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1499 The Swabian War between the Swiss League and Maximilian I ends with the signing of the Peace of Basle by which the Swiss gain independence.
1515 Birth: Anne of Cleeves, in Cleeves, Germany, fourth wife of Henry the VIII.
1520 Death: Selim I, at 53; captured Baghdad.
1601 The first Catholic priests of the newly established Christian Church in Japan, Sebastian Chimura and Aloysius Niabara, are ordained in their hometown of Nagasaki.
1656 The General Provincial Court in session at Patuxent, Maryland, impanels the first all-woman jury in the Colonies to hear evidence against Judith Catchpole, who is accused of murdering her child. The jury acquits her after hearing her defense of never having been pregnant.
1692 Salem Witch Trials: The last 8 'witches' are hanged in Massachusetts. When the turmoil finally settles, 13 women and 7 men had been executed, and over 150 others remain in jail through the next summer.
1711 The Tuscarora Indian War begins with a massacre of settlers in North Carolina, following white encroachment that included the enslaving of Indian children.
1735 Sir Robert Walpole becomes the first British Prime Minister to move into 10 Downing Street, just five minutes from Westminster.
1776 US Revolutionary War: Captain Nathan Hale, American patriot, is executed in New York City by the British for spying. "There was no trial, and Howe at once ordered that he should be hanged the next morning. Worse than this, had he known it, he was to be hanged by William Cunningham, the Provost-Major, a man whose brutality, through the war disgraced the British army. It is a satisfaction to know that Cunningham was hanged for his deserts in England, not many years after. Hale was confined for the night of September 21st in the greenhouse of the garden of Howeâ€™s headquarters. This place was known as the Beekman Mansion, at Turtle Bay. This house was standing until within a few years. Early the next day he was led to his death. â€śOn the morning of the execution,â€ť said Captain Montresor, an English officer, â€ś my station being near the fatal spot, I requested the Provost-Marshal to permit the prisoner to sit in my marquee while he was making the necessary preparations. Captain Hale entered. He asked for writing materials, which I furnished him. He wrote two letters; one to his mother and one to a brother officer. The Provost-Marshal destroyed the letters, and assigned a reason that the rebels should not know that they had a man in their army who could die with so much firmness.â€ť Hale asked for a Bible, but his request was refused. He was marched out by a guard and hanged upon an apple-tree in Rutgersâ€™s orchard. The place was near the present intersection of East Broadway and Market Streets. Cunningham asked him to make his dying â€śspeech and confession.â€ť â€śI only regret,â€ť he said, â€śthat I have but one life to lose for my country..."
1784 Russian trappers establish a colony on Kodiak Island, Alaska. "Grigorii Shelekhov (above), encouraged by Tsarina Catherine the Great (1729-1796), established the first colony in Alaska, in 1784, at Three Saints Bay on Kodiak Island. Shelekhov's colonial administrator, Alexandr Baranov, ruled so long (1790-1818) and effectively that he came to be known as "Lord" of Russian America. In 1794, the Tsarina fulfilled Shelekhov's pleas to establish an Orthodox mission in Alaska, and in 1799, Tsar Paul I (1754-1801) awarded Shelekhov's Russian American Company monopolistic control over trade and government, thus inextricably entwining the Company and the Church. The Company financed the Church in its missionary and educational work, while the Church became the custodian not only of the colony's morals -- often in opposition to Company practices -- but also of the spiritual and intellectual nurturing of the Native Alaskans. Although the initial confrontation of Russians and Alaskans was sometimes bloody, with the coming of the Orthodox priests relations generally became more harmonious and mutually beneficial. Before long, however..."
1789 The US Congress authorizes the office of Postmaster General.
1789 Russian forces under Aleksandr Suvorov drive the Turkish army under Yusuf Pasha from the Rymnik River, upsetting the Turkish invasion of Russia.
1791 Birth: Michael Faraday, English physicist and chemist, inventor of the dynamo, the transformer and the electric motor. Unit of capacitance, the Farad, is named after him.
