By Nicholas Vogt
Sunday, September 25: The Little Rock Nine (1957). After the ruling in the 1954 case Brown V. Board of Education of Topeka, The Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in schools and other educational facilities was unconstitutional. Many schools, especially in the south, were unwilling to cooperate but were eventually forced to when the government intervened. One school, however, that was not ready to integrate was the Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Out of all the black students who lived in the district, nine of them decided to transfer to Central High School. The governor at the time, Orval Faubus, who was a segregationist, called for the Arkansas National guard to come in and encircle the school, claiming that it was to preserve the law. In reality, it was to prevent integration. After the case was brought to the courts, it was ruled unconstitutional and, on September 25, with help from the mayor, U.S. troops and President Eisenhower, the Little Rock Nine were finally allowed acceptance into the school.
Monday, September 26: First Kennedy-Nixon debate (1960). This was the first time when a presidential debate was shown on television. Now, candidates had to appeal to a much larger crowd and their appearance and presence on stage meant life or death for them. For Democratic senator John F. Kennedy, that wasn’t a challenge at all. He was young, charismatic and used to the camera, since he was from an incredibly rich family. For Republican vice president Richard Nixon, on the other hand, it was one difficult trial. He was older, not very charismatic and did not appear well. He refused to wear make-up and spent the debate sweating on stage. They faced off in the debate and, unsurprisingly, Kennedy came out on top and later on would go to beat Nixon in the presidential election in one of the closest elections in American history.
Tuesday, September 27: Poland surrenders (1939). When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1934, he aimed to consolidate his power and destroy any opposition to his regime. His sights were on Poland, who he wanted to invade and take for himself. Sending in his troops from all sides of Poland, he was easily able to defeat them and take over. He claimed that it was for defense, but in reality he wanted to add more territory or living space (Lebensraum) to Germany. Britain and France didn’t believe it, so they declared war on Germany right after and thus World War ll began. He would later go on to sending a large percentage of Polish Jews to the Warsaw Ghettos.
Wednesday, September 28: William the Conqueror Invades England (1066). Because of his family and extended relations, William Duke of Normandy claimed to be the rightful ruler of England. The heir to the throne, Harold ll, wouldn’t give up without a fight so thus the invasion commenced. With 7,000 troops and cavalry, William Duke of Normandy marched to Hastings and, after a grueling battle with King Harold ll (and an arrow to the eye), William came out victorious. After defeating King Harold ll at the Battle of Hastings, William claimed his right to the English throne. He and his army marched into London and, on Christmas Day, William was crowned the first Norman king. This event is also significant in that this was the first and only time in history where England was successfully invaded.
Thursday, September 29: American Woman climbs Everest (1988). Prior to 1988, many had tried to climb Mt. Everest but only a few have succeeded. In 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand was the first to climb to the top of the mountain and, in 1975, Junko Tabei of Japan became the first woman to climb to the top of Mt. Everest. Others have tried but, due to the time it took to reach the top and the loss of oxygen as you scale the mountain, they ended up dying in the process. In 1988, Stacy Allison of Portland, Oregon attempted to make a name for herself by climbing to the peak of Mt. Everest. By taking the southeast ridge route of the mountain, she was able to successfully climb to the top and conquer the mountain.
Friday, September 30: Wyoming legislators write the first state constitution to grant women the vote (1889). Before the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, only men had the right to vote. Women were deemed unable to make decisions such as these without the consent of their husbands or male relatives/guardians. Even though America as a whole didn’t have universal suffrage quite yet, it was obtained in 1889 in the state of Wyoming. Each state had its own constitution so, in 1889, a convention was held and in a year’s time, the constitution was amended with the new legislation stating women had the right to vote.
Saturday, October 1: Yosemite National Park established (1890). The area of Yosemite was in disarray before being protected under the law. Because of the Gold Rush in 1849, many Native Americans who had lived and settled in the land now had to share with the thousands of non-Indian miners and settlers who went to prospect for gold. With the many tourists swarming the area, it only added on to the damage being sustained to the area. It wasn’t until 1864 when President Abraham Lincoln declared Yosemite Valley as a public trust of California. Later, some began to observe the lush environment around them and attempted to create more out of the valley. After President Benjamin Harrison signed into law an act of congress in 1890, Yosemite National Park was born. Boasting landmarks such as Yosemite Falls (one of the world’s tallest waterfalls), rock formations El Capitan and Half Dome, and groves of giant sequoias, it’s no wonder Yosemite is one of this country’s most beautiful and recognized locations.