On This Day … 19 September

Events

  • 634 – Siege of Damascus: The Rashidun Arabs under Khalid ibn al-Walid capture Damascus from the Byzantine Empire.
  • 1356 – Battle of Poitiers: An English army under the command of Edward, the Black Prince defeats a French army and captures King John II.
  • 1676 – Jamestown is burned to the ground by the forces of Nathaniel Bacon during Bacon’s Rebellion.
  • 1777 – American Revolutionary War: British forces win a tactically expensive victory over the Continental Army in the First Battle of Saratoga.
  • 1799 – French Revolutionary Wars: French-Dutch victory against the Russians and British in the Battle of Bergen.
  • 1852 – Annibale de Gasparis discovers the asteroid Massalia from the north dome of the Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: Union troops under William Rosecrans defeat a Confederate force commanded by Sterling Price.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: The first day of the Battle of Chickamauga, in northwestern Georgia, the bloodiest two-day battle of the conflict, and the only significant Confederate victory in the war’s Western Theatre.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Union troops under Philip Sheridan defeat a Confederate force commanded by Jubal Early.
    • With over 50,000 troops engaged, it was the largest battle fought in the Shenandoah Valley.
  • 1868 – La Gloriosa begins in Spain.
  • 1870 – Franco-Prussian War: The siege of Paris begins. The city will hold out for over four months before surrendering.
  • 1916 – World War I: During the East African Campaign, colonial forces of the Belgian Congo (Force Publique) under the command of Charles Tombeur capture the town of Tabora after heavy fighting.
  • 1939 – World War II: The Battle of Kępa Oksywska concludes, with Polish losses reaching roughly 14% of all the forces engaged.
  • 1940 – World War II: Witold Pilecki is voluntarily captured and sent to Auschwitz concentration camp to gather and smuggle out information for the resistance movement.
  • 1944 – World War II: The Battle of Hürtgen Forest begins. It will become the longest individual battle that the US Army has ever fought.
  • 1944 – World War II: The Moscow Armistice between Finland and the Soviet Union is signed.
  • 1957 – Plumbbob Rainier becomes the first nuclear explosion to be entirely contained underground, producing no fallout.
  • 1970 – Kostas Georgakis, a Greek student of geology, sets himself ablaze in Matteotti Square in Genoa, Italy, as a protest against the dictatorial regime of Georgios Papadopoulos.
  • 1976 – Two Imperial Iranian Air Force F-4 Phantom II jets fly out to investigate an unidentified flying object, when both independently lose instrumentation and communications as they approach, only to have them restored upon withdrawal.
  • 1983 – Saint Kitts and Nevis gains its independence.
  • 2006 – The Thai army stages a coup.
    • The Constitution is revoked and martial law is declared.
  • 2019 – A drone strike by the United States kills 30 civilian farmers in Afghanistan.
  • Armed Forces Day (Chile).

People (Births)

  • 1477 – Ferrante d’Este, Ferrarese nobleman and condottiero (d. 1540).
  • 1754 – John Ross Key, American lieutenant, lawyer, and judge (d. 1821).
  • 1905 – Judith Auer, German World War II resistance fighter (d. 1944).
  • 1965 – Sunita Williams, American captain, pilot, and astronaut.

People (Deaths)

  • 1668 – William Waller, English general and politician (b. 1597).
  • 1863 – Hans Christian Heg, Norwegian-American colonel and politician (b. 1829).
  • 1881 – James A. Garfield, American general, lawyer, and politician, and the 20th President of the United States (b. 1831).
  • 1944 – Guy Gibson, Indian-English commander, Victoria Cross recipient (b. 1918).
  • 2019 – Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisian soldier, politician, 2nd President of Tunisia (b. 1936).
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