1776 – The British Crown contracts with the German state of Hesse-Cassel for the services of 12,000 mercenaries to assist British forces in the rebellious colonies.
1777 – New Connecticut (present day Vermont) declares its independence. The term Vermont Republic has been used by later historians for the government of what became modern Vermont from 1777 to 1791. In July 1777, partly in response to the Westminster massacre, delegates from 28 towns met and declared independence from jurisdictions and land claims of both British colonies and American states in New Hampshire and New York. They also abolished slavery within their boundaries. The people of Vermont took part in the American Revolution and considered themselves Americans, even if Congress did not recognize the jurisdiction. Because of vehement objections from New York, which had conflicting property claims, the Continental Congress declined to recognize Vermont, then called the New Hampshire Grants. Vermont’s overtures to join the British Province of Quebec failed. In 1791, Vermont was admitted to the United States as the 14th state.
1782 – Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris goes before the U.S. Congress to recommend establishment of a national mint and decimal coinage.
1811 – In a secret session, Congress planned to annex Spanish East Florida.
1815 – During the War of 1812, American frigate USS President, commanded by Commodore Stephen Decatur, is captured by a squadron of four British frigates. After running aground before the engagement, the frigate President, now severely damaged, tried to break out of New York Harbor, but was intercepted by a British squadron of four frigates and was forced to surrender after a battle with HMS Endymion.
1823 – Matthew Brady was born in Warren County, in about 1823 (the exact place and year is not known). As a young man Brady moved to New York City and became a jewel-case manufacturer. Soon afterwards Brady met the inventor Samuel Morse who taught him about the daguerreotype process. In 1843 Brady began making special cases for daguerreotypes and the following year opened the Daguerreotype Miniature Gallery in New York. In 1844 Brady opened a gallery in Washington and began his Illustrious Americans project. This included taking the portraits of people such as Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglass, Thaddeus Stevens, John Calhoun, Daniel Webster, Horace Greeley, Edwin Stanton, Charles Sumner and William Seward. Brady sent twenty of these daguerreotypes to the Great Exhibition in London, where he won a medal for his achievements. Brady toured Europe in 1851 but when he returned he found his failing eyesight made taking photographs very difficult. He began to rely heavily on his chief assistant, Alexander Gardner, who was a leading expert in the new collodion (wet-plate process) that was rapidly displacing the daguerreotype. In the 1850s Brady’s eyesight began to deteriorate and began to rely heavily on Alexander Gardner to run the business. In February, 1858, Gardner was put in charge of Brady’s gallery in Washington. He quickly developed a reputation as an outstanding portrait photographer. A supporter of the Republican Party, Brady made 35 portraits of Abraham Lincoln during the 1860 presidential campaign. After his victory Lincoln told friends that “Brady and the Copper Union speech made me President.” On the outbreak of the American Civil War there was a dramatic increase in the demand for work at Brady’s studios as soldiers wanted to be photographed in uniform before going to the front-line. The following officers in the Union Army were all photographed at the Matthew Brady Studio: Nathaniel Banks, Don Carlos Buell, Ambrose Burnside, Benjamin Butler, George Custer, David Farragut, John Gibbon, Winfield Hancock, Samuel Heintzelman, Joseph Hooker, Oliver Howard, David Hunter, John Logan, Irvin McDowell, George McClellan, James McPherson, George Meade, David Porter, William Rosecrans, John Schofield, William Sherman, Daniel Sickles, George Stoneman, Edwin Sumner, George Thomas, Emory Upton, James Wadsworth and Lew Wallace. In July, 1861 Brady and Alfred Waud, an artist working for Harper’s Weekly, travelled to the front-line and witnessed Bull Run, the first major battle of the war. The battle was a disaster for the Union Army and Brady came close to being captured by the enemy. Soon after arriving back from the front Brady decided to make a photographic record of the American Civil War. He sent Alexander Gardner, James Gardner, Timothy O’Sullivan, William Pywell, George Barnard, and eighteen other men to travel throughout the country taking photographs of the war. Each one had his own travelling darkroom so that that collodion plates could be processed on the spot. This included Gardner’s famous President Lincoln on the Battlefield of Antietam and Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter (1863). Brady spent most of the time organizing his cameramen from his office in Washington. However, Brady did take photographs at Bull Run. One observer claimed that Brady at Bull Run showed “more pluck than many of the officers and soldiers who were in the fight.” He photographed the retreat and another witness pointed out that Brady “has fixed the cowards beyond the possibility of a doubt.” During the American Civil War Brady spent over $100,000 in obtaining 10,000 prints. He expected the government to buy the photographs when the war ended. When the government refused to do this he was forced to sell his New York City studio and go into bankruptcy. Congress granted Brady $25,000 in 1875 but he remained deeply in debt. Depressed by his financial situation, Matthew Brady became an alcoholic and died the charity ward of Presbyterian Hospital in New York on 15th January, 1896.
