1587 – A second English colony of 114-150 people under John White, financed by Sir Walter Raleigh, was established on Roanoke Island off North Carolina. The colony included 17 women and 9 children. Croatoan Indians informed them that Roanoke Indians had killed the men from the previous expedition. A three-year draught, the worst in 800 years, peaked during this time.
1620 – The Pilgrims set out from Holland destined for the New World. The Speedwell sailed to England from the Netherlands with members of the English Separatist congregation that had been living in Leiden, Holland. Joining the larger Mayflower at Southampton, the two ships set sail together in August, but the Speedwell soon proved unseaworthy and was abandoned at Plymouth, England. The entire company then crowded aboard the Mayflower, setting sail for North America on September 16, 1620.
1796 – Cleveland was founded by Gen. Moses Cleveland. Moses Cleveland came to where the city of Cleveland now sits and surveyed the land. After three months he returned to Connecticut. The city bears his name.
1802 – Frigate Constellation defeats 9 Corsair gunboats off Tripoli.
1814 – Five Indian tribes in Ohio made peace with the United States and declared war on Britain.
1823 – Marines attack Pirates near Cape Cruz, Cuba.
1862 – U.S.S. Essex, Commander W. D. Porter, and ram Queen of the West, Lieutenant Colonel Ellet, attacked C.S.S. Arkansas, Commander I. N. Brown, at anchor with a disabled engine at Vicksburg. Although many of his officers and crew were ashore sick and wounded after the action of 15 July, Commander Brown fought his ship gallantly. After attempting to ram, the Essex became closely engaged in cannon fire with Arkansas. Breaking off the engagement, Essex steamed through a bail of shell Past the shore batteries and joined Rear Admiral Farragut’s fleet which had remained below Vicksburg after passing the city on 15 July. Queen of the West rammed Arkansas but with little effect. She rejoined Flag Officer Davis’ fleet in a shattered condition. The day after repelling the attack by Essex and Queen of the West, Commander Brown defiantly steamed Arkansas up and down the river under the Vicksburg batteries. A member of Arkansas’s crew, Dabney M. Scales, described the action in a vivid letter to his father: “At 4 o’clock on the morning of the 22nd, I was awakened by the call to quarters. Hurrying to our stations, with not even a full complement of men for 3 guns; our soldiers having left just the night before; we discovered the enemy coming right down upon us. . . . We did not have men enough to heave the anchor up and get underway, before the enemy got to us, even if we had had steam ready. So we had to lay in to the bank, and couldn’t meet him on anything like equal terms. . . . The Essex came first, firing on us with her three bow guns. We replied with our two bow guns as long as they could be brought to bear, which was not a very long time, as our vessel being stationary, the enemy soon came too much on our broadside for these guns, and their crews Lad to be shifted to the broadside guns. In the meantime, the Essex ranged up alongside us, and at the distance of 20 feet poured in a broads. which crashed against our sides like nothing that I ever heard be-fore. . . . We were so close that our men were burnt by the powder of the enemy’s guns. . . All this time the Ram [Queen of the West] was not idle, but came close down on the heels of his con-sort. . . . We welcomed him as warmly as we could with our scanty crew. Just before he got to us, we managed by the helm and with the aid of the starboard propellor, to turn our bow out-stream a little, which prevented him from getting a fair lick at us. As it was, he glanced round our side and ran aground just astern of us.” Meanwhile, the Confederate Secretary of War in a general order praised Arkansas’s feats of the week before: “Lieutenant Brown, and the officers and crew of the Confederate steamer Arkansas, by their heroic attack upon the Federal fleet before Vicksburg equaled the highest recorded examples of courage and skill. They proved that the Navy, when it regains its proper element, will be one of the chief bulwarks of national defense and that it is entitled to a high place in the confidence and affection of the country.
