On This Day

What Happened in September 1909

Historical Events

Historic Event

Sep 2 King Edward VII signs South Africa Act

Historic Event

Sep 6 New York Times headline announces American explorer Robert Peary had discovered the North Pole 5 months earlier

  • Sep 7 Eugene Lefebvre becomes first pilot to die in an airplane craft, while test piloting new French-built Wright biplane at Juvisy

Boxing Title Fight

Sep 9 Jack Johnson retains his heavyweight boxing title when he fights Al Kaufman to a no decision in 10 rounds at Coffroth's Arena, San Francisco, California

  • Sep 9 China's Metropolitan Library established by the Qing Dynasty in Beijing Guanghua temple (now the National Library of China) [1]
  • Sep 11 Max Wolf rediscovers Halley's comet
  • Sep 12 World's first patent for synthetic rubber granted to German chemist Fritz Hofmann

Sports History

Sep 13 Ty Cobb clinches AL HR title with his 9th HR (all inside-the-park)

  • Sep 17 Denis Peyrony and Louis Capitan discover the skull of an adult male Neanderthal (La Ferrassie 1) during excavations in a rock shelter near La Ferrassie, France
  • Sep 18 Largest paid baseball attendance (35,409), A's beat Tigers, 2-0 in Det
  • Sep 20 The British Parliament passes the South Africa Act; it calls for union of Cape Colony, Natal, Orange River Colony, and Transvaal; and both English and Dutch as official languages
  • Sep 25 Hudson-Fulton Celebration opens in NY

Historic Event

Sep 27 US President William Howard Taft sets aside some 3 million acres of oil-rich public land (including Teapot Dome, Wyoming) for conservation purposes


Famous Birthdays

  • Sep 1 E. Herbert Norman, Canadian diplomat (d. 1957)
  • Sep 4 Karel Horky, Czech composer, born in Stemechy (d. 1988)

Eduard Wirths

Sep 4 Eduard Wirths, Nazi physician (Auschwitz), born in Würzburg, Germany (d. 1945)

  • Sep 5 Archie Jackson, Australian cricket batsman (8 Tests, 1 x 100, HS 164), born in Rutherglen, Scotland (d. 1933)
  • Sep 6 John Ridgely, American actor (Northern Pursuit, They Died with Their Boots On, Air Force), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1968)
  • Sep 7 Elia Kazan, Greek-American director (Streetcar Named Desire), born in Constantinople, Ottoman Empire (d. 2003)
  • Sep 7 Jo Juda, Dutch musician (1st concertmaster of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra), born in Amsterdam (d. 1985)
  • Sep 7 Natalia Dmitrevna Shpiller, Czech-Russian lyric soprano, born in Kyiv, Russian Empire (now Ukraine) (d. 1995)
  • Sep 9 Jane Baxter [Fedora Kathleen Alice Forde], German actress (We Live Again), born in Bremen, Germany (d. 1996)
  • Sep 11 Anne Seymour, American actress (Gemini Affair; Empire; Tim Conway Show), born in NYC, New York (d. 1988)
  • Sep 11 William Natcher, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Kentucky 1953-94), born in Bowling Green, Kentucky (d. 1994)
  • Sep 12 Spud Chandler, American baseball player (AL MVP 1943), born in Commerce, Georgia (d. 1990)
  • Sep 12 Donald MacDonald, Canadian politician and former president of the Canadian Labour Congress (1967-74), born in Halifax, Nova Scotia (d. 1986)
  • Sep 12 Lawrence Brooks, American US Army soldier, 1940-45 (91st Engineer Battalion - New Guinea, The Philippines), and longest-living American World War II veteran, born in Norwood, Louisiana (d. 2022)
  • Sep 13 Herbert Berghof, Austrian actor (Belarus File, Harry and Tonto, Target), born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary (d. 1990)
  • Sep 14 Peter Scott, British naturalist & explorer, born in London (d. 1989)
  • Sep 15 Carlos Estrada, Uruguayan composer and conductor, born in Montevideo, Uruguay (d. 1970)

Jean Batten

Sep 15 Jean Batten, New Zealand aviator (first-ever solo flight from England to New Zealand in 1936), born in Rotorua, New Zealand (d. 1982)

  • Sep 15 Phil Arnold, American actor (Errand Boy, Stud Lonigan, Damn Yankees), born in Hackensack, New Jersey (d. 1968)
  • Sep 15 C. N. Annadurai, Indian politician and 1st Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, born in Kancheepuram, Madras, British India (d. 1969)
  • Sep 16 John Megaw, British Lord Justice of Appeal, born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 1997)
  • Sep 16 Fernand Lodewick, literature historian (d. 1995)
  • Sep 17 Elizabeth Wilkinson, professor German University College London
  • Sep 17 Kenneth Darling, British Army Commander-in-chief Allied Forces, born in Bengal Presidency, British India (d. 1998)
  • Sep 19 Ferry Porsche, Austrian automobile pioneer (Porsche AG), born in Wiener Neustadt, Austria-Hungary (d. 1998)

Kwame Nkrumah

Sep 21 Kwame Nkrumah, 1st Prime Minister of Ghana (1957-60) and 1st President of Ghana (1960-66), born in Nkroful, Gold Coast (Ghana) (d. 1972)

  • Sep 22 Allan "Rocky" Lane, American western cowboy actor (voice of Mr Ed, Red Ryder), born in Mishawaka, Indiana (d. 1973)
  • Sep 22 David Riesman, US sociologist (Lonely Crowd)
  • Sep 22 Harry Ray, American film make-up artist, costume designer and actor (Avanti!), born in West Virginia
  • Sep 23 Marianne Straub, weaver
  • Sep 23 Susan Travers, English-French Foreign Legion soldier, born in London, England (d. 2003)
  • Sep 24 Gerard Ciołek, Polish architect, born in Wyżnica, Austria-Hungary (d. 1966)
  • Sep 25 Florizel Glasspole, 3rd Governor-General of Jamaica (1973-91), born in Kingston, Jamaica (d. 2000)
  • Sep 26 Helen Giuliani, Mother of Rudy Giulani (107th Mayor of New York City), born in NYC, New York (d. 2002)
  • Sep 26 Bill France, Sr., American auto racer (co-founder of NASCAR), born in Washington, D.C. (d. 1992)
  • Sep 27 Jean Berger [Arthur Schloßberg], German-born American composer, born in Hamm, Germany (d. 2002)
  • Sep 28 Al Capp [Alfred Gerald Caplin], cartoonist (Li'l Abner), born in New Haven, Connecticut
  • Sep 28 Stephen Spender, poet [or Feb 28]
  • Sep 28 Wiesje Bouwmeester, Dutch actress (Doodzonde), born in Watergraafsmeer, Noord-Holland, Netherlands (d. 1979)
  • Sep 29 Sashadhar Mukherjee, Indian film producer (Jagrit), born in Jhansi, India (d. 1990)

Famous Deaths

Clyde Fitch

Sep 4 Clyde Fitch, American playwright (Nathan Hale, The Girl with the Green Eyes), dies of blood poisoning after an appendectomy at 44 [1]

  • Sep 7 Eugene Lefebvre, dies test piloting a Wright A aircraft
  • Sep 8 Frank Crawford Armstrong, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 73
  • Sep 9 Edward Henry Harriman, American railroad entrepreneur (b. 1848)