Return Today in the History of Pioneers, Explorers, Aviators and Historic Firsts Return

SEPTEMBER 17

1857 Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (Russian-born Soviet Space and Aeronautics Pioneer) Russian Scientists and Mathematicians Soviet Scientists and Mathematicians Russian Space Program Informatics
1901 Francis Chichester (English Adventurer Who Sailed Solo Around the World) English Explorers Naval History
1930 Thomas P. Stafford (Oklahoma-born Astronaut) Thomas P. Stafford Astronauts
Deaths
Persons of Historic Significance Who Have Died on This Date
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1727 From Montreal, Réné Boucher Lands on the Western Shore of Minnesota's Lake Pepin to Trade Furs with the Indians Canadian Explorers and Pioneers Minnesota Native-American Heritage North American Explorers Catholic Encyclopedia MInnesota Historicla Association
1883 The Delaware German-American Saengerbund Holds Its First Volksfest at Wilmington's Shuetzen Park Germany Wilmington, Delaware Historic First Delaware German-American Saengerbund State of Delaware
1902 Alaska's First Successful Oil Well Comes In Alaska Energy Historic First Center for the Study of Technology and Society
1908 In Virginia, Thomas Selfridge Is the First Airplane Fatality: Orville Wright Survives Virginia Orville Wright Aviation Death Historic First Virginia Historical Society
1911 The First Transcontinental Airplane Flight Begins from New York City amd Will End 49 Days Later in California New York City California Aviation Historic Firsts New York Historical Society
1916 German Air Ace Manfred von Richthofen (the "Red Baron") Shoots Down His First Enemy Plane Manfred von Richthofen Aviation Military History Historic Firsts World War I History Channel
1932 England's Malcolm Campbell Sets Land Speed Record: 76.27 mph British Sports Figures Auto Racing Historic Firsts History Channel
1947 James V. Forrestal Is Sworn in as the First U.S. Secretary of Defense U.S. Government Offices & Agencies Historic Firsts New York Times
1956 England's Norman Buckley Breaks the World Water Speed Record (79 mph) English Explorers and Pioneers Naval History Historic Firsts BBC
1961 The Minnesota Vikings Football Team Plays Its First Game, Beating the Chicago Bears 37-13 Minnesota Football NFL Historic Firsts Minnesota Historicla Association
1962 Neil Armstrong Joins NASA Astronaut Program Neil Armstrong Astronauts NASA
1967 The New Orleans Saints Play Their First NFL Game, Losing to the Los Angeles Rams 27-13 New Orleans, Louisiana Football New Orleans Saints Historic Firsts Louisiana  Secretary of State
1973 Illinois is the First State to Legislate Martin Luther King Jr. Day Illinois Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Firsts African-American Heritage City of Berkeley, California
1976 NASA Publicly Unveils Its First Space Shuttle, Enterprise Space Shuttle NASA History Channel
1983 Vanessa Williams Is First African American Crowned as Miss America Women African-American Heritage Historic Firsts African American Registry
1994 Heather Whitestone of Alabama Is First Deaf Woman Crowned Miss America Alabama Deafness Historic Firsts Heather Whitestone New York Times
1976 NASA Publicly Unveils Its First Space Shuttle, Enterprise Space Shuttle NASA History Channel

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