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History's Happenings for September 3

Treaty Ends American Revolution

On September 3, 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed formally ending the American Revolution, and giving full sovereignty and recognition to the United States.

Negotiations had begun in 1782, but the ongoing feuds among the European powers themselves caused the process to drag on. Finally American representatives John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and Henry Laurens began negotiating with Britain alone, reaching agreement in the fall of 1782. The next year was required to bring Spain and France into the fold to avoid European rivalries spilling over into the new nation.

Most people accept the surrender of Lord Cornwallis to Washington's army at Yorktown, Virginia in 1781 as the end of the Revolutionary War but, though that ended the fighting in the main, skirmishing dragged on into 1783.

First Appearance of Stars and Stripes in Battle

(Stay tuned for a write-up on this event.
On the other hand, if you'd like to try writing
one  ... send it in! )

USN Dirigible "Shenandoah" Crashes

The 677-foot dirigible Shenandoah was the first wholly U.S.-built airship of the German Zeppelin type, and the first in the world to be filled with helium rather than flammable (though more efficient) hydrogen.

Built in 1923, she made several long and successful flights before falling victim to a severe storm on this day in 1925. Fourteen crew members lost their lives, but the 29 survivors attributed their escape to the use of helium.

Twelve years later, on May 6, 1937, the dangers of hydrogen were hammered home when the German dirigible Hindenburg exploded on its approach to Lakehurst, NJ, claiming 36 lives.

War Declared In Europe

In response to Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland two days earlier in 1939, Britain and France today declared War on Germany.

Other than a limited British response to Hitler's attack on Norway the following spring, no real fighting occurred on the Western Front until Germany's attack into France in June of 1940.

British Invade Italy; Italy Surrenders

Just four years after Britain and France declared war on Germany, on September 3, 1943 Italian Marshall Badoglio surrendered Italy's forces to the Allies, who had invaded the mainland earlier that year.

It's surrender did not mark by a long shot the end of fighting in Italy. German troops stationed there continued the fight right to the end of the War.

Viking II Lands on Mars

(Stay tuned for a write-up on this event.
On the other hand, if you'd like to try writing
one  ... send it in! )

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