This Day In History : September 5

1977 United States

NASA launches the Voyager 1 spacecraft

NASA launched the Voyager 1 spacecraft on September 5, 1977. Voyager 1, along with its twin spacecraft Voyager 2, was designed to explore the outer planets of our solar system. It conducted flybys of Jupiter and Saturn, sending back unprecedented images and data of these planets and their moons. Voyager 1 later continued its journey beyond the solar system, becoming the first human-made object to enter interstellar space in 2012.

Also on This Day in History September 5

Discover what happened on September 5 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, September 5
  • 1850 Eugen Goldstein

    German physicist who discovered and named canal rays (1886)

  • 1787 François Sulpice Beudant

    French mineralogist and geologist

  • 1829 Lester A. Pelton

    American inventor (water wheel for hydroelectricity)

  • 1888 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

    Indian philosopher and leader, Second President of India (1962-67)

  • 1927 Paul Volcker

    American economist and Chairman of the US Federal Reserve (1979-87)

Deaths on This Day, September 5
  • 1948 Richard C. Tolman

    American physicist and chemist

  • 1906 Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann

    Austrian physicist (thermodynamics)

  • 1902 Rudolf Virchow

    German politician, anthropologist and pathologist (cell pathology)

  • 1917 Marian Smoluchowski

    Polish physicist (pioneer of statistical physics)

  • 1997 Mother Teresa

    Albanian-born Indian nun and founder of Missionaries of Charity (Nobel Peace Prize, 1979)


New York City holds the first United States Labor Day parade

The first United States Labor Day parade was held in New York City on September 5, 1882. Organized by the Central Labor Union, the parade was a demonstration of workers' rights and labor solidarity. It marked the beginning of the Labor Day holiday, which became a federal holiday in 1894, dedicated to honoring the contributions and achievements of American workers.

German archaeologist Carl Mauch is the first European to explore the ruins of the medieval Shona city

German archaeologist Carl Mauch was the first European to explore the ruins of the medieval Shona city of Great Zimbabwe in 1871. His discovery and subsequent documentation of the ancient city contributed greatly to the understanding of the history and culture of the region, and it sparked international interest in Great Zimbabwe as a significant archaeological site in southern Africa.

1st gasoline pump is delivered to a gasoline dealer in Fort Wayne, Indiana

The first gasoline pump was delivered to a gasoline dealer in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1885. This event marked a significant development in the fuel distribution industry, as it facilitated the convenient dispensing of gasoline to consumers. Gasoline pumps allowed for more efficient and regulated sales of gasoline, which was becoming increasingly popular as a fuel for automobiles during that time.

1st privately operated atomic reactor in Raleigh, North Carolina

The first privately operated atomic reactor in Raleigh, North Carolina, was the Raleigh Research Reactor. It was operated by North Carolina State University (NCSU) and achieved criticality on September 5, 1953. This reactor was significant as it was the first nuclear reactor in the world to be operated primarily for teaching and research purposes by a university. The Raleigh Research Reactor played a crucial role in advancing nuclear science and engineering education in the United States.
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