This Day in U.S. Military History…… February 3

3 February
1690 – Massachusetts authorized the first official paper currency to be ever used in the Western Hemisphere. Until 1690, the North American colonies had dealt primarily in coinage. Silver and gold were rather rare, so colonists generally used unofficial coins, or “decrepit coppers.” Boston-based silversmiths John Hull and Robert Sanderson did operate their own mint between 1652 and 1682, issuing silver shillings and three and sixpence pieces, but save for a few ill-fated experiments, paper money was hardly tried or used. Faced with an immediate need to pay expenses relating to a military action against Canada during King William’s War, on December 10, 1690 the General Court authorized the issuing of £7,000 in public paper currency. This was the first public paper money issued in the history of Western civilization. Previously all currency had an intrinsic value of gold, silver or copper, much like the value of commodity items used for bartering. Now for the first time, the money itself had no intrinsic value other than the value of the paper on which it was printed. Rather, the value of the money came from the fact that it was backed by the colony. It was legislated as being equivalent to the denomination printed on the bill and would be accepted as the equivalent of hard currency by the colony. Within a few months it was further legislated that the paper money would be accepted by the government for tax payments at a 5% premium and that on demand bills could be turned into the treasury for the equivalent in hard currency, if the colony had such hard currency available. At first Massachusetts notes were accepted at par with specie, which was predominately the Spanish American silver 8 reales, called a Spanish “dollar” by the colonists. In Massachusetts the Spanish dollar was valued at 6 shillings. In 1690 for every 6s of paper money one could obtain a Spanish silver dollar. As more paper money was put into circulation individuals would no longer accept the paper as equal to specie. Thus began the usual problem of paper currency, or fiat money, inflation, and the usual response, revaluation, and all in response to the usual cause, the need to pay for a war. By 1737 so much paper money was in circulation it took 22s6d in paper money to equal a Spanish dollar. To rectify this problem the Commonwealth decided to revalue its paper money. Starting with the issue of February 4, 1737 Massachusetts introduced a new series of notes, called New Tenor money, that was legislated to have three times the value of equivalent denomination notes from earlier emissions. However, as more notes were printed inflation continued and the value of both types of notes continued to drop. Once again, another adjustment to the currency was legislated. For the issue of January 15, 1742 the notes were to have four times the value of equivalent denomination notes from Old Tenor emissions. At this time the emissions from 1737-1740 became known as Middle Tenor or Three Fold Tenor, while the 1742 and later emissions became known as New Tenor (or four fold Tenor). In effect Massachusetts had three different types of currency circulating at once; in 1742 a Spanish dollar was valued at 24s9d in Old Tenor bills, 8s3ds in Middle Tenor bills or 6s2d in New Tenor notes. Unfortunately inflation continued so that by 1749 a Spanish dollar was valued at 45s in Old tenor bills, 15s in Middle tenor bills or 11s3d in New Tenor notes. As individuals might make a purchase using all three varieties it was essential for merchants to know the current inflation rates and to keep a conversion chart handy (various charts were printed for this purpose)! The real resolution finally came in 1751 with the mandatory redemption of all notes and a return to hard money. There would be no further emission of paper in Massachusetts until the “Soldier’s notes” emission of May 25, 1775 printed by Paul Revere to pay the soldiers who were soon to fight at the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 16th.
1779 – Colonial forces lead by General William Moultrie successfully defend Port Royal, South Carolina, against a British attack. The British approached and tried to force the Americans to leave Beaufort, Moultrie was waiting with 300 militia, 20 Continentals, and 3 cannon. The Americans repulsed their attack in less than an hour. The Americans had to fight in the open while the British had some cover from the woods. The Americans knocked out one of the British guns and erased the British advantage early in the battle. The Americans had run out of ammunition and Moultrie ordered a retreat. At the same time, he learned that the British were also retreating. He then countermanded his retreat order and told his mounted troops to advance upon the retreating British. The British were able to escape by boat to Savannah and Moultrie moved his force south to rejoin General Benjamin Lincoln. British losses were heavy and they soon retreated to their ships. The American victory discouraged the British Army from taking any further action into South Carolina for 3 months.
