This Day in History September 25, 2017
1493 – Columbus’ 2nd expedition to the New World
1513 – Vasco Nüñez de Balboa, a Spanish conquistador, stood high atop a peak in the Darien, in present-day Panama, becoming the first European to look upon the Pacific Ocean, claiming it as the South Sea in the name of the King of Spain.
1690 – The first American newspaper was published. “Publick Occurrences,” with sub-title, “Both Foreign and Domestick” was written, printed, and distributed by Benjamin Harris, at the London-Coffee-House, Boston, Massachusetts. British authorities considered the first newspaper published in the US offensive and ordered immediate suppression. “American Facts and dates” states “Publick Occurrences” lasted only four days. Governor Simon Bradstreet of Massachusetts said he did not like certain “reflexions.” Harris had intended to issue its monthly “or if any Glut of Occurrences happen, oftener,” but only the one issue appeared. It was a one-sheet paper folder to present four pages, containing news in double columns. The last page was blank. There were no advertisements. France brought their war with England to the Americas, making an alliance with the Indians. The estimated colonial population was 213,500. Very few colonials could read. Town carriers were very popular and the reading of the newspaper in the pub had a very high rating with active discussions that followed.
1775 – Ethan Allen surrendered to British forces after attempting to capture Montreal during the Battle of Longue-Pointe. Benedict Arnold and his expeditionary company set off from Fort Western, bound for Quebec City.
1777 – The Conway Cabal began, an alleged plot to remove George Washington as commander of the Continental Army. This followed Washington’s defeats at Brandywine and Germantown, and Gen. Horatio Gate’s victory at Saratoga. The plotters wished to put Gates in Washington’s place. Gen. Thomas Conway, whose promotion had been opposed by Washington, wrote an indiscreet letter to Gates. Its contents, in distorted form, were then reported to Washington. When details of the plot leaked out, public opinion was overwhelmingly on Washington’s side. Actually, Conway seems to have been more the victim of the plotters than the guilty party. He resigned from the Army in 1778.
1789 – Congress transmitted to the state legislatures twelve proposed amendments, two of which, having to do with Congressional representation and Congressional pay, were not adopted. The remaining ten amendments became the Bill of Rights. The establishment of religion on a national level was expressly prohibited in the U.S. with the adoption of the First Amendment, the opening words of which read: ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ Final ratification of the First Amendment came in 1791.
1804 – The Teton Sioux of the Lakota demanded one of the boats from the Lewis and Clark Expedition as a toll for allowing the expedition to move further upriver.
1846 – US forces under Zachary Taylor captured Monterrey, Mexico.
1861 – Secretary of Navy authorized enlistment of slaves as Union sailors. Eventually the Union had 18,000 black sailors.
Howard University has a database, stating 18,000:
This site says there were 20,000:
National Park Service Complete History of Service;
1890 – Polygamy was officially banned by the Mormon Church. This announcement followed on the heels of an 1890 Supreme Court ruling denying all privileges of U.S. citizenship to Mormons who practiced this outlawed form of marriage.
1890 – Congress establishes Sequoia National Park, California
1897 – Birthday of William Faulkner (1897-1962) at New Albany, MS. American novelist and short story writer, Nobel Prize winner who changed the style and structure of the American novel. Faulkner’s first novel, “Soldiers’ Pay” was published in 1926. His best-known book “The Sound and the Fury,” appeared in 1929. Shunning literary circles, Faulkner moved to a pre-Civil War house on the outskirts of Oxford, MS, in 1930. From 1930 until the onset of World War II, he published an incredible body of work. The “Portable Faulkner” appeared in 1946 and “Collected Stories” in 1950. In June of 1962 Faulkner published his last novel, “The Reivers.”
1911 – Groundbreaking for Fenway Park in Boston.
1912 – Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism was established in NYC.
