John’s Believe It Or Not… September 4th

In 1995 – Kettle and Stony Point Protestors Occupy Ipperwash Park. In 1886 Geronimo surrenders. In 1957 Little Rock becomes a Cold War hotspot. In 1998 Google is incorporated. In 2002 Kelly Clarkson wins first American Idol.

John Fioravanti stands at the front of his classroom.

Oh-Oh! It’s Monday! Did you know…

* 1995 – Kettle and Stony Point Protestors Occupy Ipperwash Park.

The Ipperwash Crisis took place in 1995 on land in and around Ontario’s Ipperwash Provincial Park, which was claimed by the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation. The underlying cause of the crisis was the appropriation of the Stoney Point Reserve in 1942 by the federal government for use as a military camp. After repeated requests for the land to be returned, members of the Stony Point First Nation occupied the camp in 1993 and in 1995. On 4 September 1995 protesters also occupied Ipperwash Provincial Park nearby. The tension between the protesters and the OPP increased, resulting in a confrontation on 6 September 1995 during which Dudley George, an Aboriginal protestor, was killed.

During the Second World War, the government decided to build an army training camp on Stoney Point Reserve near Lake Huron, Ontario. The reserve had already surrendered 377 acres—including all its shoreline—to developers in 1928, under considerable pressure from the Department of Indian Affairs; part of this land was bought by the Ontario government in 1936 to create Ipperwash Provincial Park. When the federal government asked the Stony Point First Nation in 1942 to surrender the remaining reserve land for use as a military training camp, they refused. Undeterred, the government appropriated the land under the War Measures Act, giving the Stony Point First Nation around $50 000 in compensation and relocating them to the Kettle Point Reserve nearby.
Despite promises that the relocation would be temporary, the reserve remained a military camp into the 1990s. Moreover, neither the provincial nor the federal government honored promises that they would protect the Stony Point burial grounds and gravesites. Representatives from the Stony Point First Nation, the Department of National Health and Welfare, and the Department of Indian Affairs (including then-Minister Jean Chrétien) repeatedly advocated for the protection of cemeteries and burial grounds, and the return of the reserve, but the Department of National Defence maintained that it required the land for training purposes.

Barbara George, 83, is wheeled into the former military base at Camp Ipperwash
Barbara George, 83, is wheeled into the former military base at Camp Ipperwash (RED POWER MEDIA –

* 1886 Geronimo surrenders.

On this day in 1886, Apache chief Geronimo surrenders to U.S. government troops. For 30 years, the mighty Native American warrior had battled to protect his tribe’s homeland; however, by 1886 the Apaches were exhausted and hopelessly outnumbered. General Nelson Miles accepted Geronimo’s surrender, making him the last Indian warrior to formally give in to U.S. forces and signaling the end of the Indian Wars in the Southwest.

Geronimo was born in 1829 and grew up in what is present-day Arizona and Mexico. His tribe, the Chiricahua Apaches, clashed with non-Indian settlers trying to take their land. In 1858, Geronimo’s family was murdered by Mexicans. Seeking revenge, he later led raids against Mexican and American settlers. In 1874, the U.S. government moved Geronimo and his people from their land to a reservation in east-central Arizona. Conditions on the reservation were restrictive and harsh and Geronimo and some of his followers escaped. Over the next decade, they battled federal troops and launched raids on white settlements. During this time, Geronimo and his supporters were forced back onto the reservation several times. In May 1885, Geronimo and approximately 150 followers fled one last time. They were pursued into Mexico by 5,000 U.S. troops. In March 1886, General George Crook (1829–90) forced Geronimo to surrender; however, Geronimo quickly escaped and continued his raids. General Nelson Miles (1839–1925) then took over the pursuit of Geronimo, eventually forcing him to surrender that September near Fort Bowie along the Arizona-New Mexico border. Geronimo and a band of Apaches were sent to Florida and then Alabama, eventually ending up at the Comanche and Kiowa reservation near Fort Sill, Oklahoma Territory. There, Geronimo became a successful farmer and converted to Christianity. He participated in President Theodore Roosevelt’s inaugural parade in 1905. The Apache chief dictated his autobiography, published in 1906 as Geronimo’s Story of His Life. He died at Fort Sill on February 17, 1909.

Suzan Shown Harjo said Geronimo has become a fine role model for our children all over Indian country and for him to be compared to a terrorist and to be called an enemy is shocking.
Suzan Shown Harjo said Geronimo has become a fine role model for our children all over Indian country and for him to be compared to a terrorist and to be called an enemy is shocking. (Bowie News)

* 1957 Little Rock becomes a Cold War hotspot.

Under orders from the governor of Arkansas, armed National Guardsmen prevent nine African-American students from attending the all-white Central High School in Little Rock. What began as a domestic crisis soon exploded into a Cold War embarrassment.

