This Day In History
Thursday, September 16, 2021
On This Day


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in 1891

The first basketball court: Springfield College
The first basketball court: Springfield College
The first game of basketball ever played took place in the Mason Square district of Springfield. The city of Springfield is known worldwide as the birthplace of the sport of basketball. In 1891, James Naismith, a theology graduate, invented the sport of basketball at the YMCA International Training School – now known as Springfield College – to fill-in the gap between the football and baseball seasons.
basketball, Springfield, James Naismith

in 1898

Radium was discovered by Marie Skłodowska-Curie and her husband Pierre. While studying the mineral, the Curies removed uranium from it and found that the remaining material was still radioactive. They then separated out a radioactive mixture consisting mostly of compounds of barium which gave a brilliant green flame color and crimson carmine spectral lines that had never been documented before. The Curies announced their discovery to the French Academy of Sciences on 26 December 1898.
radium, Curie

in 1913

Arthur Wynne
Arthur Wynne's "word-cross", the first crossword puzzle, is published in the New York World. Arthur Wynne created the page of puzzles for the Fun section of the Sunday edition of the New York World. For the December 21, 1913 edition, he introduced a puzzle with a diamond shape and a hollow center, the letters F-U-N already being filled in. He called it a "Word-Cross Puzzle".
crossword, Arthur Wynne


in 1682
Calico Jack

John Rackham commonly known as Calico Jack, was an English pirate captain operating in the Bahamas during the early 18th century (Rackham is often spelled as Rackam or Rackum in historical documentation). His nickname was derived from the calico clothing he wore.
in 1948
Samuel L Jackson

Samuel Leroy Jackson is an American film and television actor and film producer. After becoming involved with the Civil Rights Movement, he moved on to acting in theater at Morehouse College, and then films.


in 1375
Giovanni Boccaccio

Giovanni Boccaccio was an Italian author and poet, a friend, student, and correspondent of Petrarch, an important Renaissance humanist and the author of a number of notable works including the “Decameron”, “On Famous Women”, and his poetry in the Italian vernacular.
in 1824
James Parkinson

James Parkinson was an English apothecary surgeon, geologist, paleontologist, and political activist. He is most famous for his 1817 work, An Essay on the Shaking Palsy in which he was the first to describe "paralysis agitans", a condition that would later be renamed Parkinson's disease by Jean-Martin Charcot.
in 1940
F Scott Fitzgerald

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigm writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century.
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