Pacific Science Center

Bringing science to life.

Calendar Of Science – September

Every month, Pacific Science Center publishes a Calendar of Science, a compendium of science facts to add a little knowledge to your daily routine. Read on and discover a few things you may not have known. If you would like to receive a daily dose of science, subscribe to Calendar of Science on Twitter. Have a comment or question? Please drop us a line. Remember, life’s boring without discovery.


Sept. 1, 1914- Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) became extinct, the last surviving bird died at the Cincinnati Zoo.
Sept. 2, 1877- Birthday: Frederick Soddy who won Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work on radioactive substances.
Sept. 3, 1914- Birthday: Dixy Lee Ray, a marine biologist, who was the first director of the Pacific Science Center.
Sept. 4, 1882- The Edison Electric station, first electric power plant in the U.S., began operation in the New York City.
Sept. 5, 1977- Voyager 1 was launched by NASA to closely explore the large moon Titan and behind Saturn’s rings.
Sept. 6, 1978-  Successful laboratory production of human insulin using recombinant DNA technology was announced by U.S. scientists.
Sept. 7, 1936- The last Tasmanian tiger (Thylacine), called Benjamin, died at the Hobart Zoo in Australia.
Sept. 8, 1930- Richard Drew developed scotch tape which was marketed by 3M as the first waterproof, transparent, pressure sensitive tape.
Sept. 9, 1945- Grace Hopper discovered first “bug” in a computer program, was traced to a moth stuck between a relay in the machine.
Sept. 10, 1984- DNA fingerprinting was discovered by Alec Jeffreys in Leicester, England, while studying hereditary diseases in families.
Sept. 11, 1946- The first long-distance car-to-car phone conversation occurred between Houston, Texas and St. Louis, Missouri.
Sept. 12, 1958- Jack Kilby presented an electronic circuit at Texas instruments which is now recognized as the first integrated circuit.
Sept. 13, 1898- Hannibal Goodwin issued a patent for the invention of “nitro cellulose transparent flexible photographic film pellicles.”
Sept. 14, 1716- The first American lighthouse, Boston light, built by the colony of Massachusetts was lit for the first time.
Sept. 15, 1885- Constantin Fahlberg was issued a patent for saccharine, the artificial sweetener.
Sept. 16, 1987- The “Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer” signed to phase out ozone depleting substances by 2000.
Sept. 17, 1901- Peter Cooper Hewitt was issued a patent for mercury vapor lamp, a high intensity discharge lamp.
Sept. 18, 1907- Birthday: Edwin Mattison McMillan, an American physicist who discovered the first transuranium element, neptunium.
Sept. 19, 1991- Otzi the Iceman, a well-preserved mummy of a man who lived around 3,300 BCE was discovered in the Otztal Alps, Europe.
Sept. 20, 1952- Alfred Hershey, Martha Chase published findings of their so-called blender experiment confirming DNA holds hereditary data.
Sept. 21, 2003- NASA’s Galileo spacecraft’s 14-year mission came to an end when it disintegrated in Jupiter’s dense atmosphere.
Sept. 22, 1791- Birthday: Michael Faraday, who greatly contributed to the understanding of electromagnetic induction.
Sept. 23, 1846- Johann Gottfried Galle discovered the 8th planet from the sun, Neptune, at the Berlin Observatory.
Sept. 24, 1960- The USS Enterprise, the first nuclear-powered Navy aircraft carrier, was launched in Virginia.
Sept. 25, 1956- The first transatlantic telephone cable system, TAT-1, was launched between Clarenville, Newfoundland to Oban, Scotland.
Sept. 26, 1991- Four men and women entered Biosphere 2 (Oracle, Arizona), a sealed glass and space-frame structure containing 5 biomes.
Sept. 27, 1910- Haber & Rossignol issued a patent for the production of Ammonia directly from its component gases, hydrogen and nitrogen.
Sept. 28, 1969- A meteorite fell over the town of Murchison, in Australia. The total collected mass exceeded 100 kg.
Sept. 29, 1920- Birthday: Peter Mitchell, who showed how ADP is converted into the energy-carrying ATP in the mitochondria of living cells.
Sept. 30, 1882- The world’s first hydroelectric power plant began operation on the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin.