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What Happened on September 25?

  • The US Bill of Rights was adopted. (1789) Twelve amendments to the US Constitution were approved by the US Congress. After being ratified by the states, 10 of the amendments became the Bill of Rights, including such rights for US Citizens as freedom of speech, the right to bear arms and freedom to practice any religion.

  • A Swiss Police Instruction closed Swiss borders to Jews trying to escape Nazi persecution. (1942) The instruction, which stated that race alone wasn't reason enough to justify political refuge, sent thousands of Jews away from the border. By 1944, Switzerland realized the horror of what the Nazis were doing and reopened its borders. In recent years, the Swiss government has fought for and acquired hundreds of millions in US Dollars as compensation and restitution for survivors of the holocaust.

  • Nine black children were integrated into a white high school in Little Rock Arkansas, escorted by more than 1,000 US Army troops from the 101st Airborne Division. (1957) Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus blocked the integration at Central High School three weeks earlier, violating a federal order for desegregation. US President Dwight D. Eisenhower responded with overwhelming military support to enforce the order.

  • Sandra Day O'Connor became the first female US Supreme Court Justice. (1981) O'Connor was sworn in as the 102nd associate justice on this day; she served on the Supreme Court until her retirement in 2005.

  • The IRA officially disarmed. (2005) The Irish Republican Army, which had been established in 1919 to fight against British rule in Ireland, had resorted to terrorist violence during and after the 1960s. A cease-fire agreement was made in 1997, but at that time the IRA wouldn't surrender their weapons.

  • The largest prison escape in British history took place. (1983) Thirty-eight armed Irish Republican prisoners escaped from Maze Prison in Northern Ireland, a maximum-security prison that was considered escape-proof. The escape served as propaganda for the IRA. Eighteen of the escapees were caught within the first few days. One escapee drowned in the Bannagh River. The remaining 19 were taken in by the IRA and offered military jobs or new identities and transported to the United States.

  • The first newspaper in America published its first — and only — edition. (1690) Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick was published in Boston, Massachusetts, by Benjamin Harris. It was intended to be a monthly publication, but was shut down by the government before a second edition could be published.

  • The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism was founded. (1912) The school was founded through a $2 million US Dollar donation by Joseph Pulitzer. The first class had 100 students from 21 countries.

  • The first transatlantic telephone service was installed. (1956) The underwater telephone cable, called TAT-1, connected almost 600 calls between the US and London and more than 100 calls between London and Canada on its first day of operation. The line also was later used for the Moscow-Washington hotline.

  • The first Chicago Marathon took place. (1977) Now one of the five World Marathon Majors, the race began with 4,200 runners. Today, the race limits competition to 45,000 runners.

  • The remote control was born. (1906) Spanish civil engineer Leonardo Torres y Quevedo demonstrated his device called the Telekino — the first instrument capable of remote radio control. He showed it off by controlling a boat while standing on the shore.

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