SOS – Today In Southern History

11 August 1909  

On this date in 1909…

The S.S. Arapahoe became the first American ship to use an SOS signal when she ran into trouble in the “Graveyard of Ships” off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The ship lost power and was rescued 36 hours later after wireless operator R.J. Vosburgh gave the new distress signal.

Other Years:
  • 1802 – Native American leader and mystic Tecumseh predicted an earthquake that would be the beginning of the end for the white settlers. The “New Madrid Earthquake” happened later and triggered the Creek War.
  • 1956 – Elvis Presley released “Don’t Be Cruel.”
  • 1971 – Construction began on the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • 1972 – The Mayor and city proclaim “Cheech & Chong Day” in San Antonio, Texas but most celebrants don’t remember it.
  • 1984 – Carl Lewis of Birmingham, Alabama won his fourth gold medal in the 1984 Summer Olympics.
  • 1997 – U.S. President Bill Clinton made the first use of the line-item veto adapted from the Confederate States Constitution and approved by Congress, rejecting three items in spending and tax bills.

Read: Why Know Southern History?

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