History: September 21

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September 21

19BC Death: Virgil.

0454 Supreme army commander Aetius is murdered in Ravenna, Italy, by Valentinian III, the emperor of the West.

0687 Conon the Catholic Pope ends his reign.

1327 Death: Edward II king of England (1307-1327); murdered with a red hot poker in Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire by order of his wife. He is succeeded by his son Edward III.

1348 Jews in Zurich, Switzerland are accused of poisoning wells.

1415 Birth: Frederick III, in Innsbruck, Austria, German Emperor (1440-1493).

1435 The Treaty of Arras is signed by which Philip of Burgundy makes peace with Charles VII of France and receives Macon, Auxerre and part of Picardy.

1451 Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa orders all Jews in Holland to wear a badge.

1452 Birth: Girolamo Savonarola, Italian reformer, monk, preacher. A Dominican from 1474, he will be famous for his religious zeal. For 14 years he will be at the forefront in the reformation of Florence, before attacks on Alexander VI lead to his excommunication. In 1498, he will be convicted of heresy, hanged and burned.

1520 Suleiman (the Magnificent), son of Selim, becomes Ottoman sultan in Constantinople.

1522 Martin Luther, at 36, publishes his German translation of the New Testament. Luther's translation of the entire Bible, the greatest literary achievement of the influential reformer, is completed in 1534.

1529 The first croissants are eaten in celebration in Vienna, after the Austrians had driven out the Turks from the gates of their capital.

1576 Death: Girolamo Cardano, Italian mathematician, at 74.

1589 Battle of Arques: The Duke of Mayenne of France is defeated by Henry IV.

1599 William Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar, is performed for the first time by the Lord Chamberlain's Men.

1673 James Needham returns to Virginia after exploring 'the land to the west,' now known as Tennessee.

1737 Birth: Francis Hopkinson, Signer of the Declaration of Independence. "Francis Hopkinson was a man of extraordinary talent and charm. Born in to a family of substance in Philadelphia, he was the first scholar and first Graduate of the College of Philadelphia, which his father, along with good friend Benjamin Franklin, played a role in chartering. He studied Law in the office of Benjamin Chew (later, Chief Justice of Pennsylvania) and then continued his education in England, two years study with the Bishop of Worchestor. He was a writer of poetry and satire, his first notable work, A Pretty Story, made a skeptical examination of the relationship between Great Britain and the colonies. Hopkinson was elected a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1776, where he signed the Declaration. After the War he was an active advocate, in speaking and in writing, for the New Federal constitution. He was commissioned a Judge of Admiralty in Pennsylvania in 1780, and Washington appointed him Federal District Judge for his native state in 1790. He died very suddenly of a missive epileptic seizure in 1791, at the still young age of fifty-three."

One reads this on the back of the US commemorative stamp above: Francis Hopkinson Flag 1777: Continental Congress member Francis Hopkinson designed the first Stars and Stripes. His stars may have formed rows or a ring; the exact design is not known. In a resolution of June 14, 1777, they were said to represent "a new constellation."

1745 Battle of Prestonpans: The Jacobite army of just over 3,000 under Bonnie Prince Charlie defeats the English Royal forces led by Sir John Cope, in Scotland.

1746 After a short siege the French under Admiral La Bourdonnais takes Madras, India, from the English.

1756 Birth: John Loudon McAdam, engineer who will invent and give his name to macadamized (tarmac) roads, in Ayr, Scotland.

1776 US Revolutionary War: A great fire, raging in large areas of New York since the British invasion, are finally brought under control.

1780 US Revolutionary War: General Benedict Arnold, an extremely brave and talented but excessively ambitious and vain individual, gives British Major Andre the plans to a key Continental position: West Point. Note: Arnold, the commander of West Point, had been given this trusted position by George Washington, a man to whom he more than once professed his personal loyalty.

1788 Birth: Margaret Taylor (Smith), wife of US President Zachary Taylor.

1792 French Revolution: Decree is passed abolishing royalty in France and a French Republic is proclaimed. The seating arrangement at the French National Assembly (Left, Center and Right) becomes the basis for categorizing all political ideologies from this date forth.

1814 The Star Spangled Banner: Francis Scott Key's patriotic verses, destined to become the American National Anthem in 1931, are first published in The Baltimore American.

1863 US Civil War: Union troops that had been defeated at Chickamauga seek refuge in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which as luck would have it is right then being besieged by Confederate troops.

1866 Birth: Charles Jean Henri Nicolle, bacteriologist, will discover a handy bit of knowledge; that typhus fever is transmitted by the body louse. (Nobel-1928).

1866 Birth: Herbert George (HG) Wells, in Bromley, England, fururist science fiction writer whose pioneering works will include The Food Of The Gods, Shapes Of Things, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man and The War of the Worlds.

1872 John Henry Conyers of South Carolina becomes the first black student at Annapolis.

1886 Birth: Teiichi Igarashi, in Japan, will climb Mt. Fuji at the age of 99.

1893 Frank Duryea takes what is believed to be the first gasoline-powered automobile for a test drive: A "horseless carriage" designed by himself and brother Charles Duryea.

