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11 Other Big Events That Also Occurred on September 11th

Even before the tragic attacks of 2001, some pretty noteworthy events had occurred on September 11th. While our brains will forever link the calendar date to the 2001 attacks - and rightly so - let's take a look at some other notable September 11th happenings from previous years.

1297

William Wallace defeats forces of the English crown in the Battle of Stirling Bridge. As anyone who's seen Braveheart knows, the party doesn't last long for Wallace, but the Scots do regain their independence in 1328.

1609

English explorer Henry Hudson sails up a river on the coast of northeastern America aboard the Dutch vessel Halve Maen (Half Moon). In the process he discovers the island of Manhattan. He successfully navigates the river which now bears his name all the way to present-day Albany.

1789

Alexander Hamilton receives his appointment as first secretary of the U.S. Treasury. One of his first acts is to suggest that the federal government assume the debt incurred by the states during the Revolutionary War. He proposes a whiskey tax that inspires a rebellion a few years later—an insurrection he personally accompanies federal troops to stamp out.

1792

During the early days of the French Revolution, the Hope Diamond (originally known as the Blue Diamond of the French Crown) is stolen while Louis XVI is under house arrest at the Tuileries Palace. Although rumors abound about what happens to the diamond in the intervening years, it cannot be definitively placed again until 1812. In September of that year it surfaces in London, almost twenty years to the day from its disappearance and two days after a statute of limitations on revolutionary crimes expires. The diamond is hardly as good as new, though; over the course of two decades, someone had lopped the stone in half!

1814

In the War of 1812, the Battle of Plattsburgh ends in a decisive American victory. This marks the end of a British invasion into the northern states of the U.S. The redcoats retreat into Canada. The two sides sign a peace treaty in Ghent several months later.

1857

The Mountain Meadows massacre occurs: Utah residents viciously attack a band of westward-bound settlers from the American South. After several days under siege, the settlers allow several members of the Utah militia inside their defenses. Despite assuring the settlers of their safety, the militia kills over 100 unarmed people. Seventeen children are spared and taken to live with local Mormon families. Controversy continues to this day about whether Brigham Young had a hand in the events.

1941

The U.S. government breaks ground on construction of the Pentagon.

1962

The Beatles record the third and final version of what will be their first single, "Love Me Do," at EMI Studios on Abbey Road. The first two recordings are deemed unsatisfactory due to Ringo Starr's drumming. His replacements on the other recordings are Pete Best and Andy White. On the third and final cut, Ringo is relegated to playing tambourine.

1973

Salvador Allende, a democratically elected president, is overthrown in Chile with the help of the CIA (who disdain his Marxism). Taking his place is General Augusto Pinochet, who becomes known as one of the most malevolent dictators in the history of the Western hemisphere. The event becomes a major blight on the reputation of Henry Kissinger.

1985

During a game against the San Diego Padres, Pete Rose breaks the record for all-time number of hits with a single to left-center. It is his 4192nd hit, breaking the mark previously set by Ty Cobb. Less than four years later, Major League Baseball bans Rose for betting on games.

1998

Independent Council Kenneth Starr releases the infamous Starr Report, which details his investigation into the Whitewater controversy, during the course of which he began investigating President Clinton's sexual impropriety. Remember when our biggest problems were philandering politicians?

Finally, more than a few notable people were born on September 11th. They include: Carl Zeiss (1816), O. Henry (1862), Bear Bryant (1913), Brian De Palma (1940), Bashar al-Assad (1965), Moby (also '65), and Ludacris (1977).

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Art
5 Things You Might Not Know About Ansel Adams

You probably know Ansel Adams—who was born on February 20, 1902—as the man who helped promote the National Park Service through his magnificent photographs. But there was a lot more to the shutterbug than his iconic, black-and-white vistas. Here are five lesser-known facts about the celebrated photographer.

1. AN EARTHQUAKE LED TO HIS DISTINCTIVE NOSE.

Adams was a four-year-old tot when the 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck his hometown. Although the boy managed to escape injury during the quake itself, an aftershock threw him face-first into a garden wall, breaking his nose. According to a 1979 interview with TIME, Adams said that doctors told his parents that it would be best to fix the nose when the boy matured. He joked, "But of course I never did mature, so I still have the nose." The nose became Adams' most striking physical feature. His buddy Cedric Wright liked to refer to Adams' honker as his "earthquake nose.