1864 – Confederate General John Bell Hood continues to try to drive General William T. Sherman from the outskirts of Atlanta when he attacks the Yankees on Bald Hill. The attack failed, and Sherman tightened his hold on Atlanta. Confederate President Jefferson Davis had appointed Hood commander of the Army of Tennessee just four days before the engagement at Atlanta. Davis had been frustrated with the defensive campaign of the previous commander, Joseph Johnston, so he appointed Hood to drive Sherman back North. Hood attacked Peachtree Creek on July 20, but he could not break the Federals. Two days later, Hood tried again at Bald Hill. The Union force under Sherman consisted of three armies: James McPherson’s Army of the Tennessee, John Schofield’s Army of the Ohio, and George Thomas’ Army of the Cumberland. Thomas’ force pressed on Atlanta from the north, at Peachtree Creek, while McPherson swung to Atlanta’s eastern fringe to cut the Georgia Railroad, which ran to Decatur. Hood struck at McPherson on July 22, but several problems blunted the Confederate attack. The broken, rugged terrain made coordination difficult, and the attack, which had been planned for dawn, did not begin until after noon. Most important, and unbeknownst to Hood, McPherson extended his line east. The Confederates had assembled along a line—which they thought was behind the Union flank—but was now directly in front of fortified Federal soldiers. Hood’s men briefly breached the Union line, but could not hold the position. The day ended without a significant change in the position of the two armies. For the second time in three days, Hood failed to break the Union hold on Atlanta. His already-outnumbered army fared poorly. He lost more than 5,000 men, while the Union suffered 3,700 casualties. Among them was General McPherson, who had been killed while scouting the lines during the battle. He was one of the most respected and promising commanders in the Union army.
1864 – Lieutenant Charles S. Cotton and Acting Ensign John L. Hall led a landing party from U.S.S. Oneida on a daring expedition that resulted in the capture of a Confederate cavalry patrol near Fort Morgan, Mobile Bay. The sailors rowed in from Oneida under cover of’ darkness, and lay in wait for a nightly Southern patrol which had been under observation for some time. Surprise was complete, and Hall marched a detachment four miles further inland to destroy the patrol’s camp site. Lieutenant Cotton reported: “The results of the expedition were captured, 1 lieutenant and 4 privates of the Seventh Alabama Cavalry, arms and ammunition; 5 horses, with their equipments complete, and all the camp equipage and stores.
1881 – The first volume of “The War of the Rebellion,” a compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, was published.
1905 – Body of John Paul Jones moved to Annapolis, MD for reburial.
1916 – In San Francisco, a bomb at a Preparedness Day parade on Market Street kills 10 people and wounds 40. The bomb was hidden in a suitcase. The parade was organized by the city’s Chamber of Commerce in support of America’s possible entrance into World War I. San Francisco was suffering through severe labor strife at the time, and many suspected that anti-war labor radicals were responsible for the terrorist attack. Labor leader Tom Mooney, his wife Rena, his assistant Warren K. Billings, and two others were soon charged by District Attorney Charles Fickert with the bombing. The case attracted international interest because all evidence, with the exception of a handful of questionable witness accounts, seemed to point unquestionably to their innocence. Even after confessions of perjured testimony were made in the courtroom, the trial continued, and in 1917 Mooney and Billings were convicted of first-degree murder, with Billings sentenced to life imprisonment and Mooney sentenced to hang. The other three defendants were acquitted. Responding to international outrage at the conviction, President Woodrow Wilson set up a “mediation commission” to investigate the case, and no clear evidence of their guilt was found. In 1918, Mooney’s sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. During the next two decades, many groups and individuals petitioned California to grant the two men a new trial. By 1939, when evidence of perjury and false testimony at the trial had become overwhelming, newly elected Governor Culbert Olson pardoned Mooney and commuted Billing’s sentence to time served. Billings was not officially pardoned until 1961.
1919 – Two companies of Quantico Marines helped civil authorities restore order after race riots in Washington, DC.
1942 – President Roosevelt agrees that the second front in Europe, code-named Operation Sledgehammer, will not be possible this year. He instructs his staff in London to agree to “another place for US troops to fight in 1942.” The plan to invade North Africa, renamed Operation Torch is adopted. The design of Operation Torch was to secure all of North Africa for the Allies.
1943 – The American Seventh Army forces led by Gen. George S. Patton captured Palermo, Sicily. Gen Patton moved his troops across Sicily through August.
1943 – US naval forces (2 battleships and 4 cruisers as well as lighter units) bombard Japanese held Kiska Island.
