This Day in U.S. Military History…… April 7

7 April
1712 – There was a slave revolt in New York City. A slave insurrection in New York City was suppressed by the militia and ended with the execution of 21 blacks.
1776 – Continental brig Lexington captures British Edward. Commanded by Capt. John Barry, Lexington dropped down the Delaware River 26 March and slipped through the British blockade 6 April. The following day she fell in with British sloop Edward, a tender to the frigate Liverpool. After a fierce fight which lasted about an hour Edward struck her colors. Lexington took her prize into Philadelphia and as soon as the ship was back in fighting trim, Barry put to sea again.
1788 – American Pioneers to the Northwest Territory arrive at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers, establishing Marietta, Ohio, as the first permanent American settlement of the new United States in the Northwest Territory, and opening the westward expansion of the new country.
1798 – The Mississippi Territory is organized from disputed territory claimed by both the United States and Spain. The Mississippi Territory was expanded in 1804 and again in 1812 until it extended from the Gulf of Mexico to the southern border of Tennessee. (Georgia gave up the northern portion in 1802, and the Gulf Coast region was acquired from Spain.) Originally Mississippi Territory included what is now Alabama, and 9 months before Mississippi was admitted into the Union in 1817, the Alabama Territory to the east was separated out on March 3. The Territory of Mississippi was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed until December 10, 1817, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Mississippi.
1805 – The Corps of Discovery breaks camp among the Mandan tribe and resumes its journey West along the Missouri River.
1818 – Gen. Andrew Jackson captured St. Marks, FL, from the Seminole Indians. Jackson had gathered his forces at Fort Scott in March 1818, including 800 U.S. Army regulars, 1,000 Tennessee volunteers, 1,000 Georgia militia, and about 1,400 friendly Lower Creek warriors (under command of Brigadier General William McIntosh, a Creek chief). On March 15, Jackson’s army entered Florida, marching down the Apalachicola River. When they reached the site of the Negro Fort, destroyed two years earlier, Jackson had his men construct a new fort, Fort Gadsden. The army then set out for the Mikasuki villages around Lake Miccosukee. The Indian town of Tallahassee was burned on March 31, and the town of Miccosukee was taken the next day. More than 300 Indian homes were destroyed. Jackson then turned south, reaching St. Marks on April 6. At St. Marks Jackson seized the Spanish fort. There he found Alexander George Arbuthnot, a Scottish trader working out of the Bahamas. He traded with the Indians in Florida and had written letters to British and American officials on behalf of the Indians. He was rumored to be selling guns to the Indians and to be preparing them for war. He probably was selling guns, since the main trade item of the Indians was deer skins, and they needed guns to hunt the deer. Two Indian leaders, Josiah Francis, a Red Stick Creek, also known as the “Prophet”, and Homathlemico, had been captured when they had gone out to an American ship flying the British Union Flag that had anchored off of St. Marks. As soon as Jackson arrived at St. Marks, the two Indians were brought ashore and hanged without trial.
1862 – Union forces led by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant defeated the Confederates at the battle of Shiloh in Tennessee. Gen. Ulysses Grant after the Battle of Shiloh said: “I saw an open field… so covered with dead that it would have been possible to walk across… in any direction, stepping on dead bodies without a foot touching the ground.” More than 9,000 Americans died.
1863 – Battle of Charleston, SC. The Federal fleet attack on Fort Sumter failed. The First Battle of Charleston Harbor was an engagement near Charleston, South Carolina during the American Civil War. The striking force was a fleet of nine ironclad warships of the Union Navy, including seven monitors that were improved versions of the original USS Monitor. A Union Army contingent associated with the attack took no active part in the battle. The ships, under command of Rear Admiral Samuel Francis Du Pont, attacked the Confederate defenses near the entrance to Charleston Harbor. Navy Department officials in Washington hoped for a stunning success that would validate a new form of warfare, with armored warships mounting heavy guns reducing traditional forts. Du Pont had been given seven of the Passaic class monitors, the powerful New Ironsides, and the experimental ironclad Keokuk. Other naval operations were sidetracked as their resources were diverted to the attack on Charleston. After a long period of preparation, conditions of tide and visibility allowed the attack to proceed. The slow monitors got into position rather late in the afternoon, and when the tide turned, Du Pont had to suspend the operation. Firing had occupied less than two hours, and the ships had been unable to penetrate even the first line of harbor defense. The fleet retired with one in a sinking condition and most of the others damaged. One sailor in the fleet was killed and twenty-one were wounded, while five Confederate soldiers were killed and eight wounded. After consulting with his captains, Du Pont concluded that his fleet had little chance to succeed. He therefore declined to renew the battle the next morning.