1781 – In furtherance of a blockade during the American War of Independence, British forces seize the island Sint Eustatius. British army and naval forces under General John Vaughan and Admiral George Rodney seized the Dutch-owned Caribbean island. The capture was controversial in Britain, as it was alleged that Vaughan and Rodney had used the opportunity to enrich themselves and had neglected more important military duties. The island was subsequently taken by Dutch-allied French forces in late 1781, ending the British occupation.
1783 – Spain recognizes the independence of the United States. Sweden and Denmark will follow before the end of the month and Russia will recognize the new nation in July.
1801 – Treaty of peace with France ratified ending Quasi-War with France, in which the Revenue Marine had rendered outstanding service.
1809 – The Territory of Illinois was created from organized incorporated territory of the United States. The territory existed as such until December 3, 1818, when the southern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Illinois. Its capital was the former French village of Kaskakia. The area was earlier known as “Illinois Country” while under French control, first as part of French Canada and then as part of French Louisiana. The British gained authority over the region with the 1763 Treaty of Paris, marking the end of the French and Indian War. During the American Revolutionary War, Colonel George Rogers Clark took possession of the entire Illinois Country for Virginia, which established the “County of Illinois” to exercise nominal governance over the area. Virginia later ceded nearly all of its claims to land north of the Ohio River to the Federal government of the United States in order to satisfy objections of land-locked states. The area became part of the United States’ Northwest Territory (from July 13, 1787 until July 4, 1800), and then part of the Indiana Territory as Ohio prepared to become a state.
1811 – Horace Greeley, abolitionist newspaper editor, was born in Amherst, New Hampshire. He popularized the phrase “Go west, young man.” Greeley, who began his journalism career at The New Yorker, founded The New York Tribune in 1841 with support from powerful political friends. Under Greeley’s direction, The Tribune took a strong stand against slavery, the South and slave owners in the years leading up to the Civil War. The Tribune and Greeley also crusaded against liquor, gambling, prostitution and capital punishment. One of the founders of the Republican Party, Greeley was also an eccentric who dabbled in many of the fads of his day. The phrase was spoken to Josiah Grinell, who went west to Iowa, became a Congregational minister and founded Grinell College.
1852 – Marines landed at Buenos Aires, Argentina, to protect American lives.
1863 – U.S.S. Lexington, Fairplay, St. Clair, Brilliant, Robb, and Silver Lake, under Lieutenant Commander Fitch, supported Army troops at Fort Donelson and repulsed a Confederate attack at that point. Proceeding up the Cumberland River on convoy duty from Smithfield, Kentucky, Fitch’s squadron met steamer Wild Cat coming down river some 24 miles below Dover, Tennessee, bearing a mes-sage from Colonel Abner C. Harding, commanding at Donelson, which reported that he was being assaulted in force by Confederate troops. Fitch pushed his squadron “on up with all possible speed” and arrived in the evening to find the defending troops “out of ammunition and entirely surrounded by the rebels in overwhelming numbers, but still holding them in check.” Not expecting the presence of the gunboats, the Confederates had taken a position which enabled the mobile force afloat to rake them effectively with a telling fire from the guns. “The rebels were so much taken by surprise,” Fitch reported, “that they did not even fire a shot, but immediately commenced retreating. So well directed was our fire on them that they could not even carry off a caisson that they had captured from our forces, but were compelled to abandon it, after two fruitless attempts to destroy it by fire.” Fitch then stationed his vessels to prevent the return of the Southern forces.
