Milestones: Friday, September 1, 2023
WORLD WAR II TRIGGERED — GERMANY’S SEPT. 1, 1939 INVASION OF POLAND triggered World War II, as other European nations Great Britain and France then declared war on Nazi Germany. The German government, having secured a surprise non-aggression pact the previous week with the Soviet Union — an agreement which secretly provided for these two nations to partition Poland, Germany executed the campaign without a declaration of war at 4:45 p.m. on Sept. 1. Nazi Germany possessed overwhelming military superiority over Poland, as demonstrated in the invasion, by combining its armor and air warfare.
After France and England declared war on Germany, nations on other continents, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada, followed with their own war declarations.
CAPTURED THE IROQUOIS — ANOTHER EXPLORER WHO, LIKE COLUMBUS, THOUGHT HE HAD FOUND THE ORIENT, WAS JACQUE CARTIER, who died Sept. 1, 1557. Cartier (born around 1491) who had sailed from St. Malo, France on April 20, 1534, searching for a northwest passage to the Orient, instead discovered Canada and the St. Lawrence River. After exploring the Canadian coastal areas, he declared the land for France.
Encountering the indigenous Iroquois people, Cartier captured the two sons of a tribal chief, who agreed to let them accompany him, provided he traded European goods with them. During this first voyage, he still believed he had reached the Orient. Later voyages had the mission of colonizing the newly-found St. Lawrence River region.
MAJOR LEAGUE PRECEDENT — THE FIRST ALL-BLACK MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM WAS FIELDED on Sept. 1, 1971 at Three Rivers Stadium, when the Pittsburgh Pirates presented an all-Black slate of African-American and Latino players. This precedent, which took place 24 years after Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers, came about after other players sustained injuries that benched them. Among the slate on the lineup that day were Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Dock Ellis.
However, this milestone did not receive any local press at the time, in part because both of Pittsburgh’s major newspapers were on strike. The team’s radio broadcast mentioned the historic lineup only in passing.
FIRST AMERICAN CHESS CHAMPION — ANOTHER FAMOUS MATCH TOOK PLACE WHEN BOBBY FISCHER defeated Russian chess champion Boris Spassky on Sept. 1, 1972 during a match in Fischer, whose family had moved to Brooklyn when he was six years old, won his first of a record eight US Championships at the age of 14. He achieved the only perfect score in the history of the tournament in 1964, with an 11– 0 score. The match against Spassky, which was hosted in Reykjavík, Iceland, took place in the midst of the Cold War and was publicized as a match between the United States and the Soviet Union, catapulted Fischer to being a dark-horse celebrity.
Fischer also gained notoriety for his idiosyncrasies at and away from the chessboard. He had experienced a turbulent childhood with his mother moving across the continental U.S. to Brooklyn so she could study nursing. Child psychologists determined that there were worse obsessions than chess. Fischer later adopted Reykjavík as his new home and stayed there until his 2008 death.
“DO A REWRITE” — SEPT. 1 LAUNCHES “BE KIND TO EDITORS AND WRITERS MONTH,” a time for editors and writers to be especially considerate and compassionate toward each other, especially during deadline. The observance was launched in San Antonio, Texas in 1984 when Lone Star Publications of Humor decided some courtesy was needed in America’s newsrooms and book publishing houses.
The observance also aims to help writers and editors appreciate each other’s talents: including creativity, discipline, problem solvers and, of course, on-spot grammar and spelling teachers. And of course editors are always in search of promptly-met deadlines.
See previous milestones, here.
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