Today in History
History's Happenings for September 11
Having earlier explored the northern reaches around Greenland on behalf of Russian interests, Henry Hudson entered New York Bay for the first time in September, 1609. On this trip his ship, the Half Moon, represented the Dutch East India Company.
For the next month, he explored the Hudson River as far north as Albany. However, when he returned to England, his ship was impounded and he was restrained from again sailing for non-English patrons.
The following year, he secured the support of private English investors and set out again, this time in search of a Northwest Passage to the Pacific, above Canada. His ship, the Discovery, was frozen in when winter hit. His crew, beset by cold and privation, mutinied and set Hudson, his son and a few followers adrift in a small boat. They were never heard from again.
On this day in 1777 a British army of about 18,000 troops under Sir William Howe defeated General George Washington's 11,000-man Continental Army at Brandywine Creek, about 25 miles southwest of Philadelphia, PA. Howe's army had come by sea from New York to capture Philadelphia, then the capital of the fledgling United States.
Losses on each side totaled a few hundred men. Following the battle, Howe occupied the city and established his headquarters.
Washington returned to fight Howe's troops again at Germantown in October, and then retired to the long, miserable winter at Valley Forge.
On September 7, 1936 Hoover Dam, on the Colorado River near Las Vegas, NV, became operational after five years of construction. Today, September 11th, President Roosevelt officially flipped the switch -- remotely from Washington -- to activate its hydroelectric turbines.
The dam is 726 feet high and 1244 feet along the breast. Behind it lies newly-created Lake Mead, one of the largest man-made lakes in the world, occupying 233 square miles.
Hoover -- which was called Boulder Dam for a time -- puts out a million and a half kilowatts of power, and supplies Arizona, Nevada and Southern California.
Like Pearl Harbor Day, Patriot Day memorializes a dastardly assault on our country which cost the lives of thousands of Americans, in this case the attack by terrorists on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
Also like Pearl Harbor Day, Patriot Day recalls the wave of renewed patriotism and national unity which followed on the heels of the attack. Americans pray that, in time, our success in completely vanquishing the enemy that threatens our very existence will be as complete as it was sixty-one years ago.
Patriot Day was designated by Congress 407-0 in October, 2001. A similarly-named day of remembrance in April, Patriots Day, recalls the sacrifices of colonial Americans at Lexington and Concord.