September: Fun Facts, Holidays, Historical Events, and More

As the ninth month of the year, September marks the beginning of autumn in the northern hemisphere (and the start of spring in the southern). Traditionally considered the month that marks transitions between seasons, it is often one of the most temperate weather-wise.

Here are some interesting facts about the month of September.

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On the Calendar

Autumn park
Marco Maccarini/Getty Images

The name September comes from the Latin septem, meaning seven, since it was the seventh month of the Roman calendar, which began with March. There are 30 days in the month of September, which starts on the same day of the week as December each year but does not end on the same day of the week as any other month in the year.

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Birth Month

KristinaVF/Getty Images

September has three birth flowers: the forget-me-not, the morning glory, and the aster. Forget-me-nots represent love and memories, asters represent love as well, and the morning glory represents unrequited love. The birthstone for the month is the sapphire. 

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American Flags
Labor Day is observed on the first Monday each September. Fran Polito/Getty Images

September has several United States and international holidays. 

  • Labor Day is the most well known holiday in September. It is observed every year on the first Monday in September.
  • Native American Day is always celebrated on the 4th Friday of September.
  • Grandparent's Day is observed in the United States on the first Sunday after Labor Day.
  • Constitution Day, celebrating the ratification of the governing document of the United States, is observed on the 17th.
  • The autumn equinox, which is the traditional transition from summer into fall, takes place on or around September 22nd, depending on the year.
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Fun Days

Pizza Margharita
September 5th is National Cheese Pizza Day. Moncherie/Getty Images

There are lots of days dedicated to fun activities in September. Look out for these days. 

  • September 5th: National Cheese Pizza Day
  • September 9th: National Teddy Bear Day
  • September 16th: National Play-Doh Day
  • September 19th: International "Talk Like A Pirate Day"
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Historical Events

Photograph of 1973 Senate Watergate committee hearing.
Details of Watergate emerged at 1973 Senate hearings. Getty Images

September 2, 1666: The Great Fire of London was started, completely destroying the old city located within the ancient Roman Walls. It was believed to have started in a bakery and took three days to put out.

September 1, 1715: Louis XIV, known as the Sun King, died at the age of 76, after ruling France since the age of five. He was succeeded by Louis XV and Louis XVI, who was executed during the French Revolution in 1789, thus ending the reign of monarchical rule in France.

September 5, 1774: The 1st Continental Congress was called to order. Comprised of delegates from all 13 American colonies, it served as the governing body during the American Revolution, from 1774 to 1789. Two years later, on September 9, it changed the name of the United Colonies to the United States.

September 22, 1862: President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which ended slavery in the territories held by the Confederacy, effective January 1, 1863. In spite of the ruling, the Civil War would not end for another year and a half after that.

September 14, 1901President William McKinley was shot on September 6, 1901 while attending the Buffalo Pan-American Exposition in New York. He passed away eight days later. 

September 1, 1939: In the early morning hours of this day, Hitler invaded Poland, starting World War II in Europe. Der Führer called the move a "defensive" retaliation against the persecution of Germans in Poland.

September 5th, 1961: President John F. Kennedy signed a hijacking bill, making air piracy a federal crime. Punishment ranged from a $10,000 fine to 20 years in prison; if a deadly weapon was used, the perpetrator(s) could receive life in prison or even death. 

September 8, 1974: President Gerald Ford gave an unconditional pardon to former president Richard M. Nixon, for his role in the infamous "Watergate" fiasco.

September 9, 2006: Typhoon Ketsana hit the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand, resulting in 750 fatalities and over $1.09 billion in damages.

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9/11 Tribute Lights
Steve Kelley aka mudpig/Getty Images

On Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, members of the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airliners as part of a series of coordinated attacks against targets in the United States. The Twin Towers in New York City were hit by one plane each, American Airlines Flight 11 and Flight 175, while American Airlines Flight 77 was crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. The fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, is thought to have been headed for the White House, but passengers overtook the hijackers and the plane crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania.

More than 3,000 people lost their lives during what the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil to date. Property and infrastructure damage amounted to over $10 billion. The attack is thought to have been ordered by Osama bin Laden, who was finally located and killed in Pakistan by U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six in May 2011. The 9/11 Memorial Museum occupies the sites where the Twin Towers once stood.