This Day in History – September 16th – Hijinx, Humor, and Insight


NewsWhistle is pleased to feature Gary Jenneke’s “This Day In History” column.

You can read the original at Gary’s THIS DAY IN HISTORY blog — or scroll down to enjoy Gary’s unique look at life’s comings and goings.




1810 – Grito de Delores. English translation: Cry of Delores. Mexican Independence Day.

The small village of Delores was the site of the beginning of Mexico’s fight against Spanish rule. A priest, Miguel Hidalgo, had the church bells rung and then gave a speech to his gathered congregation urging rebellion. It signaled the start of Mexico’s successful war of independence against Spain. Hidalgo was later captured and executed. From “Hidalgo’s ‘cry’ became the cry of independence. In commemoration, each year on the night of September 15—the eve of Mexican Independence Day—the president of the republic shouts a version of ‘el Grito’ from the balcony of the National Palace in Mexico City: ‘Viva México! Viva la Independencia! Vivan los héroes!'”

Sadly, like most citizens of the U.S., I know little of the history of our neighbor to the south. Other than Davy Crockett and the Alamo.


1968 – Richard Nixon appears on “Laugh-In.”

He was on for five seconds and he delivered the line, “Sock it to me.” VP Hubert Humphrey declined an invitation to be on the show. Nixon barely defeated Humphrey and both men later concluded that those five seconds may have been the difference in the election.

The power of television. And this despite the fact that Nixon had the comedic timing and delivery of a kumquat.


1978 – 25,000 die in Iranian earthquake.

The powerful quake, 7.7 magnitude, became known as the Tabas earthquake. Its center was at the town of Tabas where only 2,000 of the 17,000 residents survived. The quake was felt in the capital city of Tehran, almost 400 miles away. There are possibly one hundred fault lines that run beneath Tehran, and the whole country is susceptible to earthquakes.

If it is necessary to make Iran an enemy, instead of attacking them, why don’t we just let God make the call? I mean, he is on our side, right? Why else are all those fault lines there?

[Editor note: That was a joke.]



1910 – Erich Kempka.

Member of the SS and Hitler’s personal chauffeur. After Hitler and his mistress committed suicide, Kempka carried Eva Braun’s body outside to where the corpses were burned. He later referred to Braun as the “unhappiest woman in Germany.” (What a surprise.) Kempka managed to elude the Soviet forces overrunning Berlin and he made his way to southern Germany. There he was captured by U.S. troops and later testified at the Nuremberg trials. He was the first witness who could confirm that Hitler was dead. Kempka was never charged with any criminal offenses and was released from custody in 1947.

Just following orders.


1916 – Julius Richmond.

Surgeon General during the Carter administration, he was also one of the founders of the Head Start program. He served as its first director. He did studies on how poverty threatened the normal development of children, putting them at a disadvantage their whole lives. Head Start was designed to combat that disadvantage.

There is considerable discussion and argument whether Head Start is a success or not. There are studies and statistics on both sides of the issue. One main argument against seems to be that is a government program, supported by tax dollars, so therefore, by design, it is doomed to failure.

Indeed. Why put money into some government program when it can be used more effectively to combat something like, say, crime, and insure that privately-owned prisons are operating profitably?


1927 – Jack Kelly.

Actor. Best known for his role as Bart Maverick in the “Maverick” TV series. He later became a city councilman and then mayor of Huntington Beach, California.

It was always a bit of a disappointment to tune into the show and discover it was a Bart Maverick (Kelly) rather than a Bret Maverick (James Garner) episode.



At various junctures of his life, Gary has been an indifferent grade school student, poor high school student, good Navy radioman, one-time hippie, passable college student, inveterate traveler, dedicated writer, miscast accountant (except for one interesting stint at a Communist café), part-time screenwriting teacher, semi-proud veteran, unsuccessful retiree and new blogger.

You can reach him at



The above information was sourced from the following sites and newspapers.


Grito de Delores – 



We’d also like to thank the following photographers and videographers for the use of their images:

* Lead-In Image – Hashirama / – “MEXICO CITY – SEP 15 2016: Mexican independence day merchandise in Mexico City, downtown.”

* Cry Of Delores (video) – BorderBandit /

* Richard Nixon (video) – Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In /

* 1978 Iranian Earthquake (video) – AP Archive /

* Jack Kelly (video) – warnerarchive /

* Outro (Man-In-Museum Cartoon) – SkyPics Studio /