6th September In History

A wise man once said that history is a sum total of things that could have been avoided. Now, a pessimist would agree that the statement resonates with truth, while an optimist would argue that history is not as gruesome or horrible as most people make it out to be. And clichéd though it may sound, the realist knows for a fact that “the truth is always somewhere in between”. Let’s take the 6th of September as a case in point. The glass is half full when you consider that this was the day Louisa Ann Swain of Wyoming unwittingly became a champion of women's empowerment. That's not all. The day is also remembered for three remarkable voyages: while Columbus (1492) and the Pilgrims (1620) set out seeking new shores and better prospects, Magellan's 'Victoria' (1522) returned after circumnavigating the world for the first time. And on the half-empty side of the glass, you have the assassination of William McKinley (1901) and the Munich Massacre (1972) – tragedies that showed humanity at its worst. So, who would you side with? Is history a catalog of regrets? Or a treasure trove of hope? Or a repository of past events, the understanding of which is the key to a better future? Read on and decide for yourself.


HISTORICAL EVENTS ON 6th September



1492

Politics

Columbus Sets Sail From Canary Islands

The Canary Islands served as the ‘launching point’ for Columbus’ first voyage. After restocking and repairing his fleet, the Italian explorer left the shores of the islands on this day in 1492, on a quest to discover a sea route to India and China. Columbus’ visit set a precedent, and the Canary Islands continued to serve as a launch pad for explorers in the years to come.


1620

Politics

The Pilgrims Set Sail From Plymouth

Several attempts were made by the English in the early 17th century to reach the shores of America. Notable among these early efforts were the fruitless voyages aboard the ‘Speedwell’. Eventually, on this day in 1620, 102 Pilgrims set out aboard the ‘Mayflower’, on a voyage that would eventually lead them to Cape Cod after 66 long days of sailing.


1901

Politics

US President William McKinley Shot

William McKinley remains one among the most beloved Presidents in the history of America. The country prospered during his presidency, reaching unprecedented levels of economic growth. However, tragedy struck in the form of an anarchist assassin named Leon Czolgosz on this day in 1901. During an event at the Temple of Music concert hall, Czolgosz shot McKinley twice in the abdomen, and the President succumbed to his injuries a week later, on 14th September.


1915

Politics

World’s First Tank Rolls Out

As is the case with most inventions, tanks devised out of a necessity – to counter the menace of trench warfare. ‘Little Willie’, the world’s first tank, was designed and manufactured in the United Kingdom, and rolled out on this day in 1915. Now preserved at The Tank Museum in England, it is the oldest surviving individual tank in the world.


1930

Politics

HipólitoYrigoyen Deposed

Hipolito Yrigoyen is now remembered as the ‘father of the poor’, for the progressive measures and pro-working class policies he implemented during his presidency. While his first term as President was a major success, his second term ended quite abruptly with a military coup on this day in 1930. Yrigoyen’s deposal was largely welcomed by the public at the time, but in hindsight proved to be a mistake that drove Argentina away from the path of democracy and prosperity for decades to come.


1939

Politics

South Africa Declares War On Germany

South Africa’s status as a self-governing dominion of Great Britain meant that the country was obligated to participate in the Second World War alongside the Allies. Though the then Prime Minister J.B.M Hertzog initially managed to maintain neutrality, his deposal led to a change in policy. On this day in 1939, South Africa declared war on Germany, immediately after Field Marshal Jan Smuts took over as the Prime Minister of the country.


1965

Politics

Pakistan Invaded By Indian Army

This day in 1965 witnessed a major offensive in the course of the Indo-Pakistani War. In early August, Pakistan had launched a covert operation in a bid to gain control over Jammu and Kashmir, and India’s first major retaliation came on this day, when the army invaded West Pakistan. The war ended in an impasse, with the UN brokering peace between the two countries.


1966

Politics

Hendrik Verwoerd Stabbed To Death

Hendrik Verwoerd is remembered as the infamous architect of Apartheid in South Africa. On this day in 1966 – a few months after his party’s victory in the general election – Verwoerd was stabbed to death by Dimitri Tsafendas, who was working as a parliamentary messenger at that time. In the trials that followed, Tsafendas was spared of a death penalty on the grounds of insanity.


