This Day In History : September 29

1988 United States

NASA launches the STS-26 which is their first mission since the Challenger disaster

NASA launched the STS-26 mission on September 29, 1988. This mission marked the agency's first shuttle flight since the Challenger disaster in 1986. The STS-26, carried out by the Space Shuttle Discovery, successfully restored confidence in the space shuttle program. The mission's objectives included deploying the TDRS-3 satellite and conducting various experiments to ensure the shuttle's systems were fully operational.

Also on This Day in History September 29

Discover what happened on September 29 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, September 29
  • 1786 Guadalupe Victoria

    Mexican general, lawyer and politician who was the 1st President of Mexico

  • 1931 James Watson Cronin

    American nuclear physicist (Physics Nobel Prize 1980)

  • 1903 John H. Gibbon Jr.

    American surgeon who invented the heart-lung machine

  • 1942 Bill Nelson

    American astronaut (STS 61C), attorney,and politician (U.S. Representative (D) Florida, 1979-1999; U.S. Senate (D) Florida, 2001-19; NASA Administrator, 2021- )

  • 1915 Vincent DeDomenico

    American entrepreneur (Rice-A-Roni)

Deaths on This Day, September 29
  • 1913 Rudolf Diesel

    French-born German engineer who invented the diesel engine

  • 1860 Chapin Aaron Harris

    American dentist who founded the America Society of Dental Surgeons

  • 2009 Pavel Popovich

    Ukrainian cosmonaut (Vostok IV; Soyuz 14)

  • 2010 Georges Charpak

    Polish-French physicist who invented and developed subatomic particle detectors (Nobel 1992)

  • 1985 Benjamin Markarian

    Armenian astrophysicist (Markarian galaxies)


The first regular army is established by the United States Department of War

The United States Department of War established the first regular army on September 29, 1789, following the adoption of the Constitution. This formalized the creation of a standing army to defend the nation and maintain internal order, marking a significant step in the development of the U.S. military. Prior to this, the U.S. relied on state militias and the Continental Army, which had been disbanded after the Revolutionary War.

The Metropolitan Police of London is established

The Metropolitan Police of London was established on September 29, 1829, by then-Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel. Known as the first modern and professional police force, it was created to maintain public order, prevent crime, and enforce laws in the city. This new force was designed to be more organized and disciplined compared to previous law enforcement methods, setting the foundation for modern policing practices worldwide.

Henry Robinson opens 1st marriage bureau (England)

Henry Robinson opened the first marriage bureau in England on September 29, 1650. This pioneering service aimed to help individuals find suitable marriage partners through a formal and organized process.

Orbiting Solar Observatory VII launched

The Orbiting Solar Observatory VII (OSO-7) was launched by NASA on September 29, 1971. This satellite was part of a series of missions aimed at studying the Sun and its influence on the Earth's environment.
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