Editorial Content, Inspiration

Historical Highlights – September


Timeless Clips for New Stories

Dive inside historic stock footage of September events. Every month, we feature archival gems and editorial content—finding top-quality, timely inspiration for your marketing calendars, news, or documentary projects. This month, discover Oktoberfest and the Cannes Film Festival, catch up with Serena Williams, and learn more about the Nevada nuclear testing site.


Oktoberfest Begins

September 16 – October 3

The annual Bavarian festival begins in September and closes on the first Sunday of October. Credit for its 1810 establishment goes to Andreas Michael Dall’Armione, a member of the Bavarian National Guard. At the time, future king Kronprinz Ludwig (King Ludwig) was to marry Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen, and Dall’Armione wanted to celebrate the event differently: with a grand horse race. The reigning King approved his idea, and on October 17, good times unfolded at Theresienwiese—Oktoberfest ran right out of the gate! So, why has it since moved to September? If you’ve ever had a European October, you’re likely able to guess.

Over the years, as the culturally-inspired spectacle of Oktoberfest grew to burst city borders, organizers shifted things back to serve up multiple ‘cold ones’ in September’s warmer weather. For the 1910 100th anniversary, 12,000 hectoliters of beer were poured at the Pschorr-Bräurosl, a huge festival tent seating 12,000 people (at the time). Forty years later, Munich’s mayor tapped the first ever keg in the Schottenhamel tent, kicking off an opening ritual still in effect today. This 188th year, join the party alongside over 6 million others with this professionally curated Oktoberfest collection.

‘Germany: Oktoberfest To Celebrate 200-Year Anniversary’ by Reuters


First Fully Contained Nuclear Detonation in Nevada

September 19, 1957

So, you’ve watched Oppenheimer, and your head is swimming with the sheer EVERYTHING of it all. What happened next? The Manhattan Project laid the groundwork for multiple atomic experiments. On September 19, 1957, against the backdrop of the Cold War and the nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union, the United States exploded a 1.7 kiloton-nuclear weapon in an underground tunnel. Test Rainier was the first fully contained subterranean detonation, producing no radioactive fallout.

This experiment was part of Operation Plumbbob, a series of 29 nuclear weapons and safety tests at the Nevada Test Site research facility. Such works helped shape international discussions on arms control and disarmament. They informed later treaties limiting nuclear testing until the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty banned atomic detonations across all environments in 1996. Watch history unfold in the Nevada Test Site collection.

‘Troops at Camp Desert Rock, Nevada Observing Nuclear Testing.’ by retrofootage


First Cannes Film Festival

September 20, 1946

This cinematic cornerstone resulted from protests against political interference in the Venice Film Festival. Toward the end of the 1930s, fascist and Nazi influences eroded the Venice event’s credibility when they split all prizes between Italy and Germany. An outraged France sought to create an alternative.

In June 1939, the announcement rang through Paris that Cannes, an elegant coastal gem southeast of Nice, would host a film festival from September 1. However, history had a dark interruption planned. Just one film was screened that day, before Hitler invaded Poland. France and Britain went to war two days later, and six years of turmoil followed.

Finally, in 1946, the Festival de Cannes was revived. The event commenced with filmmakers from 18 nations and centered on fostering creative exchanges across borders. Present-day Cannes is drenched in equal parts glamor and Riviera sunshine, drawing over 30,000 attendees each May. This is an astonishing contrast to the modest gathering of film enthusiasts marking its debut. Discover scenes taken along the journey with our Cannes Film Festival collection.

‘France: Cannes Film Festival Opens’ by Reuters


Sigmund Freud Dies

September 23, 1939

Sigmund Freud passed away in his home, at age 83, in London. His death marked the end of an era for psychology in which the native Austrian had been a pioneering figure. Freud first studied medicine and worked as a physician, branching into neurological research. His interest in the human mind and behavior fueled work into the connections between neurological conditions and psychological symptoms. Such experience and fascination eventually led to the development of groundbreaking practices and theories known for centering on subconscious drives and desires.

Freud’s psychoanalysis practice is why we picture someone lying on a couch in therapy, talking at the ceiling. Have you heard of defense mechanisms? That’s him. Freudian slips, id, ego & superego, and the Oedipus/Electra complexes are all well-known examples of his contributions. Freud’s work, though at times controversial and debated, was foundational in the ever-growing study of behavioral and mental processes. Dive into the mind and how we’ve studied it with a collection inspired by Sigmund Freud.

‘A Female Counselor Listens And Responds To A Middle-Aged Man, Her Patient’ by retrofootage


Serena Williams Born

Sept 26, 1981

Serena Jameka Williams was born to Richard Williams and Oracene Price in the quiet town of Saginaw, Michigan. The youngest of Price’s five daughters, this would be the first and final time Serena would come in last. After starting on a court at age 3, Serena and her sister Venus Williams would grow to redefine tennis history under their parents’ coaching. With remarkable tenacity, hunger, and unrelenting perseverance, Serena defied illness, discrimination, and injury to become (statistically) the greatest Grand Slam player with 23 singles titles—more than any other player, male or female. She also secured four Olympic gold medals, underlining her dominance on and off the grand stages.

Serena’s list of accolades goes on. Yet, beyond her accomplishments in sports history, Serena’s impact resonates even more profoundly through what she has done for gender equality and social justice. After leaving professional play in September 2022, she dedicates her time to motherhood and looks terrific at all her public events. Explore scenes from her inspiring career in our expertly sourced curated collection.

‘Williams Chasing Fairytale Finish At U.s. Open’ by Reuters


What are you planning this September? Whatever the project, Pond5 has everything you need to engage your audience, thanks to partners such as Reuters, Life, Global News, and other top agencies. We offer the world’s most extensive library of Editorial and archival footage. New content is added daily to the Pond5 Editorial collection, so keep checking back for new surprises.

Remember, we can clear editorial clips for commercial productions and indemnify them based on your specific needs. To discuss editorial content for use in your commercial project, contact us.