1968

Politics

Swaziland Gains Independence

On this day in 1968, the African nation of Swaziland gained independence from the British rule. King Sobuzha II became the head of the state, while the parliamentary system set up by the British remained intact. However, in 1973, the Sobuzha suspended the constitution and went on to establish a new constitution that made him absolute ruler of the country.


1972

Politics

Munich Massacre

The 1972 Munich Summer Olympics is remembered for the gruesome hostage crisis and the massacre that followed, involving Palestinian terrorist organization, Black September, and nine Israeli athletes. The siege, which began on September 5, ended on this day, after much bloodshed. 11 athletes, 5 terrorists and a German police officer were killed during the attack.


1979

Politics

President Carter Institutes ‘National Grandparents Day’

President Jimmy Carter issued an official proclamation announcing the observance of National Grandparents Day on this day in 1979. According to the proclamation, the first Sunday after Labor Day was designated to honor ‘the old and wise of the country’.


1988

Politics

Lee Roy Young Becomes The First Black Texas Ranger

Established in 1823, the Texas Rangers Division is one among the oldest law enforcement agencies in America. On this day in 1988, Lee Roy Young became the first African-America Ranger in the history of the organization. Young became a Ranger at the age of 41, and retired in 2003.


1991

Politics

From Leningrad To Saint Petersburg

Among the many changes that accompanied the collapse of Soviet Union was the change of the name of country’s second largest city – from Leningrad to Saint Petersburg. The city had been rechristened twice before – as Petrograd in 1914 and Leningrad in 1924, following Lenin’s death.


1991

Politics

USSR Recognizes Independence Of Estonia, Latvia And Lithuania

The Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia were forcefully integrated into the Soviet Union in 1940, and had since been striving to regain their independence. Following the disintegration of Soviet Union, the new ruling council recognized the independence of the three countries on this day in 1991.


1997

Politics

Funeral Of Princess Diana

Numerous conspiracy theories surround Princess Diana’s death, all of which have failed to progress beyond being a mere rumor. The funeral of the Princess of Wales – who had died in a car crash on August 31st – was held on this day in 1997. It was one among the most watched events on television, with around two billion people tracing the event worldwide.


2012

Politics

Obama Accepts His Nomination

Incumbent President Barack Obama was officially nominated for re-election at the Democratic National Convention held from September 4 to 6, 2012, in North Carolina. On this day, Obama addressed the delegates at the convention, accepting his presidential nomination.


1781

Wars

Battle Of Groton Heights

The Battle of Groton Heights, fought on this day in 1781, was one among the final chapters in the American Revolutionary War. A small militia led by Lieutenant Colonel William Ledyard heroically took on a considerably large British force, and perished, after putting on some fierce resistance. The battle ended with a tactical British victory, and New London was burned down on the order of the infamous Brigadier General Benedict Arnold.


1914

Wars

First Battle Of The Marne

The Battle of Marne was one among the earliest and most decisive battles during the First World War. The battle began on this day in 1914, with the French and British forces launching an aggressive offensive against the advancing German army. The Germans had already invaded Belgium and northeastern France, and were headed for Paris when the battle broke out. After about eight days of fierce fighting, the battle ended with a decisive Allied victory.


1943

Disasters & Natural Calamities

Pennsylvania Railroad Accident

Operated and maintained by the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Congressional Limited was a high-speed train that travelled between Washington D.C. and New York City. On this day in 1943, the train derailed and crashed en route New York, a few minutes after leaving the North Philadelphia station. 79 people were killed and more than 100 were injured in the accident. A notable survivor of the accident was Chinese author Lin Yutang.


1952

Disasters & Natural Calamities

Air Show Tragedy Kills Dozens In England

A public event meant to entertain turned into a horror show on this day in 1952. At the Farnborough Airshow, a de Havilland DH.110 started disintegrating mid-flight and plummeted into the crowd, killing 31 and injuring several. John Derry, the DH.110 pilot who died in the crash, was the first British pilot to break the sound barrier.


