This day in history (Sept. 1)

Staff Writer

1836 – Narcissa Whitman, one of the first English-speaking white women to settle west of the Rocky Mountains, arrives at Walla Walla, Washington.
1838 – Saint Andrew's Scots School, the oldest school of British origin in South America, is established.
1859 – One of the largest coronal mass ejections ever recorded, later to be known as the Carrington Event, occurs.
1862 – American Civil War: Battle of Chantilly: Confederate Army troops defeat a group of retreating Union Army troops in Chantilly, Virginia.
1864 – American Civil War: The Confederate Army General John Bell Hood orders the evacuation of Atlanta, ending a four-month siege by General William Tecumseh Sherman.
1870 – Franco-Prussian War: The Battle of Sedan is fought, resulting in a decisive Prussian victory.
1873 – Cetshwayo ascends to the throne as king of the Zulu nation following the death of his father Mpande.
1878 – Emma Nutt becomes the world's first female telephone operator when she is recruited by Alexander Graham Bell to the Boston Telephone Dispatch Company.
1880 – The army of Mohammad Ayub Khan is routed by the British at the Battle of Kandahar, ending the Second Anglo-Afghan War
1894 – Over 400 people die in the Great Hinckley Fire, a forest fire in Hinckley, Minnesota.
1897 – The Tremont Street Subway in Boston opens, becoming the first underground rapid transit system in North America.
1905 – Alberta and Saskatchewan join the Canadian confederation.
1906 – The International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys is established.
1911 – The armored cruiser Georgios Averof is commissioned into the Greek Navy. It now serves as a museum ship.
1914 – St. Petersburg, Russia, changes its name to Petrograd.
1914 – The last known passenger pigeon, a female named Martha, dies in captivity in the Cincinnati Zoo.
1920 – The Fountain of Time opens as a tribute to the 100 years of peace between the United States and Great Britain following the Treaty of Ghent.
1923 – The Great Kantō earthquake devastates Tokyo and Yokohama, killing about 105,000 people.
1928 – Ahmet Zogu declares Albania to be a monarchy and proclaims himself king.
1934 – The first Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer animated cartoon, The Discontented Canary, is released to movie theatres.
1939 – World War II: Nazi Germany and Slovakia invade Poland, beginning the European phase of World War II.
1939 – General George C. Marshall becomes Chief of Staff of the United States Army.
1939 – The Wound Badge for Wehrmacht, SS, Kriegsmarine, and Luftwaffe soldiers is instituted. The final version of the Iron Cross is also instituted on this date.
1939 – Switzerland mobilizes its forces and the Swiss Parliament elects Henri Guisan to head the Swiss Armed Forces (an event that can happen only during war or mobilization).
1939 – Adolf Hitler signs an order to begin the systematic euthanasia of mentally ill and disabled people.
1951 – The United States, Australia and New Zealand sign a mutual defense pact, called the ANZUS Treaty.
1952 – The Old Man and the Sea, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Ernest Hemingway, is first published.
1958 – Iceland expands its fishing zone, putting it into conflict with the United Kingdom, beginning the Cod Wars.
1961 – The Eritrean War of Independence officially begins with the shooting of the Ethiopian police by Hamid Idris Awate.
1961 – The first conference of the Non-Aligned Countries is held in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
1967 – The Khmer–Chinese Friendship Association is banned in Cambodia.
1967 – Six-Day War: The Khartoum Resolution is issued at the Arab Summit, and eight countries adopt the "three 'no's against Israel[3]
1969 – A coup in Libya brings Muammar Gaddafi to power.
1969 – Trần Thiện Khiêm becomes Prime Minister of South Vietnam under President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu.
1970 – Attempted assassination of King Hussein of Jordan by Palestinian guerrillas, who attack his motorcade.
1972 – In Reykjavík, Iceland, American Bobby Fischer beats Russian Boris Spassky to become the world chess champion.
1974 – The SR-71 Blackbird sets (and holds) the record for flying from New York to London in the time of 1 hour, 54 minutes and 56.4 seconds at a speed of 1,435.587 miles per hour (2,310.353 km/h).
1979 – The American space probe Pioneer 11 becomes the first spacecraft to visit Saturn when it passes the planet at a distance of 21,000 kilometres (13,000 mi).
1980 – Major General Chun Doo-hwan becomes President of South Korea, following the resignation of Choi Kyu-hah.
1981 – A coup d'état in the Central African Republic overthrows President David Dacko.
1982 – The United States Air Force Space Command is founded.
1983 – Cold War: Korean Air Lines Flight 007 is shot down by a Soviet Union jet fighter when the commercial aircraft enters Soviet airspace, killing all 269 on board, including Congressman Lawrence McDonald.
1985 – A joint American–French expedition locates the wreckage of the RMS Titanic.
1991 – Uzbekistan declares independence from the Soviet Union.
2004 – The Crisis in Beslan commences when armed terrorists take schoolchildren and school staff hostage in North Ossetia (Russia); by the end of the siege three days later more than 385 people are dead (including hostages, other civilians, security personnel and terrorists).

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