1656 – Ann Austin and Mary Fisher, two Englishwomen, become the first Quakers to immigrate to the American colonies when the ship carrying them lands at Boston in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The pair came from Barbados, where Quakers had established a center for missionary work. The Religious Society of Friends, whose members are commonly known as Quakers, was a Christian movement founded by George Fox in England during the early 1650s. Quakers opposed central church authority, preferring to seek spiritual insight and consensus through egalitarian Quaker meetings. They advocated sexual equality and became some of the most outspoken opponents of slavery in early America. Shortly after arriving to Massachusetts, Austin and Fisher, whose liberal teachings enraged the Puritan colonial government, were arrested and jailed. After five years in prison, they were deported back to Barbados. In October 1656, the Massachusetts colonial government enacted their first ban on Quakers, and in 1658 it ordered Quakers banished from the colony “under penalty of death.” Quakers found solace in Rhode Island and other colonies, and Massachusetts’ anti-Quaker laws were later repealed. In the mid-18th century, John Woolman, an abolitionist Quaker, traveled the American colonies, preaching and advancing the anti-slavery cause. He organized boycotts of products made by slave labor and was responsible for convincing many Quaker communities to publicly denounce slavery. Another of many important abolitionist Quakers was Lucretia Mott, who worked on the Underground Railroad in the 19th century, helping lead fugitive slaves to freedom in the Northern states and Canada. In later years, Mott was a leader in the movement for women’s rights.
1767 – John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States (1825-1829), was born in Braintree, Mass.
1786 – Morocco agreed to stop attacking American ships in the Mediterranean for a payment of $10,000.
1798 – President John Adams signed the bill that re-established the Marine Corps. The Continental Congress had disbanded the service in April of 1783 at the end of the American Revolution. The Marine Corps, however, recognizes its “official” birthday to be the date that the Second Continental Congress first authorized the establishment of the “Corps of Marines” on 10 November 1775. To add to the confusion of the Corps’ actual “historical” birthday, on 1 July 1797 Congress authorized the Revenue cutters to carry, in addition to their regular crew, up to “30 marines.” Congress directed the cutters to interdict French privateers operating off the coast during the Quasi-War with France and thought the additional firepower of 30 marines would be needed by the under-manned and under-gunned cutters. It is unknown if any “marines” were enlisted for service with the Revenue cutters during this time.
1804 – A duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton leaves Hamilton dead. Since New Jersey did not have a law against dueling at the time, Burr and Hamilton, both New Yorkers, crossed the Hudson to Weehawken, New Jersey. New York had banned the practice earlier, partly due to Hamilton’s own campaign efforts after his son was killed in a duel. Dueling was outlawed in the North much earlier than it was in the South. The state of Massachusetts declared it “detestable and infamous.” Duelists in that state could be punished even if they both survived the duel. A typical penalty would be to stand an hour with a rope around their neck at the gallows and then to spend a year in prison. Transgressors might also receive lashes from a whip. For duelists who died, there was still a civic penalty to be paid. The loser was buried without a coffin near the spot of the duel with a stake driven through his body. The winner could be prosecuted for murder, executed, and buried in the same manner. Even the mere threat of a duel had serious consequences: In 1818, George Norton challenged someone to a duel in New York for insulting his honor and was sentenced to a month in prison for his dare. In the South, dueling was much more popular and accepted, especially among upper-class society. The practice was so common that legislators were asked to take an oath to declare that they had never been in a duel. Even after dueling became illegal, the law was rarely enforced. The Burr-Hamilton duel was not the last high-profile case. In 1809, future senator Henry Clay and Humphrey Marshall were arguing over legislation in Kentucky’s state house when Clay called Marshall a demagogue and Marshall responded by calling Clay a liar. Their subsequent duel was fought with pistols at a length of ten paces. Luckily for both, neither was a good shot (nor were the weapons particularly accurate), and they both recovered from their injuries.
1818 – The Revenue Cutter Dallas seized and libeled the Venezuelan privateer Cerony off Savannah for having violated the nation’s neutrality laws.
