This Weekend in History: September 29-30
A number of interesting events happened throughout the history of the United States on September 29th and 30th. Here is a list of some of the most important.
September 29, 1864 – The Battle of Chaffin’s Farm is fought.
The battle was fought in the state of Virginia and was a part of another Civil War campaign – the Siege of Petersburg.
Just as Union general Grant had anticipated, the fighting around Chaffin's Farm forced Confederate general Lee to shift his resources and helped the Union army south of Petersburg win the Battle of Peebles' Farm. After October, the two armies settled into trench warfare that continued until the end of the Civil War. The fighting around Chaffin's Farm led to nearly 5000 casualties for the nation with Union losing about 3000 and the Confederacy – about 2000 soldiers in terms of killed, wounded and missing in action.
September 29, 1923 - The First American Track & Field championships for women are opened.
The competition was held at Weequahic Park in Newark, New Jersey. The athletes competed in 11 disciplines: running 50 yards, 100 yards, relay race 4x110 yards, hurdling 60 yards, high jump, long jump, discus throw, shot put, javelin, baseball throw (softball throw) and basketball throw. The tournament was a huge promotion for women's sports in the U.S.
Many heroes emerged from this significant contest. Marion McCartie won the Gold medal in the 50 yard dash, Frances Ruppert came first in the 100 yard, Hazel Kirk won the 60 yard hurtle, while Elinor Churchill set a record in baseball throwing.
September 30, 1919 – The beginning of Elaine Race Riots
This event that happened almost a hundred years ago in quiet, rural Phillips County, Arkansas. The even is also often referred to as the Elaine Massacre, since this was the deadliest race riot in U.S. history.
At this time, Arkansas was a hotbed of racial tensions. Lynch-mob executions frequently occured. Black people of course tried to defend themselves, but there self defense led to accusations of “insurrection”.
That’s exactly what happened on the tragic day of September 30th, 1919. A group of Black people (primarily farmers) gathered in the church to meet and pray, which the local white community saw as a meeting to play an insurrection, prompting them to attempt to disrupt the meeting.
It was never determined who shot first, but in the aftermath 100 to 237 Blacks and 5 Whites were killed in just two days all across the county. Some sources even claim thatabout 800 Black people were killed, although the exact numbers are unknown.
September 30, 1939 - NBC broadcasts the first American football game in history.
The first American football game ever televised was a college football game between Waynesburg Yellow Jackets and Fordham Rams. The game was played at Triborough Stadium on New York City's Randall's Island. The Rams eventually won 34:7, thus the era of American football on television started in the U.S.
The game came just one month after the Brooklyn Dodgers hosted the Cincinnati Reds in the first-ever televised professional baseball game, and five months after the Princeton and Columbia baseball teams played the first televised sporting event.