25 September 1964

The Mozambican War of Independence against Portugal begins.

The Mozambican War of Independence was an armed conflict between the guerrilla forces of the Mozambique Liberation Front or FRELIMO, and Portugal. The war officially started on September 25, 1964, and ended with a ceasefire on September 8, 1974, resulting in a negotiated independence in 1975.

Portugal’s wars against independence guerrilla fighters in its 400-year-old African territories began in 1961 with Angola. In Mozambique, the conflict erupted in 1964 as a result of unrest and frustration amongst many indigenous Mozambican populations, who perceived foreign rule to be a form of exploitation and mistreatment, which served only to further Portuguese economic interests in the region. Many Mozambicans also resented Portugal’s policies towards indigenous people, which resulted in discrimination, traditional lifestyle turning difficult for many Africans, and limited access to Portuguese-style education and skilled employment.

As successful self-determination movements spread throughout Africa after World War II, many Mozambicans became progressively nationalistic in outlook, and increasingly frustrated by the nation’s continued subservience to foreign rule. For the other side, many enculturated indigenous Africans who were fully integrated into the Portugal-ruled social organization of Portuguese Mozambique, in particular those from the urban centres, reacted to the independentist claims with a mixture of discomfort and suspicion. The ethnic Portuguese of the territory, which included most of the ruling authorities, responded with increased military presence and fast-paced development projects.

A mass exile of Mozambique’s political intelligentsia to neighbouring countries provided havens from which radical Mozambicans could plan actions and foment political unrest in their homeland. The formation of the Mozambican guerrilla organisation FRELIMO and the support of the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Tanzania, Zambia, Egypt, Algeria and Gaddafi regime in Libya through arms and advisers, led to the outbreak of violence that was to last over a decade.

From a military standpoint, the Portuguese regular army held the upper hand during the conflict against the independentist guerrilla forces. Nonetheless, Mozambique succeeded in achieving independence on June 25, 1975, after a civil resistance movement known as the Carnation Revolution backed by portions of the military in Portugal overthrow the military dictatorship sponsored by US, thus ending 470 years of Portuguese colonial rule in the East African region. According to historians of the Revolution, the military coup in Portugal was in part fuelled by protests concerning the conduct of Portuguese troops in their treatment of some local Mozambican populace. The role of the growing communist influence over the group of Portuguese military insurgents who led the Lisbon’s military coup, and, on the other hand, the pressure of the international community over the direction of the Portuguese Colonial War in general, were main causes for the final outcome.

24 September 1948

The Honda Motor Company is founded.

Soichiro Honda established Honda Motor Co., Ltd., on September 24, 1948, in Itaya-cho, Hamamatsu, with capital of 1 million yen. In October of the following year, Takeo Fujisawa, who became Soichiro Honda’s lifetime partner came aboard as managing director.

The two aimed to build the company into the world’s top motorcycle maker. That goal was realized through the sale of the Super Cub C100 in August 1958, their participation in the Isle of Man TT Race in June 1959, and the opening of Suzuka Factory in April 1960.

The twelve years during which they pursued their dream of becoming number one worldwide was an era of confusion and turmoil for both Honda Motor and the rest of the world. Let’s listen to the words of the people who along with Soichiro and Fujisawa lived their lives to the fullest amid the turbulence of that period, striving toward their dreams with creativity and a burning passion for success. The stories that illustrate the times reveal the “Hondaisms” that Honda and Fujisawa passed on to them.

23 September 1932

The unification of Saudi Arabia is completed.

The history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia begins properly on September 23, 1932, when by royal decree the dual kingdom of the Hejaz and Najd with its dependencies, administered since 1927 as two separate units, was unified under the name of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The chief immediate effect was to increase the unity of the kingdom and to decrease the possibility of Hejazi separatism, while the name underscored the central role of the royal family in the kingdom’s creation. No attempt was made to change the supreme authority of the king as the absolute monarch of the new regime; indeed, his power was emphasized in 1933 by his choice of his son Sa??d as heir apparent.

From the date of its establishment in September 1932, Saudi Arabia enjoyed full international recognition as an independent state, although it did not join the League of Nations.

