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Benedict Arnold commits treason

On September 21, 1780, during the American Revolution, American General Benedict Arnold meets with British Major John Andre to discuss handing over West Point to the British, in return for the promise of a large sum of money and a high position in the British army....

Upton Sinclair is born

Upton Sinclair, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and reformer, is born in Baltimore, Maryland.Sinclair came from a once well-to-do Southern family that had suffered reverses. When he was 10, the family moved to New York. Starting at age 15, he earned money writing dime...

First Cannes Film Festival

The first annual Cannes Film Festival opens at the resort city of Cannes on the French Riviera. The festival had intended to make its debut in September 1939, but the outbreak of World War II forced the cancellation of the inaugural Cannes.The world’s first annual...

Magellan sets sail from Spain

Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan sets sail from Spain in an effort to find a western sea route to the rich Spice Islands of Indonesia. In command of five ships and 270 men, Magellan sailed to West Africa and then to Brazil, where he searched the South American...

Amish convicted in beard-cutting attacks

16 members of a dissident Amish group in Ohio are convicted of federal hate crimes and conspiracy for forcibly cutting the beards and hair of fellow Amish with whom they had religious differences. The government classified the ruthless attacks as hate crimes because...

First European battle on American soil

First European battle on American soil

Spanish forces under Pedro Menéndez de Avilés capture the French Huguenot settlement of Fort Caroline, near present-day Jacksonville, Florida. The French, commanded by Rene Goulaine de Laudonniere, lost 135 men in the first instance of colonial warfare between...

President James Garfield dies

On September 19, 1881, President James A. Garfield, who had been in office just under four months, succumbs to wounds inflicted by an assassin 80 days earlier, on July 2.Garfield’s assassin was an attorney and political office-seeker named Charles Guiteau. Guiteau was...

Earthquake shakes Mexico City

On September 19, 1985, a powerful earthquake strikes Mexico City and leaves 10,000 people dead, 30,000 injured and thousands more homeless.At 7:18 in the morning, the residents of Mexico City were jolted awake by an 8.1-magnitude earthquake, one of the strongest to...

Germans bombard Leningrad

On September 19, 1941, as part of their offensive campaign in the Soviet Union, German bombers blast through Leningrad’s antiaircraft defenses, and kill more than 1,000 Russians.Hitler’s armies had been in Soviet territory since June. An attempt by the Germans to take...

Unabomber manifesto published

On September 19, 1995, a manifesto by the Unabomber, an anti-technology terrorist, is published by The New York Times and Washington Post in the hope that someone will recognize the person who, for 17 years, had been sending homemade bombs through the mail that had...

Perón deposed in Argentina

After a decade of rule, Argentine President Juan Domingo Perón is deposed in a military coup. Perón, a demagogue who came to power in 1946 with the backing of the working classes, became increasingly authoritarian as Argentina’s economy declined in the early 1950s....

New Zealand first in women’s vote

New Zealand first in women’s vote

With the signing of the Electoral Bill by Governor Lord Glasgow, New Zealand becomes the first country in the world to grant national voting rights to women. The bill was the outcome of years of suffragette meetings in towns and cities across the country, with women...

Serial killer Harvey Glatman is executed

Serial killer Harvey Glatman is executed in a California gas chamber for murdering three young women in Los Angeles. Resisting all appeals to save his life, Glatman even wrote to the appeals board to say, “I only want to die.”Glatman had been a smart kid. As a Boy...

Fidel Castro arrives in New York

Fidel Castro arrives in New York City as the head of the Cuban delegation to the United Nations. Castro’s visit stirred indignation and admiration from various sectors of American society, and was climaxed by his speech to the United Nations on September 26.By the...

Doris Day wins lawsuit

On September 18, 1974, actress Doris Day wins a $22.8 million malpractice suit against her former lawyer.Day, one of the biggest box office draws of the 1950s and ’60s, had allowed her third husband, Martin Melcher, to handle her finances. After his death in 1968, she...

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