This Day in U.S. Military History…… August 29

29 August
1708 – Haverhill, Mass., was destroyed by French & Indians.
1758 – The first American Indian Reservation is established, at Indian Mills, New Jersey.
1776 – General George Washington retreated during the night from Long Island to New York City withdrawing from Manhattan to Westchester.
1778 – The Battle of Rhode Island, also known as the Battle of Quaker Hill and the Siege of Newport, took place. Continental Army and militia forces under the command of General John Sullivan were withdrawing to the northern part of Aquidneck Island after abandoning their siege of Newport, Rhode Island, when the British forces in Newport sortied, supported by recently arrived Royal Navy ships, and attacked the retreating Americans. The battle ended inconclusively, but the Continental forces afterward withdrew to the mainland, leaving Aquidneck Island in British hands. The battle took place in the aftermath of the first attempt at cooperation between French and American forces following France’s entry into the war as an American ally. The operations against Newport were to have been made in conjunction with a French fleet and troops; these were frustrated in part by difficult relations between the commanders, and a storm that damaged both French and British fleets shortly before joint operations were to begin. The battle was also notable for the participation of the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, a locally recruited segregated regiment of African Americans. It was the only major military action to include a racially segregated unit on the American side in the war.
1786 – Shay’s Rebellion began in Springfield, Mass. Daniel Shay led a rebellion in Massachusetts to protest the seizure of property for the non-payment of debt. Shay was a Revolutionary War veteran who led a short-lived insurrection in western Massachusetts to protest a tax increase that had to be paid in cash, a hardship for veteran farmers who relied on barter and didn‘t own enough land to vote. The taxes were to pay off the debts from the Revolutionary War, and those who couldn‘t pay were evicted or sent to prison.
1861 – U.S.S. Yankee, Commander T. T. Craven, and U.S.S. Reliance, Lieutenant Mygatt, engaged Confederate battery at Marlborough Point, Virginia.
1861 – United States Navy squadron captures forts at Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina.
1861 – Four U.S. steamers engaged Confederate battery at Aquia Creek, Virginia, for three hours.
1862 – Union General John Pope’s army was defeated by a smaller Confederate force at the Second Battle of Bull Run.
1863 – Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, Lieutenant Payne, sank in Charleston harbor for the first time. After making several practice dives in the harbor, the submarine was moored by lines fastened to steamer Etiwan at the dock at Fort Johnson. When the steamer moved away from the dock unexpectedly, H. L. Hunley was drawn onto her side. She filled with water and rapidly sank, carrying with her five gallant seamen. Payne and two others escaped. H. L. Hunley was subsequently raised and refitted, as, undaunted by the “unfortunate accident,” another crew volunteered to man her.
1862 – U.S.S. Pittsburg, Lieutenant Thompson, escorted steamers White Cloud and Latan with Army troops embarked to Eunice, Arkansas. The gunboat shelled and dispersed Confederate forces from a camp above Carson’s Landing on the Mississippi shore. Landing the troops under cover of Pittsburg’s guns for reconnaissance missions en route, Lieutenant Thompson at Eunice seized a large wharf boat, fitted out as a floating hotel. This type of persistent patrolling of the Mississippi and tributaries by the Union Navy in support of Army operations was instrumental in preventing the Confederates from establishing firm positions.
1864 – While removing Confederate obstructions from the channel leading into Mobile Bay, five sailors were killed and nine others injured when a torpedo exploded. Farragut regretted the unfortunate loss, but resolutely pressed on with the work: ”As it is absolutely necessary to free the channel of these torpedoes, I shall continue to remove them, but as every precaution will be used, I do not apprehend any further accident.” Like the loss of Tecumseh, this event demonstrated that although some torpedoes had been made inactive by long immersion, many were very much alive when Farragut made the instant decision, “Damn the torpedoes .
1909 – World’s 1st air race was held in Rheims France. American Glenn Curtiss won.
