This Day In History, September 4th

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

Today In History September 4

Public DomainGeronimo, pictured here in 1887, spent decades resisting the encroachment of settlers before surrendering to federal troops.

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

White Students Yell At Black Student

Bettmann/Getty ImagesOn the first day of school at Little Rock Central High School, students heckle Elizabeth Eckford.

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 On Jay Leno

Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images/span>Steve Irwin appears on the Jay Leno Show in 2002 with a live alligator.

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.