Sept. 21 (UPI) -- On this date in history:
In 1780, American Gen. Benedict Arnold gave plans to the British for the surrender of West Point, New York. Arnold's name was forever after associated with the word "traitor."
In 1792, the Legislative Assembly of revolutionary France voted to abolish the monarchy and establish the First Republic, stripping King Louis XVI of most of his power.
In 1893, the first successful American-made, gasoline-operated motorcar appeared on the streets of Springfield, Mass. It was designed and built by Charles and Frank Duryea.
In 1921, following a sex scandal caused by the arrest of comedian Fatty Arbuckle, Universal announced it would require its actors to sign a "morality clause" in their contracts.
In 1937, J.R.R. Tolkien published The Hobbit, a novel about a fantastical journey to reclaim treasure stolen by a fire-breathing dragon. Filmmaker Peter Jackson created three movies based on the book released in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Star Richard Armitage told UPI the films were "completely immersive."
In 1938, an estimated 600 people were killed by a hurricane that battered the coast of New England.
In 1981, Sandra Day O'Connor received a unanimous vote in the Senate to become the first female member of the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1991, Armenia became the 12th Soviet republic to declare independence.
In 1998, Hurricane Georges began a deadly rampage through the Caribbean, killing more than 600 people. About a week later, the storm made landfall near Biloxi, Miss., with reported gusts up to 172 mph.
In 1999, a 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan, killing at least 2,300 people, injuring thousands and leaving tens of thousands homeless.
In 2001, a telecast by top movie stars and musicians raised more than $500 million for survivors of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.
In 2003, the spacecraft Galileo approached the fringes of Jupiter's atmosphere and then was directed to destroy itself in a high-speed plunge.
In 2008, Thabo Mbecki, South Africa's president since 1999, stepped down after losing a power struggle with rival Jacob Zuma.
In 2011, American hikers Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, imprisoned on espionage charges in Iran for more than two years after wandering across the border, were released.
In 2012, officials in Washington said the last of so-called surge forces had been withdrawn from Afghanistan, leaving 68,000 U.S. troops in the country.
In 2013, Islamist terrorists ambushed a crowded, upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, took hostages and clashed with police. The death toll in the four-day siege was at least 67, with more than 170 people wounded. The al-Qaida-linked group al-Shabab claimed responsibility.
In 2014, an estimated 300,000 people participated in a "People's Climate Change" march in New York City. Organizers said it was the largest climate-change march in history. Tens of thousands marched in other cities.