The United States and the Soviet Union engaged in a heated and costly war of words during the early years of the Cold War. Propaganda became an important weapon as each nation sought to win the “hearts and minds” of people around the world. In this war, the United States suffered from one undeniable weakness: racial discrimination in America. This was a particularly costly weakness, for it made America’s rhetoric about democracy and equality seem hollow, especially to people of color in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The Soviets eagerly seized on the issue, and tales of the horrors suffered by African Americans in the United States became a staple of their propaganda. In 1954, however, the monumental Supreme Court case of Brown v. Topeka Board of Education declared segregated schools unconstitutional and ordered school integration to proceed “with all deliberate speed.” The case was trumpeted by the American government’s propaganda as evidence of the great strides being made toward full equality for all citizens.

In 1957, a Federal District Court ordered the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, to allow African-American students to attend. Governor Orval Faubus declared that he would not follow the decree. When nine African-American students attempted to enter the school on September 4, 1957, a crowd of several hundred angry and belligerent whites confronted them. Hundreds of National Guardsmen, called up by Faubus, blocked the students’ entry into the school. To the chants of “Go home, niggers” from the mob, the nine students left. Faubus’s action won him acclaim in his home state, and in much of the South, but it was a serious embarrassment to the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eisenhower himself was no great supporter of civil rights, but he understood the international significance of the events in Little Rock. Pictures of the angry mob, the terrified African-American students, and National Guardsmen with guns and gas masks were seen around the world. The Soviets could not have created better propaganda. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles informed Eisenhower that the Little Rock incident was hurting the United States overseas, and might even cost the country the support of other nations in the United Nations. Eisenhower tried to negotiate a settlement with Faubus, but when this failed, he sent in federal troops. The nine African-American students were finally allowed to attend Central High.

The Little Rock incident indicated that America’s domestic problems, particularly racial discrimination, could not remain purely domestic in the context of the Cold War. The United States portrayed itself as the defender of democracy, justice, and equality in its struggle with the Soviet Union and communism. The ugly reality of the Little Rock integration, however, forced both allies and enemies to question America’s dedication to the principles it so often professed.

Rally at state capitol, protesting the integration of Central High School. Protesters carry US flags and signs reading “Race Mixing is Communism” and “Stop the Race Mixing March of the Anti-Christ,” August 20. 1959. Photo credit: U.S. News
Rally at the state capitol, protesting the integration of Central High School. Protesters carry US flags and signs reading “Race Mixing is Communism” and “Stop the Race Mixing March of the Anti-Christ,” August 20. 1959. Photo credit: U.S. News

* 1998 Google is incorporated.

On this day in 1998, search engine firm Google, co-founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who met at Stanford University, files for incorporation in California. Google went on to become the planet’s most-used search engine, and the word “google” entered the lexicon as a verb meaning to search the World Wide Web for information about a person or topic. Google eventually expanded its products and services to include advertising programs, statistical tools, email, maps, a web browser and a mobile operating system. It has become one of the world’s largest tech companies.

In 1996, Page and Brin, then in their early 20s and graduate students in computer science at Stanford, started working on a search engine for the burgeoning web and called it BackRub. In September of the following year, they registered the domain name The name is a play on “googol,” a term for the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros; the co-founders thought the moniker was a good way to symbolize their mission of organizing the vast amount of data on the web. In August 1998, Page and Brin received $100,000 from an investor. That same month, prior to leaving for the Burning Man festival in Nevada, the pair added a small drawing to the Google logo to let people know they’d be out of the office; thus launching the Google doodle. (Since then, a wide variety of doodles have appeared on Google home pages to celebrate holidays and other events.) After Google filed for incorporation in September 1998, its first office was in a garage in Menlo Park, California. In February 1999, the startup, which by then had eight employees, relocated to an office in the neighboring city of Palo Alto.

Google opened its first international office, in Tokyo, in 2001. Three years later, more than 800 Google employees moved to a new corporate headquarters, dubbed the Googleplex, in Mountain View, California. Soon after, the company launched an email service, Gmail. Also in 2004, Google held an initial public offering that raised $1.67 billion and valued the company at $23 billion (a decade later, in 2014, Google’s market capitalization was $390 billion). A long string of product rollouts followed, such as Google Maps and Google Analytics (a service to measure website performance) in 2005; Google Calendar and translation service Google Translate in 2006; a mobile operating system, Android, was announced in 2007 (the first phone built on the system was released a year later); and a web browser, Google Chrome, in 2008. Google also acquired a number of businesses, including YouTube, the video-sharing site, which it snapped up in 2006.

Around 2010, the tech giant established Google X, a secretive lab dedicated to developing groundbreaking, “moonshot” products such as self-driving cars and delivery drones. In 2015, Google restructured its operations—which by then also included a biotech business focused on extending human lifespan; a maker of Internet-connected devices for the home; and a high-speed Internet service, among other ventures—into a conglomerate called Alphabet. At the time, the web search engine that started it all in 1998 continued to dominate the competition, handling more than 3 billion searches a day.

Google co-founders Sergey Brin, left, and Larry Page
Google co-founders Sergey Brin, left, and Larry Page (Wired)

* 2002 Kelly Clarkson wins first American Idol.

