Today in History september 1 2012
1676 Nathaniel Bacon leads an uprising against English Governor William Berkeley at Jamestown, Virginia, resulting in the settlement being burned to the ground. Bacon's Rebellion came in response to the governor's repeated refusal to defend the colonists against the Indians.
1773 Phillis Wheatley, a slave from Boston, publishes a collection of poetry, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, in London.
1807 Aaron Burr is arrested in Mississippi for complicity in a plot to establish a Southern empire in Louisiana and Mexico.
1821 William Becknell leads a group of traders from Independence, Mo., toward Santa Fe on what would become the Santa Fe Trail.
1836 Protestant missionary Dr. Marcus Whitman leads a party to Oregon. His wife, Narcissa, is one of the first white women to travel the Oregon Trail. The Oregon Trail emigrants who chose to follow Stephen Meek thought his shortcut would save weeks of hard travel. Instead, it brought them even greater misery.
1864 Confederate forces under General John Bell Hood evacuate Atlanta in anticipation of the arrival of Union General William T. Sherman's troops.
1870 The Prussian army crushes the French at Sedan, the last battle of the Franco-Prussian War.
1876 The Ottomans inflict a decisive defeat on the Serbs at Aleksinac.
1882 The first Labor Day is observed in New York City by the Carpenters and Joiners Union.
1894 By an act of Congress, Labor Day is declared a national holiday.
1902 The Austro-Hungarian army is called into the city of Agram to restore the peace as Serbs and Croats clash.
1904 Helen Keller graduates with honors from Radcliffe College.
1905 Alberta and Saskatchewan become Canadian provinces.
1916 Bulgaria declares war on Rumania as the First World War expands.
1923 An earthquake levels the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Yokohama, killing 300,000.
1939 Germany invades Poland, beginning World War II in Europe.
1970 Dr. Hugh Scott of Washington, D.C. becomes the first African-American superintendent of schools in a major U.S. city.
Born on September 1
1789 Lady Marguerite Blessington, English socialite and author who wrote a biography of Lord Byron.
1795 James Gordon Bennet, editor of the New York Sun, the first tabloid-sized daily newspaper.
1875 Edgar Rice Burroughs, novelist who created Tarzan, the Ape Man.
1907 Walter Reuther, labor leader who merged the American Federation of Labor with the Congress of International Organizations.
1923 Rocky Marciano, world heavyweight boxing champion who retired undefeated.
1939 Seiji Ozawa, conductor.