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This Day in History: September 8


1551 – The foundation day in Vitória, Brazil

1565 – St. Augustine, Florida was founded by Spanish admiral and Florida's first governor, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés.

1612 – The foundation day in São Luís, Maranhão, Brazil.

1755 – French and Indian War: Battle of Lake George.

1756 – French and Indian War: Kittanning Expedition.

1781 – American Revolutionary War: The Battle of Eutaw Springs in South Carolina, the war's last significant battle in the Southern theater, ends in a narrow British tactical victory.

1810 – The Tonquin sets sail from New York Harbor with 33 employees of John Jacob Astor's newly created Pacific Fur Company on board. After a six-month journey around the tip of South America, the ship arrives at the mouth of the Columbia River and Astor's men establish the fur-trading town of Astoria, Oregon.

1860 – The steamship Lady Elgin sinks on Lake Michigan, with the loss of around 300 lives.

1863 – American Civil War: Second Battle of Sabine Pass: On the Texas-Louisiana border at the mouth of the Sabine River, a small Confederate force thwarts a Union invasion of Texas.

1883 – The Northern Pacific Railway (reporting mark NP) was completed in a ceremony at Gold Creek, Montana. Former president Ulysses S. Grant drove in the final "golden spike" in an event attended by rail and political luminaries.

1892 – The Pledge of Allegiance is first recited.

1900 – Galveston Hurricane of 1900: A powerful hurricane hits Galveston, Texas killing about 8,000 people.

1921 – Margaret Gorman, a 16-year-old, wins the Atlantic City Pageant's Golden Mermaid trophy; pageant officials later dubbed her the first Miss America.

1923 – Honda Point disaster: Nine US Navy destroyers run aground off the California coast. Seven are lost, and twenty-three sailors killed.

1930 – 3M begins marketing Scotch transparent tape.

1934 – Off the New Jersey coast, a fire aboard the passenger liner SS Morro Castle kills 135 people.

1935 – US Senator from Louisiana Huey Long, nicknamed "Kingfish", is fatally shot in the Louisiana State Capitol building.

1941 – World War II: Siege of Leningrad begins. German forces begin a siege against the Soviet Union's second-largest city, Leningrad.

1943 – World War II: The O.B.S. (German General Headquarters for the Mediterranean zone) in Frascati is bombed by USAAF.

1943 – World War II: United States General Dwight D. Eisenhower publicly announces the Allied armistice with Italy.

1944 – World War II: London is hit by a V-2 rocket for the first time.

1945 – Cold War: United States troops arrive to partition the southern part of Korea in response to Soviet troops occupying the northern part of the peninsula a month earlier.

1951 – Treaty of San Francisco: In San Francisco, California, 48 nations sign a peace treaty with Japan in formal recognition of the end of the Pacific War.

1960 – In Huntsville, Alabama, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicates the Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA had already activated the facility on July 1).

1966 – The first Star Trek series premieres on NBC.

1971 – In Washington, D.C., the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is inaugurated, with the opening feature being the premiere of Leonard Bernstein's Mass.

1974 – Watergate Scandal: US President Gerald Ford pardons former President Richard Nixon for any crimes Nixon may have committed while in office.

1975 – Gays in the military: US Air Force Tech Sergeant Leonard Matlovich, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, appears in his Air Force uniform on the cover of Time magazine with the headline "I Am A Homosexual". He is given a general discharge, which was later upgraded to honorable.

1988 – Yellowstone National Park is closed for the first time in U.S. history due to ongoing fires.

1994 – USAir Flight 427, on approach to Pittsburgh International Airport, suddenly crashes in clear weather killing all 132 aboard; resulting in the most extensive aviation investigation in world history and altering manufacturing practices in the industry.

2004 – NASA's unmanned spacecraft Genesis crash-lands when its parachute fails to open.

2005 – Two EMERCOM Il-76 aircraft land at a disaster aid staging area at Little Rock Air Force Base; the first time Russia has flown such a mission to North America.

2012 – Jimmy Carter passes Herbert Hoover for longest retirement after leaving office. Hoover was retired for 11,553 days, and had held the record for over 54 years.

2016 – NASA launches OSIRIS-REx, its first asteroid sample return mission. The probe will visit Bennu and is expected to return with samples in 2023.


1841 – Charles J. Guiteau, American preacher and lawyer (d. 1882)

1889 – Robert A. Taft, American lawyer and politician (d. 1953)

1915 – Frank Cady, American actor (d. 2012)

1922 – Sid Caesar, American comic actor and writer (d. 2014)

1922 – Lyndon LaRouche, American politician and activist, founded the LaRouche movement

1930 – Robert W. Firestone, American psychologist and author

1932 – Patsy Cline, American singer-songwriter and pianist (d. 1963)

1937 – Archie Goodwin, American author and illustrator (d. 1998)

1954 – Michael Shermer, American historian, author, and academic, founded The Skeptics Society

1971 – Brooke Burke, American model and actress

1982 – Chumlee, American television personality


1755 – Ephraim Williams, American soldier and philanthropist (b. 1715)

1780 – Enoch Poor, American general (b. 1736)

1784 – Ann Lee, English-American religious leader (b. 1736)

1965 – Dorothy Dandridge, American actress and singer (b. 1922)

1969 – Bud Collyer, American actor and game show host (b. 1908)

1977 – Zero Mostel, American actor and singer (b. 1915)

1981 – Roy Wilkins, American journalist and activist (b. 1901)