This day in history

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From the archives of History.com…

  • by History.com Editors
    At the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea on September 20, 1988, American diver Greg Louganis wins the gold medal on the springboard despite nearly knocking himself unconscious during a qualifying round dive. With the improbable victory, Louganis—who won gold medals in the 3-meter …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    Spanish forces under Pedro Menéndez de Avilés capture the French Huguenot settlement of Fort Caroline, near present-day Jacksonville, Florida. The French, commanded by Rene Goulaine de Laudonniere, lost 135 men in the first instance of colonial warfare between European powers in America. Most of …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    16 members of a dissident Amish group in Ohio are convicted of federal hate crimes and conspiracy for forcibly cutting the beards and hair of fellow Amish with whom they had religious differences. The government classified the ruthless attacks as hate crimes because beards and long hair have …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan sets sail from Spain in an effort to find a western sea route to the rich Spice Islands of Indonesia. In command of five ships and 270 men, Magellan sailed to West Africa and then to Brazil, where he searched the South American coast for a strait that would …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    The first annual Cannes Film Festival opens at the resort city of Cannes on the French Riviera. The festival had intended to make its debut in September 1939, but the outbreak of World War II forced the cancellation of the inaugural Cannes. The world’s first annual international film festival was …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    On September 20, 1973, in a highly publicized “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match, top women’s player Billie Jean King, 29, beats Bobby Riggs, 55, a former No. 1 ranked men’s player. Riggs (1918-1995), a self-proclaimed male chauvinist, had boasted that women were inferior, that they couldn’t handle …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    Chester Arthur is inaugurated on September 20, 1881, becoming the third person to serve as president in that year. The year 1881 began with Republican Rutherford B. Hayes in office. Hayes served out his first and only term and officially turned over the reins of government to James A. Garfield, who …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    On September 20, 1806, after nearly two-and-a-half years spent exploring the western wilderness, the Corps of Discovery arrived at the frontier village of La Charette, the first white settlement they had seen since leaving behind the outposts of the eastern settlements in 1804. Entirely out of …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    Upton Sinclair, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and reformer, is born in Baltimore, Maryland. Sinclair came from a once well-to-do Southern family that had suffered reverses. When he was 10, the family moved to New York. Starting at age 15, he earned money writing dime novels, which paid his way …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    A glacial avalanche in Russia buries a village on September 20, 2002, killing more than 100 people. The North Ossetia area of Russia was hard hit by floods in June 2002. These floods, along with an early and hot summer, proved to be a precursor to a much larger disaster in September. Large glaciers …Continue reading

Continue reading and come back for more, tomorrow!

Topics in the news around this time of year…

  • by History.com Editors
    On January 3, 1973, a 12-member group headed by George Steinbrenner purchases the New York Yankees for $10 million from Columbia Broadcasting System, which owned the team since 1964. The group includes CBS’s Yankees president Michael Burke, who briefly serves in that role under …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    On January 1, 2008, with snowflakes falling around him in Buffalo, Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby slips a shot past Ryan Miller to win the NHL’s inaugural Winter Classic—the first regular-season game in league history played outdoors in the United States. The game is played before 71,127 …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    On January 1, 2006, following a New England Patriots touchdown against the Miami Dolphins, Doug Flutie enters the game for what initially appears to be a two-point conversion play. After getting his teammates set in a “very strange formation,” Flutie backs up well beyond the normal shotgun …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    An early convert to Mormonism, Brigham Young succeeded founder Joseph Smith as the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1847; he led the church until his death in 1877. After guiding an exodus of thousands of Mormons westward to the Great Salt Lake Valley, Young founded …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    On September 17, 2011, hundreds of activists gather around Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan for the first day of the Occupy Wall Street Movement—a weeks-long sit-in in New York City’s Financial District protesting income inequality and corporate corruption. While the movement failed to see any of …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    On December 9, 2016, the World Anti-Doping Agency details a vast "institutional conspiracy" involving Russian officials and more than 1,000 athletes in systematic doping at major athletic competitions, including the Olympics. A second WADA report says the conspiracy involves the Russian …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    On December 10, 1922, the Canton Bulldogs defeat the Toledo Maroons, 19-0, and are declared the first NFL champion. Canton finishes the season 10-0-2, allowing 15 points and producing nine shutouts. The league champion is determined by best regular-season record. "The Maroons never got within …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    On December 15, 1974, Oakland's Jim "Catfish" Hunter is ruled a free agent by arbitrator Peter Seitz—the first free agent in modern baseball history—after A's owner Charles O. Finley fails to live up to terms of the star pitcher's contract. "The contract is quite clear as to what Finley is …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    On December 9, 1934, the New York Giants win the NFL championship by beating the Chicago Bears, 30-13, in the famous "Sneakers Game." With the temperature at 9 degrees and the Polo Grounds field a sheet of ice, the Giants open the second half wearing basketball shoes and score 27 points in the …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    On December 19, 1990, Los Angeles Raiders running back Bo Jackson is named to the AFC Pro Bowl team as a reserve, becoming the first athlete chosen for all-star games in Major League Baseball and the NFL. In the late 1980s, Bo Jackson—who won the Heisman Trophy at Auburn in 1985—captivated fans …Continue reading