In 1934 Ibn Sa??d was involved in war with Yemen over a boundary dispute. An additional cause of the war was Yemen’s support of an uprising by an Asiri prince against Ibn Sa??d. In a seven-week campaign, the Saudis were generally victorious. Hostilities were terminated by the Treaty of Al-???if, by which the Saudis gained the disputed district. Diplomatic relations with Egypt, severed in 1926 because of an incident on the Meccan pilgrimage, were not renewed until after the death of King Fu??d of Egypt in 1936.

Fixing the boundaries of the country remained a problem throughout the 1930s. In tribal society, sovereignty was traditionally expressed in the form of suzerainty over certain tribes rather than in fixed territorial boundaries. Hence, Ibn Sa??d regarded the demarcation of land frontiers with suspicion. Nevertheless, the majority of the frontiers with Iraq, Kuwait, and Jordan had been demarcated by 1930. In the south, no agreement was reached on the exact site of the frontiers with the Trucial States and with the interior of Yemen and Muscat and Oman.

After Saudi Arabia declared its neutrality during World War II (1939–45), Britain and the United States subsidized Saudi Arabia, which declared war on Germany in 1945, and this thus enabled the kingdom to enter the United Nations as a founding member. Ibn Sa??d also joined the Arab League, but he did not play a leading part in it, since the religious and conservative element in Saudi Arabia opposed cooperation with other Arab states, even when Saudis shared common views, as in opposition to Zionism. In the Arab-Israeli War of 1948, Saudi Arabia contributed only one battalion.

22 September 1711

The Tuscarora War begins in present-day North Carolina.

In 1710, a group of Germans and Swiss established a settlement on the Neuse River in an ancestral area of the Tuscarora people. New Bern rapidly became a prosperous community, but the natives became enraged by encroachment on their lands as well as frequent unfair trading practices.

On September 22, 1711, the Tuscarora under Chief Hancock attacked New Bern and other settlements in northern Carolina. Hundreds of settlers were killed and their homes and crops destroyed. It was not until 1713 that the settlers regained control, when Captain James Moore, supplemented by Yamasee warriors, defeated the Tuscarora at their village of Neoheroka.

Some of the captured Tuscarora were sold into slavery to help defray war costs, while the remainder was forced out of Carolina.

Eventually the Tuscarora ended up in New York and later became the sixth nation in the Iroquois Confederation.

21 September 1937

JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit is published.

On Sept. 21, 1937, Tolkien’s novel first hit booksellers’ shelves, eventually becoming one of the most popular literary works of all time. J.R.R. Tolkien, an English professor at the University of Leeds, was grading test papers during the summer of 1928 when he scribbled the words, “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit” on a student’s blank answer sheet.

“His effort to discover just what hobbits were and what they were like led him to write one of the most beloved books ever written, The Hobbit, an introduction to the world of Middle-earth,” says the Houghton Mifflin Company.

Tolkien worked on “The Hobbit” on and off through the early 1930s, sharing the manuscript with friends, including author C.S. Lewis. A friend of a student convinced the George Allen & Unwin publishing house to look at the book. Sir Stanley Unwin, the company chairman, gave the manuscript to his 10-year-old son to review in 1936.

“Bilbo Baggins was a hobbit who lived in his hobbit-hole and never went for adventures, at last Gandalf the wizard and his dwarves persuaded him to go,” wrote young Raynor Unwin. “He had a very exciting time fighting goblins and wargs. At last they got to the lonely mountain: Smaug, the dragon who guards it is killed and after a terrific battle with the goblins he returned home—rich! This book, with the help of maps, does not need any illustrations. It is good and should appeal to all children between the ages of 5 and 9.”

The review convinced Stanley Unwin to publish the book. The first copies of “The Hobbit,” subtitled “There and Back Again,” appeared in English bookstores on Sept. 21, 1937. With its illustrations and maps drawn by Tolkien, the book gained immediate popularity.

By Christmas the publisher had sold out of its first printing of 1,500 copies. The book crossed the pond in 1938 and the American version sold 3,000 copies in the first two months.

20 September 1967

RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 is launched Clydebank, Scotland.

The following day, Wednesday, September 20, 1967, a ship that would play a very important part in the life of the Port of New York, Cunard’s QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 was launched at Clydebank, Scotland. She has since visited the port more times than probably any other ocean liner.

