490 BC Battle Of Marathon

The Battle of Marathon occurred on September 12, 490 BC.   The Persians, under King Darius, were set to invade Greece in the First Persian Invasion of Greece.  But Athens was there to fight them back on the beach at Marathon.

In earlier years, the city-states of Athens and Eretria had aided the Greek settlements in Ionia to rebel against the Persians, who ruled them at the time.  Athens and Eretia were defeated and drive home, then the Persians ended the Ionian's rebellion. 

After the Persians ended the rebellion, they decided to retaliate against the Greeks and prepared to invade.  They landed on the beach at Marathon, close to the city of Athens.  Athens was able to restrict them to the beach, but was greatly outnumbered, and so Athens sent for help.  They sent a runner to Sparta.  Upon arriving in Sparta, he was told they starting an important celebration, and were unable to send help until it was over.  It would be ten days. 

Battle Of Marathon

Athens kept them pinned down, but before the Spartans arrived, the battle began.  No one is sure why.  The Athenians were able to win, somehow, and then marched around Cape Sounion to prevent a second landing by the Persians.  The Persians went home in defeat.  King Darius planned a second invasion, but there was not another sent for 10 years, until King Darius’ son, Xerxes, came to power and invade Greece himself.

Credit - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Battle_of_Marathon_001.jpg

1362 – Pope Innocent VI Dies

Pope Innocent ruled as pope from December 18, 1352 until his death on September 12, 1362.  He Pope Innocent VIwas the fifth of the seven Avignon Popes, the line of popes that ruled the church from France instead of Rome.  He instituted reforms in the Church's administration, and attempted to get its finances in order.  Pope Clement VI, his predecessor, had spent extravagantly and left the finances of the church in dire straits.  Pope Innocent had to deal with war in Italy and recovery from the Black Plague, so had to cut chapel staff and sell art pieces to raise funds. 

The modern-day view is that he is  one of the better popes to rule from Avignon and known for his moral integrity. 

1609 – Henry Hudson begins Exploration of Hudson River

Henry Hudson was an English explorer in the 17th century.  He was trying to find a western route to China, andHenry Hudson - English Explorer in the 17th Century was exploring the coast around present day New York.  He found what is now called Hudson Bay and started to explore.  His ship ended up getting frozen in when winter set in.  When winter broke in 1610, he wanted to explore some more, but his crew mutinied and set Hudson, his son, and loyal crewman off the ship in a small boat.  Hudson and the others were never seen again.  Today, we are not sure exactly what happened, as it is impossible to trust the stories of those that survive.  Some of the surviving crew were put on trial for murder in court, but not convicted.

1919 Adolf Hitler spys on German Workers’ Party

On September 12, 1919, Corporal Hitler was ordered to spy Hitler Joins German Worker's Partyon the German Workers’ Party.  While there he comes to attention of the leader of the party, Anton Drexler, who invites him to join.  Hitler quits the army and joins.  When party cards were issued, Hitler gets number 555.  Numbers start at 501, so Hitler is the 55th member of the party.  He gives a speech in October and rises within the party.  The name of the party was changed in 1920 to National Socialist German Workers' Party and on July 28, 1921 Hitler became Chairman of the Party.

1933 – Nuclear Chain Reaction Idea Born

Leo Szilard read an article in the newspaper that Ernest Rutherford wrote where he talked of splitting at atoLeo Szilard patents an idea for a Nuclear Chain Reactionm and getting some energy from it, but Rutherford stated, “It was a very poor and inefficient way of producing energy, and anyone who looked for a source of power in the transformation of the atoms was talking moonshine.”  Szilard was disgusted that Rutherford dismissed the idea so quickly, and went for a walk to think.  He stopped at a red light, and when he went to cross, the idea of using the neutrons from the split atom to split the next one came to him.  He thought that this should give unlimited energy, as the reaction would be self sustaining.  He filed a patent for the idea in 1934.

1992 – 50th Shuttle Mission

STS-47, the name of the fiftieth shuttle mission, was flown by Space Shuttle Endeavor.  It was the second mission for Endeavor.  The mission consisted mostly of experiments in life and material sciences.  One of the experiments on the mission was created solely by the Boy Scouts of America alone, and named Project POSTAR.  There was also two experiments prepared by a girl’s school in England.

STS-47, the 50th Space Shuttle Mission

The crew on this mission was noteworthy, though.  This mission included the first Japanese Astronaut to fly on the Space Shuttle.  It also included the first African-American woman to fly in space, and the first married couple to fly on the same mission. 

Married couples on the same mission are against the normal NASA policy.  The two astronauts, Mark Charles Lee and Nancy Jan Davis, had met while training for this flight.  They married in secret, and then told NASA shortly before the flight date.  It was too late to train a replacement, so the two were permitted to make the flight.  NASA has said they will no longer let a married couple go on the same flight.

2010 – Iran Agrees to Release Sarah Shourd

Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer, and Joshua Fattal were taken captive by Iran, after the hikers passed over Iran’s border.  The hikers have maintained that it was an accident.  Iran agreed, on September 12, 2010, to release Shourd due to a medical condition.  On September 14, 2010, after receiving $500,000 bail, Iran released Shourd. 

The three hikers went to trial in August 2011.  Shourd was tried in absentia, after she refused to return to Iran.  Bauer and Fattal were convicted of spying and crossing the border and sentenced to eight years.  The stiff sentence was unexpected, as political leaders had thought the two would be coming home soon.