1865 – Fort Fisher in North Carolina falls to Union forces, and Wilmington, the Confederacy’s most important blockade-running port, is closed. When President Lincoln declared a blockade of southern ports in 1861, Rebel engineers began construction on a fortress at the mouth of New Inlet, which provided access to Wilmington. Fort Fisher was constructed of timber and sand, and it posed a formidable challenge for the Yankees. The walls were more than 20 feet high and they bristled with large cannon. Land mines and palisades made from sharpened logs created even more obstacles for potential attackers. Union leadership did not make Fort Fisher a high priority until the last year of the war. After the Federals closed Mobile Bay in August 1864, attention turned to shutting down Wilmington. Union ships moved into place in December and began a massive bombardment on Christmas Eve. The next day, a small force failed to capture the fort but the attempt was renewed in January. On January 13, a massive three-day bombardment began. On the third day, 9,000 Yankee infantry commanded by General Alfred Terry hit the beach and attacked Fort Fisher. The Confederates could not repulse the attack. The damage was heavy on both sides: the Union suffered more than 900 Army casualties and 380 Navy casualties, and the Confederates suffered 500 killed or wounded and over 1,000 captured. After the loss of this last major Confederate port, it was only three months before the war concluded.
1865 – At the request of Major General William T. Sherman, Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren, commanding the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, issued orders to prepare for a combined naval and military demonstration before Charleston in order to draw attention from General Sherman’s march to the north. Before making the demonstration, it was necessary to locate and mark the numerous obstructions in the channel of Charleston harbor. Accordingly, this date orders were issued charging the commanders of the monitors with this duty. That evening, while searching for the Confederate obstructions, U.S.S. Patapsco, Lieutenant Commander Stephen P. Quackenbush, struck a torpedo (mine) near the entrance of the lower harbor and sank instantly with the loss of 64 officers and men, more than half her crew. She was the fourth monitor lost in the war, the second due to enemy torpedoes. Thereafter, only small boats and tugs were used in the search for obstructions and the objective of the joint expedition was changed to Bull’s Bay, a few miles northeast of Charleston.
