This Month in History: September
By Edmund Shryock
1. 1939 – WWII Begins in Europe: On September 1st, 1939, Adolf Hitler’s armies swept into Poland. Poland was also invaded by Russia at the same time. This would be the spark that would drag the French and the British into another war with Germany. This war in Europe would eventually turn into a global conflict. Most commonly known as “The Second World War.”
2. 2001 – 9/11 Terrorist Attacks: On the morning of September 11th, 2001 the lives of millions of people would be changed. Four American commercial planes were hijacked and turned into missiles against the World Trade Center, The Pentagon, and possibly the U.S. Capitol. There were 2,996 deaths that day, and the country had to unite. Airport security would be strengthened as a result, and America would declare war on Afghanistan shortly thereafter, that would end up ending 20 years later.
3. 1862 – Battle of Antietam: On September 17th, 1862, the deadliest day in American military history would take place. The Confederate army, under general Robert E. Lee, met heavy resistance from Union forces under George B. McClellen. The fighting began at dawn and lasted throughout the day, and by the end of the first day 26,000 men were killed, missing, or injured.
4. 1960 – First-Ever Televised Presidential Debate: Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy squared off in the first televised Presidential debate in the election of 1960. This took place on September 26th, 1960. This new way of meeting the Presidential candidates allowed more people to turn out for the election. This debate also gained Kennedy support from people who did not know him, as he looked calm and collected, unlike Nixon.
5. 1955 – James Dean Dies: On September 30th, 1955 the 24-year-old movie star James Dean died in a car crash, abruptly ending his promising acting career. He was made famous with movies such as Giant and Rebel Without a Cause. Dean’s death was a tragedy as he made a vast influence on\ teenage lifestyle in the 1950s for numerous teens.