On This Day in History for September 16th - even though today is September 17th! If you've got a problem with that, remember, newspapers have been getting away with this nonsense for centuries.
681 – Pope Honorius I is posthumously excommunicated by the Sixth Ecumenical Council, gaining 9.6 points for artistic interpretation, 9.8 points for technical merit and a lifetime ban from the Dog & Duck in St Peter’s Square.
1400 – Owain Glyndŵr is declared Prince of Wales by his followers. His first act as Prince is to change all road signs to Welsh first.
1620 – A determined band of 35 religious dissenters, the Pilgrim Fathers, set sail for Virginia from Plymouth, England in the Mayflower, jubilant at the prospect of practicing their unorthodox brand of worship in the New World, only to discover that the Americas are a bit of a blind spot where God is concerned.
1701 – James Francis Edward Stuart, sometimes called the "Old Pretender", becomes the Jacobite claimant to the thrones of England and Scotland on the basis that it worked for Owain Glyndŵr in Wales.
1732 – In Campo Maior, Portugal, a storm hits the Armory and a violent explosion ensues, killing two-thirds of its inhabitants. The Vatican responds by immediately issuing the Papal Bull Cave Caeli Mutatione.
1776 – American Revolutionary War: The Battle of Harlem Heights is fought, after 5 white militia are witnessed beating up a black man who was “chewing tobacco in a funny way”.
1810 – With the Grito de Dolores, Father Miguel Hidalgo begins Mexico's fight for independence from Spain by flooding the vast Atlantic basin and forming an ocean.
1822 – French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel, in a "note" read to the Academy of Sciences, reports a direct refraction experiment verifying David Brewster's hypothesis that photoelasticity (as it is now known) is stress-induced birefringence. The Academy of Sciences write back to Fresnel the now famous ‘Look who’s swallowed a dictionary’ note.
1880 – The Cornell Daily Sun prints its first issue in Ithaca, New York, with Mary-Belle Lannister showing her ankles on page 3.
1893 – Settlers make a land run for prime land in the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma. The Williams family stake their claim in a plot of land where the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye.
1908 – The General Motors Corporation is founded. Three days later it buys its first rival.
1920 – The Wall Street bombing: A bomb in a horse wagon explodes in front of the J. P. Morgan building in New York City killing 38 and injuring 400. Wall Street finally crashes 9 years later.
1940 – World War II: Italian troops conquer Sidi Barrani. Confidence raised, they move on to do battle against more than one man.
1943 – World War II: The German Tenth Army reports that it can no longer contain the Allied bridgehead around Salerno and call for the water cannons to be brought in.
1955 – The military coup to unseat President Juan Perón of Argentina is launched at midnight. His wife, Eva, holds the forces back by singing Lloyd-Webber songs at them.
1956 – TCN-9 Sydney is the first Australian television station to commence regular broadcasts. The first advertisement is a sweet sherry commercial for the ladies.
1959 – The first successful photocopier, the Xerox 914, is introduced in a demonstration on live television from New York City, producing a faithful reproduction of Miss Felicity Montaine’s posterior.
1961 – Typhoon Nancy, makes landfall in Osaka, Japan, reconceptualising 9,000 homes and converting the city’s parks to salmon pink pea shingle feng shui gardens.
1963 – Malaysia is formed from the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak. However, Singapore is soon expelled from this new country for smugness.
1966 – The Metropolitan Opera House opens at Lincoln Center in New York City with the world premiere of Samuel Barber's opera Antony and Cleopatra. Observations regarding the spelling of ‘center’ are met with the request to “kiss my asp”.
1975 – Cape Verde, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Príncipe join the United Nations to give delegates better venues for their conferences.
1979 – Eight people escape from East Germany to the west in a homemade hot air balloon. The Stasi began to wonder if their wall is high enough.
1987 – The Montreal Protocol is signed to protect the ozone layer from depletion. This is the last time the Montreal Protocol is ever seen in public.
1992 – The trial of the deposed Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega ends in the United States with a 40-year sentence for drug trafficking and money laundering, and 3 months community service for jaywalking.
1992 – Black Wednesday: The British pound is forced out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism by currency speculators and is forced to devalue against the German mark. Norman Lamont has the first inklings that he might be a twat.
2004 – Hurricane Ivan makes landfall in Gulf Shores, Alabama as a Category 3 hurricane. It is met by a large group of shotgun toting rednecks shouting, “You’re not from round here, are you boy?”
2007 – One-Two-GO Airlines Flight 269 carrying 130 crew and passengers crashes in Thailand, killing 90 people, and projecting 40 others through the terminal in the world’s fastest passage through customs and passport control.
2014 – The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant launches its Kobani offensive against historical religious sites in Syrian–Kurdish territory, pausing only to have a cream tea in the gift shop café.
2019 – Five months before the COVID-19 stock market crash, an overnight spike in lending rates in the United States prompts the Federal Reserve to conduct operations in the repo market, confirming reports that they would use any old excuse.
Holidays and observances
Christian feast day:
• Curcodomus (Roman emperor whose martyrdom by sea cucumber lasted longer than his reign)
• Edith of Wilton (patron saint of Victoria sponges)
• Vitalis of Savigny (the Catholic Chruch’s only beatified eau de cologne)
• Euphemia (patron saint of smoking)
• Ludmila (patron saint of windmill saboteurs)
• Ninian (Rome’s stupidest emperor)
• Pope Cornelius (the only pope to have beatified himself)
International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer (including the annual Wickerslowe coffee morning and the polishing of the Ozone Plaque by the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes on Ascension Island).
Malaysia Day (Malaysia, Singapore)
Malaysian Armed Forces Day (Malaysia)
Malaysian Curfew Day (People Democratic Republic of Malaysia)