1908 – Edward Teller was born on January 15, 1908 in Budapest, Hungary. He left his homeland in 1926 to study in Germany. In 1930 he got his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the University of Leipzig. With Hilter’s rise to power in Germany, Teller emigrated to the United States to take a teaching position at George Washington University in 1935. Teller, along with Leo Szilard and Eugene Wigner, persuaded Albert Einstein to warn President Roosevelt of a potential Nazi atomic bomb. Teller was among the first scientists recruited to work on the Manhattan Project. During the Manhattan Project, Teller first worked with Szilard at the University of Chicago. In 1943, he headed a group at Los Alamos in the Theoretical Physics division, however his obsession with the H-bomb caused tensions with other scientists, particularly Hans Bethe, the division leader. Teller left Los Alamos at the end of the war, returning to the University of Chicago. But when the Soviet Union conducted its first test of an atomic device in August 1949, he did his best to drum up support for a crash program to build a hydrogen bomb. When he and mathematician Stanislaw Ulam finally came up with an H-bomb design that would work, Teller was not chosen to head the project. He left Los Alamos and soon joined the newly established Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a rival nuclear weapons lab in California. It was Oppenheimer’s security clearance hearings in 1954 that was the occasion for the final rift between Teller and many of his scientific colleagues. At Oppenheimer’s hearings, Teller testified that “I feel I would prefer to see the vital interests of this country in hands that I understand better and therefore trust more.” Teller has continued to be a tireless advocate of a strong defense policy, calling for the development of advanced thermonuclear weapons and continued nuclear testing. He is a vigorous proponent of an anti-ballistic missile shield. Teller is Director Emeritus at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
1916 – Details of the activities of Germany’s military attaché in Washington, Franz von Papen, go public generating widespread outrage. Sent to New York City in 1915, von Papen worked at the German Consulate. He was assigned to act as a spymaster, overseeing agents assigned to disrupt the conveyance of military supplies from American manufacturers to Britain (the United States was a neutral party at the time while Britain was at war with Germany). Under his direction, agents set up phony American armaments firms and contracted with Allied countries to provide them with arms. With the Allies hopelessly waiting, the agents would make excuses for continuous delays, with the arms never being delivered. Other schemes he set into place had firms buying up gunpowder in huge quantities which preventing it from becoming available for the Allies. After being saddled with a number of incompetent and reckless agents, Papen was directed to oversee numerous sabotage efforts against U.S. interests. He set up a scheme to blow up part of the Canadian Pacific Railway in order to thwart the efforts of Canadian troops to reach England to fight on behalf of the British. The scheme failed and the saboteurs were captured. Papen also attempted to recruit German nationals living in the United States and persuading them to return to Germany to fight on behalf of their mother country. When this came to the attention of U.S. authorities, Papen was ordered to leave the United States.
1920 – The United States approved a $150 million loan to Poland, Austria and Armenia to aid in their war with the Russian communists.
1929 – The U.S. Senate ratifies the Kellogg-Briand anti-war pact. It was signed Aug. 27, 1928, condemning “recourse to war for the solution of international controversies.” It is more properly known as the Pact of Paris. In June, 1927, Aristide Briand, foreign minister of France, proposed to the U.S. government a treaty outlawing war between the two countries. Frank B. Kellogg, the U.S. Secretary of State, returned a proposal for a general pact against war, and after prolonged negotiations the Pact of Paris was signed by 15 nations—Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, the Irish Free State, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, and the United States. The contracting parties agreed that settlement of all conflicts, no matter of what origin or nature, that might arise among them should be sought only by pacific means and that war was to be renounced as an instrument of national policy. Although 62 nations ultimately ratified the pact, its effectiveness was vitiated by its failure to provide measures of enforcement. The Kellogg-Briand Pact was given an unenthusiastic reception by many countries. The U.S. Senate, ratifying the treaty with only one dissenting vote, still insisted that there must be no curtailment of America’s right of self-defense and that the United States was not compelled to take action against countries that broke the treaty. The pact never made a meaningful contribution to international order, although it was invoked in 1929 with some success, when China and the USSR reached a tense moment over possession of the Chinese Eastern RR in Manchuria. Ultimately, however, the pact proved to be meaningless, especially with the practice of waging undeclared wars in the 1930s (e.g., the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935, and the German occupation of Austria in 1938).
