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|1356||In a landmark battle of the Hundred Years’ War, English Prince Edward defeats the French at Poitiers.|
|1544||Francis, the king of France, and Charles V of Austria sign a peace treaty in Crespy, France, ending a 20-year war.|
|1692||Giles Corey is pressed to death for standing mute and refusing to answer charges of witchcraft brought against him. He is the only person in America to have suffered this punishment.|
|1777||American forces under Gen. Horatio Gates meet British troops led by Gen. John Burgoyne at Saratoga Springs, NY.|
|1783||The first hot-air balloon is sent aloft in Versailles, France with animal passengers including a sheep, a rooster, and a duck.|
|1788||Charles de Barentin becomes lord chancellor of France.|
|1841||The first railway to span a frontier is completed between Strasbourg and Basel, in Europe.|
|1863||In Georgia, the two-day Battle of Chickamauga begins as Union troops under George Thomas clash with Confederates under Nathan Bedford Forrest.|
|1893||New Zealand becomes the first nation to grant women the right to vote.|
|1900||President Emile Loubet of France pardons Jewish army captain Alfred Dreyfus, twice court-martialed and wrongly convicted of spying for Germany.|
|1918||American troops of the Allied North Russia Expeditionary Force receive their baptism of fire near the town of Seltso against Soviet forces.|
|1948||Moscow announces it will withdraw soldiers from Korea by the end of the year.|
|1955||Argentina’s President Juan Peron is overthrown by rebels.|
|1957||The first underground nuclear test takes place in Nevada.|
|1970||The first Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts (originally called the Pilton Festival) is held near Pilton, Somerset, England.|
|1973||Carl XVI Gustaf is invested as King of Sweden, following the death of his grandfather King Gustaf VI Adolf.|
|1982||The first documented emoticons, :-) and :-(, are posted on the Carnegie Mellon University Bulletin Board System by Scott Fahlman.|
|1985||An earthquake kills thousands in Mexico City.|
|1985||The Parents Music Resource Center which was formed by Tipper Gore (wife of then-Senator Al Gore) and other political wives lobbies for Parental Advisory stickers on music packaging.|
|1991||German hikers near the Austria-Italy border discover the naturally preserved mummy of a man from about 3,300 BC; Europe’s oldest natural human mummy, he is dubbed Otzi the Iceman because his lower half was encased in ice.|
|2006||A military coup in Bangkok revokes Thailand’s constitution and establishes martial law.|
The Central America sprang leaks, the water putting the fire out in the boiler, and the paddlewheel and pumps stopped working. Alarmed, the passengers and crew formed a bucket brigade to bail out the sinking ship, while Captain Herndon ordered the flag flown upside down – a universal distress signal.Only 49 men survived, and the loss of the gold to the bottom of the Atlantic caused several banks to collapse. Read the whole story of the sinking of the SS Central America and its aftermath.
By Saturday, September 12, the ship was doomed. That afternoon another ship was spotted, the Marine out of Boston, and Captain Herndon ordered the women and children into the Central America’s lifeboats to make the hazardous transfer to the Marine. Around 150 women and children made it before the weather forced the Marine to leave. The male passengers and crew could not make the transfer. Most of them were still on board when the Central America sank around 8 o’clock that night, settling on the sea floor about 8,000 feet below the surface, 160 miles offshore.