1665 – England installed a municipal government in New York, formerly the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam.
1775 – British general Thomas Gage declares martial law in Massachusetts. The British offer a pardon to all colonists who lay down their arms. There would be only two exceptions to the amnesty: Samuel Adams and John Hancock, if captured, were to be hanged.
1776 – Virginia’s colonial legislature became the first to adopt a Bill of Rights. The Virginia Declaration of Rights granted every individual the right to the enjoyment of life and liberty and to acquire and possess property. The Virginia document was written by George Mason and was a precursor to the Declaration of Independence. Mason refused to endorse the Declaration of Independence because it did not include a Bill of Rights.
1813 – The Revenue cutter Surveyor, at anchor in the York River, Virginia, was surprised by a three-barge attack force launched from the British frigate HMS Narcissus. Outnumbered 50 to 15, the cuttermen wounded seven and killed three of the enemy before the cutter was captured. The British commanding officer of Narcissus was so impressed by “the determined way in which her deck was disputed, inch by inch,” in hand-to-hand combat, he returned to Revenue Captain William Travis, the commanding officer of Surveyor, “the sword you had so nobly used.”
1838 – The Iowa Territory was organized.
1849 – The gas mask was patented by L. P. Haslett.
1862 – Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart begins his ride around the Army of the Potomac during the Peninsular campaign, after being sent on a reconnaissance of Union positions by Robert E. Lee. Four days later, Stuart had circled the entire Yankee force, 105,000 strong, and provided Lee with crucial information. General George McClellan spent the spring of 1862 preparing the Union army for a campaign against Richmond up the James Peninsula. By late May, McClellan had inched up the James with relatively light fighting. But after Joseph Johnston was wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines on May 31, Robert E. Lee assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia. In the next month, Lee began to show the gambling spirit that eventually earned him a reputation as one of history’s greatest generals. Lee dispatched Stuart, his dashing cavalry leader, and 1,200 troopers to investigate the position of McClellan’s right flank. Stuart soon discovered that McClellan’s right flank did not have any natural topographic features to protect it, so he continued to ride around the rest of the army in a bold display that exceeded Lee’s orders. His troopers took prisoners and harassed Federal supply lines. They rode 100 miles, pursued by Union cavalry that was commanded, coincidentally, by Stuart’s father-in-law, Philip St. George Cooke. The Confederate cavalry was far superior to their Yankee counterparts, and the expedition became legendary when Stuart arrived back to Richmond on June 15. The information provided to Lee helped the Confederates begin an attack that eventually drove McClellan from Richmond’s doorstep.
1863 – C.S.S. Clarence, Lieutenant Read, captured bark Tacony of Cape Hatteras and shortly thereafter took schooner M. A. Shindler from Port Royal to Philadelphia in ballast. Read determined to transfer his command to Tacony, she ”being a better sailor than the Clarence,” and was in the process of transferring the howitzer when another schooner, Kate Stewart, from Key West to Philadelphia, was sighted. “Passing near the Clarence,” Read reported, “a wooden gun was pointed at her and she was commanded to heave to, which she did immediately. . . . As we were now rather short of provisions and had over fifty prisoners, I determined to bond the schooner Kate Stewart and make a cartel of her.” Read then destroyed both Clarence and M. A. Shindler and stood in chase of another brig, Arabella, which he soon overhauled. She had a neutral cargo, and Read “bonded her for $30,000, payable thirty days after peace.” Thus the career of C.S.S. Clarence -was at an end. In a week’s time she had made six prizes, three of which had been destroyed, two bonded, and her successor, C.S.S. Tacony, sailed against Union shipping under the same daring skipper and his crew.
1864 – Lee sent Early into the Shenandoah Valley.
1864 – After suffering a devastating defeat on June 3, Union General Ulysses S. Grant pulls his troops from their positions at Cold Harbor, Virginia, and moves south.
