This Day in U.S. Military History…… August 10

10 August
1680 – The Pueblo Revolt, an uprising of most of the Pueblo Indians against the Spanish colonizers in the province of Santa Fe de Nuevo México, present day New Mexico, begins. The Pueblo killed 400 Spanish and drove the remaining 2,000 settlers out of the province. Twelve years later the Spanish returned and were able to reoccupy New Mexico with little opposition.
1755 – Under the orders of Charles Lawrence, the British Army begins to forcibly deport the Acadians from Nova Scotia to the Thirteen Colonies.
1814 – John Clifford Pemberton (d.1881), Lt Gen (Confederate Army), was born.
1776 – American Revolutionary War: word of the United States Declaration of Independence reaches London.
1821 – Missouri enters the Union as the 24th state–and the first located entirely west of the Mississippi River. Named for one of the Native American groups that once lived in the territory, Missouri became a U.S. possession as part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. In 1817, Missouri Territory applied for statehood, but the question of whether it would be slave or free delayed approval by Congress. In 1820, the Missouri Compromise was reached, admitting Missouri as a slave state but excluding slavery from the other Louisiana Purchase lands north of Missouri’s southern border. Missouri’s August 1821 entrance into the Union as a slave state was met with disapproval by many of its citizens. In 1861, when other slave states succeeded from the Union, Missouri chose to remain; although a provincial government was established in the next year by Confederate sympathizers. During the war, Missourians were split in their allegiances, supplying both Union and Confederate forces with troops. Lawlessness persisted during this period, and Missouri-born Confederate guerrillas such as Jesse James continued this lawlessness after the South’s defeat. With the ratification of Missouri’s new constitution by the citizens of the state in 1875, the old divisions were finally put to rest.
1831 – William Driver of Salem, Massachusetts, was the first to use the term “Old Glory” in connection with the American flag, when he gave that name to a large flag aboard his ship, the Charles Daggett.
1846 – After a decade of debate about how best to spend a bequest left to America from an obscure English scientist, President James K. Polk signs the Smithsonian Institution Act into law. In 1829, James Smithson died in Italy, leaving behind a will with a peculiar footnote. In the event that his only nephew died without any heirs, Smithson decreed that the whole of his estate would go to “the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Smithson’s curious bequest to a country that he had never visited aroused significant attention on both sides of the Atlantic. Smithson had been a fellow of the venerable Royal Society of London from the age of 22, publishing numerous scientific papers on mineral composition, geology, and chemistry. In 1802, he overturned popular scientific opinion by proving that zinc carbonates were true carbonate minerals, and one type of zinc carbonate was later named smithsonite in his honor. Six years after his death, his nephew, Henry James Hungerford, indeed died without children, and on July 1, 1836, the U.S. Congress authorized acceptance of Smithson’s gift. President Andrew Jackson sent diplomat Richard Rush to England to negotiate for transfer of the funds, and two years later Rush set sail for home with 11 boxes containing a total of 104,960 gold sovereigns, 8 shillings, and 7 pence, as well as Smithson’s mineral collection, library, scientific notes, and personal effects. After the gold was melted down, it amounted to a fortune worth well over $500,000. After considering a series of recommendations, including the creation of a national university, a public library, or an astronomical observatory, Congress agreed that the bequest would support the creation of a museum, a library, and a program of research, publication, and collection in the sciences, arts, and history. On August 10, 1846, the act establishing the Smithsonian Institution was signed into law by President James K. Polk. Today, the Smithsonian is composed of 18 museums and galleries and many research facilities throughout the United States and the world. Besides the original Smithsonian Institution Building, popularly known as the “Castle,” visitors to Washington, D.C., tour the National Museum of Natural History, which houses the natural science collections, the National Zoological Park, and the National Portrait Gallery. The National Museum of American History houses the original Star-Spangled Banner and other artifacts of U.S. history. The National Air and Space Museum has the distinction of being the most visited museum in the world, exhibiting such marvels of aviation and space history as the Wright brothers’ plane and Freedom 7, the space capsule that took the first American into space. John Smithson, the Smithsonian Institution’s great benefactor, is interred in a tomb in the Smithsonian Building.
