Today in History – September 8

1504 – Michelangelo’s David was unveiled in Piazza della Signoria in Florence.

1522 – Magellan–Elcano circumnavigation: The Victoria arrives at Seville, technically completing the first circumnavigation of the world.

1565 – St. Augustine, Florida was founded by Spanish admiral and Florida’s first governor, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés.

1727 – A barn fire during a puppet show in the village of Burwell in Cambridgeshire, England killed 78 people, many of whom were children.

1810 – The Tonquin set sail from New York Harbor with 33 employees of John Jacob Astor’s newly created Pacific Fur Company on board. After a six-month journey around the tip of South America, the ship arrived at the mouth of the Columbia River and Astor’s men established the fur-trading town of Astoria, Oregon.

1860 – The steamship PS Lady Elgin sank on Lake Michigan, with the loss of around 300 lives.

1883 – The Northern Pacific Railway was completed in a ceremony at Gold Creek, Montana. Former president Ulysses S. Grant drove in the final “golden spike” in an event attended by rail and political luminaries.

1888 – In London, the body of Jack the Ripper’s second murder victim, Annie Chapman, was found.

1892 – The Pledge of Allegiance was first recited.

1900 – Galveston hurricane: A powerful hurricane hit Galveston, Texas and killed about 8,000 people.

1916 – In a bid to prove that women were capable of serving as military dispatch riders, Augusta and Adeline Van Buren arrived in Los Angeles, after completing a 60-day, 5,500 mile cross-country trip on motorcycles.

1921 – Margaret Gorman, a 16-year-old, won the Atlantic City Pageant’s Golden Mermaid trophy; pageant officials later dubbed her the first Miss America.

1930 – 3M began marketing Scotch transparent tape.

1934 – Off the New Jersey coast, a fire aboard the passenger liner SS Morro Castle killed 137 people.

1935 – US Senator from Louisiana Huey Long was fatally shot in the Louisiana State Capitol building.

1944 – World War II: London was hit by a V-2 rocket for the first time.

1956 – Harry Belafonte’s album “Calypso” reached #1 and remained in that position for 31 weeks.

1957 – Jackie Wilson, released his first solo single “Reet Petite”.

1960 – Nationwide release (US) of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” starring Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh.

1966 – The landmark American science fiction television series Star Trek premiered with its first-aired episode, “The Man Trap”.

1974 – Watergate scandal: US President Gerald Ford signed the pardon of Richard Nixon for any crimes Nixon may have committed while in office.

1965 – A small ad in New York’s Daily Variety attracted 437 young men interested in forming the world’s first manufactured boy band, “The Monkees”.

1974 – Evel Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon in Idaho but failed.  He escaped with minor injuries.

1975 – US Air Force Tech Sergeant Leonard Matlovich, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, appeared in his Air Force uniform on the cover of Time magazine with the headline “I Am A Homosexual”. He was given a general discharge, later upgraded to honorable.

1988 – Yellowstone National Park was closed for the first time in U.S. history due to ongoing fires.

1999 – “American Beauty”, directed by Sam Mendes and starring Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, and Thora Birch, premiered in Los Angeles.


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