1635 – Virginia Governor John Harvey was accused of treason and removed from office.
1758 – James Monroe (d.1831), later secretary of state and the fifth president of the United States (1817-1825), was born in Westmoreland County, Va. He created the Monroe Doctrine, warning Europe not to interfere in the Western Hemisphere.
1760 – French forces besieging Quebec defeated the British in the second battle on the Plains of Abraham.
1788 – Maryland became the seventh state to ratify the constitution.
1810 – Union General Daniel Ullmann is born in Wilmington, Delaware. Ullmann was best known as an advocate for black troops. Ullman was educated at Yale University and practiced law in New York City. He was an active Whig before the party’s collapse around 1850, and he ran for governor of New York on the American, or “Know-Nothing,” ticket in 1854. Ullmann became a colonel in command of the 78th New York regiment when the war began. He was sent to Virginia and served in the Shenandoah Valley, where he was given command of a brigade. He was captured at the Battle of Cedar Mountain and incarcerated at Richmond’s Libby Prison for a month before he was exchanged in October 1862. Promoted to brigadier general in January 1863, Ullmann was sent to New Orleans to recruit black troops. His efforts were met by much resistance among his fellow officers. Ullmann often complained that his men were given work details and not seriously considered for military duty. He finally got his wish, and his brigade was sent to assist in the siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana, in May 1863. After Ullmann’s men bravely made several unsuccessful attacks on Port Hudson, one Union officer warned, “We must not discipline them, for if we do, we will have to fight them some day ourselves.” Ullmann spent most of the war at Port Hudson after the Confederates surrendered it in July 1863. After the war, he traveled extensively, and studied literature and science. He died in Nyack, New York, in 1892.
1815 – Andrew Jackson Smith (d.1897), Major General (Union volunteers), was born.
1818 – President Monroe proclaimed naval disarmament on the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain.
1856 – Yokut Indians repelled an attack on their land by 100 would-be Indian fighters in California.
1862 – Forts Jackson and St. Philip, isolated since being passed by Flag Officer Farragut’s fleet and the fall of New Orleans, surrendered to the Navy; the terms of capitulation were signed on board U.S.S. Harriet Lane, Commander D. D. Porter’s flagship. C.S.S. Louisiana, Defiance, and McRae were destroyed to prevent their capture.
1864 – Rear Admiral Porter, stranded above the rapids at Alexandria, advised Secretary Welles of the precarious position in which his gunboats found themselves due to the falling water level of the Red River and the withdrawal forced upon Major General Banks: “. . . I find myself blockaded by a fall of 3 feet of water, 3 feet 4 inches being the amount now on the falls; 7 feet being required to get over; no amount of lightening will accomplish the object. . . . In the meantime, the enemy are splitting up into parties of 2,000 and bringing in the artillery . . to blockade points below here. . . . Porter faced the distinct possibility of having to destroy his squadron to prevent its falling into Confederate hands. “. . you may judge of my feelings,” he wrote Welles,” at having to perform so painful a duty.” Only by the most ingenious planning and the strenuous efforts of thousands of soldiers and sailors was such a disaster avoided. The Admiral summed up the results of “this fatal campaign” which “has upset everything” to date: “It has delayed 10,000 troops of General Sherman, on which he depended to open the State of Missis-sippi; it has drawn General Steele from Arkansas and already given the rebels a foothold in that country; it has forced me to withdraw many light-clad vessels from points on the Mississippi to protect this army.
