Red Cross / Flickr A father in Rwanda searches for his lost child, 1994.

This Year in History

Our Selections From September

All year, we've been highlighting historical news events—and Foreign Affairs articles about those events—as part of our "This Day in History" series. Here are our collected selections for September.

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1

1983: Soviet Union Shoots Down Korean Airlines Flight

Korean Airlines flight 007, en route to Seoul from New York, is shot down while in Russian airspace. All 269 passengers and crewmembers were killed. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

2

1998: UN Delivers First Genocide Conviction

A UN court sentences Rwandan politician Jean-Paul Akayesu to life in prison for the crime of genocide. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

3

1943: Allied Forces Invade Italy

British troops enter mainland Italy from Sicily in an Allied invasion of Axis-controlled Europe. The Italian government secretly surrenders to the Allies on the same day. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

4

1996: FARC Attacks Military Base in Colombia

The Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces kill at least 130 people in the attack. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

5

1905: The Russo-Japanese War Ends

 Russia and Japan sign the Treaty of Portsmouth in New Hampshire. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

6

1966: South African Prime Minister Is Assassinated

During a session of parliament, a parliamentary messenger fatally stabs Hendrik Verwoerd, the South African prime minister who designed apartheid. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

7

1940: Blitzkrieg Begins

German bombers commence what would become 57 consecutive nights of bombing on London. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

8

1943: Italy Surrenders

General Dwight Eisenhower publicizes the surrender of Italy to Allied forces, which had occurred a few days earlier, following Operation Avalanche, the Aliied invasion of Italy. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

9

1976: Mao Zedong Dies

The Chinese communist leader and founder of the People's Republic of China dies at 82. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

10

1989: Hungary Allows Migration of East Germans

Hungary becomes the first of the Warsaw Pact nations to allow the migration of East Germans to the West. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

11

2001: Terrorists Attack the World Trade Center

Four U.S. planes are hijacked by Islamic terrorists and crash into several targets, including the World Trade Center towers in New York and the Pentagon. About 3,000 people die in the attacks. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

12

1990: End of German Occupation

France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States sign an agreement to relinquish control of Germany and allow for the reunification of East and West. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

13

1993: Israel and Palestine Sign Peace Accord

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Palestinian Liberation Organization foreign policy official Mahmoud Abbas sign the Declaration of Principles on the South Lawn of the White House. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

14

1944: Operation Stalemate

U.S. troops land on the island of Peleliu in the Pacific in order to lend support to a U.S. invasion of the Philippines. In the ensuing fight with Japanese troops on the island, the Marines lose 3,000 men. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

15

1935: Nuremberg Laws Implemented

German Jews are stripped of their citizenship under Hitler's racist laws, which also banned them from many professions and from marrying "Aryans." Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

16

1940: Congress Imposes First Draft

Congress passes the Burke-Wadsworth Act, imposing the first peacetime draft as WWII intensifies and the United States begins moving away from strict neutrality. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

17

1787: U.S. Constitution Signed

The Constitution is signed by 38 out of 41 delegates in Philadelphia. All 13 states would ratify it by 1790. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

18

1961: UN Secretary-General Dies

Dag Hammarskjold is killed in a plane crash while on his way to negotiate a peace deal in Congo. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

19

1893: New Zealand Grants Women the Right to Vote

Governor Lord Glasgow signs a bill granting women national voting rights, making New Zealand the first country in the world to do so. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

20

1963: JFK Suggests Joint Moon Venture

In a speech to the UN, President John F. Kennedy proposes that the United States and the Soviet Union collaborate on a joint mission to the moon given recently improved relations. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

21

1939: FDR Asks to Repeal Neutrality Act Embargo

President Roosevelt asks Congress to amend the Neutrality Act in order to lift the embargo against sending military aid to Europe. Congress approves the changes on November 4. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

22

1980: Iran-Iraq War

Saddam Hussein launches his invasion of Iran, a war that would last eight years. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

23

2004: Hurricane Hits Haiti

Hurricane Jeanne, part of a series of hurricanes in 2004, makes landfall in Haiti, killing 3,000 people and destroying thousands of homes. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

24

1918: Bulgaria Seeks Ceasefire

The government of Bulgaria calls for a ceasefire with the Allied powers in order to end its involvement in WWI. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

25

2005: The IRA Disarms

The Irish Republican Army turns over its huge cache of weapons to inspectors. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

26

1944: Allied Failure in Arnhem

An operation to seize bridges in the Dutch town of Arnhem fails when British and Polish troops are overtaken by the Germans. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

27

1939: Poland Surrenders

Poland surrenders 26 days after being invaded by Germany, and 14,000 Polish soldiers are taken as prisoners. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

28

1959: Khrushchev and Eisenhower Reflect on DC Summit

President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union, express optimism about U.S.-Soviet relations following a two-day summit in Washinton DC. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

29

1957: Train Tragedy in Pakistan

An overcrowded train headed for Karachi collides with an oil tanker train in western Pakistan, killing 300 people and injuring 150. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

30

1918: Woodrow Wilson Supports Women's Right to Vote

President Woodrow Wilson expresses his support for granting women the right to vote in a speech before Congress, after acknowledging their contribution to the war effort. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

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