8 September 1565
On this date in 1565…
In 1565, Spanish settlers celebrated the first Thanksgiving on American soil at Saint Augustine, Florida when they established the Spanish colony there. This was more than fifty years before the Massachusetts pilgrims held their famous celebration.
- 1863 – A handful of volunteer Confederate defenders fought off a vastly superior federal force at the Battle of Sabine Pass, Texas. Historians often compare the effort to the Spartan defense of Thermopylae.
- 1900 – The Galveston Hurricane destroyed most of the Texas island and killed more than 6,000 people in just a few hours. It remains the worst recorded natural disaster to strike the South.
- 1897 – The Father of Country Music, Charles “Jimmie” Rodgers was born in Meridian, Mississippi.
- 1935 – Senator and former Louisiana governor Huey P. Long was shot in the hallway of the Louisiana state capitol. Long’s bodyguards opened fire and poured 62 bullets into Dr. Carl Austin Weiss, saying that he was the assassin.
- 1960 – NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama was dedicated by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
- 1973 – Moble, Alabama’s Hank Aaron hit his 709th home run while playing for the Atlanta Braves.
- 1999 – U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno named former Senator John Danforth to head an independent investigation of the 1993 fire at the Branch Davidian church near Waco, Texas in response to revelations in the film Waco: The Rules of Engagement which contradicted official government stories.
Read: Why Know Southern History?