1880

Sports

First Test Cricket Match On English Soil

The first test cricket match on English soil was played on this day at The Oval, where the hosts took on Australia. Legendary English cricketer W.G. Grace debuted in this match, and scored a century in his maiden test innings. England won the match by 5 wickets.


1890

Sports

Bohemian F.C. Founded

One of the most popular Irish Football clubs was founded on this day in 1890. Besides being the third most successful club in League of Ireland history, the Bohemian F.C. – nicknamed by fans as ‘Bohs’ or ‘The Gypsies’ – is also the first football club with deeply ingrained Protestant roots. The Dalymount Park in Dublin serves as the home ground of the Bohs.


1920

Sports

Jack Dempsey Retains Heavyweight Boxing Title

On this day in 1920, legendary boxer Jack Dempsey retained his Heavyweight title following a largely one-sided match with Billy Miske at the Benton harbor. The match is perhaps more remembered for the sad back story involved, since Miske was battling declining health due to kidney failure when he took on the reigning heavyweight champion. Miske died four years later, on January 1, 1924.


1954

Sports

Vic Seixas Wins 74th U.S. Men's National Championship

Vic Seixas’ tennis career spanned across three decades, in the course of which he won numerous tournaments and went on to become the one of the top players of the era. On this day in 1954, Seixas added another feather to his cap when he defeated Spencer Brent 6-1, 6-0, 6-1 to win the 74th U.S. Men’s National Championship.


1975

Sports

Martina Navratilova Seeks Political Asylum In USA

The exodus of talented artists and athletes from the Soviet bloc continued throughout the Cold War Era, and on this day in 1975, Czech tennis prodigy Martina Navratilova defected to the USA. Navratilova’s request for political asylum came a day after her exit from the US Open, and was in response to the restrictive and regressive policies of the Czech authorities.


1987

Sports

2nd World Championships In Athletics Comes To An End

The second edition of IAAF World Championship in Athletics was hosted by Rome, and saw more than 1,400 athletes from 156 countries competing across 43 events. The Championship was held in ‘StadioOlimpico’, the largest stadium in Rome. East Germany repeated history when it emerged at the top of the medals table for the second consecutive time.


1995

Sports

Cal Ripken Jr. Creates Most Number Of Consecutive Games Record

On this day in 1995, baseball’s “Iron Man”, Cal Ripken, achieved an incredible feat when he surpassed Lou Gehrig’s record for most number of consecutive games played. Ripken’s 2,131st appearance revived the public interest in baseball, which had been on the decline since the series of crises that beset the game in 1994. Ripken was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.


1996

Sports

Eddie Murray Hits 500th Career Home Run

Baltimore Orioles’ Eddie Murray hit his 500th home run on this day in 1996. Murray was only the third player in MLB history to combine 500 home runs with 3000 or more hits, and is the only switch-hitter in the 3000/500 club. Murray was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003.


2001

Sports

Barry Bonds Hits 60th Home Run Of The Season

On this day in 2001, San Francisco Giants player Barry Bonds became the fifth player in MLB history to hit 60 home runs in a season. At 37, Bonds was the oldest to reach the rare landmark, and his record-tying feat came in a game against Arizona Diamondbacks.


1791

Literature & Entertainment

Mozart’s Final Opera Premieres In Prague

‘La Clemenza di Tito/The Clemency of Titus’, the last opera written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, premiered on this day in 1791 in Prague. The opera consisted of two acts, was set in 79 AD and chronicled the life and times of the Roman Emperor Titus.


1847

Literature & Entertainment

Thoreau Leaves Walden Pond

Henry David Thoreau is most remembered for his seminal work, ‘Walden’, which reflected on his life and times in a cabin in the woods, built near Walden Pond. On this day in 1847, Thoreau ended the two-year stint that inspired his Walden essays, and moved in with the Emersons (notable American poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson was Thoreau’s mentor and benefactor).


1919

Literature & Entertainment

End Of Actors’ Equity Strike

The prolonged stand-off between Actors’ Equity Association and Producing Managers’ Association came to a resolution on this day in 1919. After 30 days, numerous demonstrations and cancelled productions, the producers agreed to the demands that included improved working conditions, better pay and the recognition of AEA. The strike had caused a financial loss of around $3 million at the time.