1876 – Marcus Kellogg, a journalist traveling with Custer’s 7th Cavalry, files one of his last dispatches before being killed at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. A native of Ontario, Canada, Kellogg migrated with his family to New York in 1835. As a young man he mastered the art of the telegraph and went to work for the Pacific Telegraphy Company in Wisconsin. Sometime during the Civil War, Kellogg abandoned his career in telegraphy in favor of becoming a newspaperman. In 1873, he moved west to the frontier town of Bismarck in Dakota Territory and became the assistant editor of the Bismarck Tribune. A chance event in the winter of 1876 began Kellogg’s unexpected path toward the Little Big Horn. While returning from a trip to the East, Kellogg was on the same train as George Custer and his wife, Elizabeth. Custer was on his way to Fort Abraham Lincoln, near Bismarck, where he was going to lead the 7th Cavalry in a planned assault on several bands of Indians who had refused to be confined to reservations. After an unusually heavy winter storm, the train became snowbound. Kellogg improvised a crude telegraph key, connected it to the wires running alongside the track, and sent a message ahead to the fort asking for help. Custer’s brother, Tom, arrived soon after with a sleigh to rescue them. Ever since his days as a Civil War hero, Custer had enjoyed being lionized in the nation’s newspapers. Now, as he prepared for what he hoped would be his greatest victory ever, Custer wanted to make sure his glorious deeds would be adequately covered in the press. Initially, Custer had planned to take his old friend Clement Lounsberry, who was Kellogg’s employer at the Tribune, with him into the field with the 7th Cavalry. At the last minute, Kellogg was picked to go instead-perhaps because Custer had been impressed by his resourcefulness with a telegraph key. When Custer led his soldiers out of Fort Abraham Lincoln and headed west for Montana on May 31, Kellogg rode with him. During the next few weeks, Kellogg filed three dispatches from the field to the Bismarck Tribune, which in turn passed the stories on to the New York Herald. (Leaving nothing to chance, Custer himself also sent three anonymous reports on his progress to the Herald.) Kellogg’s first dispatches, dated May 31 and June 12, recorded the progress of the expedition westward. His final report, dated June 21, came from the army’s camp along the Rosebud River in southern Montana, not far from the Little Big Horn River. “We leave the Rosebud tomorrow,” Kellogg wrote, “and by the time this reaches you we will have met and fought the red devils, with what result remains to be seen.” The results, of course, were disastrous. Four days later, Sioux and Cheyenne warriors wiped out Custer and his men along the Little Big Horn River. Kellogg was the only journalist to witness the final moments of Custer’s 7th Cavalry. Had he been able to file a story he surely would have become a national celebrity. Unfortunately, Kellogg did not live to tell the tale and died alongside Custer’s soldiers. On July 6, the Bismarck Tribune printed a special extra edition with a top headline reading: “Massacred: Gen. Custer and 261 Men the Victims.” Further down in the column, in substantially smaller type, a sub-headline reported: “The Bismarck Tribune’s Special Correspondent Slain.” The article went on to report, “The body of Kellogg alone remained unstripped of its clothing, and was not mutilated.” The reporter speculated that this might have been a result of the Indian’s “respect [for] this humble shover of the lead pencil.” That the Sioux and Cheyenne respected Kellogg for his journalistic skills is highly doubtful. However, his spectacular death in one of the most notorious events in the nation’s history did make him something of an honored martyr among newspapermen. The New York Herald later erected a monument to the fallen journalist over the supposed site of his grave on the Little Big Horn battlefield.
1898 – During the Spanish-American War, Filipino rebels led by Emilio Aguinaldo proclaim the independence of the Philippines after 300 years of Spanish rule. By mid-August, Filipino rebels and U.S. troops had ousted the Spanish, but Aguinaldo’s hopes for independence were dashed when the United States formally annexed the Philippines as part of its peace treaty with Spain. The Philippines, a large island archipelago situated off Southeast Asia, was colonized by the Spanish in the latter part of the 16th century. Opposition to Spanish rule began among Filipino priests, who resented Spanish domination of the Roman Catholic churches in the islands. In the late 19th century, Filipino intellectuals and the middle class began calling for independence. In 1892, the Katipunan, a secret revolutionary society, was formed in Manila, the Philippine capital on the island of Luzon. Membership grew dramatically, and in August 1896 the Spanish uncovered the Katipunan’s plans for rebellion, forcing premature action from the rebels. Revolts broke out across Luzon, and in March 1897, 28-year-old Emilio Aguinaldo became leader of the rebellion. By late 1897, the revolutionaries had been driven into the hills southeast of Manila, and Aguinaldo negotiated an agreement with the Spanish. In exchange for financial compensation and a promise of reform in the Philippines, Aguinaldo and his generals would accept exile in Hong Kong. The rebel leaders departed, and the Philippine Revolution temporarily was at an end. In April 1898, the Spanish-American War broke out over Spain’s brutal suppression of a rebellion in Cuba. The first in a series of decisive U.S. victories occurred on May 1, 1898, when the U.S. Asiatic Squadron under Commodore George Dewey annihilated the Spanish Pacific fleet at the Battle of Manila Bay in