicknames "bobbies" and "peelers." The police force replaced the old system of watchmen and eventually supplanted the River (Thames) Police and the Bow Street patrols, the latter...

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Sep 30

How many black soldiers are given US Medal of Honor today?

September 30, 1864 — Black soldiers are given US Medal of Honor today, which was created during the American Civil War and is the highest military decoration presented by the United States government to a member of its armed forces. Recipients must have distinguished themselves at the...

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