On this day in 2002, Kelly Clarkson, a 20-year-old cocktail waitress from Texas, wins Season One of American Idol in a live television broadcast from Hollywood’s Kodak Theater. Clarkson came out on top in the amateur singing contest over 23-year-old runner-up Justin Guarini after millions of viewers cast their votes for her by phone. She was awarded a recording contract and went on to sell millions of albums and establish a successful music career. (Clarkson and Guarini also co-starred in the 2003 box-office bomb From Justin to Kelly, which was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for that year’s worst film but lost to the Jennifer Lopez-Ben Affleck vehicle Gigli.) Starting with its first season, American Idol became one of the most popular TV programs in U.S. history and spawned a slew of talent-competition shows.

American Idol was based on a British TV show called Pop Idol, which was developed by the English-born entertainment executive Simon Fuller and debuted in the U.K. in 2001. The Idol concept was shopped around in the United States and reportedly rejected by several TV networks before Fox picked it up. The American Idol premiere, which aired on June 11, 2002, was co-hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman (who was dropped from the program after Season One) and starred a trio of judge–the acerbic British music executive Simon Cowell, the singer-choreographer Paul Abdul and the musician-producer Randy Jackson. The show followed the judges as they selected contestants, who were required to be teens or young adults, from open auditions around the United States. Contestants who made the cut were flown to Hollywood, where they were eventually narrowed to 10 finalists, who performed live on television and were critiqued by the judges. Home viewers phoned in their votes for their favorite performers and each week the contestant who received the lowest number of votes was eliminated from the competition.

Following Clarkson’s Season One victory, subsequent American Idol winners–Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks and David Cook–have had varying degrees of success in their music careers. In some cases, American Idol runner-ups, such as Clay Aiken (Season Two, second place) and Chris Daughtry (Season Five, fourth place), have sold more records than certain A.I. winners. Jennifer Hudson, who finished seventh in Season Three of the show, later won an Academy Award for her supporting performance in Dreamgirls (2006), the film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical.

Kelly Clarkson winner in the competition of the television reality music program "American Idol" sings "A Moment Like This" to end the telecast September 4
Kelly Clarkson winner in the competition of the television reality music program “American Idol” sings “A Moment Like This” to end the telecast September 4 (NY Daily News)

Today’s Sources: 

* Canadian History Timeline – Canada’s Historical Chronology

* The Canadian Encyclopedia                

* This Day In History – What Happened Today              

Author: John Fioravanti

I'm a retired History teacher (35 years), husband, father of three, grandfather of three. My wife, Anne, and I became business partners in December, 2013, and launched our own publishing company, Fiora Books (, to publish my books. We have been married since 1973 and hope our joint business venture will be as successful as our marriage.

17 thoughts on “John’s Believe It Or Not… September 4th”

  1. I still remember when Kelly Clarkson won. My mom and I were literally on the edge of our seat cushions 😉 We are both excited for the show’s return, complete with the host Ryan Seacrest. Funny remembering that there were 2 hosts in that first season.

    Liked by 1 person

            1. Thanks, Christy. After reading your post on Sleep yesterday, I downloaded a sleep monitor app for my iPhone. I remember getting up 3X during the night. It said my sleep efficiency was 95% (10:36 pm – 4:50 am) I was awake the first 5% (19 minutes); Light Sleep 44% (2 hr. 47 min); Deep Sleep 51% (3 hr. 12 min) Not sure if any of that is good or not…

              Liked by 1 person

                1. I looked at that 95% figure and shook my head. I was up 3X that night and wandered into the washroom in each instance – then went back to bed. I didn’t think I slept well because of this. Last night it was 92%. The directions say to lay the iPhone beside your pillow. I muted it, but I could still feel the vibrations. I haven’t spent time with it to see if there’s an area that explains the results. I wonder if they are accurate. I noticed that it says I took longer to fall asleep the second night than the first night. There’s no mention of waking up and getting out of bed for a few minutes. Then it asked if I liked my dream. All I remembered was how many times I got up. The app is called “Sleep Better” – I’ll play with it for a while.

                  Liked by 1 person

  2. There is a little town here in Texas named Geronimo. I passed through it yesterday. I was reminded of his bravery and the injustice surrounding American Indian affairs. A super issue, John. I could not at the time imagine the far reaching effects of Google.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When the Internet dawned, I don’t think anyone had much idea how much our lives would change, John. I remember screaming “Geronimo” as I jumped of the high diving board at our community pool as a kid. No idea who he was at the time. Thanks, John.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Little Rock became a symbol of everything that was wrong in racist America. The segregation of races was appalling. Likewise the treatment of Native Americans. Geronimo represented the last gestures of resistance. The Indian Nation had been systematically crushed. They continue to be mistreated to this day. Treaty after treaty broken – As long as the grass shall grow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There certainly is a lot of reconciliation that needs to take place in America, Canada, and Mexico between the majority and minority cultural groups and races, Opher. It will not happen as quickly as we’d like.


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