1936 – In London, Japan quits all naval disarmament talks after being denied equality. The London Naval Conference. (1908–9), composed of delegates of 10 powers, resulted in the influential Declaration of London (see London, Declaration of). After World War I, U.S. President Harding called the Washington Conference. (1921–22). Several treaties resulted. The Five-Power Treaty limited tonnage of aircraft carriers and capital ships and arranged for the United States, Great Britain, and France to scrap a number of ships. Agreement was reached on a ratio of capital ships for Great Britain, the United States, Japan, France, and Italy; the ratio was set at 5:5:3:1.67:1.67. Another five-power treaty made the rules of warfare applying to surface ships applicable also to submarines and outlawed the use of poison gas. In the Four-Power Treaty, France, Japan, Great Britain, and the United States agreed to respect each other’s possessions in the Pacific. The status quo of naval fortifications in the W Pacific was to be maintained. Japan was to return Shandong to China, which was guaranteed territorial integrity and greater control over its tariff by two Nine-Power Treaties. The Washington Conference treaties were to remain in force until Dec. 31, 1936. The Geneva Conference. (1927) failed to reach agreement on more comprehensive limits for warships. At the London Conference. (1930), Japan won a 7:10:10 ratio with the United States and Great Britain in small cruisers and destroyers, remained at a 3:5:5 ratio with them in large cruisers, and won parity in submarines. France and Italy refused to take part in the new ratios, but, with the other three powers, agreed to defer further construction of capital ships. An escalator clause provided for naval expansion in case of any threat to national security by the naval building of a nonsignatory nation. The announcement in 1934 of Japan’s intention to withdraw from the Washington Conference treaties resulted in another London Conference. (1935). Japan withdrew from the conference when refused naval parity with the United States and Great Britain. These two powers and France signed (Mar. 25, 1936) an agreement to limit cruisers and destroyers to 8,000 tons and capital ships to 35,000 tons. Reports of Japanese building in excess of 35,000 tons led to a revision (1938) of the treaty limits on the size of capital ships, and with the outbreak of World War II in 1939 the treaties were completely abandoned.
1942 – Marine Brigadier General H. R. Larsen is named first Military Governor of American Samoa.
1942 – The first “blackout” Cadillacs were completed. Due to restrictions on materials necessary to the war effort, these cars had painted trim rather than chrome. They also lacked spare tires and other luxuries.
1943 – The Pentagon, headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense, was dedicated. Before the Pentagon was built, the United States Department of War was headquartered in the Greggory Building, a temporary structure erected during World War I along Constitution Avenue on the National Mall. The War Department, which was a civilian agency created to administer the U.S. Army, was spread out in additional temporary buildings on the National Mall, as well as dozens of other buildings in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. In the late 1930s a new War Department Building was constructed at 21st and C Streets in Foggy Bottom but, upon completion, the new building did not solve the department’s space problem and ended up being used by the Department of State. When World War II broke out in Europe, the War Department rapidly expanded in anticipation that the United States would be drawn into the conflict. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson found the situation unacceptable, with the Munitions Building overcrowded and the department spread out. Stimson told President Franklin D. Roosevelt in May 1941 that the War Department needed additional space. On July 17, 1941, a congressional hearing took place, organized by Virginia congressman Clifton Woodrum, regarding proposals for new War Department buildings. Woodrum pressed Brigadier General Eugene Reybold, who was representing the War Department at the hearing, for an “overall solution” to the department’s “space problem” rather than building yet more temporary buildings. Reybold agreed to report back to the congressman within five days. The War Department called upon its construction chief, General Brehon Somervell, to come up with a plan. Government officials agreed that the War Department building should be constructed across the Potomac River, in Arlington, Virginia. Requirements for the new building were that it be no more than four stories tall, and that it use a minimal amount of steel. The requirements meant that, instead of rising vertically, the building would be sprawling over a large area. Possible sites for the building included the Department of Agriculture’s Arlington Experimental Farm, adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery, and the obsolete Washington Hoover Airport site. The site originally chosen was Arlington Farms which had a roughly pentagonal shape, so the building was planned accordingly as an irregular pentagon. Concerned that the new building could obstruct the view of Washington, D.C. from Arlington Cemetery, President Roosevelt ended up selecting the Hoover Airport site instead. The building retained its pentagonal layout because a major redesign at that stage would have been costly, and Roosevelt liked the design. Freed of the constraints of the asymmetric Arlington Farms site, it was modified into a regular pentagon.
