1775 – American Revolutionary War: King George III delivers his Proclamation of Rebellion to the Court of St. James’s stating that the American colonies have proceeded to a state of open and avowed rebellion.
1784 – Eastern Tennessee settlers declared their area an independent state and named it Franklin; a year later the Continental Congress rejected it.
1819 – Oliver Hazard Perry, naval hero, died on his 34th birthday.
1820 – The Revenue Cutter Louisiana captured four pirate vessels.
1861 – Allen Pinkerton, head of the new secret service agency of the Federal government, places Confederate spy Rose O’Neal Greenhow under house arrest in Washington, D.C. Greenhow was a wealthy widow living in Washington at the outbreak of the war. She was well connected in the capital and was especially close with Massachusetts Senator Henry Wilson. The Maryland native was openly committed to the Southern cause, and she soon formed a substantial spy network. Greenhow’s operation quickly paid dividends for the Confederacy. One of her operatives provided key information to Confederate General Pierre G. T. Beauregard concerning the deployment of Union General Irwin McDowell’s troops before the First Battle of Bull Run in July 1861. Beauregard later testified that this dispatch, along with further information provided by Greenhow herself, was instrumental in Beauregard’s decision to request additional troops. The move led to a decisive victory by the Rebels. It did not take the Federals long to track down the leaks in Washington. Pinkerton placed Greenhow under house arrest, and he soon confined other suspected women in her home. However, Greenhow was undeterred. She was allowed visitors, including Senator Wilson, and was able to continue funneling information to the Confederates. Frustrated, Pinkerton finally confined Greenhow and her daughter to the Old Capitol Prison for five months in early 1862. In June 1862, she and her daughter, “Little Rose,” were released and exiled to the South. Greenhow traveled to England and France to drum up support for the Southern cause, and she penned her memoirs while abroad. She returned to the Confederacy in September 1864, but a Yankee war vessel ran her ship aground in North Carolina. Weighted down by a substantial amount of gold, Greenhow’s lifeboat overturned and she drowned.
1863 – A ruthless band of guerillas attacks the town of Lawrence, Kansas, killing every man and boy in sight. Led by William Quantrill and William “Bloody Bill” Anderson, the guerillas were said to have carried out the brutal attack on behalf of the Confederacy. Included in their group was Jesse James’ brother Frank and Cole Younger, who would also play a large role in the James gang later on. Bloody Bill Anderson got his name for his love of shooting unarmed and defenseless people. Reportedly, he carried as many as eight handguns, in addition to a saber and a hatchet. His horse was also outfitted with several rifles and backup pistols. Although he claimed to have political motives for his terrorism, Anderson more likely used the Civil War as an opportunity to kill without repercussion. Jesse James, only 17 at the time, teamed up with Bloody Bill after he split from Quantrill’s band of killers. On September 24, 1864, their small splinter group terrorized and destroyed most of the town of Centralia, Missouri. They also ambushed a small troop of Union soldiers whose train happened to stop at Centralia. Twenty-five Northern soldiers were stripped and lined up while Anderson and Arch Clement proceeded to shoot each of them down in cold blood, sparing only the sergeant. A month later, Anderson paid for his crimes: He was caught by a full contingent of Union army troops in Missouri and killed in the ensuing battle. Jesse James was never brought to justice by the North for his war crimes and went on to become the 19th century’s most infamous criminal.
1863 – Confederate boat expedition under Lieutenant Wood, CSN, captured U.S.S. Reliance, Acting Ensign Henry Walter, and U.S.S Satellite, Acting Master Robinson, off Windmill Point, on the Rappahannock River. Wood had departed Richmond 11 days before with some 80 Confederates and 4 boats placed on wheels. These were launched on the 16th, 2 miles from the mouth of the Piankatank River and rowed into the bay. Concealing themselves by day and venturing forth by night, the Confederates sought for a week to find Union ships in an exposed position. Shortly after 1 o’clock in the morning, 23 August, Reliance and Satellite were found at anchor “so close to each other,” Wood reported, “that it was necessary to board both at the same time.” The two ships were quickly captured and taken up the Rappahannock to Urbanna. A “daring and brilliantly executed” plan, the capture of the two steamers shocked the North. Only a limited supply of coal on board the prizes and poor weather prevented Wood from following up his initial advantage more extensively.
