This Day In History – September 24


Plow & Hearth


If you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development. —Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great.


Icon of the Seventh Ecumenical Council (17th century, Novodevichy Convent, Moscow).

September 24, 787 – Medieval History

Second Council of Nicaea

The Second Council of Nicaea is regarded as the Seventh Ecumenical Council by Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Catholic Churches and various other Western Christian groups. It met in AD 787 in Nicaea (site of the First Council of Nicaea; present-day İznik in Turkey) to restore the honoring of icons (or, holy images) [Iconoclasm], which had been suppressed by imperial edict inside the Byzantine Empire during the reign of Leo III (717 – 741). His son, Constantine V (741 – 775), had held a synod to make the suppression official.

The veneration of icons had been abolished by the energetic measures of Constantine V and the Council of Hieria which had described itself as the seventh ecumenical council. These iconoclastic tendencies were shared by his son, Leo IV. After the latter’s early death, his widow, Irene of Athens, as regent for her son, began its restoration, moved thereto by personal inclination and political considerations. —Wikipedia

Further reading:

  • Second Council of Nicaea, Catholic Encyclopedia
  • VII Вселенский Собор. Миниатюра из Минология Василия II. 976–1025 гг. (Vat. gr. 1613. Fol. 108) // Second Council of Nicaea


    Infantry of the Continental Army.

    September 24, 1777 – American Revolution

    Patriot John Brown raids British post near Fort Ticonderoga

    Colonel John Brown leads his troops on a raid against a British post south of Fort Ticonderoga, and although the Americans fail to recapture the fort, they do obtain important information regarding Burgoyne’s provisions. —The American Revolution, Lighting Freedom’s Flame, USNPS

    According to historian Christopher Ward, “Brown was one of those remarkable characters that one finds hidden in the crannies of history, almost unknown even to historians.”

    Colonel John Brown, often known as John Brown of Pittsfield because of his common name, was a Patriot, spy, soldier, and military leader, in the American Revolutionary War. He played a significant role as a courier between the Thirteen Colonies and Province of Quebec prior to the outbreak of the war, and then participated in military actions in Quebec and the frontiers of New York, where was killed in action on his 36th birthday. —Wikipedia

    And scarce Columbia’s arms the fight sustains,
    While her best blood gushed from a thousand veins.
    Then thine, O Brown, that purpled wide the ground,
    Pursued the knife through many a ghastly wound.
    Ah! hapless friend, permit the tender tear
    To flow e’en now, for none flowed on thy bier,
    Where cold and mangled, under northern skies,
    To famished wolves a prey, thy body lies,
    Which erst so fair and tall in youthful grace,
    Strength in thy nerves and beauty in thy face,
    Stood like a tower till, struck by the swift ball,
    Then what availed to ward th’ untimely fall,
    The force of limbs, the mind so well informed,
    The taste refined, the breast with friendship warmed
    (That friendship which our earliest years began),
    When the dark bands from thee expiring tore
    Thy long hair, mingled with the spouting gore.”

    An Address
    September 29, 1908.

    Fort Ticonderoga from Mount Defiance


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    Lt. Gen. James Longstreet

    September 24, 1863 – American Civil War

    Siege of Chattanooga Tennessee begins

    Reeling from defeat at Chickamauga on September 19-20, 1863, Army of the Cumberland forces under the command of William S. Rosecrans retreated to Chattanooga to regroup. Braxton Bragg’s men drove to the summit of Lookout Mountain and retook the peak without a fight. With this advantage on the Rebel side, Old Rosy feared losing the city.

    Abraham Lincoln was keenly aware of the importance of Chattanooga (city history). The President had said that, “…taking Chattanooga is as important as taking Richmond.” Rails from the city linked major distribution centers of the Confederacy; it was a key in his plan to “divide and conquer” the Confederacy. Lincoln ordered reinforcements to the city on the Moccasin Bend of the Tennessee River and gave Ulysses S. Grant command of all forces west of the Appalachians. Grant immediately relieved Rosecrans from duty and appointed General George Thomas, “The Rock of Chickamauga” as commander of the 40,000 troops in Chattanooga. From Virginia, Joseph Hooker moved 20,000 men. From Mississippi, William Tecumseh Sherman came with another 20,000.

    Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas

    The Rebels were having their own problems. Bragg, in spite of advice from Nathan Bedford Forrest and others, had withheld his troops from destroying the retreating Army of the Cumberland after Chickamauga. Already concerned with his actions as commander, his subordinates petitioned Richmond for relief. President Jefferson Davis visited in October, 1863 and responded to Bragg’s critics by dismissing or reassigning them. Bragg, arguably the worst commander on either side in the Civil War, was left in charge.

    Shortly after Davis left, Grant arrived in Chattanooga and assumed command from General Thomas. Four days later Hooker crossed Lookout Valley and formed a supply route known as the “Cracker Line” to relieve the siege. With the arrival of Sherman, Grant was ready to take the heights above Chattanooga. The plan was simple. Thomas would take Orchard Knob then “demonstrate” at the center to prevent Bragg from reinforcing his flanks while Hooker came in from the left and Sherman from the right.

