This Day In History, September 16th

What happened on this day in history: The Mayflower departs England for the New World, the Mexican War for Independence begins, and more.

1620: The Mayflower Departs England

After a failed attempt the previous month, the Mayflower leaves Plymouth, England, and sets sail for the New World with 102 passengers on board. Some of the colonists were entrepreneurs seeking wealth in the New World, but 35 of them were Pilgrims looking for a place to practice their religion free from the Church of England. The ship would reach present-day Massachusetts two months later.

1810: The Mexican War Of Independence Begins

Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla publicly reads his tract Grito de Dolores (The Cry of Dolores), calling for the end of Spanish rule in Mexico and sparking the Mexican War of Independence. Hidalgo also called for racial equality and land redistribution, and soon thousands of Indigenous locals and mestizos gathered to march on Mexico City. Hidalgo, the “father of Mexican independence,” was captured just four months later and later executed by firing squad.

1920: The Wall Street Bombing

What Happened On This Day

Wikimedia CommonsThe aftermath of the Wall Street bombing.

A horse-drawn wagon explodes in front of the J.P. Morgan & Co. offices on Wall Street, killing 38 people and injuring hundreds more.

Police discovered that 100 pounds of dynamite had been put in the cart with 500 pounds of weights and set with a timer. The Wall Street bombing is still unsolved, but investigators at the time believed it was carried out by Galleanists — Italian anarchists who were responsible for similar bombings the previous year.

1932: Peg Entwistle Dies By Suicide

Peg Entwistle

Wikimedia CommonsPeg Entwistle in 1929.

Actress Peg Entwistle takes her own life by jumping from the top of the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, California. She was just 24 years old.

Entwistle had a promising Broadway career in New York City, but when one of her shows closed unexpectedly, she moved to Los Angeles to take a shot at becoming a Hollywood actress. When she failed any major roles, she wrote a suicide note, climbed to the top of the “H” on the sign — which then read “Hollywoodland” — and jumped.

1970: King Of Jordan Declares Martial Law

The King of Jordan declares martial law during the Jordanian Civil War. The conflict in Jordan began with violence between the Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF), under the leadership of King Hussein, and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The PLO openly called for the overthrow of the Jordanian monarchy and launched a series of plane hijackings. The hijackings ended with PLO forces blowing up the empty planes in Zarqa, Jordan in front of journalists. King Hussein viewed this act as intolerable and declared martial law in Jordan. Under his leadership, King Hussein drove the PLO out of Jordan, primarily to Lebanon and Syria. King Hussein terminated martial law in 1992, more than 20 years later.