On This Day. Sept. 8, 1935 – Sen. Huey P. Long Shot and Mortally Wounded


1935 – U.S. Senator Huey P. Long, of Louisiana  was shot and mortally wounded.

During the era of the Great Depression, Long was a larger-than-life politician who gained national attention as Louisiana’s “Kingfish” — a nickname he gave himself. Long was a high school drop-out who taught himself law and became a member of the Louisiana bar in 1915. In 1918 he moved to Shreveport and began a political career as a lively opponent of corporate wealth and privilege, targeting giants such as John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company.

From 1928 until 1932, Long served as Louisiana’s governor and launched an ambitious and successful program of public works. Long also ruled over a statewide political machine whose corrupt methods caused critics to regard him as a demagogue and political thug. While still governor, he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1930; preferring to stay on as governor for a while, he didn’t show up in Washington until January of 1932.

Moderately a Democrat, Long was a radical populist with presidential ambitions who began a national campaign called “Share the Wealth,” a campaign that included minimum salaries and caps on income and property. He openly opposed the economic policies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a fellow Democrat, and railed against the influence of the wealthy few.

A month after announcing that he would run for president, Long was shot in the Louisiana statehouse in Baton Rouge. He died two days later at the age of 42.

The official story is that Long was shot by Dr. Carl Weiss, who was then shot to death by Long’s bodyguards. Weiss was the son-in-law of Louisiana Judge Benjamin Pavy, a long-time political foe of Long’s. The absence of evidence in the matter has been fodder for conspiracy theories ever since, a minor part of Long’s legacy in Louisiana.

1565 – A Spanish expedition established the first permanent European settlement in North America at present-day St. Augustine, FL.

1664 – The Dutch surrendered New Amsterdam to the British, who then renamed it New York.

1866 – The first recorded birth of sextuplets took place in Chicago. The parents were James and Jennie Bushnell.

1892 – An early version of “The Pledge of Allegiance” appeared in “The Youth’s Companion.”

1893 – In New Zealand, the Electoral Act 1893 was passed by the Legislative Council. It was consented by the governor on September 19 giving all women in New Zealand the right to vote.

1945 – In Washington, DC, a bus equipped with a two-way radio was put into service for the first time.

1945 – Bess Myerson of New York was crowned Miss America. She was the first Jewish contestant to win the title.

1951 – A peace treaty with Japan was signed by 48 other nations in San Francisco.

1952 – The Ernest Hemingway novel “The Old Man and the Sea” was published.

1960 – NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, was dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The facility had been activated in July earlier that year.

1966 – NBC-TV aired the first episode of “Star Trek” entitled “The Man Trap“. The show was canceled on September 2, 1969.

For a while during production, the episode was known as “The Unreal McCoy” — a name which refers to the M-113 creature taking the form of Dr. McCoy.

In the book Inside Star Trek The Real Story, producer Robert Justman recalled feeling that showing the The Naked Time as the first episode of the series would have made it easier for viewers to understand the characters. He suspected that NBC chose “The Man Trap” as it was “scarier and more exploitable than the others”. However Justman later agreed with NBC’s decision.

Daily Variety columnist Jack Hellman gave the episode an unfavorable review, stating, “Not conducive to its popularity is the lack of meaningful cast leads. They move around with directorial precision with only violence to provide the excitement.”

Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club was more favorable and gave the episode an “A-” rating, describing the episode as “done very well” with a plot that is dark and ambiguous.

1971 – In Washington, DC, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts was inaugurated. The opening featured the premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass.”

1973 – Hank Aaron hit his 709th home run.

1974 – President Gerald Ford granted an unconditional pardon to former President Richard Nixon.

1975 – In Boston, MA, public schools began their court-ordered citywide busing program amid scattered incidents of violence.

1986 – Herschel Walker made his start in the National Football League after leaving the New Jersey Generals of the USFL.

1997 – America Online acquired CompuServe.

1998 – Mark McGwire (St. Louis Cardinals) hit his 62nd home run of the season. He had beaten a record that had stood for 37 years by Roger Maris. McGwire would eventually reach 70 home runs on September 27.


Source: On-This-Day.com; wikipedia.org; who2.com