1944 – During the summer, representatives from forty-four nations gathered at a resort hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to hash out the global finances for the remaining half of the twentieth century. Cast against the backdrop of World War II, the three-week conference was a striking display of the United States’ swelling political and fiscal might. For one, the U.S. used Bretton Woods as a stage to promote the dollar as the standard currency for international transactions. Though some European leaders initially blanched at the idea, American officials stood their ground and the dollar eventually won the day. But, the United States’ victories at Bretton Woods didn’t end there: by the time the conference closed on July 22, the delegates had voted to create both the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), institutions which, in the minds of some historians, sealed America’s role as the leader of the post-war economic order. Though U.S. leaders positioned the World Bank and IMF as “financial institutions” shorn of political entanglements, both bodies bore the traces of American influence. The brainchild of American officials, the IMF was charged with stabilizing exchange rates and enforcing the dollar-centric currency standard. Likewise, the World Bank, which was devised to dole out international loans, received good chunks of its fiscal resources from the United States.
1944 – On Guam, marines of US 3rd Amphibious Corps attempt to link up their two beachheads with converging attacks. The American forces each advance about one mile against heavy Japanese resistance.
1945 – The American Far East Air Force attack Japanese air bases and shipping in the Shanghai area with 300 planes (including the new Douglas A-26 Invader light bomber). The Japanese news agency later reports that the Shanghai area was bombed by about 100 bombers and fighters and claims the Japanese shot down 4 planes and damaged 7 others.
1945 – US Task Force 92 bombards Paramushiro in the Kurile Islands. During the night (July 22-23), 9 American destroyers penetrate Tokyo Bay under the cover of a storm and attack a Japanese convoy. Other Allied task forces are being resupplied in the largest resupply at sea operation of the war.
1945 – The Japanese government announces that it is open to peace negotiations but not to threats.
1950 – After 17 days of continuous combat, the U.S. 24th Infantry Division had been driven back 100 miles, suffered more than 30 percent casualties, and had more than 2,400 men missing in action.
1950 – The Department of the Army asked reserve officers to volunteer for active duty.
1953 – Major John H. Glenn, future astronaut and U.S. senator, claimed his third MiG kill in the last aerial victory of the Korean War by a Marine pilot.
1953 – First Lieutenant Sam P. Young, 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, was credited with the final MiG kill of the Korean War.
1953 – U.S. ships laid down heavy barrage to support UN troops in Korea.
1954 – Governor Gordon Persons declares martial law in Russell County after a key witness in an upcoming grand jury inquiry is murdered to prevent his testimony about local corruption and vote fraud. About 150 Alabama Guardsmen, under command of the Major General Walter Hanna, commander of the 31st Infantry Division, started moving into the city and surrounding areas to ‘clean up’ what had been referred to as the “most wicked city in the United States.” Phenix City had been known for years as a den of gambling, bootleg liquor and prostitutes all aided by corrupt cops and others in leadership positions. Located just across the state line from Fort Benning, GA, the city thrived on the ‘soldier trade’. After several failed attempts to clean up the situation, the killing was the last straw. Hanna and his men replaced the sheriff and deputies, while all the local judges were replaced by ones sent by the governor from outside areas. All the gambling equipment (slot machines, roulette tables, etc.) was destroyed, the girls run out of the county and the corrupt officials jailed, fined or otherwise prevented from acting. The mission ended in January 1955, nearly six months after it started. A determined general backed by at least 300 Guardsmen on duty at some point, finally succeeded in cleaning up the ‘wicked city’ once and for all.
1960 – Cuba nationalized all US owned sugar factories.
1964 – Four Navy Divers (LCDR Robert Thompson, MC; Gunners Mate First Class Lester Anderson, Chief Quartermaster Robert A. Barth, and Chief Hospital Corpsman Sanders Manning) submerge in Sealab I for 10 days at a depth of 192 feet, 39 miles off Hamilton, Bermuda. They surfaced on 31 July 1964.
1966 – B-52 bombers hit the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Vietnam for the first time.
