ON THIS DAY
1776: Benedict Arnold and the Battle of Valcour Island
Brigadier General Benedict Arnold and 15 American gunboats are defeated during the American Revolution by Sir Guy Carleton. Although the ships were lost, the Patriots kept fighting for two days providing time for other members of the rebellion to prepare to defend New York.
1793: Yellow fever breaks out in Philadelphia
The death toll from a yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia hits 100 on this day in 1793. By the time it ended, 5,000 people were dead.
1809: Meriwether Lewis dies in Tennessee
On this day in 1809, the famous explorer Meriwether Lewis dies under mysterious circumstances in the early hours of the morning after stopping for the night at Grinder’s Tavern along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee.
1862: Stuart hits Pennsylvania
Confederate cavalry leader General J.E.B. Stuart loots Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, on a risky raid in the aftermath of the bloody Battle of Antietam in Maryland.
1890: DAR is Founded
In Washington, D.C., the Daughters of the American Revolution is founded.
1906: School Segregation Sparks Diplomatic Crisis
San Francisco public school board sparks a diplomatic crisis between the United States and Japan by ordering Japanese students to be taught in racially segregated schools.
1910: First U.S. president to fly in an airplane
Former President Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first U.S. president to fly in an airplane. He flew for four minutes with Arch Hoxsey in a plane built by the Wright brothers at Kinloch Field (Lambert–St. Louis International Airport), St. Louis, Missouri.
1923: A mail car explodes in a train robbery
Three men blow up the mail car of a Southern Pacific train carrying passengers through southern Oregon in a botched robbery attempt.
1925: Elmore Leonard is born
Novelist Elmore Leonard was born on this day in New Orleans in 1925. Elmore John Leonard Jr. was an American novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter. His earliest novels, published in the 1950s, were Westerns, but he went on to specialize in crime fiction and suspense thrillers, many of which have been adapted into motion pictures.
1942: United States defeats Japanese in the Battle of Cape Esperance
On this day in 1942, the American Navy intercepts a Japanese fleet of ships on their way to reinforce troops at Guadalcanal. The Navy succeeded in its operation, sinking a majority of the ships.
1968: First Manned Apollo Mission
Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, is launched with astronauts Walter M. Schirra, Jr.; Donn F. Eisele; and Walter Cunningham aboard.
1975: Saturday Night Live debuts
On this day in 1975, Saturday Night Live (SNL), a topical comedy sketch show featuring Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Garrett Morris, Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman, makes its debut on NBC.
1975: Bruce Springsteen has his first pop hit with “Born to Run”
On this day in 1975, the epic single “Born to Run” became Bruce Springsteen’s first-ever Top 40 hit, marking the start of his eventual transition from little-known cult figure to international superstar.
1975: Bill Clinton marries Hillary Rodham
On this day in 1975, William Jefferson Clinton marries Hillary Rodham in Little Rock, Arkansas.
1984: First American Woman Performs Space Walk
Aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan becomes the first American woman to perform a space walk.
1986: Reagan and Gorbachev meet in Reykjavik
Cold War: U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet in Reykjavík, Iceland, in an effort to continue discussions about scaling back their intermediate missile arsenals in Europe.
1987: First public display of AIDS Memorial Quilt
First public display of AIDS Memorial Quilt on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., during the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
2000: NASA Launches Discovery
NASA launches STS-92, the 100th Space Shuttle mission, using Space Shuttle Discovery.
2002: Jimmy Carter wins Nobel Prize
On this day in 2002, former President Jimmy Carter wins the Nobel Peace Prize “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”
2003: Martinez-Zimmer scuffle interrupts ALCS
On October 11, 2003, a bench-clearing brawl between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees interrupts the third game of the American League playoffs in Boston.