1846 – The “Grizzly Bear” flag proclaiming the “California Republic” is lowered to be replaced by the Unites States flag as the former Mexican colony comes under American control. The ‘bear’ flag was adopted by the California Battalion organized in Sacramento in mid June by Major John C. Fremont, a Regular Army officer and famed western explorer. As soon as he received word that the U.S. and Mexico were at war, he quickly enrolled local Anglo settlers, mostly recent immigrants from Missouri and Iowa, into a militia force. Numbering about 500 men, Fremont moved the battalion south toward Los Angeles. He soon took the city without a fight. In fact, except for one small engagement of Mexican cavalry against a force of Army Regulars lead by General Stephen Kearny, coming into California from New Mexico, the rest of the colony willingly accepted American control.
1861 – Union troops under General George B. McClellan score another major victory in the struggle for western Virginia at the Battle of Rich Mountain. The Yankee success secured the region and ensured the eventual creation of West Virginia. Western Virginia was a crucial battleground in the early months of the war. The population of the region was deeply divided over the issue of secession, and western Virginia was also a vital east-west link for the Union because the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad ran through its mountains. After McClellan scored a series of small victories in western Virginia in June and early July, Confederate General Robert Garnett and Colonel John Pegram positioned their forces at Rich Mountain and Laurel Hill to block two key roads and keep McClellan from penetrating any further east. McClellan crafted a plan to feign an attack against Garnett at Laurel Hill while he sent the bulk of his force against Pegram at Rich Mountain. Part of McClellan’s force, led by General William Rosecrans, followed a rugged mountain path to swing around behind the Rebels’ left flank. McClellan had promised to attack the Confederate front when he heard gunfire from Rosecrans’s direction. After a difficult march through a drenching rain, Rosecrans struck the Confederate wing. It took several attempts, but he was finally able to drive the Confederates from their position. McClellan shelled the Rebel position, but did not make the expected assault. Each side suffered around 70 casualties. Pegram was forced to abandon his position, but Rosecrans was blocking his escape route. Two days later, he surrendered his force of 555. Although McClellan became a Union hero as a result of this victory, most historians agree that Rosecrans deserved the credit. Nonetheless, McClellan was on his way to becoming the commander of the Army of the Potomac.
1862 – President Abraham Lincoln appointed General Henry Halleck as general in chief of the Federal army.
1863 – Rear Admiral Hiram Paulding, Commandant of the New York Navy Yard, stationed gunboats around Manhattan to assist in maintaining order during the Draft Riots.
1864 – Confederate General Jubal Early’s army arrived in Silver Spring, Maryland, on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., and began to probe the Union line. Confederate forces led by Gen. Jubal Early began an invasion of Washington, D.C., turning back the next day.
1864 – Landing party from U.S.S. James L. Davis, Acting Master Griswold, destroyed Confederate salt works near Tampa, Florida. The works were capable of producing some 150 bushels of salt per day. On 16 July a similar raid near Tampa was carried out in which a salt work consisting of four boilers was destroyed.
1869 – Tall Bull, a prominent leader of the Cheyenne Dog Soldier warrior society, is killed during the Battle of Summit Springs in Colorado. Tall Bull was the most distinguished of several Cheyenne warriors who bore this hereditary name. He was a leader of the Dog Soldiers, a fierce Cheyenne society of warriors that had initially fought against other Indian tribes. In the 1860s, though, the Dog Soldiers increasingly became one of the most implacable foes of the U.S. government in the bloody Plains Indian Wars. In October 1868, Tall Bull and his Dog Soldiers badly mauled an American cavalry force in Colorado. He confronted General Philip Sheridan’s forces the following winter in Oklahoma. Near the Washita River, Sheridan’s Lieutenant Colonel George Custer attacked a peaceful Cheyenne village under Chief Black Kettle. The Cheyenne suffered more than 100 casualties, and Custer’s soldiers brutally butchered more than 800 of their horses. However, Custer was forced to flee when Tall Bull and other chiefs camped in nearby villages began to mass for attack. Custer’s attack had badly damaged the Cheyenne, but Tall Bull refused to surrender to the Americans. In the spring of 1869, Tall Bull and his Dog Soldiers took their revenge, staging a series of successful attacks against soldiers who were searching for him. Determined to destroy the chief, the U.S. Army formed a special expeditionary force under the command of General Eugene Carr. On this day in 1869, Carr surprised Tall Bull and his warriors in their camp at Summit Springs, Colorado. In the ensuing battle, Tall Bull was killed and the Dog Soldiers were overwhelmed. Without the dynamic leadership of their chief, the surviving Dog Soldiers’ resistance was broken. Although other Cheyenne continued to fight the American military for another decade, they did so without the aid of their greatest warrior society and its leader.