1897 – The Chickasaw and Choctaw, two of the Five Civilized Tribes, become the first to agree to abolish tribal government and communal ownership of land. The other tribes soon followed, finally throwing open all of Indian Territory to white settlement. Representatives of the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes had been negotiating the future of their people with the Dawes Commission since 1893. President Grover Cleveland created the Dawes Commission to realize the goals of the 1887 Dawes Severalty Act. Backers of the Dawes Severalty Act believed Indians would be better able to integrate into mainstream society if they abandoned tribal governments and ownership of land. Instead, every male Indian received a plot of land to own privately. Any tribal land that remained-which in most cases was a substantial amount-would be open to settlement by Anglo-Americans. Most Native American tribes were forced to abide by the Dawes Severalty Act regardless of their wishes. However, a treaty from 1830 promised the Five Civilized Tribes living in Oklahoma Indian Territory their land for “as long as the grass grows and water runs,” and the Dawes Act did not apply to them. Instead, the Dawes Commission was formed to convince them to adopt its principles voluntarily. At the same time, Congress also threatened to make it harder for the Five Civilized Tribes to maintain their traditional ways of life. The Curtis Act, for example, invalidated the authority of all tribal courts. Recognizing that they had little hope of maintaining their old ways, in 1897, the Choctaws and Chickasaws became the first to agree voluntarily to abandon tribal government and land ownership. By 1902, the other three tribes-the Cherokees, Seminoles, and Creeks-had followed suit. Despite the sincere humanitarian goals of the Dawes Act and Commission, the ultimate effect was to deprive Indians of most of their landholdings. Fraud was rampant, and some Indians either did not know they needed to apply for their private acreage or refused to do so in protest. From 1887 to 1934, Indian landholdings declined from 138 million to 47 million acres. Since the Dawes Act was rescinded in 1934, however, tribal ownership and government have again become legal.
1898 – U.S. warships engage Spanish gunboats and shore batteries at Cienfuegos, Cuba.
1918 – CGC Seneca saves 81 survivors from the torpedoed British naval sloop Cowslip while on convoy route to Gibraltar. Cowslip was attacked by three German U-boats.
1919 – The first jump with an Army Air Corps (rip-cord type) parachute was made by Les Irvin.
1932 – A vaccine for yellow fever is announced for use on humans. In 1927, scientists had isolated the yellow fever virus in West Africa. Following this, vaccines were developed in the 1930s. The vaccine 17D was developed by the South African microbiologist Max Theiler at the Rockefeller Institute in New York City. This vaccine was widely used by the U.S. Army during World War II.
1937 – Saddam Hussein, future president of Iraq, was born in the village of al-Oja near the desert town of Tikrit. His invasion of Kuwait prompted the Persian Gulf War. This became a state holiday under Hussein’s rule and was abolished in 2003.
1943 – The German 8th Panzer Regiment counterattacks the British forces that have occupied Djebel Bou Aoukaz. American forces make some gains in “Mousetrap Valley.”
1944 – Fast carrier task force (12 carriers) commence 2 day bombing of Truk.
1944 – American and Japanese forces, moving west from Wewak, engage near Aitape in New Guinea.
1944 – Nine German E-boats attacked US and UK units during Exercise Tiger, the rehearsal for the Normandy landings, killing 946.
1945 – “Il Duce,” Benito Mussolini, and his mistress, Clara Petacci, are shot by Italian partisans who had captured the couple as they attempted to flee to Switzerland. The 61-year-old deposed former dictator of Italy was established by his German allies as the figurehead of a puppet government in northern Italy during the German occupation toward the close of the war. As the Allies fought their way up the Italian peninsula, defeat of the Axis powers all but certain, Mussolini considered his options. Not wanting to fall into the hands of either the British or the Americans, and knowing that the communist partisans, who had been fighting the remnants of roving Italian fascist soldiers and thugs in the north, would try him as a war criminal, he settled on escape to a neutral country. He and his mistress made it to the Swiss border, only to discover that the guards had crossed over to the partisan side. Knowing they would not let him pass, he disguised himself in a Luftwaffe coat and helmet, hoping to slip into Austria with some German soldiers. His subterfuge proved incompetent, and he and Petacci were discovered by partisans and shot, their bodies then transported by truck to Milan, where they were hung upside down and displayed publicly for revilement by the masses.
1945 – The US 7th Army captures Augsburg in its advance south toward Austria. Other Allied units are crossing the Elbe River in the north and others are advancing on Munich in the south.
1945 – On Okinawa, fighting along the Shuri Line continues. American forces employ tanks, flame-throwers and artillery in an effort to destroy Japanese defensive positions.
1946 – Allies indicted Hideki Tojo, former premier and war minister of Japan, with 55 counts of war crimes. The International Military Tribunal for the Far East meted out justice to Japanese war criminals at locations throughout Asia.
1952 – The United States occupation of Japan ends as the Treaty of San Francisco, ratified September 8, 1951, comes into force.