1917 – Navy takes control of all wireless radio stations in the U.S. With the US declaration of war on Germany came Executive Order 2585, which cited the presidential powers enumerated in the Radio Act of 1912 by calling for the complete government take over of all necessary radio stations, while calling for the closing of unnecessary ones. Amateur stations along with any commercial station for which there was no foreseeable use by the Navy were to be completely shut down, or in the case of home made sets, dismantled. Commercial and private radio was henceforth, completely shut down for the duration of the war,and for the only time in American history, made a full government monopoly.
1922 – U.S. Secretary of Interior leased Naval Reserve #3, “Teapot Dome,” in Wyoming to Harry F. Sinclair.
1927 – Philo Farnsworth (21) demonstrated a working prototype of a TV. AT&T Bell Labs scientists invented long-distance TV transmission. An audience in New York saw an image of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover in the first successful long-distance demonstration of television. His first tele-electronic image was transmitted on a glass slide in his SF lab at 202 Green St.
1933 – “Near beer” (3.2 beer) became legal after FDR signed an amendment to the Volstead Act, which had made drinking alcohol a federal crime. Prohibition ended when Utah became the 38th state to ratify 21st Amendment.
1941 – US naval and air bases open in Bermuda. The carrier Ranger and other ships are to be based there as the Central Atlantic Neutrality Patrol. These forces will be considerably increased by three battleships and two carriers later in April and during May and June.
1942 – The Navy Department today announced that Negro volunteers will be accepted for enlistment for general service in the reserve components of the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.S. Coast Guard. All ratings in those three branches of the Naval Service will be opened to them, and recruiting is to be begun as soon as a suitable training station is established. A public announcement will be made when actual recruiting gets under way. In making this announcement officials stated that the same physical and mental entrance standards required of all Navy personnel is to be required of Negroes. It was added when Negro sailors are to be utilized for duty in District craft of various kind, in maritime activities around shore establishments, in Navy Yards, and in the Navy’s new construction crews and companies which will be employed in developing bases outside the United States’ continental limits. Recruiting of Negroes for service in the Messman Branch is to continue without change or interruption.
1942 – US President Roosevelt authorizes the American commanders in the Philippines to take any necessary steps. On the Bataan peninsula, the situation for the allies continues to worsen as the Japanese continue to advance, with the greatest gains on the east side of the peninsula. The American and Filipino allies are now withdrawn to a line running inland from Limao. General Wainwright in response to the President’s order withdraws as many of his men as possible to the island of Corregidor in Manilla Bay.
1943 – British and American armies link up between Wadi Akarit and El Guettar in North Africa, forming a solid line against the German army. Axis forces are rapidly retreating from the Wadi Akarit Line.
1943 – In an effort to disrupt the American buildup in the Solomons, Japanese Admiral Yamamoto mounts an air offensive known as Operation I. The Japanese 11th Air Fleet, based on Rabaul, Kavieng and Buin is reinforced by pilots and aircraft of the carriers Zuikaku, Shokaku, Junyo and Hiyo. This leaves the Imperial Navy with almost no trained pilots. The attacks begin with a raid against Guadalcanal and Tulagi by 180 planes in which a destroyer and two other vessels are sunk.
1945 – In the East China Sea, the Japanese battleship Yamato is sighted by planes from the American carrier groups which attack the battleship in two waves, involving 380 aircraft. The Yamato suffers 10 torpedo hits and 5 bomb hits before sinking. Some 2498 Japanese are killed on board the battleship. The planes, from US Task Force 58, also sink the Japanese cruiser Yahagi and 4 destroyers accompanying the battleship. A total of 10 planes are lost.
1945 – American P-51 Mustang fighters, based on Iwo Jima, escort B-29 Superfortress bombers on a raid to Tokyo.
1945 – Japanese Kamikaze attacks damage the carrier USS Hancock and the battleship Maryland as well as other ships
1945 – First two Navy flight nurses land on an active battlefield (Iwo Jima): ENS Jane Kendeigh, USNR, and LTJG Ann Purvis, USN.
1945 – Most of US 1st and 9th Armies are heavily engaged around the Ruhr pocket. Among the gains in the Allied advance to the east is Gottingen. Free French paratroops are dropped north of Zuider Zee in Holland.
1947 – Arab students, influenced by national socialist movements in Europe, founded the Baath Party. Satia al-Husri, father of Ba’athism, was a disciple of German philosopher Johann Fichte. This became a holiday in Iraq until abolished in 2003.
1954 – At a news conference while describing the importance of defending Dienbienphu in Vietnam, President Eisenhower articulates the “Domino Theory” of confronting Communist aggression. “You have a row of dominoes set up and you knock over the first one and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly. So you have the beginning of a disintegration that will have the most profound influences.
1965 – President Johnson, in a policy speech at Johns Hopkins University, says that the United States is prepare to engage in unconditional discussions to end the war. He then lays out a number of conditions. He also calls for $1 billion in aid for Southeast Asia. North Vietnam, China and the Soviet Union will reject these proposals.