the Philippines. From his exile, Aguinaldo made arrangements with U.S. authorities to return to the Philippines and assist the United States in the war against Spain. He landed on May 19, rallied his revolutionaries, and began liberating towns south of Manila. On June 12, he proclaimed Philippine independence and established a provincial government, of which he subsequently became head. His rebels, meanwhile, had encircled the Spanish in Manila and, with the support of Dewey’s squadron in Manila Bay, would surely have conquered the Spanish. Dewey, however, was waiting for U.S. ground troops, which began landing in July and took over the Filipino positions surrounding Manila. On August 8, the Spanish commander informed the United States that he would surrender the city under two conditions: The United States was to make the advance into the capital look like a battle, and under no conditions were the Filipino rebels to be allowed into the city. On August 13, the mock Battle of Manila was staged, and the Americans kept their promise to keep the Filipinos out after the city passed into their hands. While the Americans occupied Manila and planned peace negotiations with Spain, Aguinaldo convened a revolutionary assembly, the Malolos, in September. They drew up a democratic constitution, the first ever in Asia, and a government was formed with Aguinaldo as president in January 1899. On February 4, what became known as the Philippine Insurrection began when Filipino rebels and U.S. troops skirmished inside American lines in Manila. Two days later, the U.S. Senate voted by one vote to ratify the Treaty of Paris with Spain. The Philippines were now a U.S. territory, acquired in exchange for $20 million in compensation to the Spanish. In response, Aguinaldo formally launched a new revolt–this time against the United States. The rebels, consistently defeated in the open field, turned to guerrilla warfare, and the U.S. Congress authorized the deployment of 60,000 troops to subdue them. By the end of 1899, there were 65,000 U.S. troops in the Philippines, but the war dragged on. Many anti-imperialists in the United States, such as Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, opposed U.S. annexation of the Philippines, but in November 1900 Republican incumbent William McKinley was reelected, and the war continued. On March 23, 1901, in a daring operation, U.S. General Frederick Funston and a group of officers, pretending to be prisoners, surprised Aguinaldo in his stronghold in the Luzon village of Palanan and captured the rebel leader. Aguinaldo took an oath of allegiance to the United States and called for an end to the rebellion, but many of his followers fought on. During the next year, U.S. forces gradually pacified the Philippines. In an infamous episode, U.S. forces on the island of Samar retaliated against the massacre of a U.S. garrison by killing all men on the island above the age of 10. Many women and young children were also butchered. General Jacob Smith, who directed the atrocities, was court-martialed and forced to retire for turning Samar, in his words, into a “howling wilderness.” In 1902, an American civil government took over administration of the Philippines, and the three-year Philippine insurrection was declared to be at an end. Scattered resistance, however, persisted for several years. More than 4,000 Americans perished suppressing the Philippines–more than 10 times the number killed in the Spanish-American War. More than 20,000 Filipino insurgents were killed, and an unknown number of civilians perished. In 1935, the Commonwealth of the Philippines was established with U.S. approval, and Manuel Quezon was elected the country’s first president. On July 4, 1946, full independence was granted to the Republic of the Philippines by the United States.
1901 – Cuba agreed to become an American protectorate by accepting the Platt Amendment.
1918 – First airplane bombing raid by an American unit occurred on World War I’s Western Front in France.
1918 – Brigade command holds a council of war and concludes the German hold on the northern third of Belleau Wood is tenuous. An attack at 6 pm achieves a breakthrough, but the Marines are now exposed.
1921 – President Harding urged every young man to attend military training camp.
1924 – George Bush, forty-first President of the United States, was born. He sent the U.S. Armed Forces to defeat Iraq in the Persian Gulf War.
1942 – American bombers struck the oil refineries of Ploesti, Romania for the first time.
1944 – The 1st V-1 rocket assault on London took place.
1944 – US naval forces continue attacks on Japanese positions in the island group. They concentrate on Tinian, Saipan and Guam. The Japanese fleets located at Tawitawi and Batjan set sail to counterattack. Admiral Kurita commands a vanguard force while Admiral Ozawa leads the main force. The main force from Tawitawi is sighted and reported by an American submarine. The Japanese have 5 fleet carriers, 2 light carriers, 2 seaplane carriers, 5 battleships as well as several cruisers and destroyers in support. The commander of the Combined Fleet, Admiral Toyoda, realizes that the American forces are numerically superior but he also expects support from the land-based aircraft on the islands. These air assets, however, are being depleted by American attacks.
1944 – A third wave of Allied forces has landed. There are now 326,000 troops, 104,000 tons of supplies and 54,000 vehicles deployed in Normandy, France. Elements of US 7th Corps advance across the Cotentin Peninsula and southwest. Also, the 4th Division is engaged at Montebourg, Crisbecq and near Azeville to the northward drive on Cherbourg. The 5th Corps assists 7th Corps and advances toward St Lo. Caumont is captured and Foret de Cerisy and the Bayeux road are reached.