1911 – Ishi, considered the last Native American to make contact with European Americans, emerges from the wilderness of northeastern California. Ishi (c. 1860 – March 25, 1916) was the last member of the Yahi, a group of the Yana people of the U.S. state of California. Widely acclaimed in his time as the “last wild Indian” in America, Ishi lived most of his life completely outside modern culture. At about 49 years of age he emerged from “the wild” near Oroville, California, leaving his ancestral homeland, present-day Tehama County, near the foothills of Lassen Peak, known to Ishi as Wa ganu p’a. Ishi means “man” in the Yana language. The anthropologist Alfred Kroeber gave this name to the man because it was rude to ask someone’s name in the Yahi culture. When asked his name, he said: “I have none, because there were no people to name me,” meaning that no Yahi had ever spoken his name. He was taken in by anthropologists at the University of California, Berkeley, who both studied him and hired him as a research assistant. He lived most of his remaining five years in a university building in San Francisco.
1915 – Navy salvage divers raise F-4, first U.S. submarine sunk in an accident.
1916 – Congress passes act for expansion of Navy but most ships not completed until after World War I.
1916 – Congress created the US Naval reserve.
1916 – The Marine Corps Reserve was founded.
1916 – Congress authorized Treasury to establish ten Coast Guard air stations but appropriated only $7000 for an instructor and assistant. Appropriation for their construction and for planes was not made until 1924.
1916 – A naval appropriations act (39 Stat. L., 556, 602) provided for the first time the mobilization of the Lighthouse Service in time of war by authorizing the President, “…whenever in his judgment a sufficient national emergency exists, to transfer to the service and jurisdiction of the Navy Department, or of the War Department, such vessels, equipment, stations and personnel of the Lighthouse Service as he may deem to the best interest of the country.”
1922 – The first radio advertisement is broadcast on WEAF-AM in New York City for the Queensboro Corporation, advertising an apartment complex
1942 – Japanese naval forces enter Milne Bay.
1942 – The American Red Cross announced that Japan had refused to allow safe conduct for the passage of ships with supplies for American prisoners of war.
1944 – Pennsylvania’s 28th Infantry Division leads the American contingent in the “Liberation Day” parade down the Champs Elysees as Paris explodes with joy after the Germans withdraw from the city. The Allies, who had landed in Normandy on June 6th, had spent more than six weeks fighting through the Norman hedgerows before finally breaking out on the French Plain and headed for Paris. The 28th was one of four Guard infantry divisions to see combat in Normandy.
1944 – The British 21st Army Group and US 1st Army Group continue to advance. The US 7th Corps (part of US 1st Army) captures Soissons and crosses the Aisne River. Elements of US 3rd Army take Reims and Chalons-sur-Marie.
1944 – The United States government gives official recognition to the Polish Home Army. At Dumbarton Oaks, senior Allied representatives conclude their meetings to discuss postwar security. The representatives agree that there should be an assembly of all states supported by a council of leading states. They also agree on the formation of an International Court of Justice.
1945 – The American battleship USS Missouri anchors in Tokyo Bay.
1945 – Gen MacArthur was named the Supreme Commander of Allied Powers in Japan.
1945 – U.S. airborne troops landed in transport planes at Atsugi airfield, southwest of Tokyo, beginning the occupation of Japan.
1945 – Secret Army and Navy reports of official enquiries into the raid on Pearl Harbor are made public. The blame is placed on a lack of preparedness, confusion and a breakdown of inter-service coordination. Former Secretary of State Hull, General Marshall and Admiral Stark are criticized. President Truman objects to the findings on Hull and Marshall.