1943 – Captain Joe Foss bagged three Japanese planes for a record total of 26 kills.
1944 – The forces of US 2nd Corps (Keyes) capture Monte Trocchio. This completes the US 5th Army advance to the German defenses of the Gustav Line. In part, the operations serve to keep engaged German forces that might otherwise be available to respond to the planned landing at Anzio (January 22).
1945 – On Luzon, the US 14th Corps continues to advance south from the beachhead and has now crossed the Agno River. The US 1st Corps is attacking north and east but fails to reach its objective of Rosario
1945 – American forces encounter heavy resistance in attacks toward St. Vith. US 1st Army troops have reached Houffalize, cutting off remaining German forces to the west in the Ardennes salient.
1949 – Chinese Communists occupy Tientsin after a 27-hour battle with Nationalist forces.
1951 – Ilse Koch, wife of the commandant of the Buchenwald concentration camp, is sentenced to life imprisonment in a court in West Germany. Ilse Koch was nicknamed the “Witch of Buchenwald” for her extraordinary sadism. Born in Dresden, Germany, Ilse, a librarian, married SS. Col. Karl Koch in 1936. Colonel Koch, a man with his own reputation for sadism, was the commandant of the Sashsenhausen concentration camp, two miles north of Berlin. He was transferred after three years to Buchenwald concentration camp, 4.5 miles northwest of Weimar; the Buchenwald concentration camp held a total of 20,000 slave laborers during the war. Ilse, a large woman with red hair, was given free reign in the camp, whipping prisoners with her riding crop as she rode by on her horse, forcing prisoners to have sex with her, and, most horrifying, collecting lampshades, book covers, and gloves made from the skin of tattooed camp prisoners. A German inmate gave the following testimony during the Nuremberg war trials: “All prisoners with tattooing on them were to report to the dispensary…. After the prisoners had been examined, the ones with the best and most artistic specimens were killed by injections. The corpses were then turned over to the pathological department, where the desired pieces of tattooed skin were detached from the bodies and treated further.” Karl Koch was arrested, ironically enough, by his SS superiors for “having gone too far.” It seems he had a penchant for stealing even the belongings of wealthy, well-placed Germans. He was tried and hanged in 1944. Ilse Koch was tried for crimes against humanity at Nuremberg and sentenced to life in prison, but the American military governor of the occupied zone subsequently reduced her sentence to four years. His reason, “lack of evidence,” caused a Senate investigation back home. She was released but arrested again, tried by a West German court, and sentenced to life. She committed suicide in 1967 by hanging herself with a bedsheet.
1951 – Operation WOLFHOUND commenced as a combined task force of infantry, armor, artillery and engineers mounted an attack towards the Suwon-Osan area. The principal component of this task force was the 25th Infantry Division’s 27th Infantry Regiment.
1953 -Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee prior to taking office as the new secretary of state, John Foster Dulles argues that U.S. foreign policy must strive for the “liberation of captive peoples” living under communist rule. Though Dulles called for a more vigorous anticommunist policy, he remained vague about exactly how the “liberation” would take place. When asked during the hearing whether he supported the policy of containment, which sought to restrain the further expansion of communist power, Dulles responded by declaring, “We shall never have a secure peace or a happy world so long as Soviet communism dominates one-third of all of the peoples.” Despite the vague specifics of the original declaration, Dulles’s call for action was soon put into practice. The Eisenhower administration conceived a wide-ranging program of political and psychological warfare, and overseas propaganda-produced and disseminated by the new United States Information Agency-became an important Cold War weapon. In Iran, Guatemala, and later, Cuba, the United States resorted to covert operations directed by the Central Intelligence Agency to destabilize foreign governments perceived to be a communist threat. In 1956, however, Dulles’s oft-repeated calls for the liberation of captive peoples backfired badly when Hungarian citizens rose up in revolt against the Soviet presence in their country. As the Russians crushed the uprising, the United States did nothing while Hungarian rebels pleaded helplessly for assistance.
