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This Month In YesterYear History - September

Here we go with the September 2023 edition of "This Month in YesterYear History!"  

In this series, we stop to look back at the big pop culture moments from the past 20 (2003), 25 (1998), and 30 (1993) years ago!   

Below, you'll find a little time capsule of what was significant in our lives back then.  Hopefully, as you read these brief synopses of the past, you'll begin to remember the who, when, and where of your memories from those years.  That's why I post to this site, after all!  


2003: September 7 sees Farm Aid #16 from Columbus, Ohio.  Brooks and Dunn, Hootie and the Blowfish, Willie Nelson, and John Mellencamp perform.  On September 12, the United Nations lifted sanctions on Libya after they finally accepted responsibility for the Lockerbie Bombings of Pan Am 103 in 1988.  On September 14, Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis set the NFL single-game rushing record when he ran for 295 yards and 2 touchdowns on 30 carries in a 33-13 victory over Cleveland.  On the 21st, West Wing, Everybody Loves Raymond, James Gandolfini, and Edie Falco clean up at the 55th Emmy Awards.  Also, on the 21st, NASA gave up on the Galileo mission, sending the probe into Jupiter's atmosphere to be destroyed.  On the 23rd, the crime drama NCIS debuts on CBS.  On the 25th, an 8.0 earthquake hits off the coast of Japan.  On the 28th, the final game is played at Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium when the Braves beat the Phillies 5-2.  

1998:  On September 2, Swiss Air Flight 111 goes down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia.  On September 5, Google was formally incorporated by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two students at Stanford University.  On the 10th, Madonna and Will Smith won best female/male artist at the MTV Awards for "Ray of Light" and "Just the Two of Us," respectively.  On the 11th, Ken Starr sends a report to Congress of 11 impeachable offenses by President Bill Clinton.  On September 13th, Frasier and The Practice win at the 50th Emmy Awards.  On the 14th, MCI and Worldcom merge to create MCI Worldcom.  On the 15th, Rush Hour, starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, debuts, launching Jackie Chan's mainstream Hollywood career.  Sitcom "Will and Grace" debuts on September 21.  

1993:  On September 3, Pearl Jam won Best Video at the MTV Awards.  New York Yankee's one-handed pitcher, Jim Abbott, pitches a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians on September 4.  On the 6th, Jerry Lewis' 28th Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy raises over $46 million.  On the 10th, X-Files debuts on FOX.  That same day, Boeing delivered its 1,000th 747 aircraft.  On the 12th, Paul Molitor becomes the oldest MLB player to hit 100 RBIs at 37 years old.  The "Oslo Accords" peace agreement between Israel and Palestine was signed on the 13th.  Seems to have worked out.  Queens, New York, requires mandatory recycling on the 14th.  Meatloaf's "I'd Do Anything for Love" single was released on the 15th and will go on to be the top song in 28 countries.  Frasier, the sitcom, debuts on NBC on September 16.  On the 18th, the NHL's Mighty Ducks play their first-ever game in a preseason match against the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Seinfeld and Picket Fences won at the 45th Emmy Awards on September 19.  Actress Michelle Phillips is famously robbed at gunpoint on the 19th.  On the 21st, Melissa Ethridge released her hit single "I'm the Only One."  On the 22nd, Nolan Ryan pitches his final game.  "Grace Under Fire" debuts on ABC on the 29th.  Vince Gill wins best singer at the CMA Awards on the 30th.


2003: "Once Upon A Time in Mexico" -  Once Upon a Time in Mexico (also known as Desperado 2) is an action film written, directed, produced, photographed, scored, and edited by Robert Rodriguez.  It is the sequel to Desperado (1995) and features Antonio Banderas in his second and final performance as El Mariachi.  In the film, El Mariachi is recruited by CIA agent Sheldon Sands (Johnny Depp) to kill a corrupt general responsible for the death of his wife, Carolina (Salma Hayek).

Once Upon a Time in Mexico was released in the United States on September 12, 2003, by Sony Pictures, followed by mixed reviews from critics.   Critics praised Depp's performance but criticized the film for reducing the protagonist to an almost secondary character in his own trilogy and a convoluted plot.  In the special features of the film's DVD, Rodriguez explained this was intentional, as he wanted this to be his The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the trilogy (the first was an extremely low-budget self-made film.)  It grossed over $98 million against a $29 million production budget.