1917 – Birthday of Philip Francis “Scooter” Rizzuto (d. 2007), in Brooklyn. Hall of Fame shortstop for the New York Yankees (1941-1942, 1946-1956). Member of World Series teams in 1941, 1942, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1955. 5-time All-Star and 1950 American League MVP. Rizzuto overcame his diminutive size to anchor a Yankees dynasty, helping them win seven of nine World Series during his 13 seasons, not counting three years lost to World War II. “The Scooter” was a durable and deft shortstop, skilled bunter and enthusiastic base runner who compiled a .273 lifetime batting average. Upon retirement, he spent 40 years as a popular Yankees broadcaster, the longest tenure of any Yankees broadcaster.
1918 – RICKENBACKER, EDWARD V., (Air Mission) Medal of Honor.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 94th Aero Squadron, Air Service. Place and date: Near Billy, France, 25 September 1918. Entered service at: Columbus, Ohio. Born: 8 October 1890, Columbus, Ohio. G.O. No.: 2, W.D., 1931. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy near Billy, France, 25 September 1918. While on a voluntary patrol over the lines, 1st Lt. Rickenbacker attacked 7 enemy planes (5 type Fokker, protecting two type Halberstadt). Disregarding the odds against him, he dived on them and shot down one of the Fokkers out of control. He then attacked one of the Halberstadts and sent it down also.
1919 – President Woodrow Wilson becomes seriously ill and collapses after a speech in Pueblo, Colorado. The next day they diagnosis it as a stroke. It is said that he was incapacitated and Mrs. Wilson and a “cabal” began to run the United States (more on this tomorrow. Yes, the press was controlled about presidential cancer operations, infirmities and other “goings on.”) This event brought about a major change in American history, studied by students in high school to college.
1919 – Drummer Rossiere “Shadow” Wilson (1919-59) birthday, Yonkers, NY. Much of Wilson’s early work was with swing jazz orchestras, including Count Basie, 1944-46.
1926 – Henry Ford announces the 8 hour, 5-day work week. Ford was the first to grant a ten-hour week, paid vacations, paid sick days, all before union organization. He worried about safety, boredom, and knew his “modernization” may eliminate jobs, even started company schools for employees. He was quite liberal for his day, a leader among inventors and scientists, and unfortunately most uninformed people remember him as an industrialist who took advantage of his workers. While he did have his prejudices and faults, he looked at his employees as part of his “family.”
1926 – NHL grants franchises to Chicago Black Hawks and Detroit Red Wings
1929 – Testing skills that would serve him well in World War II, Jimmy Doolittle performed the first blind flight from Mitchell Field in Brooklyn, proving that full instrument flying from take-off to landing is possible.
1934 – Lou Gehrig plays in his 1500th consecutive game
1934 – Rainbow (US) beats Endeavor (England) in 16th America’s Cup.
1936 – Bluesman Roosevelt “Booba” Barnes (1939-96) is born in Longwood, MS.
1939 – A west coast hurricane moved onshore south of Los Angeles bringing unprecedented rains along the southern coast of California. Nearly five and a half inches of rain drenched Los Angeles during a 24-hour period. The hurricane caused $2 million damage, mostly to structures along the coast and to crops, and claimed 45 lives at sea. “El Cordonazo” produced 5.66 inches of rain at Los Angeles and 11.6 inches of rain at Mount Wilson, both records for the month of September.
1944 – Birthday of actor/director Michael Douglas, New York, NY.
(it is also his wife’s birthday, see 1969)
1945 – New York City, pianist Errol Garner records for Savoy his famous version of “Laura.”