1945 – In London, General Eisenhower is awarded the Order of Merit and given the Freedom of the City of London.
1945 – On Okinawa, many of the Japanese naval infantry cut off in the Oruku peninsula, reduced to a pocket of about 1000 square yards, begin to commit mass suicide to avoid surrender. The US 1st Marine Division captures the west end of Kunishi Ridge during a night attack. The US 96th Division attacks Japanese positions around Mount Yuza and Mount Yaeju.
1945 – On Luzon, the US 145th Infantry Regiment breaks Japanese resistance at Orioung Pass, occupies the town of Orioung and advances as far as positions overlooking the town of Balite. The Visayan Islands (including Samar, Negros, Panay, Leyte, Cebu, and Bohol), between Luzon and Mindanao, are secured by American forces. American casualties in the campaign have amounted to 835 dead and 2300 wounded. Japanese casualties are estimated to be 10,000 dead.
1948 – The Women’s Armed Forces Integration Act provides for enlistment and appointment of women in the Naval Reserve and the regular Marine Corps.
1951 – Eighth Army controlled the “Iron Triangle” as Operation PILEDRIVER wrapped up.
1951 – Twenty-five sailors were killed when the destroyer USS Walke struck a mine east of Wonsan.
1953 – Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Robert V. McHale and Captain Samuel Hoster, both of the 319th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, were on a night mission in their F-94 Starfire and apparently collided with the enemy light aircraft they were attacking. The men thereby made the fourth and last F-94 kill of the Korean War posthumously.
1961 – President John F. Kennedy signed a Presidential Proclamation calling for the American flag to be flown at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, “at all times during the day and night.” Discussions between the Attorney General’s office and Marine Corps officials earlier in 1961 on improving the visibility and appearance of the monument led to the proposal to fly the Flag continuously, which by law could only be done by Congressional legislation or by Presidential proclamation.
1965 – Mounting Roman Catholic opposition to South Vietnamese Premier Phan Huy Quat’s government leads him to resign. The next day a military triumvirate headed by Army General Nguyen Van Thieu took over and expanded to a 10-man National Leadership Committee on June 14. The Committee decreed the death penalty for Viet Cong terrorists, corrupt officials, speculators, and black marketeers. The Catholics approved of Quat’s resignation and warned the military against favoring the Buddhists, who asked for an appointment of civilians to the new cabinet.
1967 – The Chinese claim that a pilotless US reconnaissance plane has been shot down over the southern part of the Kwangsi Chuang Autonomous Region.
1967 – The US First infantry Division begins a 6 day drive into War Zone D, 50 miles north of Saigon, in an effort to trap three Vietcong battalions.
1970 – After earthquake in Peru, USS Guam begins 11 days of relief flights to transport medical teams and supplies, as well as rescue victims
1972 – Gen. John D. Lavelle, former four-star general and U.S. Air Force commander in Southeast Asia, testifies before the House Armed Services Committee. He had been relieved of his post in March and later demoted after it was determined that he had repeatedly ordered unauthorized bombings of military targets in North Vietnam. Court-martial charges were brought against him by his subordinates but were dropped by the Air Force because the “interests of discipline” had already been served. Lavelle became the first four-star general in modern U.S. history to be demoted on retirement, although he continued to receive full general’s retirement pay of $27,000 per year.
1972 – The Joint US Public Affairs Office (JUSPAO) in Saigon is closed after four years of directing psychological warfare in Vietnam. its duties are taken over by the USIA and other agencies.
1972 – In its strongest statement against the United States since President Nixon’s February visit, China for the first time denounces the intensified bombing of North Vietnam, calling the raids, which approach her borders for the first time since 1968, acts of aggression against the Vietnamese people and ‘grave provocations against the Chinese people.’
1985 – The U.S. House of Representatives approved $27 million in aid to the Nicaraguan contras.
