What happened on this day in history: Geronimo surrenders, Steve Irwin dies, and more.
476 C.E.: The Western Roman Empire Falls
The Western Roman Empire falls to barbarians. Odoacer, a Germanic mercenary leader in the Roman imperial army, deposed Romulus Augustus, the boy emperor of Rome. Odoacer declared himself King of Italy, effectively ending the Western Roman Empire, though it continued in the East.
1886: Apache Leader Geronimo Surrenders
Geronimo surrenders to General Nelson Miles of the U.S Army along the Arizona-New Mexico border. An Apache leader, Geronimo had resisted the encroachment of white settlers on Apache land for 30 years. By 1886, however, his forces were exhausted, and he and other Apache were relocated to the Comanche and Kiowa reservation in Oklahoma Territory.
1957: The Little Rock Nine Enter An Integrated School
Nine Black students attempt to enter the formerly all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas after the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling, which had legally desegregated schools. Dubbed the Little Rock Nine, the students were blocked entry to the school by the Arkansas National Guard, who’d been called by Governor Orval Faubus.
Photos of the Black students, especially Elizabeth Eckford, surrounded by hateful crowds helped to galvanize the civil rights movement and led President Eisenhower to order the National Guard to allow desegregation two weeks later.
2006: Steve Irwin Dies
Steve Irwin dies at the age of 44 at the Great Barrier Reef after a stingray stabs him in the chest.
An Australian zookeeper who rose to fame through his TV show, Crocodile Hunter, Irwin had built a reputation on his willingness to engage with dangerous animals. But while participating in the documentary Ocean’s Deadliest, he crossed paths with a stingray, who may have stabbed him after mistaking him for a tiger shark.
2016: Mother Teresa Is Canonized
Mother Teresa is canonized by Pope Francis. Mother Teresa was a Catholic missionary who worked primarily in hospitals in India. She gained an international reputation as a selfless humanitarian dedicated to spreading her faith. In recent times, disturbing facts about Mother Teresa’s Catholic organizations have come to light, sparking debate about who Mother Teresa really was.