1817 John Quincy Adams, son of Founder Father and second US President John Adams, becomes US Secretary of State.
1827 The angel Moroni reportedly reveals the golden tablets, containing the "Book of Mormon," to Joseph Smith. They were supposedly hidden near the family farm, in Palmyra, NY. Smith's English 'translation' of their strange hieroglyphics will become the literary foundation for the new Mormon religion.
1828 Shaka, Zulu chieftain and founder of the Zulu empire, is killed by his two half-brothers after he becomes insane.
1862 US President Abraham Lincoln issues the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves in rebel states free as of 1 January 1863. It is a political move that will help keep the British from intervening on the side of the South, but many believe Lincoln is attempting to incite a slave rebellion in the South.
1862 Otto von Bismarck becomes premier of Prussia. "When Bismarck became prime minister of Prussia in 1862, the kingdom was universally considered the weakest of the five European powers. Less than nine years later Prussia had been victorious in three wars, and a unified German Empire had emerged in the heart of Europe, arousing envy and fear among its rivals. When Bismarck left office in 1890, after 28 years as prime minister of Prussia and 19 as chancellor of the German Empire, the map of Europe had been changed beyond measure. The European center, characterized by a weak conglomeration of small and medium-sized states for centuries, was now home to the foremost military and industrial power on the continent..."
1864 US Civil War: Union General Philip Sheridan defeats Confederate General Jubal Early's troops at the Battle of Fisher's Hill, in Virginia. Note: Winchester, Virginia, will see more of the war than any other place North or South.
1869 Wagner's opera Das Rheingold is produced in Munich.
1878 Birth: Shigeru Yoshida, Japanese Prime Minister, (most of 1946-54).
1882 Birth: Wilhelm Keitel (above, with baton), Commander-in-Chief of the German armed forces supreme command (OKW) from February 4, 1938, until dismissed on May 13, 1945. Promoted to the rank of field marshal-general in 1940. Slavishly devoted to Hitler, he will be sentenced to death at Nuremberg and executed on October 15, 1946, for signing orders (including the Commissar Order) to execute hostages.
1892 Birth: Hans Albers, German movie star and action hero very popular in the Third Reich.
1903 Italo Marchiony is granted a patent for the ice cream cone.
1914 WW1: Sep 22-26 Fierce battles are fought in Picardy.
1914 WW1: The German cruiser Emden bombards Madras, India, destroying 346,000 gallons of fuel and killing five civilians. The exploits of this lone, resourceful cruiser will capture world attention and establish tactics for commerce raiding. It will also gave tradition to a new navy.
1914 WW1: The German U-9 sinks three British cruisers in quick succession off the Dutch coast. 1,400 British sailors are killed in an action that will alert the British to the effectiveness of the submarine.
1918 WW1: British and Arabian troops under General Allenby take Haifa and Nazareth, Palestine, as they defeat Turkish forces in the Battle of Samaria.
1919 US President Woodrow Wilson abandons his national tour in support of the League of Nations when he suffers a case of nervous exhaustion.
1922 Birth: Chen Ning Yang, in China, physicist, will disprove parity (Nobel 1957).
1923 Death: Marquess of Ripon, game hunter, after shooting 52nd grouse.
1929 Communist and Nazi factions clash in the streets of Berlin.
1933 The State Chamber of Culture Law is passed, reestablishing a Reich Chamber of Culture. "Non-Aryans" are restrained from participating in German culture, the arts, literature, music and related fields.
1938 Spanish Revolution: The International Brigades withdraw from Spain.
1938 Sudeten Crisis: Sep 22-23 Chamberlain meets with Hitler at Bad Godesburg to discuss events in Czechoslovakia and Hitler's continuing demands for the Sudetenland.
1938 Sudeten Crisis: Czech Premier Milan Hodza resigns, and a new Czechoslovakian government is formed by General Jan Sirovy.
1939 WW2: Four hundred Legionaries are murdered in Romania by government death squads and their bodies left at the country's crossroads as a warning to others.
1939 WW2: Sep-Oct Stalin forces the Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, to accept garrisons of Soviet troops within their borders.
