This Week In History: 9/28 – 10/4

Sunday, September 28th: Discovery of Penicillin

On September 28th, 1928, Alexander Fleming, a Scottish scientist, first discovered Penicillin. It was a pure accident. Fleming had forgotten to close the top to a petri dish and later came back to find a mold growing in it. He examined the mold and found that it was a Penicillium mold that was inhibiting the growth of bacteria. A decade or so later, and after numerous scientific experiments, Penicillin was finally ready to be used as an antibiotic. To date, it is the most used antibiotic ever.

Monday, September 29th: Feast of St. Michael

Also known as Michaelmas, the Feast of St. Michael marks the Feast of all the Archangels. It is primarily celebrated in the Western Christian Churches, honoring when St. Michael defeated Lucifer in the War in Heaven. St. Michael triumphed over Lucifer and casts him out of heaven. From this, St. Michael is depicted as the greatest and most powerful of all the archangels.

Tuesday, September 30th: The Magic Flute Premiers

On September 30th, 1791, Mozart’s German opera The Magic Flute premiered in Vienna to great success. One of Mozart’s most famous compositions, it features the aria of the Queen of the Night, Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen, or “The vengeance of Hell boils in my heart”, one of the most famous and most difficult female vocal parts ever written.

Wednesday, October 1st: International Music Day

The first International Music Day was held on October 1st, 1975. It was formed through the International Music Council, which still exists today, and was set forth in order to spread music to all levels of society. The day usually comes with musical programs, concerts, radio broadcasts, and other such events.

Thursday, October 2nd: First Peanuts comic published

Charles M. Schulz published the first Peanuts Comic strip on October 2nd, 1950. The comic series became the most popular and influential comic series ever written, with over 355 million people reading them on a weekly basis at its height. The strip ran from 1950 through 2000, printing almost 18,000 strips during that time, and it has continued in reruns since.

Friday, October 3rd: Roy, from Siegfried and Roy, is mauled by a tiger

On October 3rd, 2003, during a show at the Mirage in Vegas, Roy Horn, from the famous duo Siegfried and Roy, known for their magic tricks featuring white lions and tigers, was bitten on the neck by a white tiger. It seemed as if Roy had possibly had a type of seizure while on stage, and that the tiger was trying to drag him to safety; however, Roy suffered severe blood loss from the bit and was taken to the hospital. He lived, but went through years of recovery and the show was discontinued. The tiger was not harmed and died earlier this year, in March 2014.

Saturday, October 4th:Yom Kippur

From sunset on Friday, October 3rd through sunset of Saturday, October 4th, Yom Kippur is celebrated in the Jewish faith. Also known as the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year in the Jewish faith. The day is characterized by fasting and prayer services during which the Jewish people atone and repent for their sins of the last year.