Stories in the news…

  • by Chris Mueller
    For at least the first half of the 20th century, college football was more popular than the professional version. So, when powerhouses met then, the games often had a larger-than-life quality. On rare occasions, the combination of blueblood programs, high stakes and intense media coverage created a …Continue reading
  • by Phil Sheridan
    Thousands of touchdown passes have been thrown in NFL history. But only a few—each tossed in the waning seconds of a pressure-cooker playoff game—have earned nicknames that have withstood the test of time. Here are five of the most miraculous NFL touchdown passes of all time:  1. The …Continue reading
  • by Christopher Klein
    Except for one fairytale season in 1969, when they won the World Series, the New York Mets were largely synonymous with futility for the first quarter-century of their existence. The Mets languished in the shadows of their pinstriped neighbors in the Bronx—the New York Yankees—but consecutive …Continue reading
  • by Phil Sheridan
    Boston's Fenway Park and Chicago’s Wrigley Field—Major League Baseball's oldest ballparks—are charming testaments from the sport's early 20th century. Some of the peers of those ballparks had odd features, from weird dimensions to insanely high outfield walls. Here are 10 of the more unusual and …Continue reading
  • by Johanna Fernández
    In 1969, a group of New York City youth known as the Young Lords demanded change in the way the largest city in the United States handled sanitation. The initiative, known as the Garbage Offensive, wasn’t the group’s original plan of action, but it proved highly effective in calling out the needs …Continue reading
  • by John Banks
    First in a series on iconic NFL games. Foul weather, from ice, snow and below-freezing temperatures to downpours and excessive heat, has adversely affected NFL games since the dawn of the league more than 100 years ago. But no game in NFL history matches the weird weather at the "Fog Bowl” playoff …Continue reading
  • by Bob Zeller
    In October 1862, a shocking and unique photo exhibition opened at Mathew B. Brady’s Broadway gallery in New York City. A small placard at the door advertised “The Dead of Antietam,” and, as The New York Times reported on October 20, “crowds of people are constantly going up the stairs,” drawn by …Continue reading
  • by Nadra Kareem Nittle
    In the center of downtown Atlanta, a handful of streets intersect, forming what locals know as Five Points. Today, a park, a university, high-rise buildings and throngs of motorists and pedestrians make this a bustling area, belying its history of bloodshed. In 1906, Five Points became the …Continue reading
  • by Sarah Pruitt
    Perched on the southwestern part of the Iberian peninsula, Portugal turned to the boundless Atlantic Ocean as its only outlet to the wider world. As early as 1341, Portuguese sailors had made their first forays into the tempting waters that lay beyond their shores, exploring the Canary Islands off …Continue reading
  • by Sam Robinson
    College football has been a staple of American culture for more than a half-century longer than the NFL. The professional game owes much of its success to the foundation built by the college sport. A range of college coaches transformed the game on and off the field. From Yale's Walter Camp to …Continue reading
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