The Port of New York was not the scene for the historical maritime event of this day. It took place over 3000 miles away at Clydebank, Scotland in the shipyard of John Brown & Company Limited. An ocean liner that was destined to play a major role in the life of the Port of New York was under construction there. On September 20, 1967 Her Majesty The Queen named the new Cunard liner that was being built in the same place as many Cunard liners of the past. On the same stocks were constructed QUEEN ELIZABETH, QUEEN MARY, AQUITANIA, and LUSITANIA. This newest Cunarder, yard No.736, known up to now as “Q4” was scheduled to be launched on this day.

19 September 1997

The Guelb El-Kebir massacre in Algeria kills 53 people.

The Guelb El-Kebir massacre took place in the village of Guelb el-Kebir, near Beni Slimane, in the Algerian province of Medea, on 19 September 1997. 53 people were killed by attackers that were not immediately identified, though the attack was similar to others carried out by Islamic groups opposed to the Algerian government.

An armed group killed 53 civilians early today and then mutilated and burned their bodies in the continuing wave of violence in Algeria, a newspaper reported.

The raid came after Algerian security forces killed 19 armed Islamic militants during raids on Friday and Saturday, witnesses and independent newspapers said today.

The latest killings of civilians took place in Beni-Slimane, about 40 miles south of Algiers, the daily newspaper Le Soir d’Algerie said.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, but similar killings have been committed by Islamic militants who are seeking to overthrow the military-backed Government.

On Saturday night, Government security forces killed three Islamic militants in Bab el Oued, an Algiers neighborhood. Three other militants were killed on Friday in a Mosque in the eastern suburbs of Algiers, two independent newspapers, L’Authentique and El Khabar, reported today.

The newspapers also reported that 13 Islamic activists were killed and several of their bunkers destroyed by Government forces on Friday and Saturday in Tizi Ouzou and Zbarbar regions, 60 miles south of Algiers.

Continue reading the main story
The Government has failed to suppress the militants, who began their insurgency in 1992 after the Algerian Army canceled legislative elections that fundamentalist parties were poised to win.

18 September 1809

The Royal Opera House in London opens.

John Rich opened the first Covent Garden on 7 December 1732 with The Way of the World. Handel was the first renowned composer associated with this theatre, with performances of Atlanta, Alcina and Berenice. The theatre burned down on the night of 19 September 1808. The second Covent Garden opened its doors a year later, almost to the day. On 18 September 1809, with a double bill: Shakespeare’s Macbeth and a musical divertissement, The Quaker. Weber was asked to write an opera for this second theatre. This was Oberon, which premiered in April 1826, conducted by the composer himself. The following year, Beethoven’s Fidelio was staged.
In London in the first part of the 19th century, the Italian opera house was the King’s, later called His Majesty’s Theatre. The first English performances of Rossini were presented there, as well as works by Bellini and Donizetti and Verdi’s Nabucco, Ernani and l Lombardi. Around 1840, His Majesty’s company was under the musical direction of Michael Costa; Grisi, Persiani, Mario, Tamburini and Lablache were part of it. Its director, Benjamin Lumley, quarrelled with Costa and the singers about the repertoire, then hired new singers, which led to the departure of all those great artists, who set up a rival company.

As Covent Garden was also standing empty, composer Giuseppe Persani did everything he could to turn Covent Garden into the Royal Italian Opera, and it opened on 6 April 1847 with Rossini’s Semiramis. Between 1847 and 1856, Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, Maria di Rohan, La Juive and Benvenuto Cellini, to mention only a few, were staged with artists whose names have become legend, like Grisi, Viardot, Bosio, Alboni, Cruvelli, Mario, Ronconi, Tamberlik, Tarnburini and Graziani.

