Today in History
1630 The town of Boston is founded by John Winthrop as an extension of the colony at Salem. It is named after the town of the same name in Lincolnshire, England.
1787 The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia approves the constitution for the United States of America.
1796 President George Washington delivers his "Farewell Address" to Congress before concluding his second term in office.
1862 The Battle of Antietam in Maryland, the bloodiest day in U.S. history, commences. Fighting in the corn field, Bloody Lane and Burnside's Bridge rages all day as the Union and Confederate armies suffer a combined 26,293 casualties.
1868 The Battle of Beecher's Island begins, in which Major George "Sandy" Forsyth and 50 volunteers hold off 500 Sioux and Cheyenne in eastern Colorado.
1902 U.S. troops are sent to Panama to keep train lines open over the isthmus as Panamanian nationals struggle for independence from Colombia.
1903 Turks destroy the town of Kastoria in Bulgaria, killing 10,000 civilians.
1917 The German Army recaptures the Russian Port of Riga from Russian forces.
1939 With the German army already attacking western Poland, the Soviet Union launches an invasion of eastern Poland.
1942 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill meets with Soviet Premier Josef Stalin in Moscow as the German Army rams into Stalingrad.
1944 British airborne troops parachute into Holland to capture the Arnhem bridge as part of Operation Market-Garden. The plan called for the airborne troops to be relieved by British troops, but they were left stranded and eventually surrendered to the Germans.
1947 James Forestall is sworn in as first the U.S. Secretary of Defense.
1957 The Thai army seizes power in Bangkok.
1959 The X-15 rocket plane makes its first flight.
1962 The first federal suit to end public school segregation is filed by the U.S. Justice Department.
1976 The Space Shuttle is unveiled to the public.
Born on September 17
1743 Marquis Marie Jean de Condorcet, French mathematician and philosopher, a leading thinker in the Enlightenment.
1879 Andrew "Rube" Foster, father of the Negro baseball leagues.
1883 William Carlos Williams, poet, playwright, essayist and writer who won a Pulitzer prize for Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems.
1907 Warren E. Burger, chief justice of the Supreme Court.
1923 Hank Williams, Sr., singer, songwriter and guitarist known for Lonesome Blues and Your Cheatin' Heart.
1935 Ken Kesey, author (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Sometimes a Great Notion).
1947 Jeff MacNelly, political cartoonist, creator of the comic strip Shoe.