1863 – As operations against the Charleston defenses continued, ironclads under Rear Admiral Dahlgren, including U.S.S. Weehawken, Montauk, Nahant, Passaic, and Patapsco, opened on Fort Sumter shortly: after 3 a.m. Confederate batteries at Fort Moultrie replied, and three of the monitors turned their attention to that quarter as fog set in, obscuring the view of both sides. “Finding Sumter pretty well used up,” Dahlgren wrote, “I concluded to haul off [at daybreak], for the men had been at work two days and two nights and were exhausted.” Much of the firing had been within a range of 1,000 yards. Later that morning U.S.S. New Ironsides, Captain Rowan, steamed abreast of and engaged Fort Wagner for an hour. In the exchange New Ironsides lost a dinghy which was cut away by a shot from a Confederate X-inch gun.
1864 – Having doggedly withstood naval bombardment for more than two weeks, and invested by Union soldiers ashore, Brigadier General Page surrendered Fort Morgan, the last Confederate bastion at Mobile Bay. “My guns and powder had all been destroyed, my means of defense gone, the citadel, nearly the entire quartermaster stores, and a portion of the commissariat burned by the enemy’s shells,” he reported. “It was evident the fort could hold out but a few hours longer under a renewed bombardment. The only question was: Hold it for this time, gain the eclat, and sustain the loss of life from the falling of the walls, or save life and capitulate?”
1864 – Acting Master’s Mate Woodman made his second dangerous reconnaissance up the Roanoke River, North Carolina, to gather intelligence on C.S.S. Albemarle and the defenses of Plymouth. Woodman reported: “At 10 a.m. I arrived on the Roanoke River, opposite Plymouth. The ram Albemarle was lying alongside of the wharf at Plymouth, protected with timbers, extending com-pletely around her . . . .” Woodman, who would make yet another reconnaissance mission, gained much vital information upon which Lieutenant Cushing planned the expedition which ended Albemarle’s career.
1864 – The Geneva Convention of 1864 for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick of Armies in the Field is adopted by 12 nations meeting in Geneva. The agreement, advocated by Swiss humanitarian Jean-Henri Dunant, called for nonpartisan care to the sick and wounded in times of war and provided for the neutrality of medical personnel. It also proposed the use of an international emblem to mark medical personnel and supplies. In honor of Dunant’s nationality, a red cross on a white background–the Swiss flag in reverse–was chosen. In 1901, Dunant was awarded the first Nobel Peace Prize. In 1881, American humanitarians Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons founded the American National Red Cross, an organization designed to provide humanitarian aid to victims of wars and natural disasters in congruence with the International Red Cross.
1883 – Jonathan Wainwright, U.S. General, who fought against the Japanese on Corregidor in the Philippines and was forced to surrender, was born.
1889 – The 1st ship-to-shore wireless message was received in US in SF.
1923 – Captain Lowell Smith and Lieutenant John P. Richter performed the first mid-air refueling on De Havilland DH-4B, setting an endurance flight record of 37 hours.
1927 – Despite worldwide demonstrations in support of their innocence, Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are executed for murder. On April 15, 1920, a paymaster for a shoe company in South Braintree, Massachusetts, was shot and killed along with his guard. The murderers, who were described as two Italian men, escaped with more than $15,000. After going to a garage to claim a car that police said was connected with the crime, Sacco and Vanzetti were arrested and charged with the crime. Although both men carried guns and made false statements upon their arrest, neither had a previous criminal record. On July 14, 1921, they were convicted and sentenced to die. Anti-radical sentiment was running high in America at the time, and the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti was regarded by many as unlawfully sensational. Authorities had failed to come up with any evidence of the stolen money, and much of the other evidence against them was later discredited. During the next few years, sporadic protests were held in Massachusetts and around the world calling for their release, especially after Celestino Madeiros, then under a sentence for murder, confessed in 1925 that he had participated in the crime with the Joe Morelli gang. The state Supreme Court refused to upset the verdict, and Massachusetts Governor Alvan T. Fuller denied the men clemency. In the days leading up to the execution, protests were held in cities around the world, and bombs were set off in New York City and Philadelphia. On August 22, Sacco and Vanzetti were electrocuted. In 1961, a test of Sacco’s gun using modern forensic techniques apparently proved it was his gun that killed the guard, though little evidence has been found to substantiate Vanzetti’s guilt. Nevertheless, in 1977, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis issued a proclamation vindicating Sacco and Vanzetti, stating that they had been treated unjustly and that no stigma should be associated with their names.