1966 – The United States recovered a hydrogen bomb it had lost off the coast of Spain.
1967 – Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara announces plans to build a fortified barrier just south of the DMZ to curb the infiltration of troops and arms into South Vietnam.
1969 – The Internet’s symbolic birth date: publication of RFC 1 entitled “Host Software”, was written by Steve Crocker of the University of California, Los Angeles.
1971 – President Nixon pledged a withdrawal of 100,000 more men from Vietnam by December.
1971 – Pres. Nixon ordered Lt. Calley, imprisoned for the Mi Lai massacre, free.
1972 – The North Vietnamese offensive in Quangtri Province slows. Good weaher allows South Vietnamese pilots to bomb Communist troop concentrations. Communist troops take Locninh, a district capital in Binhlong Province. 15,000 ARVN troops are surrounded by NVA while retreating form Locninh to Anloc.
1978 – Development of the neutron bomb is canceled by President Jimmy Carter.
1979 – Launching of first Trident submarine, USS Ohio (SSBN-726) at Groton, CT. USS Ohio (SSBN-726/SSGN-726), the lead boat of her class of nuclear-powered fleet ballistic missile submarines, was the fourth vessel of the United States Navy to be named for the 17th state. She was commissioned with the hull designation of SSBN-726, and with her conversion to a guided missile submarine she was re-designated SSGN-726.
1980 – U.S. broke relations with Iran during the hostage crises. Pres. Carter ordered all Iranian diplomats expelled from the US and prohibited any further exports to the nation.
1983 – Specialist Story Musgrave and Don Peterson took the first US space walk in almost a decade as they worked in the open cargo bay of Challenger for nearly four hours.
1988 – Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev and Afghan leader Najibullah met in the Soviet Central Asian city of Tashkent. They later issued a joint statement, announcing an to end the civil war in Afghanistan and withdraw Soviet troops.
1990 – Former national security adviser John M. Poindexter was convicted of five counts at his Iran-Contra trial. However, a federal appeals court later reversed the convictions.
1991 – US military planes began airdropping supplies to Kurdish refugees who were facing starvation and exposure in the snow-covered mountains of northern Iraq. The United States warned Iraq not to interfere with the relief effort.
1993 – European warplanes began arriving in Italy, prepared to enforce a no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1999 – The US State Dept. made public a list of Serb commanders whose names were to be sent to the Yugoslav was crimes tribunal in The Hague.
1999 – Spyros Kyprianou, the acting president of Cyprus, planned to fly to Belgrade to negotiate the release of the 3 American soldiers held by Serbia.
1999 – Heavy NATO bombing in Pristina, Kosovo. The Provincial Executive Council Building, which housed the offices of Zoran Andjelkovic, Kosovo’s top Serbian official, were was hit by bombs.
2001 – The $297 million Mars Odyssey was launched on a six-month, 286-million-mile journey to the Red Planet and was expected to arrive near Mars Oct 24. A 2-year orbit to map the planet’s chemistry and minerals was planned.
2001 – China rejected US statements of regret and continued to demand an apology for the April 1 collision between a US spy plane and Chinese jet.
2001 – In Vietnam a Russian-made M-17 helicopter carrying a team searching for American MIAs crashed and all aboard were reported killed. Rescuers recovered the bodies of 9 Vietnamese and 7 Americans the next day.
2003 – In the 19th day of Operation Iraqi Freedom US forces in tanks and armored vehicles stormed into the center of Baghdad, seizing Saddam Hussein’s Sijood and Republican palaces. As many as 5 marines were killed. Many Iraqis died in constant suicidal attacks.
2003 – A US warplane dropped 4 precision-guided 2,000-pound JDAMs and left a smoking crater 60 feet deep in the upscale al-Mansour section of western Baghdad, where Saddam Hussein was believed to have been in a meeting with top officials.
2003 – Capt. Harry Alexander Hornbuckle on the road to Baghdad led 80 US soldiers against 300 Iraqi and Syrian fighters. 200 enemy were killed with no US casualties.
2004 – The US government issued the 1st license for a manned suborbital rocket to Scaled Composites of Mojave headed by Burt Rutan.
2004 – A U.S.-led multinational force trying to bring stability to Haiti helped detain Wilford Ferdinand, a top rebel figure.
2004 – Militiamen loyal to al-Sadr, the radical Shiite cleric, clashed with Polish troops in Karbala, and Muntadhir al-Mussawi, an aide to the cleric, was killed.
2004 – In Iraq 2 German counter-terrorism GSG-9 security agents were ambushed and went missing while on a routine trip from Jordan to Baghdad.
2005 – Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a Shiite, was named Iraq’s interim prime minister; Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani was sworn in as interim president.
2006 – At 10 o’clock UTC NASA’s Pluto probe New Horizons crossed the orbit of Mars, after 78 days journey. This is a new Earth-to-Mars-distance flight record.

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