• On Sept. 10, 1608, English adventurer John Smith is elected council president of Jamestown, Virginia — the first permanent English settlement in North America. Smith was popular because of his organizational skills and effectiveness in dealing with local Native Americans.
• On Sept. 11, 1814, during the Battle of Plattsburg on Lake Champlain, a newly built U.S. fleet under Master Commandant Thomas Macdonough destroys a besieging British squadron, forcing the British retreat to Canada on foot. The American victory saved New York from possible invasion.
• On Sept. 15, 1916, during the Battle of the Somme, the British launch a major offensive against the Germans, employing tanks for the first time. Some of the 40 or so primitive tanks advanced over a mile into enemy lines, but were too slow to hold their positions and prone to mechanical breakdown.
• On Sept. 12, 1940, a collection of prehistoric cave paintings is discovered near Montignac, France. They depict 600 painted and drawn animals and symbols and nearly 1,500 engravings from the Upper Paleolithic period some 16,000 years ago.
• On Sept. 9, 1956, Elvis Presley makes his first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Sullivan had originally banned Presley but finally signed him to an unprecedented $50,000 deal for three appearances.
• On Sept. 13, 1971, the four-day revolt ends at the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility in New York when hundreds of state police storm the complex in a hail of gunfire. Thirty-nine people were killed in the disastrous assault.
• On Sept. 14, 1982, Princess Grace of Monaco — the former American movie star Grace Kelly — dies at age 52 after her car plunged off a mountain road near Monte Carlo. An Oscar winner and star of three Alfred Hitchcock films, Kelly gave up her acting career after marrying Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956.
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