1863 – The long, tortuous Army-Navy operation against Fort Pemberton at Greenwood, Mississippi, was begun with the opening of the levee at Yazoo Pass to gain access to the Yazoo River above Haynes’ Bluff and reach Vicksburg from the rear. The next day Acting Master G. W. Brown, of U.S.S. Forest Rose, which was standing by to enter the opening, reported that “the water is gushing through at a terrible rate. . . . After cutting two ditches through and ready for the water, we placed a can of powder (so pounds) under the dam, which I touched off by means of three mortar fuzes joined together. It blew up immense quantities of earth, opening a passage for the water, and loosened the bottom so that the water washed it out very fast. We then sunk three more shafts, one in the entrance of the other ditch, and the other two on each side of the mound between the two ditches, and set them off simultaneously, completely shattering the mound and opening a passage through the ditch. . . . [creating] a channel 70 or 75 yards wide. It is thought that it will be at least four or five days before we can enter.” The plan of attack called for gunboats and Army transports to go through the Pass into Moon Lake, down the Coldwater and Tallahatchie Rivers to the Yazoo, take Pemberton, effect the capture of Yazoo City, and proceed down to assault Vicksburg on its less strongly defended rear flanks.
1864 – U.S.S. Petrel, Marmora, Exchange, and Romeo, under Lieutenant Commander Owen, silenced Confederate batteries at Liverpool, Mississippi, on the Yazoo River, as naval forces began an expedition to prevent Southerners from harassing Major General W. T. Sherman’s expedition to Meridian, Mississippi. In the next two weeks, Owen’s light-draft gunboats pushed up the Yazoo Rivet as far as Greenwood, Mississippi, engaging Confederate troops en route. Confederates destroyed steamer Sharp to prevent her capture before the Union naval force turned back. ‘This move,” Rear Admiral Porter later reported to Secretary Welles,” has had the effect of driving the guerrillas away from the Mississippi River, as they are fearful it is intended to cut them off.”
1865 – President Lincoln meets with a delegation of Confederate officials to discuss a possible peace agreement. Lincoln refuses to grant the delegation any concessions, and the president departs for the north. New York Tribune editor and abolitionist Horace Greeley provided the impetus for the conference when he contacted Francis Blair, a Maryland aristocrat and presidential adviser. Greeley suggested that Blair was the “right man” to open discussions with the Confederates to end the war. Blair sought permission from Lincoln to meet with Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and he did so twice in January 1865. Blair suggested to Davis that an armistice be forged and the two sides turn their attention to removing the French-supported regime of Maximilian in Mexico. This plan would help cool tensions between North and South by providing a common enemy, he believed. Meanwhile, the situation was becoming progressively worse for the Confederates in the winter of 1864 and 1865. In January, Union troops captured Fort Fisher and effectively closed Wilmington, North Carolina, the last major port open to blockade runners. Davis conferred with his vice president, Alexander Stephens, and Stephens recommended that a peace commission be appointed to explore a possible armistice. Davis sent Stephens and two others to meet with Lincoln at Hampton Roads, Virginia. The meeting convened on February 3. Stephens asked if there was any way to stop the war and Lincoln replied that the only way was “for those who were resisting the laws of the Union to cease that resistance.” The delegation underestimated Lincoln’s resolve to make the end of slavery a necessary condition for any peace. The president also insisted on immediate reunification and the laying down of Confederate arms before anything else was discussed. In short, the Union was in such an advantageous position that Lincoln did not need to concede any issues to the Confederates. Robert M.T. Hunter, one of the delegation, commented that Lincoln was offering little except the unconditional surrender of the South. After less than five hours, the conference ended and the delegation left with no concessions. The war continued for more than two months.
1870 – The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, guaranteeing voting rights to citizens regardless of race. The third and last of the Reconstruction Amendments.
1887 – US Congress created the Electoral Count Act to avoid disputed national elections.
1904 – Colombian troops clashed with U.S. Marines in Panama.