    Read more at Chattanooga, Blue and Gray Trail Battle

    Further reading:

  • Chattanooga Campaign –Wikipedia
  • Chattanooga viewed from the North bank of the Tennessee River, 1863. The Union Army pontoon bridge is shown on the left, Lookout Mountain at the right rear. The small hill in front of Lookout Mountain is Cameron Hill, which was significantly flattened during 20th century development of the city.


    Sierra Trading Post


    Manuelito, a Navajo chief

    September 24, 1860 – Old West – Navajo Wars

    Navajos and the 7th Infantry battle near Fort Fauntleroy, NM Territory

    The Navajo Wars were a series of battles and other conflicts, often separated with treaties that involved raids by different Navajo bands on the rancheras along the Rio Grande and the counter campaigns by the Spanish, Mexican, and United States governments, and sometimes their civilian elements. The raiding and counter-raids began in the early 17th century and continued through 1865. It also was a fairly common practice for Navajo, or their Apache kin, to raid one Spanish, or Mexican, village and trade with another. And the reverse was equally true of the Spanish snd the Mexicans. —Wikipedia

    Fort Wingate is near Gallup, New Mexico. There were two locations in New Mexico that had this name. The first one was located near San Rafael. The current fort was established on the southern edge of the Navajo territory in 1862. The initial purpose of the fort was to control the large Navajo tribe to its north. It was involved with the Navajo’s Long Walk. From 1870 onward the garrison was concerned with Apaches to the south and hundreds of Navajo Scouts were enlisted at the fort through 1890 —Wikipedia

    Further reading:

  • Apache Scouts visiting Fort Wingate during the 1880s.

    Fort Wingate in the 1870s


    A postcard commemorating the entry of Bulgaria into the war.

    September 24, 1918 – World War I

    Bulgaria seeks ceasefire with Allied powers

    On September 24, 1918, the government of Bulgaria issues an official statement announcing it had sent a delegation to seek a ceasefire with the Allied powers that would end Bulgaria’s participation in World War I.

    After being secretly courted as an ally by both sides in the opening months of the war, Bulgaria had decided in favor of Germany and the Central Powers in October 1915. By the end of that same month, Bulgarian forces had clashed with Serbia’s army in the former Ottoman province on Macedonia, driving a wedge between Serbia and Allied forces in Greece that were attempting to come to that country’s aid. In the summer of 1916, Bulgaria invaded and occupied a section of then-neutral Greece, mounting a major offensive in August that was only halted by British aerial and naval attacks. In April 1917, further British attacks against the Bulgarian trenches at Macedonia’s Lake Doiran proved unsuccessful, and the two sides remained locked in stalemate for much of the following year.

    Read more at This Day In History

    A WW1 postcard depicting the meeting of Bulgarian and Hungarian troops at Kladovo.


    Photograph from a Japanese plane of Battleship Row at the beginning of the attack. The explosion in the center is a torpedo strike on the USS Oklahoma. Two attacking Japanese planes can be seen: one over the USS Neosho and one over the Naval Yard.

    September 24, 1941 – World War II

    Japanese gather preliminary data on Pearl Harbor

    On this day in 1941, the Japanese consul in Hawaii is instructed to divide Pearl Harbor into five zones and calculate the number of battleships in each zone—and report the findings back to Japan.

    Relations between the United States and Japan had been deteriorating quickly since Japan’s occupation of Indo-China and the implicit menacing of the Philippines, an American protectorate. American retaliation included the seizing of all Japanese assets in the States and the closing of the Panama Canal to Japanese shipping. In September 1941, Roosevelt issued a statement, drafted by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, that threatened war between the United States and Japan should the Japanese encroach any farther on territory in Southeast Asia or the South Pacific.

    The Japanese military had long dominated Japanese foreign affairs. So, although official negotiations between the U.S. secretary of state and his Japanese counterpart to ease tensions were ongoing, Hideki Tojo, the minister of war who would soon be prime minister, had no intention of withdrawing from captured territories. He also construed the American “threat” of war as an ultimatum and prepared to deliver the first blow in a Japanese-American confrontation: the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

    Read more at This Day In History


    September 24, 1960 – Science History

    First Nuclear-powered aircraft launched

    In 1960, the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, was launched in Newport, Virginia. It was the most astonishing vessel of its time and by far the largest warship in the world. Powered by eight nuclear reactors, it does not need to carry its own fuel oil and so has more room foor aviation fuel and weapons. In 1963, Enterprise and two similarly powered cruisers made a non-stop voyage around the world to demonstrate the viability of nuclear power. Length: 1120 ft, flight deck width: 250 ft, displacement: 93,970 tons. Speed: 33 knots. Range: 470,000 miles at 20 knots.Air wing: 86 aircraft. Crew: 5765

    Source This Day In Science

    Further reading:

  • USS Enterprise.Navy.Mil

    Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capacity, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence.” —Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833; (September 18, 1779 – September 10, 1845) was an American lawyer and jurist who served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1811 to 1845.

    America remember and honor your history – it will give direction, purpose and security to your future.


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