On Sept. 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the poem “Defence of Fort McHenry” (later “The Star-Spangled Banner”) after witnessing the American flag flying over the Maryland fort following a night of British naval bombardment during the War of 1812.
In 1847, during the Mexican-American War, U.S. forces under Gen. Winfield Scott took control of Mexico City.
In 1861, the first naval engagement of the Civil War took place as the USS Colorado attacked and sank the Confederate private schooner Judah off Pensacola, Florida.
In 1867, the first volume of “Das Kapital” by Karl Marx was published in Hamburg, Germany.
In 1901, President William McKinley died in Buffalo, New York, of gunshot wounds inflicted by an assassin; Vice President Theodore Roosevelt succeeded him.
In 1927, modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan died in Nice, France, when her scarf became entangled in a wheel of the sports car she was riding in.
In 1982, Princess Grace of Monaco, formerly film star Grace Kelly, died at age 52 of injuries from a car crash the day before; Lebanon’s president-elect, Bashir Gemayel (bah-SHEER’ jeh-MAY’-el), was killed by a bomb.
In 1991, the government of South Africa, the African National Congress and the Inkatha (in-KAH’-tah) Freedom Party signed a national peace pact.
In 1994, on the 34th day of a strike by players, Acting Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced the 1994 season was over.
In 2001, Americans packed churches and clogged public squares on a day of remembrance for the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. President George W. Bush prayed with his Cabinet and attended services at Washington National Cathedral, then flew to New York, where he waded into the ruins of the World Trade Center and addressed rescue workers in a flag-waving, bullhorn-wielding show of resolve.
In 2009, death claimed “Dirty Dancing” star Patrick Swayze at 57; former White House press secretary Jody Powell at age 65; and comic character actor Henry Gibson at age 73.
In 2012, fury over an anti-Muslim film ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad spread across the Muslim world, with deadly clashes near Western embassies in Tunisia and Sudan, an American fast-food restaurant set ablaze in Lebanon, and international peacekeepers attacked in the Sinai.
In 2015, Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis returned to work for the first time since she was jailed for defying a federal court and announced that she would no longer block her deputies from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
In 2018, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh denied an allegation of sexual misconduct from when he was in high school, saying, “I did not do this back in high school or at any time.” (Kavanaugh would later be confirmed by the Senate.)