1913 – The Sixteenth Amendment, which authorized the federal income tax, was ratified, just a month before Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated as president. The notion of an income tax, though perhaps not palatable to all Americans, was hardly a novelty. The U.S. government levied an income tax during the Civil War, and although it was allowed to lapse after the war, it was deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court in 1881. In 1894, legislators went after the tax again and passed a graduated income tax as part of the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act. This time, however, the high court reversed course and deemed the tax unconstitutional on the grounds that the legislation, rather than providing for the redistribution of funds to the states, focused narrowly on one portion of the country. Undeterred, pro-tax forces drafted and gained passage of the Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1909. The government was not shy about deploying the Sixteenth Amendment and implemented the first graduated income tax later in the same year as part of the Underwood-Simmons Tariff Act. Underwood-Simmons, one of Wilson’s key early initiatives, slashed import duties as a means of promoting free trade and boosting the nation’s industrial efforts. In turn, the tax was viewed as a necessary means of recouping some of the funds that the government would lose as a result of the tariff reform.
1917 – The United States broke off diplomatic relations with Germany, which had announced a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare. A German submarine sank the U.S. liner Housatonic off coast of Sicily.
1919 – League of Nations held its 1st meeting in Paris.
1920 – The Allies demanded that 890 German military leaders stand trial for war crimes.
1924 – Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States, dies in Washington, D.C., at the age of 67. In 1912, Governor Wilson of New Jersey was elected president in a landslide Democratic victory over Republican incumbent William Howard Taft and Progressive Party candidate Theodore Roosevelt. The focal point of President Wilson’s first term in office was the outbreak of World War I and his efforts to find a peaceful end to the conflict while maintaining U.S. neutrality. In 1916, he was narrowly reelected president at the end of a close race against Charles Evans Hughes, his Republican challenger. In 1917, the renewal of German submarine warfare against neutral American ships, and the “Zimmerman Note,” which revealed a secret alliance proposal by Germany to Mexico, forced Wilson to push for America’s entry into the war. At the war’s end, President Wilson traveled to France, where he headed the American delegation to the peace conference seeking an official end to the conflict. At Versailles, Wilson was the only Allied leader who foresaw the future difficulty that might arise from forcing punitive peace terms on an economically ruined Germany. He also successfully advocated the creation of the League of Nations as a means of maintaining peace in the postwar world. In November 1920, President Wilson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts at Versailles. In the autumn of 1919, while campaigning in the United States to win approval for the Treaty of Versailles and League of Nations, Wilson suffered a severe stroke that paralyzed his left side and caused significant brain damage. This illness likely contributed to Wilson’s uncharacteristic failure to reach a compromise with the American opponents to the European agreements, and in November the U.S. Senate refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles or the League of Nations. During his last year in office, there is evidence that Wilson’s second wife, Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, may have served as acting president for the debilitated and bed-ridden president who often communicated through her. In March 1921, Wilson’s term expired, and he retired with his wife to Washington, D.C., where he lived until his death on February 3, 1924. Two days later, he was buried in Washington’s National Cathedral, the first president to be laid to rest in the nation’s capital.
1943 – On Guadalcanal the Americans consolidate their front running inland from Tassafaronga. US patrols penetrate much closer to Cape Esperance.
1943 – The U.S. transport ship “Dorchester,” which was carrying troops to Greenland, sank after being hit by a torpedo. Four Army chaplains gave their life belts to four other men, and went down with the ship. The torpedoing of the transport Dorchester off the coast of Greenland saw CGC Comanche and Escanaba respond. The crew of Escanaba used a new rescue technique when pulling survivors from the water. This “retriever” technique used swimmers clad in wet suits to swim to victims in the water and secure a line to them so they could be hauled onto the ship. Although Escanaba saved 133 men (one died later) and Comanche saved 97, over 600 men were lost, including the famous “Four Chaplains”.
1944 – At the Anzio beachhead, German forces commanded by General Mackensen begin limited attacks against the British 1st Division salient around Campoleone. To the south, the New Zealand Corps (General Freyberg) joins the US 5th Army order of battle. It is being deployed near Cassino.