1939 – Lloyd’s of London advanced war-risk rates as the Nazis threatened to invade Poland and Europe braced itself for war. The Dow responded to the news with a 3.25 drop to close the day at 131.82.
1939 – Germany and the Soviet Union sign a non-aggression pact, stunning the world, given their diametrically opposed ideologies. But the dictators were, despite appearances, both playing to their own political needs. After Nazi Germany’s invasion of Czechoslovakia, Britain had to decide to what extent it would intervene should Hitler continue German expansion. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, at first indifferent to Hitler’s capture of the Sudetenland, the German-speaking area of Czechoslovakia, suddenly snapped to life when Poland became threatened. He made it plain that Britain would be obliged to come to the aid of Poland in the event of German invasion. But he wanted, and needed, an ally. The only power large enough to stop Hitler, and with a vested interest in doing so, was the Soviet Union. But Stalin was cool to Britain after its effort to create a political alliance with Britain and France against Germany had been rebuffed a year earlier. Plus, Poland’s leaders were less than thrilled with the prospect of Russia becoming its guardian; to them, it was simply occupation by another monstrous regime. Hitler believed that Britain would never take him on alone, so he decided to swallow his fear and loathing of communism and cozy up to the Soviet dictator, thereby pulling the rug out from the British initiative. Both sides were extremely suspicious of the other, trying to discern ulterior motives. But Hitler was in a hurry; he knew if he was to invade Poland it had to be done quickly, before the West could create a unified front. Agreeing basically to carve up parts of Eastern Europe-and leave each other alone in the process-Hitler’s foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, flew to Moscow and signed the non-aggression pact with his Soviet counterpart, V.M. Molotov (which is why the pact is often referred to as the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact). Supporters of bolshevism around the world had their heretofore romantic view of “international socialism” ruined; they were outraged that Stalin would enter into any kind of league with the fascist dictator. But once Poland was German-occupied territory, the alliance would not last for long.
1942 – The 1st US flights landed on Guadalcanal.
1942 – In an attempt to cover the ferrying of supplies to their forces at Guadalcanal, both the Japanese and the American send major warships.
1943 – American destroyers bombard Finschafen in support of air operations against Wewak.
1944 – US 1st Army (part of US 12th Army Group) also drives forward to the Seine. The US 19th Corps captures Evreux. French forces are employed as the spearhead of the US 5th Corps advance toward Paris. On the Atlantic coast, elements of the US 3rd Army link up with French resistance members near Bordeaux.
1944 – Elements of the French 2nd Corps (part of US 7th Army) reach the outskirts of Marseilles and Toulon.
1944 – The last Japanese resistance on the island of Numfoor is overcome and most of the American force is redeployed.
1944 – Freckleton Air Disaster; A United States Army Air Forces B-24 Liberator bomber crashes into a school in Freckleton, England killing 61 people.
1945 – A US B-24 crashed into a school in Freckelton, England, and 76 were killed.
1945 – British, American and French troops enter Vienna.
1945 – Clarence V. Bertucci is granted a discharge from the Army and sent to a mental institution for further tests and evaluation. He is responsible for the massacre of German POWs at Camp Salina, Utah on July 8th.
1945 – General MacArthur orders the release of some 5000 Filipinos interned for security reasons.
1950 – Up to 77,000 members of the U.S. Army Organized Reserve Corps were called involuntarily to active duty to fight the Korean War.
1951 – The Navy recommissioned the battleship USS Iowa under the command of Captain William R. Smedberg, III.
1954 – First flight of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft. The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport aircraft. The versatile airframe has found uses in a variety of other roles, including as a gunship (AC-130), for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling, maritime patrol, and aerial firefighting. It is now the main tactical airlifter for many military forces worldwide. Over 40 models and variants of the Hercules serve with more than 60 nations. The C-130 entered service with U.S., followed by Australia and others. During its years of service, the Hercules family has participated in numerous military, civilian and humanitarian aid operations. The family has the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft in history. In 2007, the C-130 became the fifth aircraft—after the English Electric Canberra, Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, Tupolev Tu-95, and Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, all designs with various forms of aviation gas turbine powerplants—to mark 50 years of continuous use with its original primary customer, in this case, the United States Air Force. The C-130 is one of the only military aircraft to remain in continuous production for over 50 years with its original customer, as the updated C-130J Super Hercules.
1958 – In Taiwan Straits Crisis, Units of 7th Fleet move into Taiwan area to support Taiwan against Chinese Communists. This massive concentration of the Pacific Fleet in Quemoy-Matsu area prevents invasion of islands by China. Marines from Okinawa prepare to reinforce Chinese Nationalists at Taiwan.