This second Covent Garden burned down in 1856. The third, and current, Covent Garden opened on 15 May 1858 with a performance of Meyerbeer’s Huguenots. A side note: only the first three acts were presented that evening! As Act III was not yet finished at midnight, the theatre manager got up on stage and announced: “It is already the Sabbath.” And so the last act was omitted.
From 1858 to 1939, aside from the period during World War I when the theatre was requisitioned, operas were presented every year, from April through July, at Covent Garden, the Royal Italian Theatre. Until the arrival of Sir August Harris, who led the theatre from 1888 to 1896, all operas were given in Italian. It was not until 1892 that the word “Italian” was stricken from its name. Then the works of Wagner and the French repertory went back to their original language. Sir Thomas Beecham, the conductor in 1910, introduced the operas of Richard Strauss to Coven Garden.
In 1920 and from 1924 to 1931, Covent Garden’s conductor was Bruno Walter; Beecham came back from 1932 to 1939. Between the two world wars, the Italian repertory was conducted by Vincenzo Bellezza, Tullio Serafin, Gino Marinuzzi and Vittorio Gur. During World War II, no operas were presented, and the theatre was transformed into a “Dance Palace”. Covent Garden reopened in 1946 and became the home of a permanent opera company, the Royal Opera, and that of Sadler’s Wells Ballet, the Royal Ballet.

After WWII, the Royal Opera welcomed a succession of great conductors: Karl Rankl 1946-1951, Rafael Kubelik 1955-1958, Georg Solti 1961-1971 and, since 1971, Colin Davis. Many guest conductors like John Pritchard, Otto Klemperer, Joseph Krips, etc., and more recently Claudio Abbado, Carlos Kleiber, etc., contributed to building Covent Garden’s prestige. Rankl, assisted by Sir David Webster, literally built the Covent Garden opera company from 1945 to 1970. Kleiber and Kempe put their faith in English artists and helped and encouraged them to perform abroad. Kubelik continued along the same lines and expanded the repertoire. Giulini and Klemperer did Covent Garden a great favour by conducting Don Carlos, La Traviata, Falstaff, The Barber of Seville, Fidelio, The Magic Flute and Lohengrin.

Solti’s tenure brought charm and excitement to the theatre, including in the repertoire Cosi Fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, Der Ring des Nibelungen, Orfeo, La Forza del Destino and Eugene Onegin. Also noteworthy were the performance of Tosca with Callas, Cioni and Gobbi, sets by Zeffirelli, the creator of Gobbi’s Simon Boccanegra, the Norma with Sutherland, Pelléas et Mélisande by Boulez, etc. And we should not forget the performances of English operas like King Priam, Billy Budd, etc. In the Solti period, artistic policy made possible the development of a company whose signers today perform all over the world.

Since then, directors have been encouraging young talents. Colin Davis, who is especially fond of Mozart, Berlioz and Wagner, gave Les Troyens, La Clemenza di Tito, Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni. He also completed the new Ring, produced by Götz Friedrich who became the principal producer of the Royal Opera. Claudio Abbado conducted Un Ballo in Maschera, staged by Otto Schenk with Ricciarelli, Domingo and Cappuccilli in the principal roles. Britten’s Death in Venice and Maxwell Davies’ Taverner were added to the repertoire, along with Faust, which hadn’t been performed at à Covent Garden since 1938, and it was reprised in 1974. In thirty years, The Royal Opera House has become one of the world’s greatest opera houses.

In 1987, Bernard Haitink replaced Colin Davis as musical director. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Royal Opera enhanced its reputation with an imaginative repertoire and award-winning new productions.

In 1997 the opera closed for two-and-a-half years for a major renovation but still presented seven new productions during that time. In 1999, the Royal Opera reopened, and in 2002 Antonio Pappano took the helm as musical director.

The Royal Opera continues to invite great artists like Angela Gheorghiu, Roberto Alagna, Bryn Terfel, Simon Keenlyside and many others. Each season, from September through July, some 150 performances of twenty-odd operas are presented; about half are new productions.

17 September 1787

The United States Constitution is signed in Philadelphia.

On September 17, 1787, the Constitution was signed. As dictated by Article VII, the document would not become binding until it was ratified by nine of the 13 states. Beginning on December 7, five states–Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut–ratified it in quick succession. However, other states, especially Massachusetts, opposed the document, as it failed to reserve undelegated powers to the states and lacked constitutional protection of basic political rights, such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press. In February 1788, a compromise was reached under which Massachusetts and other states would agree to ratify the document with the assurance that amendments would be immediately proposed. The Constitution was thus narrowly ratified in Massachusetts, followed by Maryland and South Carolina. On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document, and it was subsequently agreed that government under the U.S. Constitution would begin on March 4, 1789. In June, Virginia ratified the Constitution, followed by New York in July.