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September 1, 1952: The Old Man and the Sea, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Ernest Hemingway, was first published. The book was the last major work of fiction to be produced by Hemingway and published in his lifetime. One of his most famous works, it focuses upon the character of Santiago, an aging fisherman who struggles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. The Old Man and the Sea was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953 and was cited by the Nobel Committee as contributing to the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954.
September 2, 1901: Vice President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt uttered the famous phrase, "Speak softly and carry a big stick" at the Minnesota State Fair. Roosevelt attributed the term to a West African proverb, "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far," but the claim that it originated in West Africa has been disputed. The idea of negotiating peacefully, simultaneously threatening with the "big stick", or the military, ties in heavily with the idea of Realpolitik, which implies a pursuit of political power that resembles Machiavellian ideals.
September 3, 1260: The Mamluks defeated the Mongols at the Battle of Ain Jalut in Palestine, marking their first decisive defeat and the point of maximum expansion of the Mongol Empire, as it was the first time a Mongol advance had ever been permanently beaten back in direct combat on the battlefield. After previous battlefield defeats, the Mongols had always returned and avenged their loss, ultimately defeating their enemies. The Battle of Ain Jalut marked the first time they were unable to do so. By the end of the thirteenth century, the Mongol Empire fractured into four separate khanates or empires, each pursuing its own separate interests and objectives.
September 4, 1886: After almost 30 years of fighting, Apache leader Geronimo, with his remaining warriors, surrendered to General Nelson Miles in Arizona. Following an attack by Mexican soldiers, which killed his mother, wife and three children in 1858, Geronimo joined insurgent attacks on the Mexicans. During his career as a war chief, he was notorious for consistently urging raids upon Mexican Provinces and their towns, and later against American locations across Arizona, New Mexico and western Texas. Geronimo's surrendered come only after a lengthy pursuit by U.S. forces. As a prisoner of war in old age he became a celebrity and appeared in fairs but was never allowed to return to the land of his birth. He later regretted his surrender and claimed the conditions he made had been ignored. Geronimo died in 1909 from complications of pneumonia at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
September 5, 1882: The first United States Labor Day parade was held in New York City. The day was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, who organized the parade. After the Haymarket Massacre in 1886, US President Grover Cleveland feared that commemorating Labor Day on May 1 could become an opportunity to commemorate the affair. Thus, in 1887, it was established as an official holiday in September to support the Labor Day that the Knights favored.
September 6, 1995: Cal Ripken Jr of the Baltimore Orioles played in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking a record that stood for 56 years. The game, between the Orioles and the California Angels, still ranks as one of the ESPN's most watched baseball games. Ripken's children, Rachel and Ryan, threw out the ceremonial first balls. Both President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore were at the game. Clinton was in the WBAL local radio broadcast booth when Ripken hit a home run in the fourth inning, and called the home run over the air. When the game became official after the Angels' half of the fifth inning, the numerical banners that displayed Ripken's streak on the wall of the B&O Warehouse outside the stadium's right field wall changed from 2130 to 2131.
September 7, 1986: Desmond Tutu became the first black man to lead the Anglican Church in South Africa. He rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid.Tutu's admirers see him as a man who since the demise of apartheid has been active in the defence of human rights and uses his high profile to campaign for the oppressed, though his consistent opposition to Israel and the United States has made him controversial. He has campaigned to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, poverty, racism, sexism, the imprisonment of Bradley Manning, homophobia and transphobia. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984; the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986; the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987; the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999; the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
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July 7, 1928: The Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri, began the first commercial use of bread slicing machine machine developed by Otto Frederick Rohwedder, as it marketed its "Kleen Maid Sliced Bread." The bread was advertised as "the greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped."
July 8, 1497: Vasco da Gama set sail on the first direct European voyage to India.Th expedition paved the way for the Portuguese to establish a long-lasting colonial empire in Asia. The route meant that the Portuguese would no longer need to cross the highly disputed Mediterranean nor the dangerous Arabia Peninsula, as the whole voyage could be made by sea.
July 9, 1896: William Jennings Bryan delivered his Cross of Gold speech advocating bimetallism at the 1896 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. Bryan's address helped catapult him to the Democratic Party's presidential nomination; it is considered one of the greatest political speeches in American history.
July 10, 1925: In Dayton, Tennessee, the so-called "Monkey Trial" begins with John T. Scopes, a young high school science teacher accused of teaching evolution in violation of the Butler Act.
July 11, 1801: French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons made his first comet discovery. Over the course of the next twenty-seven years, he would discover another thirty-seven comets, more than any other person in history.
July 12, 927: Æthelstan, King of England, secured a pledge from Constantine II of Scotland that the latter would not ally with Viking kings, beginning the process of unifying Great Britain. This is considered the closest thing that England has to a foundation date.
July 13, 1985: The Live Aid benefit concert takes place in London, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sydney, and Moscow. The event was organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine. An estimated global audience of 1.9 billion, across 150 nations, watched the live broadcast.
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May 12, 1926: The Italian-built airship Norge became the first vessel to fly over the North Pole. The expedition was the brainchild of polar explorer and expedition leader Roald Amundsen, the airship's designer and pilot Umberto Nobile and American explorer Lincoln Ellsworth, who along with the Aero Club of Norway financed the trip.
May 13, 1846: The United States declared war on Mexico, following the April 25th, Thornton Affair in which a 2,000-strong Mexican cavalry detachment attacked a U.S. patrol in the contested territory north of the Rio Grande and south of the Nueces River. The attack resulted in the death of 16 American soldiers
May 14, 1607: Jamestown became the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. Established by the Virginia Company of London as “James Fort,” it followed several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Jamestown served as the capital of the Colony of Virginia for 83 years, from 1616 until 1699.
May 15, 1886: The American poet, Emily Dickinson, died at the age of 55. Her first collection of poetry was published in 1890, but was heavily edited. A complete and mostly unaltered collection of her poetry became available for the first time in 1955. She is considered to be one of the most important American poets.
May 16, 1770: 14-year old Marie Antoinette married 15-year-old Louis-Auguste, who later became the king of France. The ceremonial wedding of the Dauphin and Dauphine took place in the Palace of Versailles.
May 17, 1939: The Columbia Lions and the Princeton Tigers played in the United States' first televised sporting event, a collegiate baseball game in New York City.
May 18, 1953: Jackie Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier at Rogers Dry Lake, California. Encouraged by her lifelong friend Chuck Yeager, Cochran flew a Canadair F-86 Sabre jet borrowed from the Royal Canadian Air Force at an average speed of 652.337 mph.