1944 – American forces invade and take control of the Marshall Islands, long occupied by the Japanese and used by them as a base for military operations. The Marshalls, east of the Caroline Islands in the western Pacific Ocean, had been in Japanese hands since World War I. Occupied by the Japanese in 1914, they were made part of the “Japanese Mandated Islands” as determined by the League of Nations. The Treaty of Versailles, which concluded the First World War, stipulated certain islands formerly controlled by Germany–including the Marshalls, the Carolines, and the Marianas (except Guam)–had to be ceded to the Japanese, though “overseen” by the League. But the Japanese withdrew from the League in 1933 and began transforming the Mandated Islands into military bases. Non-Japanese, including Christian missionaries, were kept from the islands as naval and air bases–meant to threaten shipping lanes between Australia and Hawaii–were constructed. During the Second World War, these islands, as well as others in the vicinity, became targets of Allied attacks. The U.S. Central Pacific Campaign began with the Gilbert Islands, south of the Mandated Islands; U.S. forces conquered the Gilberts in November 1943. Next on the agenda was Operation Flintlock, a plan to capture the Marshall Islands. Adm. Raymond Spruance led the 5th Fleet from Pearl Harbor on January 22, 1944, to the Marshalls, with the goal of getting 53,000 assault troops ashore two islets: Roi and Namur. Meanwhile, using the Gilberts as an air base, American planes bombed the Japanese administrative and communications center for the Marshalls, which was located on Kwajalein, an atoll that was part of the Marshall cluster of atolls, islets, and reefs. By January 31, Kwajalein was devastated. Repeated carrier- and land-based air raids destroyed every Japanese airplane on the Marshalls. By February 3, U.S. infantry overran Roi and Namur atolls. The Marshalls were then effectively in American hands–with the loss of only 400 American lives.
1944 – General George C. Marshall, in a memorandum to President Roosevelt dated February 3, 1944, wrote: ‘The fact that the ground troops, Infantry in particular, lead miserable lives of extreme discomfort and are the ones who must close in personal combat with the enemy, makes the maintenance of their morale of great importance. The award of the Air Medal have had an adverse reaction on the ground troops, particularly the Infantry Riflemen who are now suffering the heaviest losses, air or ground, in the Army, and enduring the greatest hardships.’ The Air Medal had been adopted two years earlier to raise airmen’s morale.
1945 – French and American units complete the capture of Colmar. All formations of French 1st Army are now making good progress in this sector. The other Allied armies keep up the pressure on the Germans all along the front.
1945 – On Luzon in the Tagaytay Ridge area, the uncommitted regiment of the US 11th Airborne Division is dropped to help the advance of the other regiments. The fighting north of Manila also continues.
1945 – American USAAF B-24 and B-29 bombers raid Iwo Jima in preparation for the landings later in the month. They drop a daily average of 450 tons of bombs over the course of 15 days (6800 tons).
1945 – As part of Operation Thunderclap, 1,000 B-17s of the Eighth Air Force bomb Berlin.
1950 – Klaus Fuchs, a German-born British scientist who helped developed the atomic bomb, is arrested in Great Britain for passing top-secret information about the bomb to the Soviet Union. The arrest of Fuchs led authorities to several other individuals involved in a spy ring, culminating with the arrest of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and their subsequent execution. Fuchs and his family fled Germany in 1933 to avoid Nazi persecution and came to Great Britain, where Fuchs earned his doctorate in physics. During World War II, British authorities were aware of the leftist leanings of both Fuchs and his father. However, Fuchs was eventually invited to participate in the British program to develop an atomic bomb (the project named “Tube Alloys”) because of his expertise. At some point after the project began, Soviet agents contacted Fuchs and he began to pass information about British progress to them. Late in 1943, Fuchs was among a group of British scientists brought to America to work on the Manhattan Project, the U.S. program to develop an atomic bomb. Fuchs continued his clandestine meetings with Soviet agents. When the war ended, Fuchs returned to Great Britain and continued his work on the British atomic bomb project. Fuchs’ arrest in 1950 came after a routine security check of Fuchs’ father, who had moved to communist East Germany in 1949. While the check was underway, British authorities received information from the American Federal Bureau of Investigation that decoded Soviet messages in their possession indicated Fuchs was a Russian spy. On February 3, officers from Scotland Yard arrested Fuchs and charged him with violating the Official Secrets Act. Fuchs eventually admitted his role and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. His sentence was later reduced, and he was released in 1959 and spent his remaining years living with his father in East Germany. Fuchs’ capture set off a chain of arrests. Harry Gold, whom Fuchs implicated as the middleman between himself and Soviet agents, was arrested in the United States. Gold thereupon informed on David Greenglass, one of Fuchs’ co-workers on the Manhattan Project. After his apprehension, Greenglass implicated his sister-in-law and her husband, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. They were arrested in New York in July 1950, found guilty of conspiracy to commit espionage, and executed at Sing Sing Prison in June 1953.