1952 – At his own request, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, one of the most highly regarded American generals of World War II, was relieved of his post as supreme commander of the combined land and air forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In 1942, General Eisenhower commanded American forces in Great Britain, in 1943, led the invasions of North Africa and Italy, and in 1944, was appointed supreme commander of the Allied invasion of Western Europe. After the war, he briefly served as president of Columbia University, before returning to military service in 1951 as supreme commander of NATO–a permanent military alliance established in 1949 by the democracies of Western Europe and North America as a safeguard against the threat of Soviet aggression. However, pressure on Eisenhower to run for the U.S. presidency was great, and in April of 1952, he relinquished his NATO command to campaign on the Republican ticket. In November 1952, “Ike” won a resounding victory in the presidential elections, and in 1956, he was reelected by a landslide.
1955 – The US Embassy is told to burn Dulles’ order of the preceding day. Diem has succeeded in fighting in Saigon, but most of the more than 2000 Binh Xuyen, Cao Dai, and Hoa Hao fighters who withdrew into the Mekong Delta will remerge to continue opposition to Diem as Vietcong.
1956 – Last French troops left Vietnam.
1965 – In an effort to forestall what he claims will be a “communist dictatorship” in the Dominican Republic, President Lyndon B. Johnson sends more than 22,000 U.S. troops to restore order on the island nation. Johnson’s action provoked loud protests in Latin America and skepticism among many in the United States. Troubles in the Dominican Republic began in 1961, when long-time dictator Rafael Trujillo was assassinated. Trujillo had been a brutal leader, but his strong anticommunist stance helped him retain the support of the United States. His death led to the rise of a reformist government headed by Juan Bosch, who was elected president in 1962. The Dominican military, however, despised Bosch and his liberal policies. Bosch was overthrown in 1963. Political chaos gripped the Dominican Republic as various groups, including the increasingly splintered military, struggled for power. By 1965, forces demanding the reinstatement of Bosch began attacks against the military-controlled government. In the United States government, fear spread that “another Cuba” was in the making in the Dominican Republic; in fact, many officials strongly suspected that Cuban leader Fidel Castro was behind the violence. On April 28, more than 22,000 U.S. troops, supported by forces provided by some of the member states of the Organization of American States (a United Nations-like institution for the Western Hemisphere, dominated by the United States) landed in the Dominican Republic. Over the next few weeks they brought an end to the fighting and helped install a conservative, non-military government. President Johnson declared that he had taken action to forestall the establishment of a “communist dictatorship” in the Dominican Republic. As evidence, he provided American reporters with lists of suspected communists in that nation. Even cursory reviews of the list revealed that the evidence was extremely flimsy–some of the people on the list were dead and others could not be considered communists by any stretch of the imagination. Many Latin American governments and private individuals and organizations condemned the U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic as a return to the “gunboat diplomacy” of the early-20th century, when U.S. Marines invaded and occupied a number of Latin American nations on the slightest pretexts. In the United States, politicians and citizens who were already skeptical of Johnson’s policy in Vietnam heaped scorn on Johnson’s statements about the “communist danger” in the Dominican Republic. Such criticism would become more and more familiar to the Johnson administration as the U.S. became more deeply involved in the war in Vietnam.
1965 – CIA director John A. McCone sends a personal memo to President Johnson stating his view that unless the United States is willing to further intensify bombing, there is no use in committing more US ground troops.
1967 – Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted into the Army and was stripped of his boxing title.
1967 – General Westmoreland addresses a joint session of Congress and receives a standing ovation, declaring, “Backed at home by resolve, confidence, patience, determination, and continued support, we will prevail in Vietnam over the Communist aggressor.”
