1813 – On this day, the United States got its nickname, Uncle Sam. The name is linked to Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, New York, who supplied barrels of beef to the United States Army during the War of 1812.
Wilson stamped the barrels with “U.S.” for United States, but soldiers began referring to the food as “Uncle Sam’s.” The local newspaper picked up on the story and Uncle Sam eventually gained widespread acceptance as the nickname for the U.S. federal government.
1864 – In preparation for his march to the sea, Union General William T. Sherman ordered residents of Atlanta, Georgia, to evacuate the city. The mayor of Atlanta, James Calhoun, protested, but Sherman curtly replied, “War is cruelty and you cannot refine it.”
Sherman’s order surely didn’t win him any fans among the Southerners, but he was only starting to build his infamous reputation with the Confederates. In November, he embarked on his march to the sea, during which his army destroyed nearly everything that lay in its path.
1876 – Attempting a bold daytime robbery of the Northfield Minnesota bank, the James-Younger gang suddenly found itself surrounded by angry townspeople and was nearly wiped out. The bandits began with a diversion: five of the men galloped through the center of town, hollering and shooting their pistols in the air. As the townspeople ran for cover, three other men wearing wide-brimmed hats and long dusters took advantage of the distraction to walk unnoticed into the First National Bank.
Once the alarm had been sounded, the citizens of Northfield ran to surround the bank and mercilessly shot down the robbers as they tried to escape. Two gang members, Clell Miller and Bill Chadwell were gunned down while Jesse’s brother, Frank, was wounded in the leg. Jim, Cole, and Bob Younger were also badly wounded.
Jesse was the last one out of the bank. After pausing briefly to shoot the uncooperative cashier in the head, Jesse leapt onto his horse and joined the rest of the survivors as they desperately fled town. For the next two weeks a posse pursued them relentlessly, eventually killing or capturing four more of the gang members.
1892 – The first world heavyweight title fight to use the Marquis of Queensberry Rules (including boxing gloves and three-minute rounds) was held in New Orleans, LA. James Corbett knocked out John L. Sullivan in round 21.
1921 – The first Miss America Pageant was held at Atlantic City, New Jersey. This first contest was a promotion to keep tourists in the resort town after the Labor Day holiday. Miss Washington, D.C. won the contest and received a golden statue of a mermaid as her prize! She was 16-year-old Margaret Gorman. Miss Gorman was 5’1″ with blonde hair, blue eyes, weighing 108 pounds and her vital statistics were 30-25-32.
1921 – The San Antonio River flooded, killing 51 people and causing millions of dollars in damages. The flood was caused by some of the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in Texas.
1930 – Dagwood and Blondie made their first appearance in comic strips. TheBlondie cartoon was created by Chic Young and over time, the characters were heard on the radio, seen in 28 movies, and on two TV series.
1940 – After the successful occupation of France, it was only a matter of time before the Germans turned their sights across the Channel to England. And so it was on this date that 300 German planes raided London, dropping 337 tons of bombs in the first of 57 consecutive nights of bombing. This “blitzkrieg” (lightning war) would continue until May 1941.
1956 – The Adventures of Jim Bowie premiered on ABC. The western adventure series starred Scott Forbes and lasted two seasons.
1967 – U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara announced plans to build an electronic anti-infiltration barrier to block communist flow of arms and troops into South Vietnam from the north at the eastern end of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The “McNamara Line,” as it became known, employed state-of-the-art, high-tech listening devices to alert U.S. forces when North Vietnamese troops and supplies were moving south so that air and artillery strikes could be brought to bear on them.
But in the end, the concept proved impractical as the North Vietnamese just shifted their infiltration routes to other areas.
1977 – President Jimmy Carter and Panamanian dictator Omar Torrijos signed a treaty agreeing to transfer control of the Panama Canal from the United States to Panama at the end of the 20th century. The Panama Canal Treaty also authorized the immediate abolishment of the Canal Zone, a 10-mile-wide, 40-mile-long U.S.-controlled area that bisected the Republic of Panama.
Many in Congress opposed giving up control of the Panama Canal – an enduring symbol of U.S. power and technological prowess – but America’s colonial-type administration of the strategic waterway had long irritated Panamanians and other Latin Americans.
The formal turnover took place in December 1999.
2008 – James Lockhart, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency , announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were being placed into conservatorship of the FHFA. The action was one of the most sweeping government interventions in private financial markets in decades.
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