On This Day in History, September 10

In 1570, Jesuit missionaries loyal to Spain landed in Virginia, seeking to convert the American Indians in the region. The missionaries specifically landed somewhere on the Virginia Peninsula, bounded by the York and James Rivers, along with Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay. Known as the Ajacán Mission, it would fail a year later when nearly the entire party was massacred by the regional tribes. Spanish forces would rescue the only survivor.

In 1918, the second conflict concerning Kazan occurred in the Russian Civil War. Previously captured by the anti-communist White Army and anti-Bolshevik allies, the Red Army returned about month later to retake the city. The Red Army maneuvered around the city for a few days, in order for them to storm the city from three directions. Even so, most of the White Army managed to escape via the Volga River.

In 1960, Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia became the first African to win an Olympic Gold Medal at the Rome Games. A marathon runner, he won his first marathon in July of that year back home, later running a time better than the world record leader. Sent to represent his home country at the Olympic Games in Rome, he ended up not using the shoes he purchased due to blistering and ran his victorious marathon barefoot.

A Notable Birth

1941 – Gunpei Yokoi (d. 1997) was a Japanese video game designer. First hired at Nintendo to maintain assembly lines before their transition into video games, he would be a lead figure in that effort, involved with the early Game & Watch products and Donkey Kong. He is best known for his work in creating the Game Boy, along with the Metroid and Kid Icarus franchises.

A Notable Death

1797 – Mary Wollstonecraft (b. 1759) was an English writer and philosopher. Influenced by early friendships and the events in France, some of her most important work includes Thoughts on the Education of Daughters, A Vindication of the Rights of Men, and A Vindication of the Rights of Women. She died eleven days after the birth of her second child, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.

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