On This Day in History, September 4

In 1781, in accordance with local lore, a group of 44 Spanish settlers founded El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles, or The town of Our Lady Queen of Angels. This settlement would be the foundation of the modern metropolis of Los Angeles, California. The city would become part of the United States in 1848, following the Mexican-American War, and later on the area that had been this initial settlement would be historically preserved.

In 1886, Apache leader Geronimo surrendered to American military forces for the third and final time, following an escape from the Apache reservation in Arizona. Having raided and fought both the American and Mexican governments for nearly thirty years, his final surrender to one of these governments was a major moment both for the conflict between the Apache, several culturally related tribes, and the American government and in the American Indian Wars in general.

In 1957, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus deployed the Arkansas National Guard to support pro-segregationists seeking to prevent the Little Rock Nine from entering Central High School. The school in question became the focus because the school board of the city agreed to follow Brown v. Board of Education and the superintendent chose the high school in particular. Eventually the situation would require Federal involvement to ensure the students could attend their new school.

A Notable Birth

1962 – Shinya Yamanaka is a Japanese scientist who won a Nobel Prize for his work in stem cell research. A former surgeon, he decided to go into research and teaching instead of becoming a practicing doctor in his home country. He is turning 58 today.

A Notable Death

2006 – Steve Irwin (b. 1962) was an Australian zoologist and television personality, known across the globe as “The Crocodile Hunter”. As a young boy, he was involved with his parent’s reptile park, including wrestling crocodiles, which inspired his life’s passion.

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