1916 – In a White House ceremony, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Aid Road Act, the first grant-in-aid enacted by Congress to help states build roads. In 1916, roads throughout America were generally poor and most were susceptible to weather. The advent of the Ford Model T brought on new interests in higher standards for roads, and by the early 1900s, motorist clubs like the American Automobile Association (AAA) had rallied around the call for federally funded long-distance highways. Farmers balked at the idea, arguing that paying taxes so city people could go on car tours was unfair. As the car became more important to farmers, however, the ground became fertile for legislation to raise the quality or roads across the country. In 1907, the legal issue of the federal government’s role in road-building was settled in the Supreme Court case Wilson vs. Shaw. Justice David Brewer wrote that the federal government could “construct interstate highways” because of their constitutional right to regulate interstate commerce. By 1912, bills concerning federal funding of the highways were considered on the House floor, although a split in constituencies had divided the advocates. Farmers wanted sturdy, all-weather postal roads, and urban motorists wanted paved long-distance highways. Many state officials claim that any federal-funding package would only be used as a “pork barrel” to interfere with the operations of the state. In the end, a bill was passed that included the stipulation that all states have a highway agency staffed by professional engineers who would administer the federal funds as they saw fit. The bill on offer leaned in the favor of the rural populations by focusing on rural postal roads rather than interstate highways. The cause of interstate highways would not be addressed until many years later during President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration, but the Federal Aid Road Act was the cornerstone for today’s highway system and the precedent for all highway legislation to come. The rural road improvement that happened as a result of the act helped rural Americans participate more efficiently in the national economy.
1918 – Enrico Caruso joined the war effort and recorded “Over There”, the patriotic song written by George M. Cohan.
1934 – President Roosevelt became the first chief executive to travel through the Panama Canal while in office.
1941 – Congress reconfirmed the military “status” of the Coast Guard, stating: “The Coast Guard shall be a military service and constitute a branch of the land and naval forces of the United States at all times and shall operate under the Treasury Department in time of peace and operate as part of the Navy, subject to the orders of the Secretary of the Navy, in time of war or when the President shall so direct.” (14 U.S.C. 1)
1941 – Roosevelt appoints William Donovan to head a new civilian intelligence agency with the title “coordinator of defense information.” This appointment will lead to the creation of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) which in turn will develop into the modern CIA.
1942 – MCAS El Centro, California activated.
1942 – U .S. Maritime Service was transferred back to the War Shipping Administration after being under Coast Guard administration since February 28, 1942.
1943 – The British advance almost unopposed. Palazzolo is taken. On the coast, there is a halt late in the day at Priolo. The American forces encounter resistance in their advance. The German Panzer Division “Hermann Goring” strikes toward American held Gela from its positions around Caltagirone. Allied naval bombardment forces the German forces to retire.
1944 – German forces counterattack the US 1st Army. The German Panzerlehr Division spearheads the assault against US 9th Division southwest of St. Jean de Daye. US forces hold.
1944 – American forces around Aitape pull back from the Driniumor River under pressure from Japanese forces.
1944 – President Roosevelt announces that the US will recognize the French Provisional Government, led by de Gualle, as the de facto authority for the civil administration of liberated territory in France. Roosevelt also tells a press conference that he will run for president again if the Democratic Party nominates him. He say, “If the people command me to continue in office… I have as little right as a soldier to leave his position in the line.”
