• On Sept. 22, 1598, 26-year-old playwright Ben Jonson is indicted for manslaughter after a duel. He was very nearly hanged, but his ability to read and write saved him. He claimed “benefit of clergy,” which allowed him to be sentenced by the lenient ecclesiastical courts. In his time, Jonson was as famous as Shakespeare.
• On Sept. 25, 1789, the first Congress of the United States proposes 12 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and sends them to the states for ratification. Ten were ratified and are known as the Bill of Rights.
• On Sept. 21, 1866, H.G. Wells, pioneer of science fiction, is born in Bromley, England. In 1895, he published his classic novel “The Time Machine” about a man who journeys to the future. The book was a success, as was “The War of the Worlds” (1898).
• On Sept. 20, 1881, Chester Arthur is inaugurated, becoming the third person to serve as president in that year. In March, President Rutherford Hayes turned over the reins of government to James Garfield, who was assassinated July 2 by a crazed gunman. Arthur, the vice president, was sworn in the next day.
• On Sept. 26, 1928, work begins at Chicago’s new Galvin Manufacturing Corporation. In 1930, Galvin would introduce the Motorola radio, the first mass-produced car radio. (The name had two parts: “motor,” evoking cars, and “ola” derived from “ Victrola” record players.)
• On Sept. 24, 1968, CBS airs the first episode of the pioneer newsmagazine show “60 Minutes,” which would become the longest-running prime-time show in American television history. The first episode featured coverage of the Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey presidential campaigns.
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