History: September 4

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September 4

0476 The 'Dark Ages' begin as Romulus Augustulus, the last emperor of the western Roman Empire, is deposed and the barbarian Odoacer takes command of Rome.

To Romans, it must have seemed the end of the world. The Western Roman Empire now lay like a skeleton fallen in its own useless armor.

All along the 10,000-mile border of the empire, there is war. Orientus, a Roman poet in the 400s, writes: "See how swiftly death comes upon the world, and how many people the violence of war has stricken. Some lay as food for dogs; others were killed by the flames that licked their homes. In the villages and country houses, in the fields and in the countryside, on every road- death, sorrow, slaughter, fires, and lamentation."

1609 English navigator Henry Hudson, working for the Dutch East India Company, arrives at the island of Manhattan, before sailing up the river that now bears his name. In making his trip up the river, Hudson claims the area for the Dutch and opens the land for the settlers who follow.

1618 The Rodi avalanche destroys Plurs, Switzerland, killing 1,500.

1752 Alberne Unsinn, of Lächerlicher, Pennsylvania, spends day two as instructed. (See Sep 5)

1768 Birth: Francois Rene de Chateaubriand, French poet, novelist, statesman, historian and explorer.

1781 Los Angeles, California is born. The Mexican Provincial Governor, Felipe de Neve, founds El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles, originally named Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula, by Gaspar de Portola, a Spanish army captain and Juan Crespi, a Franciscan priest, who had noticed the beautiful area as they traveled north from San Diego in 1769. El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles translates into the Village of our Lady, the Queen of the Angels or just LA for short.

1803 Birth: Sarah Childress Polk, US first Lady: wife of 11th President of the United States, James Knox Polk.

1833 Barney Flaherty answers an ad in 'The New York Sun' and becomes the first paperboy at the age of ten.

1846 Birth: Daniel Burnham, architect, (Railway Exchange Building [Chicago, one of the first skyscrapers in the US], Chicago’s Monadnock Building [1891] and Reliance Building [1894]; long-range city plan for Chicago [1909], Cleveland (also proposed, above), Detroit, San Francisco, Washington DC).

1846 Birth: Lewis Latimer, engineer, inventor.

1866 The first Hawaiian daily newspaper is published.

1882 Thomas Edison displays the first practical electrical lighting system in a one square mile area of New York City.

1885 The Exchange Buffet, the first self-service cafeteria in the US, opens in New York City.

1886 For almost 30 years he had fought the whites who invaded his homeland, but Geronimo, the wiliest and most dangerous Apache warrior of his time, finally surrenders in Skeleton Canyon, Arizona. Known to the Apache as Goyalkla, or 'One Who Yawns', most non-Indians knew him by his Spanish nickname, Geronimo. When he was a young man, Mexican soldiers had murdered his wife and children during a brutal attack on his village in Chihuahua, Mexico. Though Geronimo later remarried and fathered other children, the scars of that early tragedy left him with an abiding hatred for Mexicans. Operating in the border region around Mexico's Sierra Madre and southern Arizona and New Mexico, Geronimo and his band of 50 Apache warriors succeeded in keeping white settlers off Apache lands for decades. Geronimo never learned to use a gun, yet he armed his men with the best modern rifles he could obtain and even used field glasses to aid reconnaissance during his campaigns. He was a brilliant strategist who used the Apache knowledge of the arid desert environment to his advantage, and for years Geronimo and his men successfully evaded two of the US Army's most talented Indian fighters, General George Crook (above with Geronimo) and General Nelson A. Miles. But by 1886, the great Apache warrior had grown tired of fighting and further resistance seemed increasingly pointless: there were just too many whites and too few Apaches. On this day Geronimo turned himself over to Miles, becoming the last American Indian warrior in history to formally surrender to the United States.

After several years of imprisonment, Geronimo was given his freedom, and he moved to Oklahoma where he converted to Christianity and became a successful farmer. He even occasionally worked as a scout and adviser for the US army. Transformed into a safe and romantic symbol of the already vanishing era of the Wild West, he became a popular celebrity at world's fairs and expositions and even rode in President Theodore Roosevelt's inaugural parade in 1905. He died at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1909, still on the federal payroll as an army scout.

1888 The name, Kodak, is registered by George Eastman of Rochester, New York. He patents his roll-film camera: US Patent #388,850.

1901 Theodore Roosevelt is sworn in as the 26th president of the USA. He is the only president not sworn in on a Bible. Mr. Ansley Wilcox, at whose home Roosevelt took the oath of office, will write in 1903, "According to my best recollection no Bible was used, but President Roosevelt was sworn in with uplifted hand."

1912 Birth: Alexander Liberman, editor, painter, photographer, sculptor, in Russia.

1914 WW1: General Wilson sets in motion a plan to envelop the exposed German right flank. Gen. Maunoury's Sixth Army, temporarily under the regional command of Gen. Joseph S. Gallieeni, the military governor of Paris, begins an advance from Paris toward the Ourcq River, where Kluck's right flank lies open.