1950 – “The Kate Smith Hour” premiered. Kate Smith was a talented singer who hosted a radio show before beginning a successful but short TV career. This late afternoon show was the most successful among two other prime-time shows, “The Kate Smith Evening Hour” (September 1951—June 1952) and “The Kate Smith Show” (January—July 1960). It included interviews, musical numbers and comedy or drama sketches. The sketches spun off many series, including “The World of Mr. Sweeney” and “Ethel and Albert.’ She was a very popular singer on the radio, best known for “God Bless America”, but she could not make the transition to the small screen. Her version of “God Bless America” is sung at every Yankees home game as part of the 7th inning stretch, begun shortly after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
1951 – Top Hits
“Because of You” – Tony Bennett
“I Get Ideas” – Tony Martin
“Come on-a My House” – Rosemary Clooney
“Always Late (With Your Kisses)” – Lefty Frizzell
1952 – Perhaps one of television’s finest drama series, “Four Start Playhouse” premiered. The actors who founded Four Star Films—Dick Powell, Charles Boyer, Joel McCrea and Rosalind Russell—starred in this dramatic anthology series. David Niven and Ida Lupino replaced McCrea and Russell, who left shortly after the series began. Other guest actors included Ronald Colman in his first TV dramatic appearance (“The Lost Silk Hat,” 1952) and Joan Fontaine in her first major dramatic TV role (“The Girl on the Park Bench,” 1953).
1954 – Elvis Presley performs live on “Grand Ole Opry,” singing “Blue Moon of Kentucky.”
1955 – Detroit’s Al Kaline became the youngest ever to win a batting title, at age 20.
1956 – “Broken Arrow” premiered. My father, Lawrence Menkin, wrote many of the episodes. This half-hour western was one of the few to portray Native Americans in a positive light. It starred Michael Ansara as Cochise, Apache chief, and John Lupton as Indian Agent Tom Jeffords, Cochise’s blood brother. The show was syndicated under the name “Cochise.”
1956 – TAT-1, the first submarine transatlantic telephone cable system, is inaugurated. It was laid between Scotland and Newfoundland. The agreement to make the connection was announced by the Postmaster General on December 1, 1953. The project was a joint one between the General Post Office of the UK, AT&T, and the Canadian Overseas Telecommunication Corporation. The share split in the scheme was 40% British, 50% American, and 10% Canadian. The total cost was about £120 million.
1959 – Top Hits
“Sleep Walk” – Santo & Johnny
“(‘Til) I Kissed You” – The Everly Brothers
“Mack the Knife” – Bobby Darin
“The Three Bells” – The Browns
1960 – Sam Cooke’s “Chain Gang” peaks at Number Two on both the R&B and pop charts at the same time. It’s his biggest hit since “You Send Me.”
1962 – Charles “Sonny” Liston won the heavyweight championship by knocking out Floyd Patterson at 2:06 of the first round at Comiskey Park, Chicago. Liston defeated Patterson in a rematch and then lost to Cassius Clay in Feb, 1964.
1964 – No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: “Oh, Pretty Woman,” Roy Orbison.
1965 – Willie Mays hit his fiftieth home run of the baseball season, making him the oldest player to accomplish this. He was 34 years old. Ten years before, at the age of 24, he was the youngest man to accomplish the same feat, marking the longest span between 50 HR seasons in MLB history.
1965 – Satchel Paige, the oldest player in Major League history at an estimated 59 years, 8 months, 5 days, pitched the last game of his career. He hurled three scoreless innings for the Kansas City Athletics against the Boston Red Sox. Paige gave up only one hit, to Carl Yastrzemski.
1965 – Birthday of Scottie Pippen, basketball player, born Hamburg, AR.
1965 – “Eve of Destruction,” sung by S/Sgt. Barry McGuire, moved to the top of the charts.
1967 – Top Hits
“The Letter” – The Box Tops
“Never My Love” – The Association
“Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” – Jay & The Techniques
“My Elusive Dreams” – David Houston
1967 – Paul Butterfield Blues Band at the S.F. Fillmore.
1968 – Rap/television/film star Will Smith (a.k.a. the Fresh Prince) was born in Philadelphia.
1969 – Catherine Zeta-Jones, Academy Award-winning actress, wife of Michael Douglas, was born Wansea, Glamorgan, Wales (see 1944 for his birthday.)