1861 – The struggle for Missouri erupts with the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, where a motley band of raw Confederates defeat a Union force in the southwestern section of the state. Union General Nathaniel Lyon, who commanded a Union force of 6,400 soldiers near Springfield, Missouri, was up against two Rebel forces commanded by Generals Sterling Price and Ben McCulloch. Although the Confederates were poorly equipped and trained at this early stage of the war, Price and McCulloch had a combined force nearly twice the size of Lyon’s. But the impetuous Union commander did not want to cede the region without a fight, and so he planned an attack on August 10. Lyon sent General Franz Sigel with 1,200 men to attack the rear while he struck the surprised Confederates just after dawn. At first, the artillery barrage sent the Rebel camp into a panic, and the day seemed to belong to the Yankees. But Sigel mistook a force emerging from the smoke for an Iowa regiment, when it was actually a Louisiana regiment clad in similar uniforms since many of the Rebel units were dressed in colors of their own choosing. The Confederates pushed Sigel back, and the tide turned against Lyon’s force as well. In intense heat and humidity, the armies battled throughout the morning. Lyon was killed during one of the Confederate assaults, but the Union line managed to hold their ground. Although the Rebels withdrew from the field, the Union army was disorganized and running low on ammunition. Losses were heavy, with both sides suffering about 1,200 casualties. The Federals soon retreated to Springfield and then back to the railhead at Rolla, Missouri, 100 miles to the northeast. Southwestern Missouri was secured for the Confederates.
1862 – Rear Admiral Farragut reported to Secretary of the Navy Welles that he had partially destroyed Donaldsonville, Louisiana, in reprisal for the firing by guerrilla forces on steamers ”passing up and down the river.” Farragut wrote that he had ”sent a message to the inhabitants that if they did not discontinue this practice, I would destroy their town. The last time I passed up to Baton Rouge to the support of the army, I. . . heard them firing upon the vessels coming up, first upon the Sallie Robinson and next upon the Brooklyn. In the latter case they made a mistake, and it was so quickly returned that they ran away. The next night they fired again upon the St. Charles. I therefore ordered them to send their women and children out of the town, as I cer-tainly intended to destroy it on my way down the river, and I fulfilled my promise to a certain extent. I burned down the hotels and wharf buildings, also the dwelling houses and other buildings of a Mr. Phillippe Landry, who is said to be a captain of guerrillas.” Though Farragut had no taste for devastating private property, he felt justified in doing so if private citizens endan-gered the lives of his men.
1864 – Confederate Commander John Bell Hood sent his cavalry north of Atlanta to cut off Union General William Sherman’s supply lines.
1864 – Rear Admiral Farragut continued steady day and night bombardment, battering down the walls of Fort Morgan resolutely defended by his former shipmate, General Page.
1874 – Herbert Clark Hoover (d.1964), the 31st president of the United States (1929-1933), was born in West Branch, Iowa.
1914 – France declares war on Austria-Hungary.
1916 – First Naval aircraft production contract, for N-9s.
1920 – Ottoman sultan Mehmed VI’s representatives sign the Treaty of Sèvres that divides up the Ottoman Empire between the European Allies. The treaty is never ratified.
1921 – Franklin D. Roosevelt (39) was stricken with polio at his summer home on the Canadian island of Campobello, New Brunswick. Mrs. Roosevelt acted as her partially paralyzed husband’s eyes and ears by traveling, observing and reporting her observations to him. As First Lady, an author and newspaper columnist and, later, a delegate to the United Nations, Eleanor Roosevelt labored tirelessly for the poor and disadvantaged. In the words of historian John Kenneth Galbraith, she showed “more than any other person of her time, that an American could truly be a world citizen.”
1921 – General Order establishes the Bureau of Aeronautics under RADM William Moffett.
1942 – An American submarine sinks the Japanese heavy cruiser Kako while it was returning to Rabual after the battle at Savo Island.
1943 – Another Allied amphibious operation is carried out on the north coast. Forces land at Brolo, east of Cape Orlando. The Germans again fall back.
