This Day In History : September 1

1979 United States

Pioneer 11 makes 1st fly-by of Saturn, discovers new moon, rings

Pioneer 11 made its first flyby of Saturn on September 1, 1979. During this historic encounter, the spacecraft discovered a new moon and additional rings around Saturn. This mission provided unprecedented close-up images and data about the planet, its rings, and its moons, greatly expanding our knowledge of the Saturnian system and contributing to the planning of future missions to the outer planets.

Also on This Day in History September 1

Discover what happened on September 1 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, September 1
  • 1795 James Gordon Bennett, Sr.

    American newspaper publisher who founded the New York Herald

  • 1877 Francis William Aston

    British chemist and physicist who won a Nobel laureate for his work with isotopes and the whole number rule

  • 1872 Benjamin Minge Duggar

    American botanist who discovered the antibotic Aureomycin

  • 1923 Rocky Marciano

    American boxer (undefeated world heavyweight champion 1952-56)

  • 1858 Carl Auer von Welsbach

    Austrian scientist and inventor of the gas mantle and metal filament light bulb

Deaths on This Day, September 1
  • 1982 Haskell Brooks Curry

    American mathematician who was a pioneer of modern mathematical logic

  • 1838 William Clark

    American explorer, soldier, Indian agent and territorial governor who led the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-06 and claimed the Pacific Northwest for the United States

  • 1940 Lillian Wald

    American pioneering nurse and social activist who started American community nursing with the Henry Street Settlement in NYC

  • 2014 Joseph Shivers

    American chemist and inventor of Spandex

  • 1715 Louis XIV

    King of France (1643-1715), known as "The Sun King", had longest reign in country


A solar flare was observed for the first time

The geomagnetic storm was associated with a very bright solar flare on 1 September 1859. It was observed and recorded independently by British astronomers Richard Carrington and Richard Hodgson —the first records of a solar flare.

Emma Nutt is the 1st female telephone operator recruited by Alexander Graham Bell in Boston

Emma Nutt was the world's first female telephone operator, hired by Alexander Graham Bell on September 1, 1878, at the Boston Telephone Dispatch Company. Her recruitment marked a significant change in the telecommunications industry, leading to women becoming the primary operators due to their patience and pleasant demeanor.

The Boston subway opens as the first underground rapid transit system in North America

The Boston subway, which opened on September 1, 1897, is the first underground rapid transit system in North America. Known as the Tremont Street Subway, it revolutionized urban transportation, providing a model for subsequent subway systems in other cities. This development significantly improved public transit efficiency and laid the groundwork for modern rapid transit systems across the continent.

France creates Greater Lebanon

France created Greater Lebanon on September 1, 1920. This action was part of the French mandate over the territories that had been part of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. Greater Lebanon was established to create a homeland for Maronite Christians and other communities, expanding the borders of the existing Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate to include coastal cities like Beirut, Tripoli, and other surrounding regions.
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