Today in History
Today is Wednesday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2021. There are 121 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 1, 1939, World War II began as Nazi Germany invaded Poland.
On this date:
In 1159, Pope Adrian IV, the only English pope, died.
In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr was found not guilty of treason. (Burr was then tried on a misdemeanor charge, but was again acquitted.)
In 1923, the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Yokohama were devastated by an earthquake that claimed some 140,000 lives.
In 1942, U.S. District Court Judge Martin I. Welsh, ruling from Sacramento, Calif., on a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Fred Korematsu, upheld the wartime detention of Japanese-Americans as well as Japanese nationals.
In 1945, Americans received word of Japan’s formal surrender that ended World War II. (Because of the time difference, it was Sept. 2 in Tokyo Bay, where the ceremony took place.)
In 1969, a coup in Libya brought Moammar Gadhafi to power.
In 1972, American Bobby Fischer won the international chess crown in Reykjavik (RAY’-kyuh-vik), Iceland, as Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union resigned before the resumption of Game 21. An arson fire at the Blue Bird Cafe in Montreal, Canada, claimed 37 lives.
In 1983, 269 people were killed when a Korean Air Lines Boeing 747 was shot down by a Soviet jet fighter after the airliner entered Soviet airspace.
In 1985, a U.S.-French expedition located the wreckage of the Titanic on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean roughly 400 miles off Newfoundland.
In 2005, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin issued a “desperate SOS” as his city descended into anarchy amid the flooding left by Hurricane Katrina.
In 2009, Vermont’s law allowing same-sex marriage went into effect.
In 2015, invoking “God’s authority,” Rowan County, Kentucky, Clerk Kim Davis denied marriage licenses to gay couples again in direct defiance of the federal courts, and vowed not to resign, even under the pressure of steep fines or jail. (Davis would spend five days in jail; she was released only after her staff issued the licenses on her behalf but removed her name from the form.)
Ten years ago: In a fiery broadcast from hiding, Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi warned that loyalist tribes in his main strongholds were armed and preparing for battle. Leaders and envoys from 60 countries and the U.N. met in Paris for talks with Libya’s rebel-led National Transitional Council to map the country’s future.
Five years ago: A massive fireball and explosion erupted at SpaceX’s main launch pad at Cape Canaveral, destroying a rocket as well as a satellite that Facebook was counting on to spread internet service in Africa.
One year ago: Visiting Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he toured the charred remains of a city block, President Donald Trump blamed “domestic terror” for the violence that had followed the shooting of Jacob Blake, who’d been left paralyzed when he was shot in the back seven times by a police officer. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would lift the state’s ban on visiting nursing homes; the ban had been in effect since mid-March over fears of spreading the coronavirus. U.S. Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts defeated U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III in a hard-fought Democratic Senate primary; it was the first time a Kennedy had lost a race for Congress in Massachusetts. With videoconferencing an integral part of daily life during the pandemic, the Wall Street market value of Zoom surged to more than $129 billion, higher than Citigroup, Boeing and Starbucks.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor George Maharis is 93. Conductor Seiji Ozawa (SAY’-jee oh-ZAH’-wah) is 86. Attorney and law professor Alan Dershowitz is 83. Comedian-actor Lily Tomlin is 82. Actor Don Stroud is 78. Conductor Leonard Slatkin is 77. Singer Archie Bell is 77. Singer Barry Gibb is 75. Rock musician Greg Errico is 73. Talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw is 71. Singer Gloria Estefan is 64. Jazz musician Boney James is 60. Singer-musician Grant Lee Phillips (Grant Lee Buffalo) is 58. Country singer-songwriter Charlie Robison is 57. Retired NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway is 55. Actor Ricardo Antonio Chavira is 50. Actor Maury Sterling is 50. Rock singer JD Fortune is 48. Actor Scott Speedman is 46. Country singer Angaleena Presley (Pistol Annies) is 45. Actor Boyd Holbrook is 40. Actor Zoe Lister-Jones is 39. Rock musician Joe Trohman is 37. Actor Aisling (ASH’-ling) Loftus is 31.