2. HE ALMOST BECAME A PIANIST.

Adams was an energetic, inattentive student, and that trait coupled with a possible case of dyslexia earned him the heave-ho from private schools. It was clear, however, that he was a sharp boy—when motivated.

When Adams was just 12 years old, he taught himself to play the piano and read music, and he quickly showed a great aptitude for it. For nearly a dozen years, Adams focused intensely on his piano training. He was still playful—he would end performances by jumping up and sitting on his piano—but he took his musical education seriously. Adams ultimately devoted over a decade to his study, but he eventually came to the realization that his hands simply weren't big enough for him to become a professional concert pianist. He decided to leave the keys for the camera after meeting photographer Paul Strand, much to his family's dismay.

3. HE HELPED CREATE A NATIONAL PARK.

If you've ever enjoyed Kings Canyon National Park in California, tip your cap to Adams. In the 1930s Adams took a series of photographs that eventually became the book Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail. When Adams sent a copy to Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, the cabinet member showed it to Franklin Roosevelt. The photographs so delighted FDR that he wouldn't give the book back to Ickes. Adams sent Ickes a replacement copy, and FDR kept his with him in the White House.

After a few years, Ickes, Adams, and the Sierra Club successfully convinced Roosevelt to make Kings Canyon a national park in 1940. Roosevelt's designation specifically provided that the park be left totally undeveloped and roadless, so the only way FDR himself would ever experience it was through Adams' lenses.

4. HE WELCOMED COMMERCIAL ASSIGNMENTS.

While many of his contemporary fine art photographers shunned commercial assignments as crass or materialistic, Adams went out of his way to find paying gigs. If a company needed a camera for hire, Adams would generally show up, and as a result, he had some unlikely clients. According to The Ansel Adams Gallery, he snapped shots for everyone from IBM to AT&T to women's colleges to a dried fruit company. All of this commercial print work dismayed Adams's mentor Alfred Stieglitz and even worried Adams when he couldn't find time to work on his own projects. It did, however, keep the lights on.

5. HE AND GEORGIA O'KEEFFE WERE FRIENDS.

Adams and legendary painter O'Keeffe were pals and occasional traveling buddies who found common ground despite their very different artistic approaches. They met through their mutual friend/mentor Stieglitz—who eventually became O'Keeffe's husband—and became friends who traveled throughout the Southwest together during the 1930s. O'Keeffe would paint while Adams took photographs.

These journeys together led to some of the artists' best-known work, like Adams' portrait of O'Keeffe and a wrangler named Orville Cox, and while both artists revered nature and the American Southwest, Adams considered O'Keeffe the master when it came to capturing the area. 

“The Southwest is O’Keeffe’s land,” he wrote. “No one else has extracted from it such a style and color, or has revealed the essential forms so beautifully as she has in her paintings.”

The two remained close throughout their lives. Adams would visit O'Keeffe's ranch, and the two wrote to each other until Adams' death in 1984.

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presidents
George Washington’s Incredible Hair Routine

America's Founding Fathers had some truly defining locks, but we tend to think of those well-coiffed white curls—with their black ribbon hair ties and perfectly-managed frizz—as being wigs. Not so in the case of the main man himself, George Washington.

As Robert Krulwich reported at National Geographic, a 2010 biography on our first president—Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow—reveals that the man “never wore a wig.” In fact, his signature style was simply the result of an elaborately constructed coiffure that far surpasses most morning hair routines, and even some “fancy” hair routines.

The style Washington was sporting was actually a tough look for his day. In the late 18th century, such a hairdo would have been worn by military men.

While the hair itself was all real, the color was not. Washington’s true hue was a reddish brown color, which he powdered in a fashion that’s truly delightful to imagine. George would (likely) don a powdering robe, dip a puff made of silk strips into his powder of choice (there are a few options for what he might have used), bend his head over, and shake the puff out over his scalp in a big cloud.

To achieve the actual ‘do, Washington kept his hair long and would then pull it back into a tight braid or simply tie it at the back. This helped to showcase the forehead, which was very in vogue at the time. On occasion, he—or an attendant—would bunch the slack into a black silk bag at the nape of the neck, perhaps to help protect his clothing from the powder. Then he would fluff the hair on each side of his head to make “wings” and secure the look with pomade or good old natural oils.

To get a better sense of the play-by-play, check out the awesome illustrations by Wendy MacNaughton that accompany Krulwich’s post.

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