1896 The first US auto manufacturer opens: Duryea Motor Wagon Company.

1895 Birth: Juan de la Cierva, aeronautical engineer who will invent the autogyro.

1897 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon had written a letter to The New York Sun, 'I am eight years old. Some of my friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, 'If you see it in The Sun, it's so.' Please tell me the truth. Is there a Santa Claus?" Editor Frank Church's response is printed this day: 'Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist. No Santa Claus? Thank God he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay ten times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood'.

1897 The envelope seal is patented by F. W. Leslie.

1901 Boer War: It is decreed that the property of burghers still fighting will be confiscated and sold.

1904 Death: Exiled Nez Perce leader Chief Joseph, of a 'broken heart'.

1912 Birth: Chuck Jones, animator and director.

1915 Stonehenge is sold by auction for £6,600 pounds sterling ($11,500) to a Mr. Cecil Chubb, who buys it as a present for his wife. He will present it to the British nation three years later as his wife will explain that it didn't suit her.

1915 Death: Anthony Comstock, anti-vice crusader, at 71 in New York City.

1918 WW1: British cavalry sweeps through Nazareth and turns east to reach the Jordan just south of the Sea of Galilee.

1922 President Warren G. Harding signs a joint resolution of approval to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

1929 Skirmishes between China and the Soviet Union occur along the Manchurian border.

1930 German inventor Johann Ostermeyer patents the flashbulb.

1933 Church and Reich: Martin Niemoeller begins organizing the Pastors' Emergency League. Over 7,000 churches will join, although some 2,500 later withdraw under Nazi pressure. The League itself will give birth to the more famous Barmen Synod, which will be formed in May 1934.

1935 Hitler's speech to the Hitler Youth in Nuremberg: "What we want of our German youth is different to what was wanted in the past. In our eyes the German youth of the future must be slim and trim, swift as a greyhound, tough as leather and hard as Krupp steel. We have to educate a new type of person so that our People are not destroyed by the symptoms of the degeneration of our time. We do not waste words, we act. We have begun to educate our People in a new school, to provide them with an education which begins in youth and is never-ending. In future a young man will be transferred from one school to the next. Schooling will begin with the child and will end with the old veteran of the movement. No one shall say that for him there is a time when he can be left entirely to his own devices. It is the duty of each of us to serve his People, it is the duty of each of us to..."

1936 Hitler's Germany holds its largest military maneuvers since 1914.

1936 Arthur Leese and two other British Fascists are found guilty of libeling and slandering British Jews.

1938 Sudeten Crisis: The Czech government agrees to Anglo-French plans to cede the Sudetenland to Germany.

1938 A hurricane strikes parts of New York and New England, with winds up to 183mph that take the lives of 700.

1939 Romanian Legionaries murder Armand Calinescu, who they blame for the death of Corneliu Codreanu. Nine of the assassins turn themselves in to police and all are quickly executed.

1939 WW2: Press Reaction to Hitler's September 19 Speech: "In his speech in Danzig, M. Hitler, a prisoner of his own crimes, merely argued in his own defense against the evidence, merely dealt in falsehoods in order to conceal from the eyes of his people the tragic aspects of the situation created by the German resort to force, to conceal inescapable realities. He repeated for the hundredth time his charges against the 'Diktat' of Versailles.. . . M. Hitler limited himself to proclaiming that he has no war aims in regard to France and England. What was noteworthy about the Danzig speech was that he made no really constructive proposals, and that he did not explain the circumstances and the conditions of the collusion between Germany and Russia..."--Le Temps

1939 The United States Congress convenes in special session. President Roosevelt reads a message asking for an amendment of the Neutrality Act to provide for the lifting of the arms embargo.

1939 Holocaust: Reinhard Heydrich tells a meeting of his department heads in the Reich Central Security Office (RSHA), an organization encompassing the Gestapo, SS, SD, and Criminal Police, that the mass deportations of thousands of Jews, including Poles, Germans, Austrians, Czechs and Slovaks, to the eastern areas of Poland are the "first steps in the final solution" (die Endlösung).(Apparatus)

1939 Holocaust: The Germans decree that all Polish communities with less than 500 Jews are to be dissolved and that the Jews are hereafter to live in certain restricted areas in the larger cities, or in a special region between Lublin and Nisko, called the "Lublinland reservation." (Atlas)

1939 Church and Reich: Cardinal August Hlond, Primate of Poland, arrives in Rome and personally reports of German atrocities against Catholic priests in Poland to the Pope. The Vatican radio and "L'Osservatore Romano" tell the story to the world. (Lewy)

1940 Dr. Edward H. Armstrong receives a patent for a new FM (frequency modulation) transmitting system which will increase fidelity to new peak levels.

1941 WW2: The German Army cuts off the Crimean Peninsula from the rest of the Soviet Union.

1942 WW2: British forces attack the Japanese in Burma.

1944 Birth: Hamilton Jordan, political advisor; will engineer Jimmy Carters successful Presidential win as well as his reelection defeat. A Jordon Anecdote: While attending an official state dinner at the White House, Ham is introduced to the Ambassador of Egypt and his wife. The diplomatic spouse, who is dressed in a very low-cut evening gown, takes offense when Jordon, staring a bit too long at her cleavage, remarks with a grin that he'd 'always wanted to see the Egyptian Pyramids.'

