September 7th in History

Alberto Santos-Dumont, 14-bis

September 7 is the 250th day of the year (251st in leap years). There are 115 days remaining until the end of the year. (Illustration: Alberto Santos-Dumont makes the first European airplane flight, 9/7/1906.)

Today in History

  • American Revolutionary War: The world’s first known submarine attack takes place when the American Colonial submersible Turtle unsuccessfully attempts to plant a time bomb on the hull of HMS Eagle in New York Harbor (1776)
  • Napoleonic Wars: The largest and bloodiest single-day action of the French invasion of Russia takes place at the Battle of Borodino, near Moscow, with almost 250,000 troops and at least 70,000 casualties. The battle ends with a nominal French victory, but Napoleon’s failure to destroy the Russian army forces him to retreat (1812)
  • American Civil War: Union General William Tecumseh Sherman orders the evacuation of Atlanta (1864)
  • The first official rugby league football game is played (1895)
  • Alberto Santos-Dumont flies the 14-bis aircraft on its maiden flight, the first publicly witnessed manned heavier-than-air flight in Europe  (1906)
  • Eugène Lefebvre becomes the first person to die while piloting a powered airplane when he crashes in his Wright-built biplane south of Paris (1909)
  • Poet Guillaime Apollinaire is arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting the theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre; he is released without charge after returning some Egyptian statuettes stolen in the same burglary (1911)
  • US federal government employees receive the right to Worker’s Compensation (1916)
  • The first Miss America pageant is held (1921)
  • The last Tasmanian tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus) dies in captivity (1936)
  • Truth or Consequences premiers on television (1950)
  • Никита Хрущёв (Nikita Khrushchev) is elected First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1953)
  • The Pro Football Hall of Fame opens in Canton, Ohio (1963)
  • The Flying Nun premiers on television (1967)
  • Bill Shoemaker sets a record for the most lifetime wins as a jockey (1970)
  • Chrysler asks the US government for $1.5 billion to avoid bankruptcy (1979)
  • Egypt holds its first-ever multi-party presidential election (2005)
  • The US government takes control of the mortgage financing companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (2008)


  • Elizabeth I of England, monarch (1533)
  • Georges-Louis Leclercy, mathematician and encyclopediast (1707)
  • François-André Danican Philidor, chess master (1726)
  • John Polidori, physician and inventor of the modern vampire story, lover of Lord Byron (1795)
  • Grandma Moses, painter (1860)
  • E.F. Hutton, financier (1875)
  • Edith Sitwell, poet and critic (1887)
  • Taylor Caldwell, author (1900)
  • Max Kaminsky, bandleader (1908)
  • Elia Kazan, filmmaker (1909)
  • David Packard, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard (1912)
  • Anthony Quayle, actor (1913)
  • James Van Allen, space scientist, namesake of the Van Allen radiation belts (1914)
  • Arthur Ferrante, pianist, member of Ferrante & Teicher (1921)
  • Peter Lawford, actor (1923)
  • 井上 建 (Daniel Inouye), US Senator and Medal of Honor recipient (1924)
  • Laura Ashley, fashion designer (1925)
  • Don Messick, animation voice artist (1926)
  • Sonny Rollins, saxophonist (1930)
  • Buddy Holly, singer-songwriter (1936)
  • John Phillip Law, actor (1937)
  • Michael Emerson, actor (1954)
  • Jermaine Stewart, singer-songwriter (1957)
  • Eazy-E, rapper (1963)
  • Shannon Elizabeth, actress (1973)
  • Evan Rachel Wood, actress (1987)


  • Sidney Lanier, poet (1881)
  • John Greenleaf Whittier, poet (1892)
  • Maria Montez, actress (1951)
  • Bud Fisher, cartoonist, creator of Mutt & Jeff (1954)
  • Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen), author (1962)
  • Everett Dirksen, US Senator (1969)
  • Spring Byington, actress (1971)
  • Keith Moon, drummer (1978)
  • Ken Boyer, baseball player and coach (1982)
  • A. J. P. Taylor, historian 91990)
  • Dennis Morgan, actor and singer (1994)
  • Terence Young, filmmaker (1994)
  • Bibi Besch, actress (1996)
  • Mobutu Sese Seko, President of Zaire (1997)
  • Uziel Gal, gun designer, creator of the Uzi (2002)
  • Warren Zevon, singer-songwriter (2003)
  • Gregory Mcdonald, mystery writer (2008)

Holidays and Celebrations

  • Air Force Day (Pakistan)
  • Independence Day (Brazil)
  • National Threatened Species Day (Australia)
  • Victory Day (Mozambique)

Informal and made-up holidays include National Acorn Squash Day, National Attention Deficit Disorder Awareness Day, National Beer Lovers Day, “Neither Snow nor Rain” Day (opening of the New York Post Office building, with the famous motto inscribed on it), Pet Rock Day, and Salami Day.

(*O.S., or Old Style, when used, refers to the fact that Russia did not convert from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar until 1918.)