This Week in History

On Sept. 24, 1934, Babe Ruth played his last game as a New York Yankee. He started out as a star pitcher for the rival Boston Red Sox until he was traded after the 1919 season by Sox owner Harry Frazee. (Dan Gaken/Flickr Creative Commons)

Over the coming week we will see the anniversaries of several important events that helped shape the world we live in. Here is a quick rundown of this week in history.

On Sept. 24, 1934, Babe Ruth played his last game as a New York Yankee. He started out as a star pitcher for the rival Boston Red Sox until he was traded after the 1919 season by Sox owner Harry Frazee. His sudden departure from the Red Sox started the “Curse of the Bambino” which hung over Boston until they won a World Series in 2004.

Ruth became a pivotal player for the Yankees, setting nearly every major batting record during his tenure. He was a member of the iconic 1927 Yankee lineup, considered by many to be the best team ever to play the game. Ruth helped the Yankees win seven American League Pennants and four World Series before retiring in 1935 after a year playing for the Boston Braves. He was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936 as one of its first class of inductees and passed away in 1948 after a battle with cancer.

On Sept. 26, 1950, United Nations forces were able to retake the capital of South Korea, Seoul, during the beginning of the Korean War. The city had been previously captured by the North Korean People’s Army during the outbreak of the war as North Korean forces, backed by Russia and China, rapidly attacked and took over nearly all of the peninsula. The American and South Korean armies were forced back to the Pusan Perimeter and near defeat before the Battle of Inchon reversed momentum.

Led by General Douglas MacArthur, American forces executed one of the largest amphibious assaults in history against the coastal city of Inchon just west of Seoul utilizing over 250 ships and 70,000 men. This gave UN Forces a strong foothold near the 38th Parallel. From this position, American forces were able to retake Seoul and begin their liberation of the rest of South Korea. The Korean War would not end until 1953 when an armistice was signed, creating the Demilitarized Zone between the two countries and escalating tensions between Russia and the United States.

Lastly, on Sept. 28, 1781, the Siege of Yorktown began during the Revolutionary War as American forces trapped the British Army against the Chesapeake Bay. The Continental Army, led by George Washington, was aided by the French Navy led by Admiral de Grasse who occupied the waters and prevented any British escape. The commander of the British Army, Lord Cornwallis, was forced to surrender in October of 1781 and his nearly 8,000 troops were taken prisoner. This defeat led to the loss of support for the war in Great Britain and began negotiations for peace. Cornwallis himself refused to surrender in person and sent one of his Lieutenants instead.

The Siege of Yorktown represented one of the last major battles of the Revolutionary War, and the war officially came to an end in 1783 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.


Seamus McKeever is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at seamus.mckeever@uconn.edu.