1963 – The first satellite communications ship, USNS Kingsport (T-AG-164) in Lagos, Nigeria, connected President John F. Kennedy with Nigerian Prime Minister Balewa who was aboard for the first satellite (Syncom II) relayed telephone conversation between heads of state.
1966 – The American cargo ship Baton Rouge Victory strikes a mine laid by the Viet Cong in the Long Tao River, 22 miles south of Saigon. The half-submerged ship blocked the route from the South Vietnamese capital to the sea. Seven crewmen were killed.
1966 – Lunar Orbiter 1 takes the first photograph of Earth from orbit around the Moon.
1968 – Communist forces launch rocket and mortar attacks on numerous cities, provincial capitals, and military installations. The heaviest shelling was on the U.S. airfield at Da Nang, the cities of Hue and Quang Tri. North Vietnamese forces numbering between 1200 and 1500 troops attacked the U.S. Special Forces camp at Duc Lap, 130 miles northeast of Saigon near the Cambodian border. The camp fell but was retaken by an allied relief column led by U.S. Special Forces on August 25. A reported 643 North Vietnamese troops were killed in the battle.
1973 – Secretary of Defense Melvin R Laird announces the adoption of the “Total Force Policy” as the new doctrine of American military preparedness. The war in Vietnam has just ended. One of the major conclusions drawn from that experience was that the American people had not supported the war because it was fought without a stated declaration and the Johnson Administration failed to mobilize and use large numbers of Reserve Component (RC) forces, including the National Guard. By conscripting (drafting) individual men for service there is little notice by the larger community. However, when an RC unit is mobilized, often taking dozens to hundreds of personnel at one time, attracting big local headlines and impacting whole communities in numerous ways. Only by having a supportive populous, one backing the effort, can American military objectives be met. By restructuring missions, training and equipment to more fully integrate RC units in with their active duty counterparts, it was hoped that the U.S. could never commit itself to another war without the debate sure to come by mobilizing the Guard and Reserves. This proved true first in Operations DESERT SHIELD/STORM in 1990-1991 and again in Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM starting in 2001. So many necessary elements of the American military now belong to the RC that active duty forces can not fight a major conflict with RC mobilization. This is just what the planners of Total Force envisioned.
1979 – The keel of the first of the new 270-foot class medium endurance cutters, the CGC Bear, was laid.
1984 – The last Marines to serve peace-keeping duty in Lebanon arrived home. The 24th Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) arrived off the coast of Lebanon on 9 April to relieve Marines of the 22d MAU who were guarding the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. The 24th MAU left Beirut on 31 July, marking the last presence of U.S. combat troops in Beirut since Marines entered almost two years earlier.
1989 – The markets took a nosedive and the Dow lost a hefty 76.73 points just a month after it nearly broke the 3,000 point barrier. The culprit for the decline? Wall Street’s increasing fears about the Persian Gulf crisis, which began in early August when the Iraqi army rolled into the oil-rich territory of its neighbor, Kuwait. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein openly declared his intention of annexing Kuwait, prompting President George Bush to deride the invasion as an act of “naked aggression.” As Bush and Hussein faced off, oil prices marched upward, in turn triggering the sell-off on Wall Street. Indeed, fears of war and escalating prices were written all over the markets: during the week of the 23rd, the Dow lost 6 percent of its total value.
1990 – US began to call up of 46,000 reservists to the Persian Gulf.
1990 – East and West Germany announced that they would unite Oct 3.
1990 – Iraqi state television showed President Saddam Hussein meeting with a group of about 20 Western detainees, telling the group—whom he described as “guests”—that they were being held “to prevent the scourge of war.”
1991 – Internaut’s day; Tim Berners-Lee opens the WWW, World Wide Web to new users.
1991 – In the wake of a failed coup by hard-liners in the Soviet Union, President Mikhail S. Gorbachev and Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin acted to strip the Communist Party of its power and take control of the army and the KGB.
1993 – The Galileo spacecraft discovers a moon, later named Dactyl, around 243 Ida, the first known asteroid moon.
1994 – A new Coast Guard record for people rescued was set on 23 August 1994 when 3,253 Cubans were rescued from dangerously overloaded craft during Operation Able Vigil.
