The Week Ahead In History: A Glimpse into the Past

Reunification of Germany

East and West Germany ratify reunification. Credit: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1990-1003-417 / CC-BY-SA 3.0

We step back in time to see what happened in history in the week ahead. From buying Stonehenge to Franco, here are some of the most important events in history for the upcoming week.

September 16

1908 – General Motors Corporation was founded in Flint, Michigan by William C. Durant and Charles Stewart Mott. The company, also known as GM, was one of the world’s largest manufacturers of cars and trucks. Most notably, the company manufactured Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Hummer brand cars.

1920 – A bomb explodes on Wall Street, New York killing 38 people. The Wall Street Bombing, as the incident is known, was the deadliest such act on American soil to that date. It is still not known who was responsible for the bombing.

The Wall Street Bombing
Thirty eight people were killed in the Wall Street Bombing. Credit: Wikipedia

1997 – Apple Computer Inc names co-founder Steve Jobs interim CEO

September 17

1683 – Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek is the first to report the existence of bacteria

1787 – The US Constitution is signed by delegates at the Philadelphia Convention

1939 – Man runs 10,000 metres in less than 30 minutes for the first time in recorded history. Finnish runner, Taisto Mäki, broke his previous record by running the distance in 29 minutes 52 seconds.

Taisto Mäki
Taisto Mäki was known as one of the Flying Finns. Credit: Wikipedia.

1978 – Camp David Accords are signed. The Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. The accords were the precursor to the 1974 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty

September 18

1812 – Great Fire of Moscow burns out after 5 days, 75 per cent of the city was destroyed and 12,000 killed

Great Fire of Moscow painting by Adam Albrecht
Napoleon at The Great Fire of Moscow. Credit: Adam Albrecht/Wikipedia

1873 – Government bond agent Jay Cooke & Co collapses, causing panic on Wall Street, the start of the panic of 1873 and the Long depression

1947 – The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officially comes into existence after being established by President Truman in July

September 19

1893 – New Zealand becomes the first country to grant all women the right to vote

1985 – 8.1 earthquake in Mexico City kills an estimated 10,000 and leaves 250,000 homeless

Rubble of the 1985 Mexico Earthquake
The General Hospital collapsed. Credit: US Geological survey/Wikipedia

1986 – US Federal health officials announce AZT will be available to AIDS patients

September 20

1519 – Spanish expedition led by Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan sets off on the first successful circumnavigation of the globe (Magellan killed en route)

1854 – Battle of the Alma: British, French and Ottoman alliance defeat the Russian Empire in the 1st major battle of the Crimean War

1990 – Both East and West Germany ratify reunification

2001 – In an address to a joint session of Congress and the American people, US President George W. Bush declares a “war on terror”

9/11 Terror Attack on the South Tower
Bush announced the war on terror following 9/11. Credit:TheMachineStops (Robert J. Fisch) /Wikipedia

2019 – Students from 185 countries stage the world’s largest-ever protest on climate change culminating in Manhattan rally led by Greta Thunberg

September 21

1792 – French Revolution: The National Convention passes a proclamation announcing the formal abolition of the French monarchy

1915 – Cecil Chubb buys English prehistoric monument Stonehenge for £6,600

Stonehenge was sold. Credit: thegarethwiscombe/Wikipedia

1936 – Spanish fascist junta names Francisco Franco as Generalissimo and Supreme Commander

1949 – Chinese Communist leaders proclaim the People’s Republic of China

September 22

1692 – Last people hanged for witchcraft (eight) in the US, 19 hanged overall, with six other deaths during Salem Witch Trials

1792 – French First Republic formed by the National Convention, stripping the French king of his powers

1862 – US President Abraham Lincoln issues preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, threatening to free all enslaved people in the rebel southern states if those states fail to re-join the Union by January 1, 1863

1965 – India and Pakistan cease-fire goes into effect, ending the Indo-Pakistani War

1980 – Iraq invades Iran in an attempt to control the Shatt al-Arab waterway

Iran Iraq War
The war lasted from September 1980 to August 1988. Credit: Wikimedia

Come back next Saturday for another round-up of the week ahead in history.

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Written by

Jo Pugh

Jo Pugh is a journalist based in the Costa Blanca North. Originally from London, she has been involved in journalism and photography for 20 years. She has lived in Spain for 12 years, and is a dedicated and passionate writer.