#TodayInHistory – September 14
September 14 – Some important events on this day.
81 👉🏼 Domitian becomes Emperor of the Roman Empire upon the death of his brother Titus
1629 👉🏼 Siege of ‘s-Hertogenbosch: Spanish garrison surrenders to Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange
1741 👉🏼 George Frideric Handel finishes his “Messiah” oratorio after working on it non-stop for 23 days
1752 👉🏼 Britain and the British Empire (including the American colonies) adopt the Gregorian calendar
1812 👉🏼 Great Fire of Moscow begins as Napoleon approaches the city and retreating Russians burn it – fire continues to burn for five days.
In 1812, French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte launched his disastrous invasion of Russia in order to pressure Alexander I to stop trading with British merchants so the UK would sue for peace with France. Scorched-earth tactics were employed by the Russians consistently during the invasion, and as a result the French found it difficult to supply their massive army.
As Napoléon approached Moscow, Fyodor Rostopchin who was the Governor-General of the city, ordered several important buildings be burned. Most buildings in Moscow were made of wood, so what started as a series of small fires quickly turned into a city-wide conflagration.
Napoleon entered the Kremlin on September 15, and was later relocated as the fires threatened the complex. The French army occupied the city for a month, waiting for a peace offer from the Tsar, which never came. It is estimated that 3/4 of all buildings in Moscow were destroyed, and more than 12,000 were dead. The French were devastated in Russia; their army was reduced to a fraction of its strength, and Napoléon’s reputation was significantly weakened.
1814 👉🏼 Francis Scott Key pens the poem “Defence of Fort M’Henry”, later known as “The Star-Spangled Banner” while witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry from a ship in Baltimore harbor.
1914 👉🏼 Lord Kitchener: “Your country needs you” appears as front cover design for the London Opinion magazine
1936 👉🏼 1st prefrontal lobotomy in America performed by Walter Freeman and James W. Watts at George Washington University Hospital in Washington D.C.
1939 👉🏼 World’s 1st practical helicopter, the VS-300 designed by Igor Sikorsky takes (tethered) flight in Stratford, Connecticut
1949 👉🏼 India’s Constituent Assembly adopts Hindi as an official language. Celebrated today as Hindi Day.
1956 👉🏼 IBM introduces the RAMAC 305, 1st commercial computer with a hard drive that uses magnetic disk storage, weighs over a ton.
Press were flown to Norfolk, Virginia to watch a demonstration of being tested by the U. S. Navy at its Norfolk Supply Center. Built for large corporation and the armed forces, more than 1,000 were made before production ended in 1961.
1960 👉🏼 Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi-Arabia and Venezuela form the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
2015 👉🏼 14 yr old Texan Ahmed Mohamed arrested at school when home-made clock assumed to be a bomb – Mark Zuckerberg and US President Barack Obama send supportive tweets
2001 👉🏼 Historic National Prayer Service held at Washington National Cathedral for victims of the September 11 attacks. A similar service is held in Canada on Parliament Hill, the largest vigil ever held in the nation’s capital.