1987 – In one of his most famous Cold War speeches, President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. Two years later, deliriously happy East and West Germans did break down the infamous barrier between East and West Berlin. Reagan’s challenge came during a visit to West Berlin. With the Berlin Wall as a backdrop, Reagan declared, “There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.” He then called upon his Soviet counterpart: “Secretary General Gorbachev, if you seek peace–if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe–if you seek liberalization: come here, to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Addressing the West Berlin crowd, Reagan observed, “Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men. Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar.” Reagan then went on to ask Gorbachev to undertake serious arms reduction talks with the United States. Most listeners at the time viewed Reagan’s speech as a dramatic appeal to Gorbachev to renew negotiations on nuclear arms reductions. It was also a reminder that despite the Soviet leader’s public statements about a new relationship with the West, the United States wanted to see action taken to improve the Cold War tensions. Just eight months before, a summit between Reagan and Gorbachev had ended unsatisfactorily, with both sides charging the other with bad faith in talks aimed at reducing nuclear arsenals. Reagan, who had formed a personal closeness to Gorbachev during their previous meetings, obviously wanted to move those negotiations forward. In December 1987, the two met once again and signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which eliminated an entire class of nuclear missiles from Europe.
1990 – The First Congress of People’s Deputies of the Russian Federation adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. The idea of the declaration was born in the Democratic Russia movement, in which proponents of evolutionary market reform and strong statehood based on Russia’s national interests started opposing the Communist monopoly on power. In addition, by the late 1980s, society had begun to doubt the Politburo’s ability to carry out meaningful socio-economic reforms. The creation of the post of the President of the Russian Federation and the adoption of the new Russian Constitution to reflect the new political reality, along with the national flag, anthem and emblem of the Russian Federation, were major landmarks in the consolidation of Russian statehood. The country’s new name- the Russian Federation (Russia)- was adopted on December 25, 1991. The day when the declaration was adopted- June 12 – was proclaimed as national holiday by Supreme Soviet of Russia in 1992, and again proclaimed Russia’s national holiday by the Russian President’s decree of June 2, 1994. Under the presidential decree of June 16, 1998, it was called the Day of Russia. In 2002, the new Labor Code gave official seal to this title.
1991 – Russians elect Boris Yeltsin as the president of the republic.
1992 – In a letter to U.S. senators, Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin said the Soviet Union had shot down nine U.S. planes in the early 1950’s and held 12 American survivors.
1995 – Air Force Captain Scott O’Grady, rescued after being shot down over Bosnia, was treated to lunch at the White House and a hero’s welcome at the Pentagon.
1996 – U.N. Security Council Resolution 1060 terms Iraq’s denial of access to UNSCOM teams a clear violation of the provisions of U.N. Security Council Resolutions. It also demands that Iraq grant immediate and unrestricted access to all sites designated for inspection by UNSCOM.
1998 – Space shuttle Discovery returned to Earth, bringing home the last American to live aboard Mir and closing out three years of U.S.-Russian cooperation aboard the aging space station.
1999 – NATO troops began entering Kosovo. They reached Pristina and confronted Russian soldiers over control of the airport. A Russian armored column entered Pristina before dawn to a heroes’ welcome from Serb residents. 2 Serbs were killed and a German soldier was wounded as peacekeepers moved into Kosovo. 2 German journalists were killed near Stimlje by sniper fire.
2000 – The US Justice Dept. agreed to compensate the Nixon estate $18 million for the tapes and presidential papers seized in 1974.
2001 – Pres. Bush on his 1st major overseas trip met with Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar in Madrid and pushed for his missile defense shield.
2001 – A federal court in NYC sentenced Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-‘Owhali, a Saudi Arabian follower of Osama bin Laden, to life in prison without parole for his role in the deadly 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya.
2001 – In the Philippines Muslim rebels on Basilan Island claimed to have beheaded Guillermo Sobero of Corona, Ca., one of the hostages kidnapped May 27.
2002 – A U.S. military transport plane, Air Force MC-130, carrying 10 people crashed on takeoff in Afghanistan, killing three Americans, military officials said. Seven escaped with minor injuries.
2002 – An associate of the Jose Padilla, the man accused of plotting to set off a “dirty” bomb in the United States, was reported in custody in Pakistan.
2002 – Fidel Castro led hundreds of thousands of people in support of a constitutional amendment declaring Cuba’s socialist state “untouchable.” It was a protest to President Bush’s policies toward Cuba and defiance for democratic reforms of his one-party system. A proposed amendment outlined Cuba as a socialist state of workers… organized with all and for the good of all…”
2003 – A US helicopter gunship was shot down in western Iraq, just hours after US fighter jets bombed a terrorist training camp in central Iraq.
2004 – Iran said it would reject international restrictions on its nuclear program and challenged the world to accept Tehran as a member of the “nuclear club.”
2004 – In Saudi Arabia an American was kidnapped. An al-Qaida statement, posted on an Islamic Web site, showed a passport-size photo of a brown-haired man and a Lockheed Martin business card bearing the name Paul M. Johnson. Suspected militants killed an American in Riyadh, shooting him in the back as he parked in his home garage.
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