1974 – No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: “Rock Me Gently,” Andy Kim. He wrote the 1969 No.1 song “Sugar, Sugar” with Jeff Barry for the Archies.
1974 – The first ulnar collateral ligament replacement surgery (Tommy John surgery) was performed, on pitcher Tommy John by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Frank Jobe, then a Dodger team physician who served as a special advisor to the team.
1975 – Top Hits
“Fame” – David Bowie
“I’m Sorry” – John Denver
“Fight the Power” – The Isley Brothers
“Daydreams About Night Things” – Ronnie Milsap
1976 – Blue Oyster Cult’s “Agents of Fortune” LP enters the chart.
1979 – The third musical resulting from the collaboration of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Weber lit up the Great White Way. “Evita” opened on Broadway to rave reviews.
1979 – The Eagles LP, “The Long Run” is released.
1979 – Joe Jackson releases his “I’m The Man” single.
1981 – Rolling Stones begin their 6th US tour (JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, PA)
1981 – Sandra Day O’Connor was sworn in as the first woman associate justice on the US Supreme Court on this date. She had been nominated by President Ronald Reagan in July 1981.
1983 – Top Hits
“Tell Her About It” – Billy Joel
“Total Eclipse of the Heart” – Bonnie Tyler
“The Safety Dance” – Men Without Hats
“Baby, What About You” – Crystal Gayle
1987 – Hurricane Emily crossed the island of Bermuda during the early morning. Emily, moving northeast at 45 mph, produced wind gusts to 115 mph at Kindley Field. The $35 million damage inflicted by Emily made it the worst hurricane to strike Bermuda since 1948. Parts of Michigan and Wisconsin experienced their first freeze of the autumn. Snow and sleet were reported in the Sheffield and Sutton areas of northeastern Vermont at midday.
1988 – Florence Griffith Joyner runs Olympic record 100m in 10.54s
1989 – Twenty-three cities in the south central U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date, including Topeka, KS with a reading of 33 degrees, and Binghamton, NY with a low of 25 degrees. Showers and thunderstorms in the southeastern U.S. drenched Atlanta, GA with 4.87 inches of rain, their sixth highest total of record for any given day.
1991 – Top Hits
“I Adore Mi Amor” – Color Me Badd
“Good Vibrations” – Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch/Loleatta Holloway
“Emotions” – Mariah Carey
“Leap of Faith” – Lionel Cartwright
1993 – A Florida judge ruled that it was legal for a child to divorce biological parents. The court case involved twelve-year-old Gregory Kingsley who didn’t want his parents anymore.
1998 – Hurricane Georges crossed the Florida Straits, passed over Key West and took aim on the northern Gulf coast. On September 26, hurricane warnings went up from Panama City to Morgan City, Louisiana.
1998 – By hitting a 462-foot blast at the Astrodome, Sammy Sosa hits #66 (and his final homer) of the season to take the lead in the HR race. Less than an hour later, however, Mark McGwire also hits his 66th in the Cardinals’ 6-5 victory over the Expos to tie the Cub outfielder in the historic home run race, on the way to 70.
2003 – Sammy Sosa becomes the first National Leaguer to have at least 100-RBIs nine seasons in a row. The Cubs’ right fielder surpasses Mel Ott and Willie Mays who had accomplished the feat eight straight seasons, and joins Rafael Palmeiro and Jimmie Foxx as the only players in major league history to hit 35 home runs and 100 RBI for nine consecutive seasons.
2009 – President Obama, British Prime Minister Brown and French President Sarkozy, in a joint TV appearance for a G-20 summit, accuse Iran of building a secret nuclear enrichment facility.
2014 – In his final Yankee Stadium at bat, Derek Jeter knocked in the winning run in the bottom of the 9th to defeat the Baltimore Orioles, 6-5, after the Yanks blew a 5-2 lead in the top of the inning. Jeter retired at season’s end after 20 years as the Yanks’ SS, with 5 World Series rings and 3465 hits, the most of any Yankee in history.