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This Day in History: September 5


1774 – First Continental Congress assembles in Philadelphia.

1781 – Battle of the Chesapeake in the American Revolutionary War: The British Navy is repelled by the French Navy, contributing to the British surrender at Yorktown.

1812 – War of 1812: The Siege of Fort Wayne begins when Chief Winamac's forces attack two soldiers returning from the fort's outhouses.

1836 – Sam Houston is elected as the first president of the Republic of Texas.

1862 – American Civil War: The Potomac River is crossed at White's Ford in the Maryland Campaign.

1877 – American Indian Wars: Oglala Sioux chief Crazy Horse is bayoneted by a United States soldier after resisting confinement in a guardhouse at Fort Robinson in Nebraska.

1882 – The first United States Labor Day parade is held in New York City.

1905 – Russo-Japanese War: In New Hampshire, United States, the Treaty of Portsmouth, mediated by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, ends the war.

1906 – The first legal forward pass in American football is thrown by Bradbury Robinson of St. Louis University to teammate Jack Schneider in a 22–0 victory over Carroll College (Wisconsin).

1921 – Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle party in San Francisco ends with the death of the young actress Virginia Rappe: One of the first scandals of the Hollywood community.

1927 – The first Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon, Trolley Troubles, produced by Walt Disney, is released by Universal Pictures.

1942 – World War II: Japanese high command orders withdrawal at Milne Bay, the first major Japanese defeat in land warfare during the Pacific War.

1943 – World War II: The 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment lands and occupies Lae Nadzab Airport, near Lae in the Salamaua–Lae campaign.

1945 – Cold War: Igor Gouzenko, a Soviet Union embassy clerk, defects to Canada, exposing Soviet espionage in North America, signalling the beginning of the Cold War.

1945 – Iva Toguri D'Aquino, a Japanese American suspected of being wartime radio propagandist Tokyo Rose, is arrested in Yokohama.

1957 – On the Road, a novel by American writer Jack Kerouac, is published.

1960 – Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) wins the gold medal in the light heavyweight boxing competition at the Olympic Games in Rome.

1969 – My Lai Massacre: U.S. Army Lieutenant William Calley is charged with six specifications of premeditated murder for the death of 109 Vietnamese civilians in My Lai.

1970 – Vietnam War: Operation Jefferson Glenn begins: The United States 101st Airborne Division and the South Vietnamese 1st Infantry Division initiate a new operation in Thừa Thiên–Huế Province.

1970 – Jochen Rindt becomes the only driver to posthumously win the Formula One World Drivers' Championship (in 1970), after being killed in practice for the Italian Grand Prix.

1972 – Munich massacre: A Palestinian terrorist group called "Black September" attacks and takes hostage 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games. Two die in the attack and nine die the following day.

1975 – Sacramento, California: Lynette Fromme attempts to assassinate U.S. President Gerald Ford.

1977 – Voyager program: Voyager 1 is launched after a brief delay.

1978 – Camp David Accords: Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat begin peace discussions at Camp David, Maryland.

1984 – STS-41-D: The Space Shuttle Discovery lands after its maiden voyage.

1996– Hurricane Fran makes landfall near Cape Fear, North Carolina as a Category 3 storm with 115 mph sustained winds. Fran caused over $3 billion in damage and killed 27 people.


1847 – Jesse James, American criminal (d. 1882)

1850 – Jack Daniel, American businessman, founded Jack Daniel's (d. 1911)

1873 – Cornelius Vanderbilt III, American general and engineer (d. 1942)

1902 – Darryl F. Zanuck, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1979)

1927 – Paul Volcker, American economist and academic

1929 – Bob Newhart, American comedian, actor and screenwriter

1940 – Raquel Welch, American actress and singer

1950 – Cathy Guisewite, American cartoonist, created Cathy


1877 – Crazy Horse, American tribal leader (b. 1849)

1999 – Allen Funt, American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1914)

2015 – Frederick "Dennis" Greene, American singer and actor (Sha Na Na) (b. 1949)

2016    Phyllis Schlafly, American writer and political activist (b. 1924)