This Day in History… September 25, 1957

U.S. #3937d – Today Little Rock Central School is a National Historic Site that’s home to a Civil Rights Museum.

The Little Rock Nine Enter High School Under Federal Protection

After being initially denied entrance to their school, the Little Rock Nine were escorted in by federal troops on September 25, 1957.

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision stating “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” It declared state laws establishing segregated schools to be unconstitutional and a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. A victory for civil rights advocates, the decision paved the way for integration. But the ruling was not acted on in all parts of the U.S., including Little Rock, Arkansas.

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This Day in History… September 24, 1906

U.S. #1084 – There have been several attempts to rename Devils Tower to honor its Native American history.

Devils Tower Becomes First American National Monument

On September 24, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt declared Devils Tower in Wyoming to be the first National Monument under the Antiquities Act.

Devils Tower is a nearly vertical monolith of volcanic rock which rises 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River, which meanders below it. This rock formation is believed to be about 40 million years old. Once buried, erosion slowly stripped away the softer soils that once covered this impressive landmark.

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This Day in History… September 23, 1779

U.S. #1789 – Jones’ famous words became the slogan for the U.S. Navy.

John Paul Jones Captures British Vessels

During a naval battle with the British, John Paul Jones refused to surrender and won an impressive victory on September 23, 1779.

Born in Scotland, John Paul Jones traveled to America as a cabin boy. He worked as a businessman with his brother in Fredericksburg, Virginia and later served on slave and merchant ships. When the American Revolution broke out, Jones went to Philadelphia to offer his services and was commissioned a senior lieutenant in the Continental Navy.

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This Day in History… September 22, 1776

U.S. #551 – Hale was designated Connecticut’s state hero in 1985.

Hanging of Patriot Nathan Hale

After being discovered as an American spy behind enemy lines, Nathan Hale was hanged on September 22, 1776.

Born in Coventry, Connecticut, Nathan Hale graduated with first class honors from Yale College in 1773. He accepted a lieutenant’s commission from the Connecticut Assembly, and took part in the siege of Boston.

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This Day in History… September 21, 1897

U.S. #2064 – Virginia’s story has inspired a musical, window display at Lord & Taylor, and a scholarship in her name.

“Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus”

In answer to a young girl’s letter to The Sun newspaper, Francis Church wrote one of the most famous editorials of all time.

The story begins with young Virginia O’Hanlon, who asked her father if Santa really exists. Her father suggests that she write to The Sun (now The New York Sun), because if it appeared in that paper, it must be true. So Virginia wrote a letter asking if Santa was real, pointing out that her friends said he wasn’t.

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This Day in History… September 20, 1893

U.S. #3019 – The Duryea’s called their car the Ladies Phaeton, because it looked like the lightweight open carriages or phaetons that were popular at the time.

Duryea Brothers Test-Drive America’s First Gas-Powered Car

On September 20, 1893, the Duryea brothers successfully tested America’s first gasoline-powered car in Massachusetts.

In the 1890s, brothers Charles and Frank Duryea made a living building bicycles in Springfield (now Chicopee), Massachusetts. In their spare time, the brothers began experimenting with motors. One day they purchased a horse-drawn buggy for $70 and fitted it with a four horsepower single cylinder gasoline engine. They also installed a friction transmission, spray carburetor, and low tension ignition. The brothers took their car for its first test drive on September 20, 1893. They took it for another test drive two months later, on a busier street, and attracted the attention of the local newspaper.

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