1953 – Carrier aircraft blasted western Korea from Chinnampo to Haeju while the cruisers USS Toledo and Rochester and the destroyers USS Kidd and Chevalier engaged targets in the Kosong area.
1961 – The United States Air Forces begins Operation Looking Glass, and over the next 30 years, a “Doomsday Plane” is always in the air, with the capability of taking direct control of the United States’ bombers and missiles in the event of the destruction of the SAC’s command post.
1962 – President John F. Kennedy banned all trade with Cuba except for food & drugs.
1970 – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee opens hearings on the conduct of the war by the Nixon administration. Senator Charles Goodell (R-New York) said that Vietnamization (President Richard Nixon’s program to transfer war responsibility to the South Vietnamese) had been a “great public relations success.” Taking exception with Senator Goodell’s assessment, Senators Harold Hughes (D-Iowa), Thomas Eagleton (D-Missouri), and Alan Cranston (D-California) testified in support of a Senate resolution calling for the termination of the American commitment to South Vietnam unless the Saigon government took steps to broaden its cabinet, stop press censorship, and release political prisoners.
1984 – STS-41-B is launched using Space Shuttle Challenger. STS-41-B was the tenth NASA Space Shuttle mission and the fourth flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger. It launched on February 3, 1984, and landed on February 11 after deploying two communications satellites. It was also notable for including the first untethered spacewalk.
1988 – The U.S. House of Representatives handed President Reagan a major defeat, rejecting his request for at least $36.25 million in aid to the Nicaraguan Contras.
1988 – The Air Force Arial Achievement Medal, was established by the Secretary of the Air Force. It is awarded by the Department of the Air Force to U.S. military and civilian personnel for sustained meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight. The achievements must be accomplished with distinction above and beyond that normally expected of professional airmen.
1991 – US military officials confirmed that seven of eleven Marines who were killed in combat on January 30th died from “friendly fire.”
1994 – Nearly two decades after the fall of Saigon, U.S. President Bill Clinton announces the lifting of the 19-year-old trade embargo against Vietnam, citing the cooperation of Vietnam’s communist government in helping the United States locate the 2,238 Americans still listed as missing in the Vietnam War. Despite the lifting of the embargo, high tariffs remained on Vietnamese exports pending the country’s qualification as a “most favored nation,” a U.S. trade-status designation that Vietnam might earn after broadening its program of free-market reforms. In July 1995, the Clinton administration established full diplomatic relations with Vietnam. In making the decision, Clinton was advised by Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, an ex-Navy pilot who spent five years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi. Brushing aside criticism of Clinton’s decision by some Republicans, McCain asserted that it was time for America to normalize relations with its old enemy. Five years later, in November 2000, President Clinton became the first president to visit Vietnam since Richard Nixon’s 1969 trip to South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
1994 – The space shuttle Discovery lifted off, carrying Sergei Krikalev, the first Russian cosmonaut to fly aboard a U.S. spacecraft.
1995 – Astronaut Eileen Collins becomes the first woman to pilot the Space Shuttle as mission STS-63 gets underway from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. STS-63 was the second mission of the US/Russian Shuttle-Mir Program, which carried out the first rendezvous of the American Space Shuttle with Russia’s space station Mir. Known as the ‘Near-Mir’ mission, the flight used Space Shuttle Discovery.