1917 WW1: The American expeditionary force in France suffers its first fatalities.

1917 Birth: Henry Ford II, industrialist, head of Ford Motor Co. [1945-1980]. Died 29 September 1987. Note: You do the math.

1933 Fuhlsbuettel (Hamburg) concentration camp is opened.

1935 The League of Nations meets to discuss Mussolini's agression against Abyssinia (Ethiopia).

1936 The Berlin Labor Court rules that German employees who marry Jews or other "non-Aryans" may be dismissed from their jobs.

1937 Nazi officials order all Rotary Club chapters in Germany dissolved.

1939 WW2: As German forces continue their Blitzkrieg of Poland, Hitler visits Marshal Pilsudski's grave in the Krakow Cathedral. (Sturdza)

1939 WW2: With Hitler's consent, Goering makes a speech asking for a settlement with Poland.

1939 WW2: British Blenheim and Wellington bombers attack the German naval facilities at Wilhelmshaven. Of the 29 bombers that take off from England, 5 fail to find the target and 7 are shot down. The only serious damage is done by a Blenheim that manages to crash into the bow of the cruiser Emden, killing a number of sailors. (Duffy)

1939 WW2: British planes attack the German warship Admiral Scheer, but the bombs fail to explode; the RAF will drop leaflets for the next few months because the government forbids bombing German industry as "its private property."

1939 WW2: At Bydgoszcz, a thousand Poles are murdered, including several dozen Boy Scouts who are shot against a wall by German troops.

1939 WW2: Australia and New Zealand at war with Germany. Cordell Hull proclaims American neutrality.

1940 WW2: Hitler warns that if the British continue to bomb Berlin, he will have no choice but to level their cities. (Payne; Duffy)

1942 SS Dr. Johann Paul Kremer's Auschwitz Diary: "To combat the diarrhea: 1 day of gruel and peppermint tea, followed by a week's special diet. Charcoal and Tannalbin at intervals. Already considerably better."

1944 WW2: British troops enter the city of Antwerp, Belgium.

1944 Diary of Leon Gladun: We're off for a rest at Casette d'Eete near the city of Civitanova. Our quarters are a mess over an area of 4 kms.

1945 The US regains possession of Wake Island from Japan.

1948 Wilhelmina, queen of the Netherlands from 1890 and throughout the World Wars, abdicates in favour of her daughter Juliana.

1951 The first coast-to-coast telecast using coaxial cable is seen by viewers from New York City to San Francisco, California. The first telecast is US President Harry Truman giving a speech to the nation from the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference in San Francisco.

1967 Michigan Gov. George Romney states during a TV interview that he had undergone "brainwashing" by U.S. officials while visiting Vietnam in 1965.

1973 Watergate: John Ehrlichman and G. Gordon Liddy are indicted with two others in connection with the burglary of a psychiatrist's office two years earlier.

1974 East Germany and the United States establish formal diplomatic relations.

1980 Iraqi troops seize Iranian territory in a border dispute. The conflict will later escalate into all-out war.

1983 US officials announce that there had been an American plane, used for reconnaissance, in the vicinity of the Korean Air Lines flight that was shot down by the Soviets for violating thier airspace.

1987 West German pilot Mathias Rust is convicted by a Soviet court and sentenced to four years in a labor camp. The charges are concerning his daring flight into Moscow's Red Square. Note: He is released after one year.

1992 Death: Joseph Rauh, one of leading liberals in America for more than half a century, at the age of 81.

1993 Pope John Paul II starts his first visit to the former Soviet Union.

1993 Fatah, the PLO's largest and most moderate faction, endorses an accord with Israel calling for interim Palestinian self-rule.

1995 Senator Bob Dole, R-Kansas, a Republican presidential hopeful, calls for English to be declared the official language of the United States.

1997 Three Buddhist nuns acknowledge in testimony to the U.S. Senate that their temple outside Los Angeles illegally reimbursed donors after a fund-raiser attended by Vice President Al Gore, and later destroyed or altered records.

1998 In Mexico, bankers stop approving personal loans and mortgages. Note: Mexico is in dire straits due in part to actions taken by the International Monetary Fund to help them out.

1998 The International Monetary Fund approves a $257 million loan to help out the Ukraine.

1998 While in Ireland, U.S. President Clinton says the words "I'm sorry" for the first time in regards to his affair with Monica Lewinsky and describes his behavior as indefensible.

1999 The United Nations announces that the residents of East Timor had overwhelmingly voted for independence from Indonesia in a referendum held on August 30. In Dili, pro-Indonesian militias attack independence supporters, burn buildings, blow up bridges and destroy telecommunication facilities.

2000 Prisoners in California call for a priest to exorcise their cells after participating in a seance made from a Scrabble board.

2002 President Bush says he will seek congressional approval for any military move on Iraq. He also promises to consult with allies, some of whom are opposed to his "regime change" plan.

2002 More than 100 heads of state take part in a UN world summit on sustainable development, during which the Bush administration is widely criticised for its environmental policies. Note: Many participants are wearing lapel pins with the slogan, 'What Do We Do About The US?'




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