1967 – Gen. Maxwell Taylor, former U.S. ambassador to South Vietnam and now a consultant to President Lyndon B. Johnson, and presidential adviser Clark Clifford tour South Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea to sound out opinion on the possibility of another summit conference on the situation in Vietnam. Reportedly, they were also seeking additional troops for the war. On their return to Washington, Taylor and Clifford reported no major disagreements on any aspect of the war among the national leaders with whom they had spoken during the trip. Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and Korea eventually sent combat troops to South Vietnam to fight alongside the Americans and South Vietnamese.
1975 – The House of Representatives joined the Senate in voting to restore the American citizenship of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
1987 – In a dramatic turnaround, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev indicates that he is willing to negotiate a ban on intermediate-range nuclear missiles without conditions. Gorbachev’s decision paved the way for the groundbreaking Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with the United States. Since coming to power in 1985, Gorbachev had made it clear that he sought a less contentious relationship with the United States. His American counterpart, President Ronald Reagan, was a staunch anticommunist and initially harbored deep suspicions about Gorbachev’s sincerity. After meeting with Gorbachev in November 1985, however, Reagan came to believe that progress might be made on a number of issues, including arms control. In subsequent summit meetings, the two leaders focused on the so-called intermediate-range nuclear missiles that both nations had massed in Europe and around the world. In late 1986, it appeared that the two nations were close to an agreement that would eliminate the weapons from Europe. Negotiations stumbled, however, when Gorbachev demanded that the elimination of the missiles be accompanied by U.S. abandonment of its development of the strategic defense initiative (the “Star Wars” plan). The talks broke down while Reagan and Gorbachev traded accusations of bad faith. On July 22, 1987, Gorbachev dramatically announced that he was ready to discuss the elimination of intermediate-range missiles on a worldwide basis, with no conditions. By dropping his objection to the strategic defense initiative (which was one of Reagan’s pet projects), Gorbachev cleared the way for negotiations, and he and Reagan agreed to meet again. Gorbachev’s change of mind was the result of a number of factors. His own nation was suffering from serious economic problems and Gorbachev desperately wanted to cut Russia’s military spending. In addition, the growing “no-nukes” movement in Europe was interfering with his ability to conduct diplomatic relations with France, Great Britain, and other western European nations. Finally, Gorbachev seemed to have a sincere personal trust in and friendship with Ronald Reagan, and this feeling was apparently reciprocal. In December 1987, during a summit in Washington, the two men signed off on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons.
1987 – The United States began its policy of escorting re-flagged Kuwaiti tankers up and down the Persian Gulf to protect them from possible attack by Iran.
1988 – Some 500 US scientists pledged to boycott Pentagon germ-warfare research.
1998 – Iran conducted a successful Shahab 3 missile test with a medium-range of 800 miles.
2001 – Pres. Bush and Pres. Putin agreed to link discussions of US plans for a missile defense system with the prospect of large cuts in their nuclear arsenals.
2003 – Months after her prisoner-of-war ordeal, Pvt. 1st Class Jessica Lynch returned home to a hero’s welcome in Elizabeth, W.Va.
2003 – The two sons of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Qusay Saddam Husayn (the Ace of Clubs in the deck of 52 playing cards featuring Iraq’s “most wanted”) and Uday Saddam Husayn (the Ace of Hearts) are trapped in a house and killed in a fire-fight with American troops from the 101st Airborne Division. Supporting this action were two OH-58 Kiowa helicopters from Company D, 1st Battalion, 159th Aviation from the Mississippi Army Guard which flew top cover to be sure no one escaped from the building. After an initial ground assault against the building resulted in three American soldiers being wounded, the 101st called for air support. So the two Guard copters worked the house over with 2.75-inch rockets, Mark 19 grenades, AT-4 rockets and .50 caliber machine gun fire. Still fire came back from the defenders until finally the infantry killed everyone inside with 10 TOW missiles. Sheik Nawaf al-Zaydan Muhhamad informed US troops of their presence in his home and became $30 million richer.
2004 – The 567-page 9/11 Commission Report was made public.
2004 – The USS John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier collided with a dhow in the Arabian Gulf while running night flights in support of U.S. operations in Iraq. The crew of the small boat was missing.
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