1998: "Rush Hour" -  Rush Hour is a "buddy cop" action/comedy film directed by Brett Ratner and written by Jim Kouf and Ross LaManna.  It stars Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker as mismatched police officers assigned to rescue a Chinese diplomat's abducted daughter.  Tzi Ma, Tom Wilkinson, Ken Leung, Mark Rolston, Elizabeth Peña, and Rex Linn play supporting roles. 

Released on September 18, 1998, the film grossed over $244 million worldwide.  Its box office commercial success led to two sequels: Rush Hour 2 (2001) and Rush Hour 3 (2007).

Rush Hour was the catalyst for creating the review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes.  Senh Duong, the website's founder and Jackie Chan fan, was inspired to make the website after collecting all the reviews of Chan's Hong Kong-created action films as they were being released in the United States.  In anticipation of Rush Hour, Chan's first major Hollywood crossover, Duong coded the website in two weeks.

1993: "The Fugitive" -  The Fugitive is an action thriller film based on the 1960s television series of the same name.  The film was directed by Andrew Davis and stars Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward, and Joe Pantoliano.  

After being framed for the murder of his wife and sentenced to death, Dr. Richard Kimble escapes from custody following a bus crash.  He sets out to find the real killer and clear his name while being hunted by the police and a team of U.S. Marshals.

The Fugitive was released in the United States on August 6, 1993.  It was a critical and commercial success, spending six weeks as the #1 film in the United States.  It grossed nearly $370 million worldwide against its $44 million budget.  It became the third-highest-grossing film of 1993, and it is estimated that 44 million tickets were sold in the United States alone.  It was followed by a 1998 spin-off, U.S. Marhsals, in which Tommy Lee Jones reprised his role as Deputy Marshal Gerard. 


2003:  "Where Is The Love" by The Black Eyed Peas

1998:  "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" by Aerosmith

1993:  "Dream Lover" by Mariah Carey



September 8th - The Ellen DeGeneres Talk Show debuts.  

September 10th - UPN's series Enterprise begins a season-long story sequence – the first time a full season of a Star Trek series has been devoted to one storyline.  (Three episodes into the new season, the series title is changed to Star Trek: Enterprise.)

September 11th -  John Ritter dies from an undiagnosed aortic dissection at the age of 54 just hours after falling ill on the set of his sitcom 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.

Wheel of Fortune incorporates the "Prize Puzzle" in one of the first three rounds and awards a trip to the contestant who solves the themed puzzle.  This initial incarnation occurred weekly until being changed to a daily format in Season 23.

September 21st - Everybody Loves Raymond wins first Outstanding Comedy award while drama The West Wing wins its fourth straight Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series at the 55th Primetime Emmy Awards.  

September 22nd - Two and a Half Men debuts on CBS.  

September 23rd - Crime drama NCIS debuts on CBS.  Teen drama One Tree Hill debuts on The WB.  


September 6th - CBS resumes regular season coverage of the National Football League for the first time since 1993.  

September 7th - The Pokemon animated series runs in syndication for the first time.

September 8th - Mark McGwire hits his 62nd home run, breaking the 37-year-old record held by Roger Maris on nationwide television on FOX.  

September 14th - The revived edition of Hollywood Squares begins in syndication with Tom Bergeron as host.  

September 17th - Frasier appears on Thursday nights for the first time on NBC in the 9:00PM timeslot.  

September 21st - King of Queens debuts on CBS.  Will and Grace debuts on NBC.


September 3rd-  Sally Jessy Raphael moves her show from ABC to NBC.

September 10th - The pilot episode for The X-Files debuts on FOX.

September 13th - "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" premiers on NBC as O'Brien replaces David Letterman.

Animaniacs makes its debut on FOX Kids.

September 16th - The final season of In Living Color debuts on FOX without any members of the Wayans family.

Frasier debuts on NBC.

September 18th - Rocko's Modern Life debuts on Nickelodeon, becoming the 5th "Nicktoon."

September 24th - Raven Symone, Nell Carter, and Saundra Quarterman join the cast of Hangin with Mr. Cooper on ABC.  

The pilot for Boy Meets World debuts on ABC.

September 25th - Walker, Texas Ranger debuts on CBS.