1946 – USS Nevada (BB-36) is decommissioned. USS Nevada (BB-36), the second United States Navy ship to be named after the 36th state, was the lead ship of the two Nevada-class battleships; her sister ship was Oklahoma. Launched in 1914, the Nevada was a leap forward in dreadnought technology; four of her new features would be included on almost every subsequent US battleship: triple gun turrets, oil in place of coal for fuel, geared steam turbines for greater range, and the “all or nothing” armor principle. These features made Nevada the first US Navy “super-dreadnought”. Nevada served in both World Wars: during the last few months of World War I, Nevada was based in Bantry Bay, Ireland, to protect the supply convoys that were sailing to and from Great Britain. In World War II, she was one of the battleships trapped when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. She was the only battleship to get underway during the attack, making the ship “the only bright spot in an otherwise dismal and depressing morning” for the United States. Still, she was hit by one torpedo and at least six bombs while steaming away from Battleship Row, forcing her to be beached. Subsequently salvaged and modernized at Puget Sound Navy Yard, Nevada served as a convoy escort in the Atlantic and as a fire-support ship in four amphibious assaults: the Normandy Landings and the invasions of Southern France, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. At the end of World War II, the Navy decided that Nevada was too old to be retained, so they assigned her to be a target ship in the atomic experiments that were going to be conducted at Bikini Atoll in July 1946 (Operation Crossroads). After being hit by the blast from the first atomic bomb, Able, she was still afloat but heavily damaged and radioactive. She was decommissioned on 29 August 1946 and sunk during naval gunfire practice on 31 July 1948.
1949 – The USSR successfully detonated its first atomic bomb at Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan. It was a copy of the Fat Man bomb and had a yield of 21 kilotons known as First Lightning or Joe 1, at Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan.
1952 – In the largest bombing raid of the Korean War, 1,403 planes of the Far East Air Force bombed Pyongyang, North Korea.
1958 – Air Force Academy opened in Colorado Springs, Colo.
1962 – A US U-2 flight saw SAM launch pads in Cuba.
1965 – Gemini 5, carrying astronauts Gordon Cooper and Charles (“Pete”) Conrad, splashed down in the Atlantic after eight days in space.
1980 – The Coast Guard and the Royal Navy signed a Personnel Exchange Agreement. The first exchange between the two services were helicopter pilots. The pilots were assigned to RNAS Coldrose, Helston Cornwall and AIRSTA Miami.
1990 – A defiant Iraqi President Saddam Hussein declared in a television interview that America could not defeat Iraq, saying, “I do not beg before anyone.”
1991 – In a stunning blow to the Soviet Communist Party, the Supreme Soviet legislature voted to suspend the activities of the organization and freeze its bank accounts because of the party’s role in the failed coup.
1992 – The U.N. Security Council agreed to send 3,000 more relief troops to Somalia to guard food shipments.
2003 – Six nations trying to defuse a standoff over North Korea’s nuclear program ended their talks in Beijing with an agreement to keep talking.
2003 – In Najaf, Iraq, a massive car bomb exploded at the Imam Ali mosque during prayers, killing Mohammed Bakir al-Hakim, one of Iraq’s most important Shiite clerics, and 124 other people. Two Iraqis and two Saudis were caught soon after.
2004 – In Afghanistan an explosion tore through the office of DynCorp., an American defense contractor, in the heart of Kabul, killing 12 people, including 3 Americans.
2004 – Saboteurs blew up a pipeline in southern Iraq in the latest attack. Al-Sadr called on his followers to lay down arms and get involved in politics.
2004 – A rocket attack and a remote control bomb killed 2 Pakistani paramilitary soldiers in the western tribal regions where troops are hunting al Qaeda-linked militants.
2005 – Hurricane Katrina made a second landfall near Empire, Buras and Boothville, Louisiana after first previously striking Southeast Florida on 25 August. The rescue and response effort was one of the largest in Coast Guard history, involving units from every district, saving 24,135 lives and conducting 9,409 evacuations.
2007 – From exile in Iran, Shi’ite cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr issues the first of a series of cease-fire orders to his militia, the Madhi Army. Al-Sadr, the son of Grand Ayatollah Mohammad al-Sadr, established the Mahdi Army as a military wing to his Sadr Bureaus whch were formed as a shadow governmet in opposition to the Iraqi Governing Council.
2007 – 2007 United States Air Force nuclear weapons incident: six US cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads are flown without proper authorization from Minot Air Force Base to Barksdale Air Force Base.

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