September 5, 1638 - King Louis XIV is born, a miracle due to the fact his parents had been estranged for the previous fifteen years. However, nine months prior to Louis XIV’s birth, his father was stranded in a rain storm near his mother’s home. So dad took refuge at mom’s and, evidently, a few more liberties as well. Louis XIV ruled for an exceptional 72 years, longer than any other monarch in European history.
September 6, 1901 – Leon Czolgosz shot and fatally wounded U. S President William McKinley. Czolgosz stated that he shot McKinley because he was an enemy of working people. He was convicted of the murder and electrocuted on October 29, 1901. For further reading on McKinley: http://americanhistory.about.com/od/williammckinley/p/pmckinley.htm
September 7, 1812 – The beginning of the end for Napoleon Bonaparte. At the end of June, Napoleon entered Russia with an army of 530,000 men. The army marched across the vast Russian country-side, while the Tsar refused to engage his army in a skirmish. By early September Napoleon’s forces had been reduced to about 130,000, mostly due to sickness, accident and occasional guerrilla warfare. On September 6th, Napoleon’s army arrived in Borodino, a town about 60 miles from Moscow. There, General Prince Mikhail Kutuzov is waiting for him. On the morning of September 7th, Napoleon ordered his cannons to open fire. By nightfall, more than 45,000 Russians are killed or wounded, but there were plenty of other Russians to take their places on the front line. Napoleon, 1,500 miles from home, lost 30,000 men.
Kutuzov ordered a retreat, allowing the French to claim a victory, but it was a farce. While Napoleon had marched toward Moscow, the Russians had deserted it. When his surviving army arrived, the city was empty and on fire. For the next three months, they occupied an empty, burning city before finally, in the dead of winter, heading back to the Polish border. In the end, Napoleon lost all but 10,000 of his original force of over half a million.
Also on September 7, in 1533, Queen Elizabeth I was born.
September 8, 1935 – A very possible U.S. president is assassinated. Huey Long, the former governor of Louisiana, current U. S. Senator and future presidential candidate was shot by Dr. Carl Austin Weiss in the state capital building in Baton Rouge. Weiss was also killed that day, so his true motives will never be known. Bullet holes from this shooting can still be seen in the capital marble walls.
September 9, 1087 – William the Conqueror died in France. After invading, conquering and uniting England, William had to return to France to defend the Duchy of Normandy from the French Army. During the battle, William’s horse stumbled and he is thrown against the iron pommel, rupturing his intestines. Five weeks later, after an agonizing illness as infection spread throughout his abdomen, William died. The illegitimate son of the Duke of Normandy and a tanner’s daughter ruled England for 21 years, during which time he built White Tower in the Tower of England and created a vast deer preserve still around today and called New Forest in Hampshire.
September 10, 1898 – On a quay in Geneva, an Italian anarchist stabs to death Elisabeth of Bavaria, the estranged wife of Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph. You’ll have to investigate this tidbit yourself!