1954

Literature & Entertainment

‘La Strada’ Premieres At The Venice Film Festival

Italian director Federico Fellini’s ‘La Strada/The Road’ premiered at the Venice Film Festival on this day in 1954. The critically acclaimed drama recounted the tragic story of Gelsomina – a spirited, carefree girl whose life takes a turn for the worse after being sold to an itinerant street performer, Zampano, by her mother. ‘La Strada’ went on to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and is considered an evergreen classic.


1961

Literature & Entertainment

Bob Dylan Debuts At Gaslight Café

During its 14-year run between 1958 and 1971, the Gaslight Café in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, hosted a number of gifted performers like Charles Mingus, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. On this day in 1961, another artist who would go on to become a legend – Bob Dylan - debuted at the Café. Dylan’s set list for the café included hit tracks like ‘Man on the Street’, ‘Song to Woody’ and ‘Pretty Polly’.


1968

Literature & Entertainment

Eric Clapton Records Guitar Solo For ‘The Beatles’

The Beatles’ White Album sessions were marked by strong undercurrents of tension within the band, and the conflict eventually led to Eric Clapton strumming guitar for the song, ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’. The song, written by George Harrison, was listed on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”, at No. 136.


1969

Literature & Entertainment

‘Cabaret’ Ends Broadway Run After 1169 Performances

Acclaimed Broadway musical ‘Cabaret’ ended its three-year run after 1,169 performances on this day in 1969. In the course of its run, ‘Cabaret’ had garnered rave reviews and won numerous Tony awards, besides being immensely popular with the audience. The musical has since been adapted for screen and revived on stage numerous times.


1979

Literature & Entertainment

‘Peter Pan’ Opens At Lunt-Fontanne Theatre

The ’79 Broadway revival of ‘Peter Pan’ announced the arrival of a great talent on stage. The musical comedy, which debuted on this day, gave Sandy Duncan a big break, and catapulted her to fame. Duncan’s critically acclaimed performance won her numerous award nominations and accolades, and set the tone for an illustrious career.


1982

Literature & Entertainment

‘They’re Playing Our Song’ Closes After 1082 Performances

Essentially a two-character musical romance that revisits the real-life relationship of its writers, Hamlisch and Sager, ‘They are Playing Our Song’ was one of the major Broadway hits in the early 1980’s. The show ended its run on this day in 1982, after 1082 performances.


2010

Literature & Entertainment

‘The King’s Speech’ Premieres At Telluride Film Festival

The world first caught a glimpse of the British cinematic masterpiece, ‘The King’s Speech’, on this day in 2010, at the Telluride Film Festival in the USA. The movie went on to take the 83rd Academy Awards by storm, earning the most number of nominations and winning four Oscars, including Best Actor and Best Picture.


2012

Literature & Entertainment

‘Forbidden Broadway’ Returns To Stage After Three-Year Hiatus

Gerard Alessandrini’s ‘Forbidden Broadway’ returned to stage after a three-year break on this day in 2012. Between 1982 and 2009, the off-Broadway revue had spoofed Broadway and earned a cult following among theatre lovers. The revival, titled ‘Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking’, coincided with the 30th anniversary of original revue.


1522

Trivia

‘Victoria’ Becomes The First Ship To Circumnavigate The World

On this day in 1522, Spanish carrack ‘Vittoria/Victoria’ became the first ship to circumnavigate the world. The journey, which started with a crew of 265 men headed by Portuguese explorer Magellan, returned with just 18 men onboard. Magellan was killed in Philippines in 1521, in the course of a three year journey that spanned through 1519-1522.


1819

Trivia

Blanchard Patents Lathe

Upon its invention, American inventor Thomas Blanchard’s ‘turning machine’, or lathe, revolutionized the production of irregular forms – gunstocks, shoe lasts and agricultural implements to name a few. Blanchard patented his invention on this day in 1819. The original model is now preserved at the United States Armory, Springfield.


