What Happened on September 7?

  • The United States assumed its nickname "Uncle Sam." (1813) The nickname traces back to a meat packer in New York City named Samuel Wilson. During the War of 1812, he packaged and sent beef to US Army soldiers. The containers were stamped with "US" — meaning United States — but the soldiers started calling the food delivery "Uncle Sam's." A newspaper published a story about it, leading to the accepted federal government nickname.

  • The world's first submarine attack occurred — in New York Harbor. (1776) The crew on the US submarine called Turtle tried to affix a bomb to the hull of the HMS Eagle, a British ship. The attempt ultimately failed due to tooling problems, but the crew and its submarine went unnoticed during the attempt.

  • The first automobile race occurred in the US — an electric car won. (1896) The race took place in Cranston, Rhode Island at the Narragansett Trotting Park racetrack. Seven cars raced that day: five were gas-powered and two were batter=-powered. The electric car built by the Riker Electric Motor Company came in first; the other electric car came in second.

  • ESPN made it television debut. (1979) Originally named The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, ESPN is one of the biggest 24-hour sports news broadcast stations in the world. It features 65 different sports and broadcasts in 150 countries in 15 languages.

  • The Pro Football Hall of Fame opened its doors. (1963) The Hall of Fame opened in Canton, Ohio — the site where the NFL was founded. On opening day, it inducted its first 17 members, including John (Blood) McNally, Earl (Curly) Lambeau and Jim Thorpe.

  • The US government took control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (2008) The two companies owned 56 percent of the mortgages in the US when the economic crisis hit. The US took control in an attempt to prevent a housing market collapse. In June 2010, both companies were delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.

  • The first electronically transmitted images — the precursor to modern television — were produced. (1927) Philo T. Farnsworth was an American inventor who made major contributions to modern TV technology. He produced the first images with an electronic TV system he invented, which he called an "image dissector."

  • The first Miss America Pageant took place. (1921) The pageant was held in Atlantic City, and 16-year-old Margaret Gorman from Washington DC won the first contest.

  • The Boxer Rebellion in China ended. (1901) The "Boxer Protocol" treaty, also known as the "Peace Agreement between the Great Powers and China," was signed by eight nations, including the US, Germany and Russia. As terms of the agreement, China paid an indemnity equal to about $335 million US Dollars to the eight countries over 39 years.

  • An earthquake struck a previously unknown fault in Athens, Greece, killing 143 people. (1999) The magnitude 6.0 earthquake, which took seismologists by surprise, was one of Greece's worst natural disasters in more than 50 years. 143 people died, more than 500 were injured and more than 50,000 people were left homeless.

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