1944 – On Guam, American forces have secured the island. Insignificant groups of Japanese continue their resistance. American casualties amount to 7000, including 1300 killed. Only 100 Japanese prisoners have been taken, out of a garrison estimated at over 10,000 men.
1944 – US 3rd Army continues attacking. The US 8th Corps, in Brittany, has cleared St. Malo and Dinard of their German garrisons. The US 20th Corps captures Nantes and reaches the Loire River near Nantes. The US 15th Corps advances toward Alencon from Le Mans. German forces around Mortain pull back because of pressure from US 1st Army and the growing threat of encirclement from the converging Canadian and American armies.
1945 – US and British battleships bombard the city of Kimaishi, cocentrating on the steel mills.
1945 – US aircraft strike strategic targets on Honshu. In an effort to destroy Japanese aircraft moved to northern Honshu Island, US and British carrier aircraft attack airfields in continuous waves. A total of 34 Allied aircraft are lost, while 397 Japanese aircraft are claimed destroyed and 320 damaged.
1945 – Just a day after the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan submits its acquiescence to the Potsdam Conference terms of unconditional surrender, as President Harry S. Truman orders a halt to atomic bombing. Emperor Hirohito, having remained aloof from the daily decisions of prosecuting the war, rubber-stamping the decisions of his War Council, including the decision to bomb Pearl Harbor, finally felt compelled to do more. At the behest of two Cabinet members, the emperor summoned and presided over a special meeting of the Council and implored them to consider accepting the terms of the Potsdam Conference, which meant unconditional surrender. “It seems obvious that the nation is no longer able to wage war, and its ability to defend its own shores is doubtful.” The Council had been split over the surrender terms; half the members wanted assurances that the emperor would maintain his hereditary and traditional role in a postwar Japan before surrender could be considered. But in light of the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, Nagasaki on August 9, and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, as well as the emperor’s own request that the Council “bear the unbearable,” it was agreed: Japan would surrender. Tokyo released a message to its ambassadors in Switzerland and Sweden, which was then passed on to the Allies. The message formally accepted the Potsdam Declaration but included the proviso that “said Declaration does not comprise any demand which prejudices the prerogatives of His Majesty as sovereign ruler.” When the message reached Washington, President Truman, unwilling to inflict any more suffering on the Japanese people, especially on “all those kids,” ordered a halt to atomic bombing, He also wanted to know whether the stipulation regarding “His Majesty” was a deal breaker. Negotiations between Washington and Tokyo ensued. Meanwhile, savage fighting continued between Japan and the Soviet Union in Manchuria.
1949 – President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Bill, which establishes the Department of Defense. As the Cold War heated up, the Department of Defense became the cornerstone of America’s military effort to contain the expansion of communism. In 1947, the National Security Act established the Cabinet-level position of secretary of defense, which oversaw a rather unwieldy umbrella military-defense agency known as the National Military Establishment. The secretary of defense, however, was just one of a number of military-related cabinet positions, including the pre-existing secretaries for the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The growing complexity of the Cold War, a war in which the mishandled application of military force could lead to a world war of cataclysmic proportions, convinced U.S. officials that the 1947 act needed to be revised. In 1949, the National Security Bill streamlined the defense agencies of the U.S. government. The 1949 bill replaced the National Military Establishment with the Department of Defense. The bill also removed the cabinet-level status of the secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, who would henceforth be subordinate to the Secretary of Defense. The first person to hold this position was Louis Johnson. Finally, the bill provided for the office of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in an effort to bring to end to the inter-service bickering that had characterized the Joint Chiefs in recent years. World War II hero General Omar Bradley was appointed the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The National Security Bill of 1949 was the result of the realization that more coordination and efficiency were needed for America’s military-defense bureaucracy, which had experienced tremendous growth during and after World War II. The Cold War was a new and dangerous kind of war for America, and the 1949 reorganization was recognition of the need for a different approach to U.S. defense.
1950 – The Air Force Reserve’s 452nd Light Bombardment Wing and 437th Troop Carrier Wing was recalled to active duty.
1950 – U.S. and Australian warplanes conducted large-scale bombing missions on transportation and communications targets in North Korea.
