September 6th in History

Interior of the original Piggly Wiggly, the world’s first true self-service grocery story, in Memphis, Tennessee

(Photo: Clarence Saunders, 1918)

Today in History

  • The Pilgrims set sail on the Mayflower (1628, O.S. September 16*)
  • Henry David Thoreau leaves Walden Pond and moves in with Ralph Waldo Emerson (1847)
  • Louisa Ann Swain of Laramie, Wyoming, becomes the first woman in the US to cast a legal vote (1870)
  • The first self-service grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, opens in Memphis (1916)
  • The first of the “Blackfriars ships,” dating back to the 2nd century CE, is discovered in London’s River Thames (1962)
  • The Munich massacre of Israeli Olympic athletes takes place (1972)
  • Cal Ripken, Jr., sets a record for consecutive MLB games, 2,131 (1995)
  • The funeral of Princess Diana takes place in London (1997)

* “Old Style” (O.S.) refers to the changeover from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. Events caught in the overlap are often cited using both the Gregorian and Julian dates.


  • Jane Addams, sociologist and Nobel laureate (1860)
  • Felix Salten, author and critic (1869)
  • Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., businessman and diplomat, father of US President John Kennedy (1888)
  • Claire Lee Chennault, led the Flying Tigers (1893)
  • Robert Pirsig, wrote Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1928)
  • Sergio Aragonés, comics illustrator (1937)
  • Jo Anne Worley, comedian (1937)
  • Swoosie Kurtz, actress (1944)
  • Jane Curtin, actress and comedian (1947)
  • Jeff Foxworth, actor and comedian (1958)
  • Rosie Perez, actress (1964)
  • Idris Elba, actor (1972)


  • Metius, mathematician and astronomer (1635)
  • Arthur Rackham, fantasy illustrator (1939)
  • Olaf Stapledon, science fiction writer (1950)
  • Kay Kendall, actress (1959)
  • Margaret Sanger, nurse and educator (1966)
  • Ernest Tubb, country musician (1984)
  • Quinn Martin, television producer (1987)
  • Tom Fogerty, member of Creedence Clearwater Revival (1990)
  • James Clavell, author (1994)
  • Akira Kurosawa, filmmaker (1998)
  • Madeline L’Engle, author (2007)
  • Martin Milner, actor (2015)

Holidays and Observances

  • Armed Forces Day (Sao Tome and Principe)
  • Army Day (Pakistan)
  • Flag Day (Bonaire)
  • Independence Day (Swaziland)
  • National Coffee Ice Cream Day (US)
  • Unification Day (Bulgaria)

September 6 is the 249th day of the year (250th in leap years). There are 116 days remaining until the end of the year.