Stars and Stripes, Star Trek, and Uncle Sam: Sept 3-9 Week in History – Signals AZ

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This week in history we celebrate the stars-and-stripes, Uncle Sam, and Sam Houston, while remembering firsts ranging from science fiction to grocery stores to tiny republics the size of a city block.

A Week in History

September 3, 301: San Marino Founded

On September 3, 301, the tiny nation of San Marino was founded. It is the oldest constitutional republic still in existence. Completely landlocked and surrounded on all sides by Italy, San Marino occupies only 23 square miles while boasting a population of 33,000. Per person, San Marino is one of the wealthiest nations in the world with most of its income coming from tourism. It was founded by Saint Marinus, who fled both Croatia and northern Italy while facing persecution as a Christian. He settled in what is now San Marino and built a small church.

September 3, 1777: Stars and Stripes Flies in Battle

history, American history, American flag

On September 3, 1777, the stars and stripes flew in battle for the first time. At the battle of Cooch’s Bridge, General William Maxwell ordered the banner raised as his infantry cavalry engaged the British. It was a minor skirmish that resulted in Maxwell retreating and joining the rest of General Washington’s army. Three months earlier, the Continental Congress adopted the flag with the thirteen stars not only representing the thirteen colonies but arranged in a way to represent a new constellation.

September 5, 1836: Sam Houston Elected President

On September 5, 1836, Sam Houston was elected the first president of the Republic of Texas, taking office on October 22 of that same year. He was a hero of the Texas Revolution and beat Stephen Austin in the race. As president, he worked to normalize relations with Mexico as well as working with the United States government, particularly in regards to conflicts with Native Americans. He maintains a complicated legacy in regard to slavery in Texas, speaking out against the practice while owning slaves himself. In 1845, under Texas President Anson Jones, the republic was annexed by the United States.

September 6, 1916: First Piggly Wiggly Opens in Memphis

history, a week in history, piggly wiggly

On September 6, 1916, Clarence Saunders opened the first Piggly Wiggly in Memphis, Tennessee. Today there are over 500 Piggly Wiggly’s around the country. Before Saunders opened his store, groceries were purchased using store clerks to gather and bag items for customers. Piggly Wiggly was the first self-service grocery store in the U.S, with items lining shelves that customers could help themselves to.
Because Saunders believed no one would show up if he advertised what he was doing, he advertised a beauty contest on opening day in the local newspaper. He gave out balloons and prizes at the door while a brass band played.

September 7, 1813: United States Nicknamed Uncle Sam

On September 7, 1813, the United States was given a nickname that would follow it through the next two centuries: Uncle Sam. Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from New York, supplied barrels of beef to the army. He stamped every barrel with the letters “US,” for “United States.” Soldiers began referring to the food as “Uncle Sam’s.” A small newspaper picked up on the story and a nickname was born. Influential political cartoonist Thomas Nast further advanced the image of Uncle Sam, adding the white beard and stars-and-stripes suit.

September 8, 1504: Michelangelo’s David Unveiled

On September 8, 1504, Michelangelo’s statue David was unveiled to the public in Florence, Italy, at the Piazza della Signoria. The masterpiece took him three years to complete, stands 17 feet tall, and is carved from a single piece of marble weighing 12,000 pounds. Michelangelo was just 26 years old when he began working on David.

Originally commissioned to decorate the Cathedral of Florence, after its unveiling a committee that included both Botticelli and da Vinci decided it should be placed in a more public place. It stood in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence until 1873 when it was moved indoors to the Galleria dell’Accademia to protect it from further damage from the weather.

September 8, 1966: Star Trek Premieres

history, a week in history, Star Trek

The iconic television show Star Trek premiered on September 8, 1966, on NBC. The series, starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, broke ground in the realm of science fiction television. It is also heralded for starring both an African-American woman and Russian at the height of both the Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War.

September 8, 1986: Oprah Winfrey’s First National Broadcast

On September 8, 1986, The Oprah Winfrey Show made its first national broadcast. It was an immediate success with double the ratings of its top competitor, The Phil Donahue Show. Originally cast as a tabloid talk show, over the years Oprah attacked more serious topics and was known for her hard-hitting celebrity interviews as well as her focus on health and wellness, although not without controversy. The series ended in 2011, shortly after Winfrey started her own cable network. Born into poverty to a single mother in rural Mississippi, Oprah today is worth an estimated 2.5 billion dollars.

Your obscure holidays of the week:

France is Bacon, Francis Bacon, Knowledge is power

This week’s obscure holidays include two of my favorites: Bacon Day and Tailgating Day. No further explanation needed. Buy a Priest a Beer Day is a day for Catholics to build relationships with their priests by taking them out for a beer and showing them appreciation. Neither Rain nor Snow Day is a chance to say thank you to your postal worker, while on Another Look Unlimited Day, we focus on the items we throw away and find another use for them.

September 3: Bacon Day, Beard Day, Play Outside Day, Skyscraper Day, Lazy Mom’s Day, Pressed Pennies Day, Franchise Appreciation Day, Cowgirl Day, Tailgating Day

September 4: Pet Rock Day, Spice Blend Day, Newspaper Carriers Day, Bowling League Day, Labor Day

September 5: Yard Art Day, Mouth Guard Day, Be Late for Something Day, Day of Charity, Bowling League Day, Cheese Pizza Day

September 6: Another Look Unlimited Day, Fight Procrastination Day, Read a Book Day

September 7: Neither Rain nor Snow Day, Salami Day, Attention Deficit Disorder Awareness Day, Clean Air Day for Blue Skies, Founding Day for Google

September 8: Iguana Awareness Day, Literacy Day, Physical Therapy Day, Ampersand Day, Oncology Nurses/Pediatric Hematology Day, Pardon Day

September 9: Hug Your Boss Day, Wonderful Weirdos Day, Opposite Day, Buy a Priest a Beer Day, Teddy Bear Day, Dog Walker Appreciation Day

What was happening in history Aug 27-Sept 2, 2023?

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