August 28


1937: Toyota Motor Corporation was founded in Tokyo.

1943: Born this day: Major League Baseball player and manager Lou Piniella, and actor-singer David Soul.

1957: U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond, D-S.C., began a filibuster to prevent the Senate from voting on the Civil Rights Act of 1957. (He stopped speaking 24 hours and 18 minutes later, the longest filibuster ever conducted by a single Senator.)

1963: The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I have a dream” speech in Washington, D.C.

1996: Britain’s Prince Charles and Princess Diana received an official decree of divorce, ending their troubled, 15-year marriage.

2009: The elderly male bank robber known as the Geezer Bandit committed the first of 16 armed robberies in Southern California; his most recent heist was Dec. 2, 2011, and he remains at large as of August 2015.

August 29


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.

1911: Ishi, the last Native American to make initial contact with European Americans, emerged from the wilderness near Oroville, Calif. (His story was told in the book Ishi: The Last Yahi.)

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

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


August 30


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

1956: The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana opened.

1984: The Space Shuttle Discovery took off on its maiden voyage.


August 31


1803: Capt. Meriwether Lewis and 2nd Lt. William Clark left Pittsburgh, Pa., headed for St. Louis, Mo., where they would make preparations for the Corps of Discovery Expedition, their epic exploration of the American West.

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.

2006: Edvard Munch’s iconic painting, The Scream, was recovered in a raid by Norwegian police. (It had been stolen on Aug. 22, 2004.)


September 1

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.

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

1946: Born this day: musician Greg Errico (Sly & the Family Stone and Weather Report); singer-songwriter Barry Gibb (Bee Gees); Roh Moo-hyun, ninth president of South Korea (d. 2009); actress Mary Louise Weller (Animal House, Starsky & Hutch, Fantasy Island).

1952: The Old Man and the Sea, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Ernest Hemingway that earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954, was first published by Charles Scribner’s Sons.

1969: Muammar Gaddafi took power in Libya with a bloody military coup.

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.

1983: Korean Air Lines Flight 007, a Boeing 747, from Anchorage, Alaska, to Seoul, Korea, was shot down by Soviet MiG fighter jets over the Pacific Ocean; 269 people died, including 61 Americans.

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

1987: Franco Brun, a 22-year-old prisoner at Toronto East Detention Center, in Toronto, Ontario, choked to death after attempting to swallow a Gideon’s Bible.


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.

1806: A massive landslide destroyed the town of Goldau, Switzerland, killing 457 people.

1859: A super solar flare affected electrical telegraph service worldwide.

1885: In Rock Springs, Wyo., 150 white miners, who were struggling to unionize so they could strike for better wages and work conditions, attacked their Chinese co-workers, killing 28, wounding 15, and forcing several hundred more to flee the town.

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

1935: A large hurricane struck the Florida Keys, killing 423 workers who were building a railroad line from Miami to Key West.

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).

1948: Born this day: NFL star, sportscaster and actor Terry Bradshaw, and teacher-astronaut Christa McAuliffe (died 1986).

1951: Born this day: actors Michael Gray (The Brian Keith Show, Shazam!), and Mark Harmon (The Deliberate Stranger, NCIS); and musician Mik Kaminski (Electric Light Orchestra).

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

2013: The new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened to traffic, becoming the widest bridge in the world.


September 3


301: Marinus of Arbe founded San Marino (officially the Most Serene Republic of San Marino), one of the smallest nations in the world, and the world’s oldest republic still in existence, in modern-day Italy.

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.

1967: Road and highway traffic in Sweden switched overnight from driving on the left to driving on the right.

1969: Vietnamese communist leader and icon Ho Chi Minh died in Hanoi at age 79.

1970: Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson, lead singer of the band Canned Heat, died of barbiturate overdose in Los Angeles at age 27.

1971: Qatar (pr. CUTT-er) gained its independence from the United Kingdom.

2010: Mike Edwards, 62, an English musician and a founding member of rock group Electric Light Orchestra, was killed when a 1,300-pound bale of hay rolled down a hill and crushed his passing van in Devon, England.