This Month in History

Joshua Platon

            “Do you remember the 21st night of September?

Love was changing the minds of pretenders

While chasing the clouds away”

            —Earth Wind & Fire, September

It’s September once again, and that also means its back-to-school season, football season and even National Preparedness Month (in the United States). So prepare yourself for these captivating events that happened throughout history this month. Get into the September spirit and the spirit of history, because the following paragraphs are only going to marry the two subjects together.


SEPT. 2, 2014: ISIS slays the second American journalist Steven Sotloff after beheading New Hampshire journalist James Foley weeks prior on August 19th. Happening quite recently, the world observes just one more of countless harrowing affairs arising from the Middle East. The day after the beheadings, President Obama gave a statement in which he said “We cannot even begin to imagine the agony that everyone who loved Steven is feeling right now, especially his mother, his father, and his younger sister. So today, our country grieves with them.” On September 10th, President Obama formally declared war on ISIS, however the President stated that the decision “will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.”


SEPT. 16, 1620: The Mayflower departs from Plymouth, England. This vessel was no cruise ship. She toted 102 brits looking to settle in the far away, mysterious Americas, hoping for religious freedom and economic opportunities. The voyage took sixty-six days, in which most of the passengers were crowded, seasick, or just plain bored. The Mayflower touched ground on November 21, 1620 at Cape Cod in the location which is known nowadays as Provincetown, MA.


SEPT. 17 1908: The first death in aviation occurs on this date when Orville Wright crashed with passenger Thomas Selfridge during a test flight. The test flight came after the Wright brothers turned their plane into a business model which they showed to the U.S. Army. In the crash, Selfridge suffered a fractured skull which he died from in the hospital hours later. This prompted early U.S. pilots to wear leather helmets during flight, much like the ones sported by early football players.


SEPT. 19, 1893: New Zealand becomes the first nation to grant women’s suffrage. Most countries like the United States and Great Britain gave suffrage to women after World War I, while New Zealand has been getting it right for twenty-six years by then. Some people were afraid that the women would be harassed at the polls by brutish men, but the first election with women was described as the “best conducted and most orderly” election ever held.


SEPT. 29, 1789: The U.S. Army is founded by Congress. Urged by George Washington, Congress finally addresses the issue of not having an official military body, and the Army of the United States is born. To follow the Army branch of the military in the coming years would be the Navy, Marine Corp, Air Force, and Coast Guard (not in order).