1994 – Eugene Bullard, one of only two black pilots, and the only black American pilot, in World War I, is posthumously commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. Bullard was born in Columbus, Georgia, one of the 10 children of William O. Bullard, nicknamed “Big Chief Ox”, and his wife Josephine Thomas, a Creek Indian. He was a student at Twenty-eighth Street School in 1901-1906, where he learned to read and write. As a teenager, Eugene Bullard stowed away on a ship bound for Scotland, seeking to escape racial discrimination (he later claimed to have witnessed his father’s narrow escape from lynching). Bullard arrived at Aberdeen before making his way south to Glasgow. He became a boxer in Paris and also worked in a music hall. On a visit to Paris, Bullard decided to settle in France. At the outbreak of World War I, according to his personnel file at the French Ministry of Defense, he enlisted on October 19, 1914 in the 1st Regiment of Foreign Legion since volunteers from overseas in 1914 were allowed to serve only in the French colonial troops. As a part of the 170th Infantry, Bullard fought and was seriously wounded in March 1916 during the Battle of Verdun. After recovering from his wounds, Bullard volunteered on October 2, 1916 to join the French Air Service (Aéronautique Militaire) as an air gunner, and went through training at the Aerial Gunnery School in Cazaux, Gironde. Later, he went through initial flight training at Châteauroux and Avord and received his pilot’s license number 6950 from the Aéro-Club de France on May 5, 1917. Like many other American aviators, Bullard wanted to join the famous aero squadron Escadrille Americaine, the Lafayette Escadrille, but after enrolling 38 American pilots in spring and summer of 1916, it stopped accepting new flyers. Therefore, after receiving more training at Avord, Bullard on November 15, 1916, joined 269 American aviators at the Lafayette Flying Corps of the French Air Service, which was a designation rather than a unit. American volunteers flew with French pilots in different pursuit and bomber/reconnaissance aero squadrons on the Western Front. Edmund L. Gros, who facilitated the incorporation of American pilots in the French Air Service, listed in the October 1917 issue of Flying, an official publication of the Aero Club of America, Bullard’s name in the member roster of the Lafayette Flying Corps. On June 28, 1917 Bullard was promoted to the rank of corporal. He took part in about twenty combat missions, and is sometimes credited with shooting down one or two German aircraft (sources differ). However, the French authorities did not confirm Bullard’s victories. When the United States entered the war, the United States Army Air Service convened a medical board to recruit Americans serving in the Lafayette Flying Corps to the Air Service of the American Expeditionary Forces. Bullard went through the medical examination, but was not called in since only white pilots were allowed to serve. A time later, while being on short break from duty in Paris, Bullard allegedly got into a fight with a French officer and was punished by being transferred to the service battalion of the 170th in January 1918. As a noncombatant, he served past the Armistice being finally discharged on October 24, 1919. For his World War I service Bullard was awarded the Croix de Guerre, Médaille militaire, Croix du combattant volontaire 1914–1918, and Médaille de Verdun, among others.
1996 – Osama bin Laden issues message entitled ‘A declaration of war against the Americans occupying the land of the two holy places.’
1999 – US and British warplanes attacked targets in northern Iraq after being fired upon by an Iraqi military radar station.
1999 – It was reported that the US was training a 950-man Colombian army counter narcotics battalion to regain control of guerrilla controlled territory.
2000 – Boeing made the first successful launch of its Delta III rocket.
2001 – Brian Regan (38), retired US Air Force master sergeant and cryptanalyst, was arrested by the FBI at Dulles Int’l. Airport on charges of spying. In 2002 Regan was accused of trying to spy for Iraq, Libya and China.
2001 – NATO soldiers streamed into Macedonia as part of a mission to help end 6 months of ethnic hostilities by collecting and destroying rebel weapons.
2002 – U.S. warplanes bombed an air defense site in northern Iraq after being targeted by an Iraqi missile guidance radar system.
2002 – The United States imposed symbolic sanctions on a North Korean company and the North Korean government for exporting medium or long-range missile components.
2003 – Taliban fighters ambushed a truck full of government soldiers in the southern province of Zabul. Gov. Hafizullah Khan said five soldiers and three Taliban were killed.
2004 – Afghan Pres. Hamid Karzai arrived in Pakistan for talks with his Pres. Pervez Musharraf on eradicating Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters from their common border.
2004 – Antigua and Barbuda’s prime minister and American officials signed an agreement extending the lease of the U.S. Air Force base in the Caribbean country until 2008.
2011 – Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is overthrown after the National Transitional Council forces take control of Bab al-Azizia compound during the 2011 Libyan civil war.
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