Sept 14: Assassins, Butchers, Royalty and a Saint

September 14 marks a turning point in Irish history with the “Flight of the Earls,” the death of President McKinley from an assassin’s bullet, the Viannos Massacres by Nazi forces in Crete, the overthrow of Congo Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, the canonization of Elizabeth Ann Seton as the first U.S. born saint and the death of Princess Grace of Monaco.


Ireland’s Flight of the Earls

When Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone surrendered in 1603 to bring an end to the Nine Years War, England’s largest military conflict in the Elizabethan era, England’s conquest of Ireland was complete.  Chafing under English rule, O’Neill, along with Red Hugh O’Donnell, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell, and about ninety followers fled to Europe from the town of Rathmullan in Ulster in the hope of gaining European support to supplant the English from Ireland – which never materialized.

It is a turning point in Irish history for three reasons.  First,  “[t]heir departure was the end of the old Gaelic order, in the sense that the earls were descended from Gaelic clan dynasties that had ruled their parts of Ulster for centuries.” (Flight of the Earls, Wikipedia.)  The Flight of the Earls was a watershed in Irish history, as the ancient Gaelic aristocracy of Ulster went into permanent exile.  Second, it represented the beginning of the Irish diaspora, as Irish sought fortune in Europe, North America and Australia.   Finally, the land confiscated from the fleeing Earls was used by King James to colonize Ulster with British Protestants.



President McKinley Dies, Teddy Roosevelt Takes Office

President William McKinley, who was shot on September 6th by anarchist Leon Czolgosz at Pan American Exposition in Buffalo NY.  He had initially appeared to be recovering from his wounds but died eight days later of gangrene caused by the gunshot wound. McKinley’s assassination sparked a debate over the lack of protection afforded to the President and in 1906 Congress passed legislation designating the Secret Service as the agency in charge of presidential security.



Viannos Massacres

Following the Battle of Crete, the Greek island was occupied by Italian and German forces.  After German forces sustained heavy losses in an ambush by the Cretan resistance, German commander Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller set his sights on the province of Viannos.  On September 13th, German troops surrounded and invaded 20 villages located in the areas of east Viannos and west Ierapetra provinces.

Photo Amaras Memorial by Marc Ryckaert (MJJR) [CC BY 3.0 (, from Wikimedia Commons
From Wikipedia:

On the following day (14 September), indiscriminate mass executions, impromptu shootings and arrests, as well as looting, arsons, vandalism and demolition, took place.  .  . . . The exact number of Greek victims remains unknown but most sources agree that the number exceeds 500. . . .  About 200 more civilians were held hostages. Around 1000 buildings, mostly houses, were destroyed. The surviving villagers were forbidden to bury their dead or return to their homes, most of which had been burned to the ground.

General Müller, who became known as the “Butcher of Crete”, was later captured and tried and convicted of war crimes by a Greek military court.  He was executed by firing squad in 1947.


Mobutu Coup Overthrows Congo’s First Prime Minister

After a period of chaos following Congo’s independence in June, the country’s Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba is deposed in a bloodless coup by Army Chief of Staff Mobutu Sese Seko with the backing of Belgium and the United States.  Mobutu turned over power to an interim government.  He eventually captured Lumumba and turned him over to a rival faction who executed him.  Mobutu would seize power in a second coup in 1965 and rule the Congo (which he renamed Zaire) as a dictator until overthrown in 1997.



Elizabeth Ann Seton is First Native-Born American Saint

On this day, Pope Paul VI canonized Elizabeth Ann Seton, who had founded the Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton who founded the first Catholic girls’ school in the nation in Emmitsburg, Maryland, where she also founded the first American congregation of religious sisters, the Sisters of Charity.  Seton was the first native-born citizen of the United States to be canonized.



Grace Kelly Dies

Grace Kelly,  the Oscar-winning actress turned Princess of Monaco, died at the age of 52 from injuries sustained after driving off a mountainside road the day before.  She is believed to have had a stroke while driving.  

Other Events of Note




The IBM 305 RAMAC is introduced, the first commercial computer to use disk storage


Luna 2 Reaches the Moon


Soviet probe Luna 2 crashes onto the Moon, becoming the first man-made object to reach the moon.


OPEC Founded


Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela founded the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.  It has expanded to include Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, the Republic of the Congo and United Arab Emirates.


MLB Cancels Remainder of Season Due to Strike


See Trophy Lives Post.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.