Skip to main content

Time Machine

June 2024
1min read


August 4, 1977 Congress creates the Department of Energy, the government’s twelfth cabinet-level department. James Schlesinger is later confirmed as the first Secretary of Energy.

August 12, 1977 NASA’s prototype space shuttle, Enterprise , makes its first free flight. After the craft is launched from the back of a modified Boeing 747 at an altitude of 24,000 feet, Fred Haise and Gordon Fullerton guide it successfully to a landing.

September 7, 1977 The United States and Panama sign a treaty under which the latter will take over the Panama Canal and the Canal Zone at the end of 1999.


August 2, 1927 With characteristic brevity, President Calvin Coolidge announces, “I do not choose to run for President in 1928.”


September 17, 1902 Amid widespread displays of anti-Semitism across Europe, the U.S. government officially protests Romania’s persecution of its Jewish population.


August 29, 1877 Brigham Young, the formidable and revered leader of the Mormons, dies in Salt Lake City, Utah. His death will make possible a rapprochement between the Mormons and the federal government and eventual statehood for Utah.


August 6, 1777 New Hampshire militiamen led by Gen. John Stark and Vermont volunteers led by Col. Seth Warner combine to defeat a force of British invaders in the Battle of Bennington, Vermont.

August 22, 1777 Continental reinforcements led by Gen. Benedict Arnold force the British to lift their siege of Fort Stanwix in New York’s Mohawk Valley.

September 11, 1777 In the Battle of Brandywine Creek, in Pennsylvania, 15,000 British troops led by Gen. William Howe defeat 10,000 Continentals led by Gen. George Washington. By the end of the month, the British will occupy Philadelphia.

Enjoy our work? Help us keep going.

Now in its 75th year, American Heritage relies on contributions from readers like you to survive. You can support this magazine of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it by donating today.