1970 – President Richard Nixon gives his formal authorization to commit U.S. combat troops, in cooperation with South Vietnamese units, against communist troop sanctuaries in Cambodia. Secretary of State William Rogers and Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, who had continually argued for a downsizing of the U.S. effort in Vietnam, were excluded from the decision to use U.S. troops in Cambodia. Gen. Earle Wheeler, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, cabled Gen. Creighton Abrams, senior U.S. commander in Saigon, informing him of the decision that a “higher authority has authorized certain military actions to protect U.S. forces operating in South Vietnam.” Nixon believed that the operation was necessary as a pre-emptive strike to forestall North Vietnamese attacks from Cambodia into South Vietnam as the U.S. forces withdrew and the South Vietnamese assumed more responsibility for the fighting. Nevertheless, three National Security Council staff members and key aides to presidential assistant Henry Kissinger resigned in protest over what amounted to an invasion of Cambodia. When Nixon publicly announced the Cambodian incursion on April 30, it set off a wave of antiwar demonstrations. A protest at Kent State University resulted in the killing of four students by Army National Guard troops. Another student rally at Jackson State College in Mississippi resulted in the death of two students and 12 wounded when police opened fire on a women’s dormitory. The incursion angered many in Congress, who felt that Nixon was illegally widening the war; this resulted in a series of congressional resolutions and legislative initiatives that would severely limit the executive power of the president.
1972 – The North Vietnamese offensive continues as Fire Base Bastogne, 20 miles west of Hue, falls to the communists. Fire Base Birmingham, 4 miles to the east, was also under heavy attack. As fighting intensified all across the northern province of South Vietnam, much of Hue’s civilian population tried to escape south to Da Nang. Farther south in the Central Highlands, 20,000 North Vietnamese troops converged on Kontum, encircling it and cutting it off. Only 65 miles north of Saigon, An Loc lay under siege and continued to take a pummeling from North Vietnamese artillery, rockets, and ground attacks. To the American command in Saigon, it appeared that South Vietnam was on the verge of total defeat by the North Vietnamese, but the South Vietnamese were able to hold out.
1975 – Operation Frequent Wind evacuation from Vietnam begins.
1977 – In Stuttgart, West Germany, the lengthy trial of the leaders of the terrorist Baader-Meinhof Gang, also known as the Red Army Faction, ends with Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, and Jan-Carl Raspe being found guilty of four counts of murder and more than 30 counts of attempted murder. Each defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment, Germany’s most severe punishment. The Red Army Faction was founded by ultra-left revolutionaries Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof in 1968. Advocating communist revolution in West Germany, the group employed terrorist tactics against government, military, and corporate leaders in an effort to topple capitalism in their homeland. Baader was imprisoned in 1970 but escaped, and Meinhof was captured in 1972. In 1976, Baader was recaptured, and Meinhof hanged herself in her cell. During the trial of Baader and his associates, the few Red Army Faction members still at large continued their program of violence and assassination. In 1976, two Baader-Meinhof guerrillas took part in the Palestinian hijacking of an Air France jetliner that ended with the Israeli raid on the Entebbe airport in Uganda. Both Germans were killed. In April 1977, Baader and the others were sentence to life. Six months later, Palestinian terrorists hijacked a Lufthansa airliner to Somalia and demanded the release of imprisoned Red Army Faction members. On October 17, West German commandos stormed the plane in Mogadishu, releasing the captives and killing the hijackers. The next day, Baader and three others were found shot in their jail cells, presumably suicides. Red Army Faction violence continued until 1992, when the group officially called off its terrorist campaign. It was later discovered that the East German secret police had provided training, supplies, and protection to the Red Army Faction during the 1970s.
1980 – President Carter accepted the resignation of Secretary of State Cyrus Vance (1917-2002), who had opposed the failed rescue mission aimed at freeing American hostages in Iran. The decision to proceed had been spearheaded by Zbigniew Brzeninski.
1986 – The United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Enterprise becomes the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to transit the Suez Canal, navigating from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea to relieve the USS Coral Sea.
1987 – Contra rebels in Nicaragua killed Benjamin Ernest Linder, an American engineer working on a hydroelectric project for the Sandinista government.
1989 – President Bush announced the U.S. and Japan had concluded a deal on joint development of a new Japanese jet fighter, the FSX, despite concerns that U.S. technology secrets would be given away.
1993 – Coast Guard PACAREA LEDETs (Pacific Area Law Enforcement Detachments), operating from the USS Valley Forge and USS Cleveland, boarded the St. Vincent-flagged 225-foot freighter Sea Chariot about 300 miles southwest of Panama. The boarding team discovered bales of cocaine in some of the containers aboard and then seized the vessel. The vessel was escorted through the Panama Canal to Station Miami Beach where a search of the vessel’s containers turned up 11,233 pounds of cocaine.