1945 – Fulfilling agreements reached at various wartime conferences, the Soviet Union promises to hand power over to British and U.S. forces in West Berlin. Although the division of Berlin (and of Germany as a whole) into zones of occupation was seen as a temporary postwar expedient, the dividing lines quickly became permanent. The divided city of Berlin became a symbol for Cold War tensions. During a number of wartime conferences, the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union agreed that following the defeat of Germany, that nation would be divided into three zones of occupation. Berlin, the capital city of Germany, would likewise be divided. When the war in Europe ended in May 1945, however, Soviet troops were in complete control of eastern Germany and all of Berlin. Some U.S. officials, who had come to see the Soviet Union as an emerging threat to the postwar peace in Europe, believed that the Soviets would never relinquish control over any part of Berlin. However, on July 11, 1945, the Russian government announced that it would hand over all civilian and military control of West Berlin to British and American forces. This was accomplished, without incident, the following day. (The United States and Great Britain would later give up part of their zones of occupation in Germany and Berlin to make room for a French zone of occupation.) In the years to come, West Berlin became the site of some notable Cold War confrontations. During 1948 and 1949, the Soviets blocked all land travel into West Berlin, forcing the United States to establish the Berlin Airlift to feed and care for the population of the city. In 1961, the government of East Germany constructed the famous Berlin Wall, creating an actual physical barrier to separate East and West Berlin. The divided city came to symbolize the animosities and tensions of the Cold War. In 1989, with communist control of East Germany crumbling, the Berlin Wall was finally torn down. The following year, East and West Germany formally reunited.
1945 – The redeployment of 2118 4-engined bombers of the US 8th Air Force, to the USA (en route for the Pacific theater) begins. It is completed in 51 days.
1945 – Napalm was first used. On Luzon, Americans forces drop thousands of napalm bombs on Japanese pockets on the Sierra Madre and in the Kiangan area.
1950 – A 10-man demolition party of sailors and Marines led by Commander William B. Porter conducted the first naval commando operation of the Korean War.
1952 – Far East Air Force established a one-day record by flying 1,330 sorties.
1953 – Lieutenant Colonel John F. Bolt became the 37th Korean War ace and the only U.S. Marine Corps pilot to qualify as an ace during the Korea War. He also has the distinction of being the only jet ace in Marine Corps history and the only U.S. Marine to become an ace in two wars (World War II and Korea). Bolt was flying an F-86 Sabre, “Darling Dottie,” attached to the Air Force’s 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing.
1955 – The new US Air Force Academy was dedicated at Lowry Air Base in Colorado.
1962 – The Telstar I satellite carried the first transatlantic TV transmission. It picked up broadcast signals from France and bounced them down to an antenna in Maine, delivering the first live television picture from Europe to America.
1969 – South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu, in a televised speech, makes a “comprehensive offer” for a political settlement. He challenged the National Liberation Front to participate in free elections organized by a joint electoral commission and supervised by an international body. Following the speech, South Vietnamese Foreign Minister Tran Chanh Thanh, seeking to clarify the Thieu proposal, said communists could never participate in elections in South Vietnam “as communists” nor have any role in organizing elections–only by the South Vietnamese government could organize the elections.
1972 – American forces broke the 95-day siege at An Loc in Vietnam.
1974 – House Judiciary Committee released evidence on the Watergate inquiry.
1979 – Parts of Skylab, America’s first space station, come crashing down on Australia and into the Indian Ocean five years after the last manned Skylab mission ended. No one was injured. Launched in 1973, Skylab was the world’s first successful space station. The first manned Skylab mission came two years after the Soviet Union launched Salynut 1, the world’s first space station, into orbit around the earth. However, unlike the ill-fated Salynut, which was plagued with problems, the American space station was a great success, safely housing three separate three-man crews for extended periods of time. Originally the spent third stage of a Saturn 5 moon rocket, the cylindrical space station was 118 feet tall, weighed 77 tons, and carried the most varied assortment of experimental equipment ever assembled in a single spacecraft to that date. The crews of Skylab spent more than 700 hours observing the sun and brought home more than 175,000 solar pictures. They also provided important information about the biological effects of living in space for prolonged periods of time. Five years after the last Skylab mission, the space station’s orbit began to deteriorate–earlier than was anticipated–because of unexpectedly high sunspot activity. On July 11, 1979, Skylab made a spectacular return to earth, breaking up in the atmosphere and showering burning debris over the Indian Ocean and Australia.
