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This Day in History: September 3


1777 – American Revolutionary War: During the Battle of Cooch's Bridge, the Flag of the United States is flown in battle for the first time.

1783 – American Revolutionary War: The war ends with the signing of the Treaty of Paris by the United States and the Kingdom of Great Britain.

1802 – William Wordsworth composes the sonnet Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802.

1812 – Twenty-four settlers are killed in the Pigeon Roost Massacre in Indiana.

1838 – Future abolitionist Frederick Douglass escapes from slavery.

1855 – American Indian Wars: In Nebraska, 700 soldiers under United States General William S. Harney avenge the Grattan massacre by attacking a Sioux village and killing 100 men, women and children.

1861 – American Civil War: Confederate General Leonidas Polk invades neutral Kentucky, prompting the state legislature to ask for Union assistance.

1895 – John Brallier becomes the first openly professional American football player, when he was paid US$10 by David Berry, to play for the Latrobe Athletic Association in a 12–0 win over the Jeanette Athletic Association.

1925 – USS Shenandoah, the United States' first American-built rigid airship, was destroyed in a squall line over Noble County, Ohio. Fourteen of her 42-man crew perished, including her commander, Zachary Lansdowne.

1939 – World War II: France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia declare war on Germany after the invasion of Poland, forming the Allies.

1939 – World War II: The United Kingdom and France begin a naval blockade of Germany that lasts until the end of the war. This also marks the beginning of the Battle of the Atlantic.

1941 – The Holocaust: Karl Fritzsch, deputy camp commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp, experiments with the use of Zyklon B in the gassing of Soviet POWs.

1942 – World War II: In response to news of its coming liquidation, Dov Lopatyn leads an uprising in the Ghetto of Lakhva, in present-day Belarus.

1943 – World War II: The Allied invasion of Italy begins on the same day that U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Italian Marshal Pietro Badoglio sign the Armistice of Cassibile aboard the Royal Navy battleship HMS Nelson off Malta.

1944 – Holocaust: Diarist Anne Frank and her family are placed on the last transport train from the Westerbork transit camp to the Auschwitz concentration camp, arriving three days later.

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

1954 – The German submarine U-505 begins its move from a specially constructed dock to its site at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.

1976 – Viking program: The American Viking 2 spacecraft lands at Utopia Planitia on Mars.


1811 – John Humphrey Noyes, American activist, founded the Oneida Community (d. 1886)

1820 – George Hearst, American businessman and politician (d. 1891)

1849 – Sarah Orne Jewett, American author and poet (d. 1909)

1854 – Charles Tatham, American fencer (d. 1939)

1856 – Louis Sullivan, American architect and educator, designed the Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building (d. 1924)

1905 – Carl David Anderson, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1991)

1923 – Mort Walker, American cartoonist

1980 – Jennie Finch, American softball player

1986 – Shaun White, American snowboarder, skateboarder


1962 – E. E. Cummings, American author, poet, and playwright (b. 1894)

1970 – Vince Lombardi, American football player and coach (b. 1913)

1985 – Johnny Marks, American songwriter (b. 1909)

1991 – Frank Capra, Italian-American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1897)

2005 – William Rehnquist, American lawyer and jurist, 16th Chief Justice of the United States (b. 1924)

2012 – Sun Myung Moon, South Korean religious leader and businessman, founded the Unification Church (b. 1920)

2014 – Zeus, American dog (b. 2008)