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This Day in History: September 6


1492 – Christopher Columbus sails from La Gomera in the Canary Islands, his final port of call before crossing the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.

1522 – The Victoria, the only surviving ship of Ferdinand Magellan's expedition, returns to Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Spain, becoming the first ship to circumnavigate the world.

1620 – The Pilgrims sail from Plymouth, England, on the Mayflower to settle in North America. (Old Style date; September 16 per New Style date.)

1628 – Puritans settle Salem, which will later become part of Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1847 – Henry David Thoreau leaves Walden Pond and moves in with Ralph Waldo Emerson and his family in Concord, Massachusetts.

1861 – American Civil War: Forces under Union General Ulysses S. Grant bloodlessly capture Paducah, Kentucky, giving the Union control of the Tennessee River's mouth.

1863 – American Civil War: Confederate forces evacuate Battery Wagner and Morris Island in South Carolina.

1870 – Louisa Ann Swain of Laramie, Wyoming becomes the first woman in the United States to cast a vote legally after 1807.

1901 – Leon Czolgosz, an unemployed anarchist, shoots and fatally wounds US President William McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.

1916 – The first self-service grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, was opened in Memphis, Tennessee, by Clarence Saunders.

1943 – Pennsylvania Railroad's premier train derails at Frankford Junction in Philadelphia, killing 79 people and injuring 117 others.

1944 – World War II: The city of Ypres, Belgium is liberated by Allied forces.

1944 – World War II: Soviet forces capture the city of Tartu, Estonia.

1946 – United States Secretary of State James F. Byrnes announces that the U.S. will follow a policy of economic reconstruction in postwar Germany.

1949– Allied military authorities relinquish control of former Nazi Germany assets back to German control.

1970 – Two passenger jets bound from Europe to New York are simultaneously hijacked by Palestinian terrorist members of the PFLP and taken to Dawson's Field in Jordan.

1972 – Munich massacre: Nine Israel athletes taken hostage at the Munich Olympic Games by the Palestinian "Black September" terrorist group die (as did a German policeman) at the hands of the kidnappers during a failed rescue attempt. Two other Israeli athletes were slain in the initial attack the previous day.

1976 – Cold War: Soviet Air Force pilot Lieutenant Viktor Belenko lands a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 jet fighter at Hakodate on the island of Hokkaidō in Japan and requests political asylum in the United States; his request is granted.

1985 – Midwest Express Airlines Flight 105, a Douglas DC-9 crashes just after takeoff from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, killing 31.

1995 – Cal Ripken, Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles plays in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking a record that had stood for 56 years.


1819 – William Rosecrans, American general, politician, and diplomat, United States Ambassador to Mexico (d. 1898)

1838 – Samuel Arnold, American conspirator (d. 1906)

1860 – Jane Addams, American sociologist and author, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1935)

1877 – Buddy Bolden, American cornet player (d. 1930)

1888 – Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., American businessman and diplomat, 44th United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom (d. 1969)

1893 – Claire Lee Chennault, American general and pilot (d. 1958)

1926 – Maurice Prather, American photographer and director (d. 2001)

1928 – Robert M. Pirsig, American philosopher and author

1954 – Carly Fiorina, American businesswoman and activist


1782 – Martha Jefferson, American wife of Thomas Jefferson (b. 1748)

1945 – John S. McCain Sr., American admiral (b. 1884)

1966 – Margaret Sanger, American nurse, educator, and activist (b. 1879)

1972 – Perpetrator and victims of the Munich massacre

Luttif Afif, Palestinian terrorist (b. 1945)

David Mark Berger, American-Israeli weightlifter (b. 1944)

Ze'ev Friedman, Polish-Israeli weightlifter (b. 1944)

Yossef Gutfreund, Israeli wrestling judge (b. 1931)

Eliezer Halfin, Russian-Israeli wrestler (b. 1948)

Amitzur Shapira, Russian-Israeli runner and coach (b. 1932)

Kehat Shorr, Romanian shooting coach (b. 1919)

Mark Slavin, Israeli wrestler (b. 1954)

Andre Spitzer, Romanian-Israeli fencer and coach (b. 1945)

Yakov Springer, Polish-Israeli wrestler and coach (b. 1921)

1984 – Ernest Tubb, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1914)

1994 – James Clavell, Australian-American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1924)

2007 – Madeleine L'Engle, American author and poet (b. 1918)

2012 – Art Modell, American businessman (b. 1925)