1950 – The U.S. Army activated the IX Corps at Fort Sheridan, Ill., and ordered it to Korea. President Truman raised the authorized strength of the Army to 1,081,000. Due to an inadequate response to the request for volunteers, the Army involuntarily recalled 7,862 captains and lieutenants to report in September and October.
1950 – The first Marine Corps helicopter rescue of a downed pilot was successfully made by VMO-6.
1953 – The French Union withdraws its forces from Operation Camargue against the Viet Minh in central Vietnam.
1955 – Declaring that South Vietnam is ‘the only legal state,’ Diem rejects talks with North Vietnam, reaffirming the policy he laid out in his 6 July broadcast.
1961 – First use in Vietnam War of the Agent Orange by the U.S. Army.
1966 – Troops of the First Battalion, Fifth Marines fight a bitter battle against NVA forces in Quang Tin province, 60 miles west of Tam Ky. In Thailand, a U.S.-built air base is opened in Sattahib. Ultimately, there would be five major airbases and over 49,000 U.S. military personnel in Thailand. The bases would be turned over to the Thais and the U.S. troops withdrawn in 1973.
1972 – North Vietnamese forces block Routes 1, 4, and 13, all major South Vietnamese ground supply routes to Saigon. For the next two months, Communist forces repeatedly interdicted these and other key supply routes critical to Saigon’s survival in an attempt to strangle the city. This was all part of the Nguyen Hue Offensive, which had been launched in late March. In an invasion by more than 120,000 communist troops, the North Vietnamese had taken Quang Tri and lay siege to An Loc and Kontum. Despite desperate fighting on a level heretofore unseen in the war, the South Vietnamese forces, with American advisors and U.S. tactical air support, had withstood the invasion and were preparing to retake Quang Tri. At one point, the North Vietnamese forces had been less than 60 miles from Saigon, but were stopped by the South Vietnamese forces at An Loc, on Highway 13 north of the city.
1977 – US and Panama signed a Panama Canal Zone accord. [see Sep 7]
1988 – President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act, a measure providing $20,000 payments to Japanese-Americans interned by the U.S. government during World War II.
1990 – US’s Magellan spacecraft landed on Venus.
1990 – The Military Sealift Command began loading equipment and supplies from the Garden City Port in Savannah, Georgia, to support Allied operations during Operation Desert Shield. Coast Guard units, including reservists called-up specifically for this operation, maintained security zones and ensured the safe loading of the vessels.
1991 – The Revolutionary Justice Organization, one of the groups holding hostages in Lebanon, announced it would release an American within 72 hours. The next day, Edward Tracy was freed.
1995 – Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were charged with eleven counts in the Oklahoma City bombing. McVeigh was later convicted of murder and was executed on June 11, 2001, at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana; Nichols was convicted of conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter.
1997 – U.S. envoy Dennis Ross met separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in an attempt to restart the Mideast peace process.
2000 – A US Navy helicopter crashed in the Gulf of Mexico. 2 crew members were rescued, 2 were killed and 2 were missing.
2000 – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez meets with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in Baghdad as part of a tour of members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). He is the first head of state to visit Saddam Hussein since the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
2001 – Space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral with supplies and a fresh crew for the Int’l Space Station.
2001 – About 20 US and British jets bombed air-defense installation south of Baghdad in retaliation for increased anti-aircraft activity.
2001 – The United States and Great Britain reject a proposal by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to permit the Iraqi government to use $1billion per year to fund infrastructure improvements and to increase oil production capacity. It has been suggested that without infrastructure investment, Iraq’s production could fall significantly over the next few years.
2002 – It was reported that the Bush administration had begun warning foreign diplomats that they could lose US military assistance if they join the Int’l. Criminal Court without pledging to protect Americans from its reach. Article 98 allowed nations to negotiate immunity on a bilateral basis.
2003 – Saudi police arrested 10 suspected Muslim militants following a gunfight after police tried to stop their cars outside Riyadh.
2004 – Libya agreed to pay $35 million to the non-US victims of the 1986 Berlin disco bombing. Libya’s Kadhafi Foundation, which negotiated the terms of a compensation deal for victims of the bombing, demanded compensation from the United States for subsequent air strikes against the North African country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>