1980 – American hostage Richard I. Queen, freed by Iran after eight months of captivity because of poor health, left Tehran for Switzerland.
1986 – President Ronald Reagan placed the Contras, who were fighting the government of Nicaragua, under CIA jurisdiction.
1995 – Two decades after the fall of Saigon, President Bill Clinton establishes full diplomatic relations with Vietnam, citing Vietnamese cooperation in accounting for the 2,238 Americans still listed as missing in the Vietnam War. Normalization with America’s old enemy began in early 1994, when President Clinton announced the lifting of the 19-year-old trade embargo against Vietnam. 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, Clinton established diplomatic relations. In making the decision, Clinton was advised by Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, an ex-navy pilot who had spent five years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi during the Vietnam War. Brushing aside criticism of Clinton’s decision by some Republicans, McCain asserted that it was time for America to normalize relations with Vietnam. In May 1996, Clinton terminated the combat zone designation for Vietnam and nominated Florida Representative Douglas “Pete” Peterson to become the first ambassador to Vietnam since Graham Martin was airlifted out of the country by helicopter in late April 1975. Peterson himself had served as a U.S. Air Force captain during the Vietnam War and was held as a prisoner of war for six and a half years after his bomber was shot down near Hanoi in 1966. Confirmed by Congress in 1997, Ambassador Peterson presented his credentials to communist authorities in Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital, in May 1997. In November 2000, Peterson greeted Clinton in Hanoi in the first presidential visit to Vietnam since Richard Nixon’s 1969 trip to South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
1996 – An Air Force F-16 jet trying to make an emergency landing slammed into a house in Pensacola, Fla., setting the home on fire, killing a 4-year-old boy and badly burning his mother. The pilot ejected safely.
1997 – President Clinton was cheered by tens of thousands of people in Bucharest, Romania, where he raised hopes for NATO membership.
1998 – Air Force Lt. Michael Blassie, a casualty of the Vietnam War, was laid to rest near his Missouri home after the positive identification of his remains, which had been enshrined at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington, Va.
1999 – A US Air Force cargo jet, braving Antarctic winter, swept down over the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Research Center to drop off emergency medical supplies for Dr. Jerri Nielsen, a physician at the center who had discovered a lump in her breast.
1999 – In London 2 Egyptian associates of Osama bin Laden were arrested. The fingerprints of Ibrahim Hussein Abdel Hadi Eidarous (42) and Adel Abdel-Meguid Abdel-Bary (39) were found on statements taking responsibility for the attacks against US embassies in Africa last August.
2001 – Iraq resumes oil exports, ending a 5-week halt in protest of a U.S. and British-sponsored United Nations Security Council resolution that would have overhauled U.N. sanctions, after this resolution did not come to a vote. The oil-for-food program will be extended for five months.
2002 – Lawmakers balked at moving the Coast Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency into a new Homeland Security Department despite pleas from senior Cabinet officials to stick to President Bush’s blueprint. Both agencies did end up being included in the new department.
2003 – CIA Director George Tenet took blame for Pres. Bush’s State of the Union discredited claim that uranium from Africa had been shipped to Iraq.
2003 – Spain, a leading U.S. ally during the war to oust Saddam Hussein, agreed to send 1,300 soldiers to Iraq.
2004 – It was reported that Jonathan Keith Idema, former US special operations soldier, was recently arrested with 2 other Americans for running a vigilante anti-terrorism campaign in Kabul. They had posed as government officials and imprisoned innocent Afghan men.
2004 – An Anti-Coalition Milita bomb exploded on a bustling street of Herat, Afghanistan, killing five people, and injuring 29.
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