This Week in History: September 25 – October 1
Henry Ford’s Model T went on sale, changing America forever.
By: Kelli Ballard | September 25, 2022 | 1033 Words
“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” ~ Michael Crichton
October 1, 1908: Henry Ford’s Model T Went on Sale
The Ford Model T was first sold on October 1, 1908. Designed by Henry Ford, it was an invention that changed the automobile market and people’s lives forever. It wasn’t the first car sold to the public – in 1885, Karl Benz built his design in Germany, and in 1893, Charles and Frank Duryea of Springfield sold their cars in Massachusetts. However, not many people could afford those other vehicles, so when the Ford Model T came out at an affordable price, the industry took off and people could travel as they never had before.
The Popularity of the Ford Model T
The first Model Ts sold for $850. While that was a lot of money for most people at the time, the car still became so popular that most Americans ended up owning one. For the first time, people who lived in rural areas could connect with the rest of the country in their own vehicles. No more days, weeks, or months traveling by horse and buggy, carriages, or long and uncomfortable train or ship journeys.
But that wasn’t the only thing the Model T changed. Henry Ford modernized how vehicles were manufactured, making it easier to produce more cars than ever before. This provided jobs and helped to boost the economy while making it possible for people to own their own transportation. In fact, between 1913 and 1927, more than 15 million Model Ts were produced at Ford factories.
This, of course, brought about competition, giving consumers a lot more options from other businesses. Model T sales started to drop, and the Ford company finally announced it would stop manufacturing the vehicle. On May 26, 1927, the last Ford Model T went down the assembly line and the company had to toss away 40,000 tools that could only be used to build that specific car. In December, the Ford Model A debuted in its place.
By the way, today those early cars have sold for more than $100,000, according to Hotcars.com!
Other Notable History Mentions
September 25, 1513: After crossing the Isthmus of Panama, Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time.
September 25, 1690: Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick became the first American newspaper to be published in Boston. British authorities found it offensive and ordered it to be stopped.
September 25, 1789: The first US Congress proposed 12 Amendments to the Constitution. Ten of those were ratified and became part of the Bill of Rights.
September 26, 1918: During WWI, the Battle of Argonne, the last major fight, began.
September 26, 1960: Presidential candidates John F. Kennedy (JFK) and Richard Nixon participated in the first-ever televised debate.
September 26, 1984: Britain agreed to transfer Hong Kong back to Chinese sovereignty, beginning in 1997.
September 27, 1964: Following the assassination of JFK, there was a 10-month investigation. The Warren Commission Report was issued on this day, saying a lone gunman was responsible for the assassination.
September 28, 1066: Duke William of Normandy landed in Sussex, and the Norman Conquest of England began.
September 28, 1542: Portuguese navigator Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo discovered California when he arrived at San Diego Bay.
September 29, 1789: The US Army was created by Congress. It had 1,000 enlisted men and officers.
September 29, 1829: This was the first public appearance of Britain’s “bobbies,” or “peelers,” officially called the Greater London Metropolitan Police force. They were nicknamed after Sir Robert Peel, the Home Secretary who requested them. Their headquarters became known as Scotland Yard.
September 30, 1938: British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain declared there would be “peace in our time.” He had just returned from signing the Munich Pact with Adolf Hitler; a year later, World War II began.
September 30, 1949: The Berlin Airlift finished its mission. It had flown 277,264 missions with more than two million tons of supplies to those who were kept by the Soviets in East Berlin.
September 30, 1955: Actor James Dean died in a car crash at the age of 24. He is most known for his movie Rebel Without a Cause.
October 1, 1949: Mao Zedong became chairman of the newly founded People’s Republic of China.
October 1, 1979: The Panama Canal Zone was given to Panama after the US had controlled it for 70 years.
William Faulkner (September 25, 1897) was born in New Albany, Mississippi. A writer, he is most known for The Sound and the Fury and The Reivers.
Dmitri Shostakovich (September 25, 1906) was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. After witnessing the Russian Revolution, he became one of the most renowned Soviet composers.
Johnny Appleseed (September 26, 1774) was born as John Chapman in Leominster, Massachusetts. He traveled through Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio for 40 years planting orchards. To the Native Americans, he was called a “great medicine man.”
T.S. Eliot (September 26, 1888) was born as Thomas Stearns Eliot in St. Louis, Missouri. A poet, he won the Nobel Prize in literature and is most known for his work, “The Waste Land.”
George Gershwin (September 26, 1898) was born in Brooklyn, New York. A composer, he worked with his brother Ira and created songs such as Strike Up the Band and The Man I Love.
Samuel Adams (September 27, 1722) was born in Boston, Massachusetts. A leader during the American Revolution, he was a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses and also a signer of the Declaration of Independence as well as the Articles of Confederation.
Thomas Nast (September 27, 1849) was born in Landau, Germany. He created the Democratic donkey and Republican elephant symbols.
Enrico Fermi (September 29, 1901) was born in Rome. He was teaching at the University of Chicago when he created a method to cause nuclear fission, which led to the invention of the atomic bomb.
Truman Capote (September 30, 1924) was born as Truman Streckfus Persons in New Orleans, Louisiana. A writer, he is best known for Breakfast at Tiffany’s.