1996 – Sergeant First Class Donald A. Dugan, 38, became the first US soldier killed while on duty in Bosnia when a piece of ammunition exploded in his hands.
1997 – The Army announced that a retired female sergeant major had accused Sgt. Maj. Gene McKinney of sexual assault and harassment. McKinney, who was accused of sexual misconduct by six women, faced court-martial, but was acquitted of 18 charges of pressuring enlisted women for sex. He received a reprimand and reduction in rank.
1998 – A US surveillance aircraft cut a ski cable in Italy and caused the death of 20 skiers in a gondola cable car running from Cavalese to the Alpe Cermis. The EA-6B aircraft was normally used for patrols over Bosnia and was only slightly damaged. Lt. Col. Steven Watters was later relieved of command for telling crew members of a related squadron to destroy evidence in the investigation. The pilot did not have Italian military maps that identified the ski lift. Four crewmen were later charged by the Marine Corps with negligent homicide, involuntary manslaughter and dereliction of duty. The pilot and navigator faced trial for manslaughter. Pilot Richard J. Ashby was acquitted of all charges in 1999. Navigator Joseph Schweitzer was acquitted of manslaughter and negligent homicide charges. Schweitzer later pleaded guilty to obstruction and conspiracy charges for destroying a videotape made during the flight. The tape indicated that the plane had been flying upside down. Schweitzer was sentenced to dismissal from the Marine Corps. Capt. Ashby (32) was found guilty of obstruction of justice and conspiracy in May, 1999 and was sentenced to 6 months in prison and dismissed from the Marine Corps. Families of the victims settled for $2 million apiece in 2000.
1999 – The Clinton administration told Congress a NATO-led peacekeeping force could be needed in Kosovo for three to five years and might include up to 4,000 American troops.
1999 – In Kosovo members of the KLA demanded that peace talks include a guaranteed vote for independence.
2000 – The US Navy in the Straits of Hormuz took control of a Russian tanker, Volgoneft-147, on suspicion that it was smuggling oil from Iraq in violation of US sanctions. Tests showed the oil came from Iraq and it was forced to discharge the oil in Oman.
2003 – It was reported that the US and Britain had mapped out a strategy to limit arms inspections in Iraq to no more than 6 more weeks.
2003 – A new British report said Iraqi security agents have bugged every room and telephone of the UN weapons inspectors based in Baghdad and have hidden documents in Iraqi hospitals, mosques and homes.
2004 – US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said that a white powder found in his office tested positive for ricin, forcing closure of Senate office buildings and close scrutiny of congressional mail.
2005 – An Afghan passenger jet carrying 104 people disappeared from radar screens during a snowstorm near the mountain-ringed capital. NATO helicopters found the wreckage of 2 days later. There were no survivors.
2005 – An interim UN report zeroed in on the chief of the oil-for-food program, Benon Sevan, saying Saddam Hussein’s regime awarded oil allocations in his name to a trading company between 1998 and 2001.
2006 – Jamal al-Bedawi, who masterminded the USS Cole bombing, and Fawaz al-Rabeiee, who planned the 2002 attack on the French tanker Limburg, escape from a prison in Yemen along with 22 other prisoners, 12 of whom were convicted members of Al-Qaida.
2006 – The United States expels Venezuelan diplomat Jeny Figueredo Frias in retaliation for yesterday’s expulsion of suspected US spy John Correa from Venezuela. A State Department spokesman described the move as part of “tit-for-tat diplomatic games”.
2009 – Suspected Taliban militants suspend NATO supply lines by destroying a bridge on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
2010 – NASA and Cornell University have given up attempting to move the Spirit rover, currently stuck in sand near Home Plate, Gusev crater on the planet Mars, and are converting it into a stationary outpost. Its twin rover, Opportunity, remains mobile on Mars.
2012 – Major General Michael Linnington orders a court martial for US Private Bradley Manning responsible for leaking hundreds of thousands of documents to Wikileaks.

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