The Millstone Times September 2021

This Month in History: September By Bianca Battaglia The ninth month of the year, according to the Gregorian calendar, September houses many of the world’s most famous—or infamous—events. Therefore, it is interesting to explore some of the most intriguing, controversial, or life-changing events that have occurred in September, forever altering the course of history. On September 8th, 1504, Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo unveiled his iconic statue of David in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy. The famous statue is sculpted out of marble and took three years to complete, with construction beginning in 1501. Standing at seventeen feet tall and weighing 12,000 pounds, the statue depicts the Biblical figure, David, who is most known for using a slingshot to defeat the Philistine giant Goliath. On September 25th, 1690, the first American multi-page newspaper, Publick Occurrences, Both Foreign and Domestick, was published in Boston, Mas- sachusetts. The content of the newspaper included local news and gossip, a criticism of the tensions between the French, British, and Native Americans, and a salacious story suggesting an incestuous relationship between the French King and his daughter-in-law. While it was intended to be a monthly pub- lication, the British authorities suppressed the newspaper after its first issue, as it was published without governmental approval. On September 5th, 1774, the first Continental Congress convened at Carpenters’ Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Congress was organized in response to the Coercive Acts, also called the Intolerable Acts, in which the British government extended their control over the colonies. A total of fifty-six delegates from twelve of the thirteen original colonies (excluding Georgia, who did not send delegates) attended the Congress, including famous historical figures such as George Washington, Patrick Henry, and John Adams. At the Continental Congress the delegates proposed a declaration of personal rights and grievances and rejected British authority. On September 17th, 1862, the Battle of Antietam, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, was fought between Union General George B. McClellan’s army and Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s army during the American Civil War. The Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest battle in United States mil- itary history, recording approximately 23,000 casualties. While historians consider the battle a stalemate, it marked a significant turning point in the Civil War, as the Confederate’s retreat eventually led President Abraham Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22nd, freeing the slaves. On September 1st, 1939, the German forces, under Adolf Hitler’s command, invaded Poland, marking the start of World War II. The invasion of Poland was the first time the “blitzkrieg” military strategy was used. Through this “blitzkrieg” strategy, which translates to “lightning war,” the German army swift- ly and quickly bombarded the Polish forces with planes, tanks, and artillery. This offensive approach disrupted and destroyed communication and supply lines, and the Polish army, already outnumbered and underequipped, was eventually defeated. On September 11th, 2001, four passenger planes were hijacked by members of the terrorist group Al-Qaeda. The first plane, American Airlines Flight 11, crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, while a second plane, United Airlines Flight 175, crashed into the South Tower seventeen minutes later. Almost two hours after the crashes, the Twin Towers collapsed. The third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. The fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. While believed to be headed for the White House or Capitol Building, the plane was grounded after the passengers fought off the hijackers. The most devastating terrorist attack in United States history, the 9/11 attacks claimed the lives of 2,996 people.


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