1962 – Asked at a news conference if U.S. troops are fighting in Vietnam, President Kennedy answers “No.” He was technically correct, but U.S. soldiers were serving as combat advisers with the South Vietnamese army, and U.S. pilots were flying missions with the South Vietnamese Air Force. While acting in this advisory capacity, some soldiers invariably got wounded, and press correspondents based in Saigon were beginning to see casualties from the “support” missions and ask questions.
1967 – Some 462 Yale faculty members called for an end to the bombing in North Vietnam.
1970 -Muammar al-Qaddafi, the young Libyan army captain who deposed King Idris in September 1969, is proclaimed premier of Libya by the so-called General People’s Congress. Born in a tent in the Libyan desert, Qaddafi was the son of a Bedouin farmer. He attended university and the Libyan military academy and steadily rose in the ranks of the Libyan army. An ardent Arab nationalist, he plotted with a group of fellow officers to overthrow the Libyan monarchy, which they accomplished on September 1, 1969. Blending Islamic orthodoxy, revolutionary socialism, and Arab nationalism, Qaddafi established a fervently anti-Western dictatorship. In 1970, he removed U.S. and British military bases and expelled Italian and Jewish Libyans. In 1973, he nationalized foreign-owned oil fields. He reinstated traditional Islamic laws, such as prohibition of alcoholic beverages and gambling, but liberated women and launched social programs that improved the standard of living in Libya. As part of his stated ambition to unite the Arab world, he sought closer relations with his Arab neighbors, especially Egypt. However, when Egypt and then other Arab nations began a peace process with Israel, Libya was increasingly isolated. Qaddafi’s government financed a wide variety of terrorist groups worldwide, from Palestinian guerrillas and Philippine Muslim rebels to the Irish Republican Army. During the 1980s, the West blamed him for numerous terrorist attacks in Europe, and in April 1986 U.S. war planes bombed Tripoli in retaliation for a bombing of a West German dance hall. Qaddafi was reportedly injured and his infant daughter killed in the U.S. attack. In the late 1990s, Qaddafi sought to lead Libya out of its long international isolation by turning over to the West two suspects wanted for the 1988 explosion of an airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland. In response, Europe lifted sanctions against Libya. After years of rejection in the Arab world, Qaddafi also sought to forge stronger relations with non-Islamic African nations such as South Africa, remodeling himself as an elder African statesman.
1973 – Citing “progress” in the Paris peace negotiations between National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho of North Vietnam, President Richard Nixon halts the most concentrated bombing of the war, as well as mining, shelling, and all other offensive action against North Vietnam. The cessation of direct attacks against North Vietnam did not extend to South Vietnam, where the fighting continued as both sides jockeyed for control of territory before the anticipated cease-fire. On December 13, North Vietnamese negotiators had walked out of secret talks with Kissinger. President Nixon issued an ultimatum to Hanoi to send its representatives back to the conference table within 72 hours “or else.” The North Vietnamese rejected Nixon’s demand and the president ordered Operation Linebacker II, a full-scale air campaign against the Hanoi area. This operation was the most concentrated air offensive of the war. During the 11 days of the attack, 700 B-52 sorties and more than 1,000 fighter-bomber sorties dropped roughly 20,000 tons of bombs, mostly over the densely populated area between Hanoi and Haiphong. On December 28, after 11 days of intensive bombing, the North Vietnamese agreed to return to the talks. When the negotiators met again in early January, they quickly worked out a settlement. The Paris Peace Accords were signed on January 23 and a cease-fire went into effect five days later.
1974 – The first group of women ever enlisted as “regulars” in the U.S. Coast Guard began their 10-weeks of basic training at the Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May. Thirty-two women were in the initial group and formed Recruit Company Sierra-89.