1993 – The last A-6E Intruder departed from Marine Corps service. Marine All Weather Attack Squadron 332 transferred the last Marine A-6E to St. Augustine, Florida. They then prepared for the squadron’s transition to the F/A-18D and eventual movement from Cherry Point to Beaufort, South Carolina.
1993 – Secretary of Defense Les Aspin issues a directive allowing women to fly fighter aircraft in combat. It only takes the Air Guard three days to bring its first female fighter pilot on board when Major Jackie Parker transfers from the Regular Air Force to New York’s 138th Fighter Squadron on May 1st. Other women will follow her example so that by January 2005 there are ten female fighter pilots flying Air Guard combat aircraft.
1994 – Former CIA official Aldrich Ames, who had betrayed U.S. secrets to the Soviet Union and then Russia, pleaded guilty to espionage and tax evasion, and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. His wife Rosario also pleaded guilty.
1998 – Despite direct appeals for relief from Iraq’s foreign minister and oil minister, the United Nations Security Council decides to continue economic sanctions on Iraq, imposed in 1990 following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. The Security Council also announces that it will once again begin reviewing the sanctions every 60 days. The Council suspended60-day reviews in October 1997 after Iraq expelled American members of U.N. weapons inspection teams.
1999 – The US House voted 249-180 that congressional approval would be required to send troops to Yugoslavia. A Democratic resolution supporting NATO air strikes tied 213-213.
1999 – The US announced that it would allow US firms to sell food and medicine to Iran, Sudan and Libya.
2000 – In a sharp repudiation of President Clinton’s policies, the House rejected, on a tie vote of 213-to-213, a measure expressing support for NATO’s five-week-old air campaign against Yugoslavia; the House also voted 249-to-180 to limit the president’s authority to use ground forces in Yugoslavia.
2001 – A Russian Soyuz rocket lifted off for the Int’l. Space Station with two cosmonauts and California businessman Dennis Tito (60), who paid some $20 million, for the experience. Tito was the founder of the Wilshire Associates investment firm.
2001 – A LEDET assigned to the USS Rodney M. Davis, with later assistance from the USCGC Active made the largest cocaine seizure in maritime history when they boarded and seized the Belizean F/V Svesda Maru 1,500 miles south of San Diego. The fishing vessel was carrying 26,931 pounds of cocaine.
2003 – US soldiers opened fire on Iraqis at a nighttime demonstration against the American presence there after people shot at them with automatic rifles. The director of the local hospital said 13 people were killed and 75 injured. Amer Mohammed Rashid (6 of spades), known to UN weapons inspectors as the “Missile Man” and ranked 47th on the US most-wanted list of 55 members of Saddam’s inner circle, surrendered.
2003 – The US moved an air operation center from Saudi Arabia to Qatar.
2003 – The United States pledged $4 million to help keep peacekeepers in the Ivory Coast in addition to the $5 million it has already given to ECOWAS.
2003 – On Saddam Hussein’s 66th birthday, some 300 prominent Iraqis met in Baghdad under US direction to convene a national conference to create an interim government.
2003 – The Soyuz space capsule carrying a U.S.-Russian space crew docked with the international space station.
2004 – CBS broadcast photos on “60 Minutes” showing US abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.
2004 – In Iraq a series of explosions and gunfire rocked Fallujah in new fighting the day after a heavy battle in which U.S. warplanes and artillery pounded the city in a show of force against Sunni insurgents. Elsewhere 1 US and 2 Ukrainian soldiers were killed.
2004 – The six nations involved in resolving the North Korea nuclear arsenal dispute — the United States, China, the two Koreas, Russia and Japan —scheduled to begin working level talks May 12 in Beijing, China.
2004 – The UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution requiring all 191 UN states to pass laws to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of terrorists.
2006 – U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan becomes the highest-ranking officer to have charges brought against him in connection with the Abu Ghraib abuse.
2011 – U.S. president Barack Obama nominates General David Petraeus, current head of the war on Afghanistan, as his new CIA chief, and names outgoing CIA chief Leon Panetta as head of The Pentagon.
2014 – President Barack Obama calls for an investigation into the situation at the Phoenix VA hospital.
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