1939 WW2: Sep-Oct Simon Wiesenthal becomes a commissar for the Soviet secret police in western Poland, thereby avoiding deportation to the Siberian labor camps.
1939 WW2: A Polish regiment repels attacks by forty Soviet tanks and infantry units at the Battle of Kodziowce. Soviet losses amount to hundreds killed and twenty tanks destroyed.
1940 Those Vichy French: France agrees to Japanese demands that it be allowed to station aircraft in Tongking, thus giving the Japanese strategic entry into French Indochina.
1943 WW2: The Soviet army recaptures Poltava.
1944 WW2: Boulogne is reoccupied by the Allies.
1945 President Truman accepts US Secretary of War Stimson's recommendation to designate the war just completed as World War II (WW2).
1947 A Douglas C-54 Skymaster makes the first automatic pilot flight over the Atlantic.
1950 Omar N. Bradley is promoted to the rank of 5-star general.
1950 US Diplomat Ralph J. Bunche receives the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first Black person to receive such an honor. Bunche's fame stems from his work for the US government and the United Nations. Among his many duties, he served as mediator between Israel and Arab countries with regard to Palestine.
1955 Commercial television begins in Great Britain with the restrictions that only six minutes of ads are allowed each hour and there is no Sunday morning TV permitted.
1960 Mali, but without Senegal, gains independence from France.
1961 The US Congress approves legislation introduced by President John F. Kennedy to create the Peace Corps. Its objectives are to "promote world peace and friendship" by sending volunteers to developing countries to assist in their social and economic development.
1968 Zond 5 completes its flight.
1970 President Richard M. Nixon signs a bill giving the District of Columbia representation in the US Congress.
1970 President Nixon requests 1,000 new FBI agents for college campuses.
1972 Idi Amin gave Uganda's 8,000 Asians 48 hours to leave the country.
1973 Henry Kissinger takes the oath as US Secretary of State.
1975 Sara Jane Moor attempts to assassinate US President Gerald Ford. 17 days earlier Lynnette "Squeaky" Fromme, a friend and fellow Manson follower, had also made an assassination attempt against the president.
1978 Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin returns home after the Camp David summit.
1980 Workers in Poland form a new independent labor union, Solidarity.
1980 Iraqi troops seize part of Iran in a border dispute. The conflict between Iran and Iraq will soon develop into full-scale war.
1983 NASA launches Galaxy-B.
1985 French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius admits that French secret agents acting under orders sank the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand.
1986 US President Ronald Reagan addresses the UN General Assembly and voices a new hope for arms control while criticizing the Soviet Union for detaining US journalist Nicholas Daniloff.
1988 Canada's government apologizes for the internment of Japanese-Canadian's during World War II and promise compensation.
1990 Saudi Arabia expels most of the Yememin and Jordanian envoys in Riyadh.
1990 The British Natural History Museum solves the Piltdown Man hoax: 'Twas the work of Sir Arthur Keith.
1991 An article in the London newspaper "The Mail" reveals that John Cairncross has admitted to being the "fifth man" in the Soviet Union's British spy ring.
1991 California University makes the Dead Sea Scrolls public.
1992 The UN General Assembly expels Yugoslavia for its role in the war between Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1994 The US upgrades its military control in Haiti.
1996 Robert Dent, suffering from terminal cancer in Australia, becomes the first person to commit legally assisted suicide under a voluntary euthanasia law.
1998 The US and Russia sign two agreements. One is to privatize Russia's nuclear program and the other is to stop plutonium stockpiles and nuclear scientists from leaving the country.
1998 US President Clinton, addresses the United Nations, telling world leaders to "end all nuclear tests for all time." He then sends the long-delayed global test-ban treaty to the US Senate.
2001 The Taliban claims they have shot down an unmanned spy plane in northern Afghanistan.
2001 The United Arab Emirates cuts diplomatic relations with Afghanastans Taliban for refusing to surrender Osama bin Laden.
2001 President Bush meets with advisers at Camp David, Md., as the Pentagon orders ships and planes
to the Middle East
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