1976 – Gerald Ford’s would-be assassin, Sara Jane Moore, is sentenced to life in prison.
1991 – With hours remaining before a United Nations deadline for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait, UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar made a final appeal to Saddam Hussein to remove his troops.
1993 – 20 men from 10th Mountain Divisions Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry kill 6 Somalis in Bale Dogle. No US casualties.
1998 – Pres. Clinton presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to 15 honorees.
1998 – The US and Singapore announced an agreement for US ships to use a planned $35 million naval base beginning in 2000.
1999 – In Iraq the US again fired at an air-defense site.
1999 – The United States proposes allowing Iraq to sell unlimited amounts of oil – but only if the proceeds go to buy food and other humanitarian supplies for the Iraqi people. The United Nations Security Council barred Iraq from freely exporting oil, its most valuable commodity, after its invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Concerned that sanctions were creating devastating hardships for Iraq’s 22 million people, the Council agreed in 1995 to let Iraq sell limited amounts of oil to pay for humanitarian supplies.
2000 – Madeleine Albright stopped in Colombia to discuss a $1.2 billion emergency aid package that included $400 million for 30 US Blackhawk helicopters to help in the drug war.
2002 – John Walker Lindh of Marin, Ca., was charged with conspiring to kill Americans as a Taliban member in Afghanistan.
2002 – Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines (OEF-P) begins. Special Operations Command-Pacific (SOCPAC) troops are the core of OEF-P, an operation which supports the Government of the Republic of the Philippines counterterrorism efforts. Deployment involved more than 1,200 members of SOCPAC, headed by Brig. Gen. Donald C. Wurster. SOCPAC’s deployable joint task force HQ, Joint Task Force 510 (JTF 510), directed and carried out the operations. The mission was to advise the Armed Forces of the Philippines in combating terrorism in the Philippines. Much of the mission (Exercise Balikatan 02-1) took place on the island of Basilan, a stronghold of al-Qaeda afilliate, Abu Sayyaf. Within OEF-Philippines was another project called Operation Smiles, an extensive program to provide medical care for local civilians of Basilan where the fighting had occurred. Operation Smiles included personnel from the Philippine Government as well as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), JTF 510 and non governmental organizations. Among the results of this operation was the creation of 14 schools, seven clinics, three hospitals and over 20 fresh water wells. From the beginning of the project it had provided care and assistance to an estimated 18,000 Filipinos.
2004 – Iraqi bank notes bearing Saddam Hussein’s portrait became obsolete as a three-month period to exchange old bills for new ones came to an end. The new currency required 27 flights of 747 planes for delivery.
2005 – A military court at Fort Hood, Texas, sentenced Army SPC Charles Graner Jr. to 10 years behind bars for physically and sexually mistreating Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.
2005 – Sami Mohammed Ali Said al-Jaaf, also known as Abu Omar al-Kurdi, was arrested during a raid in Baghdad. On Jan 24 authorities announced the arrest of Al-Jaaf, an al-Qaida figure allegedly behind the vast majority of the car bombings in Baghdad.
2005 – Savo Todovic (52), a Bosnian Serb wanted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal for crimes he allegedly committed during the 1992-95 war, surrendered to Bosnian Serb police.
2006 – The Stardust spacecraft has successfully landed in the Dugway Proving Ground after collecting dust samples from the comet Wild 2. It is the first time extraterrestrial samples other than of the moon have been collected and the Stardust spacecraft is the fastest man-made object to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere.
2008 – The Pentagon announces plans to send 3,200 additional Marines to Afghanistan.
2012 – The Russian tanker Renda, accompanied by the US Coast Guard icebreaker USCGC Healy, prepares to deliver fuel to Nome, Alaska. A fall storm had blocked an earlier fuel delivery, leaving the city facing fuel shortages.
2015 – After contributing more than 650 search hours to the Indonesian-led search effort for AirAsia flight QZ8501, USS Sampson (DDG 102) and USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) concluded their assistance.
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