August 29


1786: The United States negotiated with Spain for free navigation of the Mississippi River.

1831: Michael Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction, in London, England.

1885: Gottlieb Daimler patented the world’s first internal combustion motorcycle, the Reitwagen, in Stuttgart, Germany.

1898: Frank Seiberling founded the Goodyear tire company in Akron, Ohio.

1922: Radio station WEAF-AM in New York City broadcast the first radio advertisement.

1958: The U.S. Air Force Academy opened in Colorado Springs, Colo.

1966: The Beatles performed their last concert before paying fans at Candlestick Park in San Francisco


August 30

30 B.C.: Cleopatra, the ruler of Egypt, committed suicide by allowing a poisonous snake to bite her.

1836: The city of Houston, Texas, was founded.

August 31

1888: Jack the Ripper’s first confirmed victim, Mary Ann Nichols, was murdered in London.

1897: Thomas Edison received a patent for his Kinetoscope, the first movie projector.

1920: The first radio news program was broadcast by 8MK in Detroit, Mich.

1997: Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car wreck in Paris, along with her companion, Dodi Fayed, and driver Henri Paul.


September 1

1715: King Louis XIV of France died after a reign of 72 years, the longest of any major European monarch.

1836: Narcissa Whitman arrived at Walla Walla, Wash., becoming one of the first English-speaking white women to settle west of the Rocky Mountains.

1864: Confederate Army Gen. John Bell Hood ordered the evacuation of Atlanta, Ga., ending a four-month siege by U.S. Army Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman.

1878: Emma Nutt went to work in Boston as the world’s first female telephone operator. A few hours after she started work, her sister Stella Nutt became the world’s second female telephone operator, making Emma and Stella Nutt the first two sisters in world history to work as telephone operators.

1897: The Boston subway opened and became the first underground rapid transit system in North America.

1914: The last passenger pigeon, a female named Martha in honor of Martha Washington, died in captivity in the Cincinnati Zoo.

1923: Tokyo and Yokohama were destroyed by an earthquake. About 100,000 people were known dead and another 43,000 disappeared without a trace.

1974: The SR-71 Blackbird set (and still holds) the record for flying from New York to London, in 1 hour, 54 minutes, 56.4 seconds, at a speed of 1,435.6 miles per hour.

1979: The American space probe Pioneer 11 became the first spacecraft to visit Saturn, passing at a distance of 13,000 miles.

1985: A joint American-French expedition located the wreckage of RMS Titanic.


September 2

1666: The Great Fire of London destroyed 90 percent of the city.

1752: Great Britain and its American colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar, almost two centuries after most of Western Europe.

1789: The U.S. Department of the Treasury was founded.

1792: During the French Revolution, rampaging mobs slaughtered three Roman Catholic bishops, more than 200 priests, and prisoners believed to be royalist sympathizers.

1901: Speaking at the Minnesota State Fair, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

1946: Born this day: rock musician Billy Preston (died 2006); Marvel Comics illustrator Walt Simonson; San Francisco supervisor Dan White (assassinated San Francisco Mayor George Mosconi and fellow supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978; committed suicide 1985).

1963: CBS Evening News became America’s first half-hour weeknight news broadcast, when the show was expanded from 15 to 30 minutes.

September 3

1777: The flag of the United States was flown in battle for the first time, during the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, near Philadelphia.

1783: British Gen. Cornwallis surrendered to American Gen. George Washington, ending the Revolutionary War.

1838: Future abolitionist Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery in Maryland by jumping aboard a departing train and riding into the north.

1895: John Brallier became the first professional U.S. football player, when he was paid $10 to play for the Latrobe Athletic Association.

1914: French composer Albéric Magnard became a national hero when he was killed after shooting at German soldiers invading his property.

1923: Born this day: Taco Bell founder Glen Bell (died 2010), and cartoonist Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey).

1935: Sir Malcolm Campbell became the first person to drive an automobile over 300 mph when he reached 304.331 miles per hour on the Bonneville Salt Flats west of Salt Lake City, Utah.

1939: France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia declared war on Germany after the invasion of Poland, forming the Allies.

1941: Karl Fritzsch, deputy camp commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp, experimented with Zyklon B to gas Soviet POWs during World War II.

1951: The first long-running American television soap opera, Search for Tomorrow, aired its first episode on the CBS network.

1953: A downpour of frogs fell on Leicester, Mass. The live creatures covered many streets and roof tops.

September 4

1781: Los Angeles, Calif., was founded as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of Porziuncola) by 44 Spanish settlers.

1882: Thomas Edison flipped the switch to the first commercial electrical power plant in history, lighting one square mile of lower Manhattan. This is considered by many as the first day of the electrical age.

1888: George Eastman registered the trademark Kodak and received a patent for his camera that used roll film.

1905: Fanny A. Weeks, 40, of Washington, D.C., died of burns she received when she stepped backward and fell into a boiling hot spring near Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park on Aug. 18.

1913: Born this day: U.S. biochemist and Nobel Prize laureate Stanford Moore (died 1982), and mobster Mickey Cohen (d. 1976).

1950: Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C., opened for the inaugural Southern 500, the first 500-mile NASCAR race.

1957: The Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel. Gov. Orval Faubus of Arkansas called out the National Guard to prevent African American students from enrolling in Central High School in Little Rock.

1972: Mark Spitz became the first competitor to win seven medals at a single Olympic Games.

1998: Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two students at Stanford University.

2006: Steve Irwin, an Australian television personality and naturalist known as the Crocodile Hunter, died when his heart was impaled by a short-tail stingray barb while filming a documentary in Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef.

2014: 19th District Court Judge James Wheelis set the highest bail ever recorded in Lincoln County, Montana, when he set a bail of $10,000,000 (ten million dollars) for Larry Mathew Hanson, 45, after Hanson repeatedly violated a restraining order.