1944 The Warsaw Uprising: Last drop for Warsaw. Of the 306 Allied aircraft that take part in all the drops, 41 are shot down and 200 airmen killed.

1949 Communist leaders proclaim The People's Republic of China.

1949 The Federal Republic of Germany, AKA West Germany, is created under 3-power occupation.

1954 The USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear-powered vessel, is launched from Groton, Connecticut. The 340-foot sub, $55 million and eight years to develop, is capable of cruising around the world without surfacing because its atomic engine needs no air. With a top speed of thirty knots, the submarine can move faster under water than most vessels on the surface.

1956 Death: Anastasio Somoza, Nicaraguan dictator, assassinated by Roliberto Lopez.

1961 Death: Earle Dickson, at 68, invented the Band-Aid.

1964 Malta gains independence from Britain.

1965 BP finds oil in the North Sea.

1965 The Gambia, the Maldives and Singapore are admitted to the United Nations.

1973 The first naturalised citizen to become US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, is confirmed by the US Senate.

1976 Orlando Letelier, former foreign minister for President Salvador Allende of Chili, is killed by a car bomb in Washington, DC.

1974 US Mariner 10 makes a second flyby of Mercury.

1977 After weeks of controversy over past business and banking practices, President Carter's embattled budget director, Bert Lance, resigns.

1978 Two Soviet cosmonauts set a space endurance record after spending 96 days in space.

1978 Nigeria's rulers announce a new constitution and lift a ban on political parties which had been in effect since 1966.

1981 Belize, formerly known as British Honduras, gains independence from Britain.

1981 The US Senate, in a 99-0 vote, confirms Sandra Day O'Connor as the first female Justice of the US Supreme Court.

1982 Amin Gemayel is elected president of Lebanon after his brother, Bashir Gemayel who had been the president-elect, is assassinated.

1983 In a speech to the US Chamber of Commerce, Interior Secretary James G. Watt jokingly describes a special advisory panel as consisting of `a black ... a woman, two Jews and a cripple.'' Although Watt later apologizes, he will end up resigning.

1984 NASA launches Galaxy-C.

1985 North and South Korea open their borders for their family reunion program.

1988 Death: Robert Gwathmey, artist, at 85.

1989 The Senate Armed Forces Committee unanimously confirms President George H. Bush's nomination of Army General Colin Powell as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Powell is the first black American to achieve the United States' highest military post. Powell was born in 1937 in Harlem, New York, to Jamaican immigrant parents. Joining the US Army after college, he served two tours in Vietnam before holding several high-level military posts during the 1970s and 1980s. From 1987 to 1989, he was national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan and in 1989 reached the pinnacle of his profession when he was appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by President George Bush. As chairman, General Powell's greatest achievement was planning the swift US victory over Iraq in 1991's Persian Gulf War. In 1993, he retired as chairman. Two years later, he embarked on a national tour to promote his autobiography, My American Journey, fueling speculation that he was testing the waters for a possible presidential campaign. By the fall of 1995, public enthusiasm over the possibility of his running for president had reached a feverish pitch. Regarded as a moderate Republican, opinion polls showed Powell trailing close behind Republican favorite Bob Dole and favored over Democratic incumbent Bill Clinton. However, in November 1995, he announced that he would not run for president in the next election, citing concerns for his family's well-being and a lack of passion for the rigors of political life. From 1997, he served as chairman of "America's Promise - The Alliance for Youth," a national nonprofit organization dedicated to building the character and competence of young people. In December 2000, Powell was appointed the first African American US secretary of state by President-elect George W. Bush. Unanimously confirmed by the US Senate, he will be sworn in on 20 January 2001.

1989 Hurricane Hugo tears into Charleston, South Carolina, leaving a trail of destruction calculated at over eight billion dollars.

1991 Armenia votes on whether or not to remain in the Soviet Union.

1992 The Vatican and Mexico establish full diplomatic relations, ending a rift of 130 years.

1993 Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin announces that he is ousting the Communist-dominated Congress, effectively seizing all state power.

1996 Former Indian Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao resigns as head of the Congress party after a court upholds a summons ordering him to appear as a CO-accused in a cheating case.

1996 The board of the all-male Virginia Military Institute votes to admit women.

1998 President Clinton's videotaped grand jury testimony is publicly broadcast as Clinton tussles with prosecutors over 'the truth of my relationship' with Monica Lewinsky.

2001 German authorities say they believe a terrorist group based there began planning the US attacks as far back as 1999.

2001 Afghanistan's Taliban rulers defiantly refuse to hand over bin Laden and warn that any US attacks will plunge the entire region into crisis.

2001 Taliban troops take up positions in the jagged mountain peaks on Afghanistan's border with Pakistan.

2001 Thousands demonstrate in Pakistan's major cities. 

2001 The Pentagon commits more aircraft to the Persian Gulf.





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