1870

Trivia

Louisa Ann Swain Becomes The First Woman Voter In The USA

On this day in 1870, 70-year old Louisa Ann Swain cast her first vote at the general elections in Wyoming. Little did she know that she will be remembered by posterity for (inadvertently) making a giant contribution to the advancement of Woman’s Rights in America. In 2008, the Congress passed a resolution to observe the 6th of September as Louisa Ann Swain Day in her honor.


1879

Trivia

First Telephone Exchange Opens In UK

The first public telephone exchange in Britain was opened on this day in 1879. Operated by the Edison Telephone Company of London, the exchange originally had ten subscribers.


1892

Trivia

First Gasoline Tractor Sold In USA

American inventor John Froelich is credited with the invention and commercial-scale manufacture of gasoline tractors in the country. On this day in 1892, Froelich’s tractor – which had both forward and reverse gears – was shipped to South Dakota. Froelich’s Waterloo Gasoline Tractor Engine Company was subsequently acquired by the John Deere Plow Company.


1916

Trivia

First Self-Service Grocery Store Opens

Piggly Wiggly, America’s first self-service grocery store, was founded on this day in 1916 in Memphis, Tennessee, by Clarence Saunders. The novel concept quickly caught on, and revolutionized the grocery industry. A century later, Piggly Wiggly continues to thrive as a supermarket chain, with more than 600 stores operating across 17 states in the country.


1943

Trivia

Monterrey Institute Of Technology Founded

The Monterrey Institute of Technology - one of the largest and most important private universities in South America - was founded on this day in 1943 in Mexico. Often regarded as one among the 100 best universities in the world, ITESM currently has 33 campuses spread across 25 cities in Mexico.


1947

Trivia

First Long-Range Missile Launched From A US Vessel

Developed by the Germans during the Second World War, the V-2 was the world’s first long-range guided ballistic missile. After the war, the Allies took possession of V-2, and on this day in 1947, the US Navy tested the missile from the deck of USS Midway. The operation, codenamed ‘Sandy’, was also the first attempt to launch a liquid-fueled rocket from an aircraft carrier.


1987

Trivia

The Binder Twins Separated

Former presidential candidate Ben Carson first made headlines on this day in 1987, during his long and illustrious career as a neurosurgeon. At the end of a 22-hour surgery that was fraught with risk, Carson and his team successfully managed to separate conjoined twins Benjamin and Patrick Binder. The story doesn’t have a happy ending though. Despite the success of the surgery, both the boys were left disabled. Benjamin died in 2007, while Patrick continues to be in a vegetative state.


1993

Trivia

Renault-Volvo Merger Announced

Of all the merger proposals that became disastrous failures, the one between Renault and Volvo - which was announced on this day in 1993 - remains a prime example. Soon after the announcement, Volvo’s market value declined, the company’s CEO was ousted and even strained the diplomatic relations between Sweden and France. Unsurprisingly, the merger deal was soon abandoned by the two companies.


People Born This Day

Buddy Bolden
(1877-1931)
Musical Artist [ American ]
Jane Addams
(1860-1935)
[ American ]
Jeff Foxworthy
(1958-)
Comedian [ American ]
Edward Victor Appleton
(1892-1965)
Physicist [ British ]
John Dalton
(1766-1844)
[ British ]
Marquis de Lafayette
(1757-1834)
French Aristocrat and Military Leader [ French ]
Chris Christie
(1962-)
Governor of New Jersey [ American ]
Jane Curtin
(1947-)
Actress [ American ]
Michaëlle Jean
(1957-)
Former Governor General of Canada [ Canadian ]
Carly Fiorina
(1954-)
Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard [ American ]
John James Rickard Macleod
(1876-1935)
Biochemist & Physiologist [ British ]
Susumu Tonegawa
(1939-)
Immunologist, Molecular Biologist [ Japanese ]
Luis Federico Leloir
(1906-1987)
Biochemist, Physician [ Argentine ]
Richard J. Roberts
(1943-)
Biochemist, Molecular Biologist [ British ]
Rosie Perez
(1964-)
Film Actress & Show Host [ American ]


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