Today in History: Sept. 8

617 – Battle of Huoyi: Li Yuan defeats a Sui Dynasty army, opening the path to his capture of the imperial capital Chang'an and the eventual establishment of the Tang Dynasty. 1100 – Election of Antipope Theodoric. 1253 – Pope Innocent IV canonised Stanisław of Szczepanów, killed by king Bolesław II. 1264 – The Statute of Kalisz, guaranteeing Jews safety and personal liberties and giving battei din jurisdiction over Jewish matters, is promulgated by Boleslaus the Pious, Duke of Greater Poland. 1271 – John XXI chosen as Pope. 1331 – Stephen Uroš IV Dušan declares himself king of Serbia 1380 – Battle of Kulikovo: Russian forces defeat a mixed army of Tatars and Mongols, stopping their advance. 1504 – Michelangelo's David is unveiled in Piazza della Signoria in Florence. 1514 – Battle of Orsha: In one of the biggest battles of the century, Lithuanians and Poles defeat the Russian army. 1551 – The foundation day in Vitória, Brazil 1565 – St. Augustine, Florida was founded by Spanish admiral and Florida's first governor, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. 1565 – The Knights of Malta lift the Ottoman siege of Malta that began on May 18. 1612 – The foundation day in São Luís, Maranhão, Brazil. 1655 – Warsaw falls without resistance to a small force under the command of Charles X Gustav of Sweden during The Deluge, making it the first time the city is captured by a foreign army. 1727 – A barn fire during a puppet show in the village of Burwell in Cambridgeshire, England kills 78 people, many of whom are children. 1755 – French and Indian War: Battle of Lake George. 1756 – French and Indian War: Kittanning Expedition. 1761 – Marriage of King George III of the United Kingdom to Duchess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. 1775 – The unsuccessful Rising of the Priests in Malta. 1781 – American Revolutionary War: The Battle of Eutaw Springs in South Carolina, the war's last significant battle in the Southern theater, ends in a narrow British tactical victory. 1793 – French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of Hondschoote. 1796 – French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of Bassano: French forces defeat Austrian troops at Bassano del Grappa. 1810 – The Tonquin sets 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 arrives at the mouth of the Columbia River and Astor's men establish the fur-trading town of Astoria, Oregon. 1831 – William IV and Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen are crowned King and Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. 1831 – November Uprising: Battle of Warsaw ends, effectively ending the Insurrection. 1860 – The steamship Lady Elgin sinks on Lake Michigan, with the loss of around 300 lives. 1862 – Millennium of Russia monument unveiled in Novgorod. 1863 – American Civil War: Second Battle of Sabine Pass: On the Texas-Louisiana border at the mouth of the Sabine River, a small Confederate force thwarts a Union invasion of Texas. 1883 – The Northern Pacific Railway (reporting mark NP) 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 Spain, the first travel of Isaac Peral's submarine, was the first practical submarine ever made. 1888 – In London, the body of Jack the Ripper's second murder victim, Annie Chapman, is found. 1888 – In England the first six Football League matches are played. 1892 – The Pledge of Allegiance is first recited. 1900 – Galveston Hurricane of 1900: A powerful hurricane hits Galveston, Texas killing about 8,000 people. 1914 – World War I: Private Thomas Highgate becomes the first British soldier to be executed for desertion during the war. 1921 – Margaret Gorman, a 16-year-old, wins the Atlantic City Pageant's Golden Mermaid trophy; pageant officials later dubbed her the first Miss America. 1923 – Honda Point disaster: Nine US Navy destroyers run aground off the California coast. Seven are lost, and twenty-three sailors killed. 1925 – Rif War: Spanish forces including troops from the Foreign Legion under Colonel Francisco Franco landing at Al Hoceima (Northern Morocco). 1926 – Germany is admitted to the League of Nations. 1930 – 3M begins marketing Scotch transparent tape. 1933 – Ghazi bin Faisal became King of Iraq. 1934 – Off the New Jersey coast, a fire aboard the passenger liner SS Morro Castle kills 135 people. 1935 – US Senator from Louisiana Huey Long is fatally shot in the Louisiana State Capitol building. 1941 – World War II: Siege of Leningrad begins. German forces begin a siege against the Soviet Union's second-largest city, Leningrad. 1943 – World War II: The O.B.S. (German General Headquarters for the Mediterranean zone) in Frascati is bombed by USAAF. 1943 – World War II: United States General Dwight D. Eisenhower publicly announces the Allied armistice with Italy. 1944 – World War II: London is hit by a V-2 rocket for the first time. 1944 – World War II: Menton is liberated from Germany. 1945 – Cold War: United States troops arrive to partition the southern part of Korea in response to Soviet troops occupying the northern part of the peninsula a month earlier. 1946 – A 95.6% vote in favor of abolishing the monarchy in Bulgaria. 1951 – Treaty of San Francisco: In San Francisco, California, 48 nations sign a peace treaty with Japan in formal recognition of the end of the Pacific War. 1952 – The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation makes its first televised broadcast on the second escape of the Boyd Gang. 1954 – The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) is established. 1955 – United Nations Security Council Resolution 108 is adopted. 1960 – In Huntsville, Alabama, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicates the Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA had already activated the facility on July 1). 1962 – Newly independent Algeria, by referendum, adopts a constitution. 1962 – Last run of the famous Pines Express over the Somerset and Dorset Railway line (UK) fittingly using the last steam locomotive built by British Railways, 9F locomotive 92220 Evening Star. 1965 – Pakistan Navy raids Indian coasts without any resistance in Operation Dwarka, Pakistan celebrates Victory Day annually. 1971 – In Washington, D.C., the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is inaugurated, with the opening feature being the premiere of Leonard Bernstein's Mass. 1974 – Watergate Scandal: US President Gerald Ford pardons former President Richard Nixon for any crimes Nixon may have committed while in office. 1975 – Gays in the military: US Air Force Tech Sergeant Leonard Matlovich, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, appears in his Air Force uniform on the cover of Time magazine with the headline "I Am A Homosexual". He is given a general discharge, which was later upgraded to honorable. 1978 – Black Friday, a massacre by soldiers against protesters in Tehran, provoked 88 deaths, it marks the beginning of the end of the monarchy in Iran 1988 – Yellowstone National Park is closed for the first time in U.S. history due to ongoing fires. 1989 – Partnair Flight 394 drove into the North Sea, killing 55 people. The investigation showed that the tail of the plane vibrated loose in flight due to sub-standard connecting bolts that had been fraudulently sold as aircraft-grade. 1991 – The Republic of Macedonia becomes independent. 1994 – USAir Flight 427, on approach to Pittsburgh International Airport, suddenly crashes in clear weather killing all 132 aboard; resulting in the most extensive aviation investigation in world history and altering manufacturing practices in the industry. 2004 – NASA's unmanned spacecraft Genesis crash-lands when its parachute fails to open. 2005 – Two EMERCOM Il-76 aircraft land at a disaster aid staging area at Little Rock Air Force Base; the first time Russia has flown such a mission to North America. 2012 – Jimmy Carter passes Herbert Hoover for longest retirement after leaving office. Hoover was retired for 11,553 days, and had held the record for over 54 years. 2013 – Eleven people are killed in a train collision in Iași County, Romania.


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