1815 – USS Peacock takes HMS Nautilus, last action of the War of 1812.
1834 – Congress placed the Marine Corps under Navy jurisdiction.
1862 – The Seven Days’ Battles continues at Glendale (White Oak Swamp), Virginia, as Robert E. Lee has a chance to deal a decisive blow against George B. McClellan’s Army of the Potomac. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia had already won the Seven Days’ Battles, but the Confederates’ attempt to rout McClellan cost many Southern casualties. The Seven Days’ Battles were the climax of McClellan’s Peninsular campaign. For two months, the Union army sailed down Chesapeake Bay and then inched up the James Peninsula. In late June, the two forces began a series of clashes in which McClellan became unnerved and began to retreat to his base at Harrison’s Landing on the James River. Lee hounded him on the retreat. On June 30, Lee plotted a complex attack on the Yankees as they backed down the peninsula. He hoped to hit the front, flank, and rear of the Union army to create confusion and jam the escape routes. Those attacks did not succeed, as they required precise timing. Lee’s own generals were confused, the attacks developed slowly, and they made only temporary ruptures in the Federal lines. Most disappointing for Lee was the performance of General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. Jackson was coming off a brilliant campaign in the Shenandoah Valley, but he showed little of his skill during the Seven Days’ Battles. His corps halted at the edge of White Oak Swamp, and he focused his attention on taking a bridge from the Yankees. His officers located fords that would have allowed his men to bypass the bottleneck, but Jackson stayed put. This allowed the Union to move troops from Jackson’s sector of the battlefield to halt a Confederate attack in another area. Lee’s failure at Glendale permitted McClellan’s army to fall back to higher, more defensible locations. The next day, July 1, Lee assaulted Malvern Hill and his army suffered tremendous casualties in the face of a withering Union artillery barrage.
1863 – Union and Confederate cavalries clashed at Hanover, Pennsylvania.
1864 – Converted ferryboat U.S.S. Hunchback, Lieutenant Joseph P. Fyffe, supported by single turretted monitor U.S.S. Saugus, Commander Colhoun, bombarded Confederate batteries at Deep Bottom on the James River and caused their eventual removal. Rear Admiral Lee reported: “The importance of holding our position at Deep Bottom is obvious. Without doing so our communications are cut there, and our wooden vessels can not remain above that point, and the monitors would be alone and exposed to the enemy’s light torpedo craft from above and out of Four Mile Creek. The enemy could then plant torpedoes there to prevent the monitors passing by for supplies.”
1865 – Eight alleged conspirators in assassination of Lincoln were found guilty after kangaroo court-martial and brutal treatment by military officers.
1876 – After a slow two-day march, the wounded soldiers from the Battle of the Little Big Horn reach the steamboat Far West. The Far West had been leased by the U.S. Army for the duration of the 1876 campaign against the hostile Sioux and Cheyenne Indians of the Northern Plains. Under the command of the skilled civilian Captain Grant Marsh, the 190-foot vessel was ideal for navigating the shallow waters of the Upper Missouri River system. The boat drew only 20 inches of water when fully laden and Marsh managed to steam up the shallow Big Horn River in southern Montana in June 1876. There, the boat became a headquarters for the army’s planned attack on a village of Sioux and Cheyenne they believed were camping on the nearby Little Big Horn River. On June 28, Captain Grant and several other men were fishing about a mile from the boat when a young Indian on horseback approached. “He wore an exceedingly dejected countenance,” one man later wrote. By signing and drawing on the ground, the Indian managed to convey that there had been a battle but the men did not understand its outcome. In fact, the Indian was Curley, one of Lieutenant Colonel George Custer’s Crow scouts. Three days earlier, he had been the last man to see Custer and his 7th Cavalry battalion before they were wiped out during the Battle of the Little Big Horn. The following day, Grant received a dispatch from General Terry, who had found Custer’s destroyed battalion and the surviving soldiers of the 7th Cavalry. Terry ordered Grant to prepare to evacuate the wounded soldiers. Slowed by the burden of carrying the wounded men, Terry’s force did not arrive until June 30. Grant immediately received the 54 wounded soldiers and sped downstream as quickly as possible. With the Far West draped in black and flying her flag at half-mast, Grant delivered the wounded to Fort Abraham Lincoln near Bismarck, North Dakota, at 11:00 p.m. on July 5. The fast and relatively comfortable transport of the wounded by steam power undoubtedly saved numerous lives. Yet, Grant was also the bearer of bad news. From Fort Abraham Lincoln, General Terry’s report of the disaster was telegraphed all over the country. Soon the entire nation learned that General Custer and more than 200 men had been massacred along the Little Big Horn River.
1882 – Charles Guiteau the assassin of President Garfield was hanged in a Washington jail.
1934 – In Germany, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler orders a bloody purge of his own political party, assassinating hundreds of Nazis whom he believed had the potential to become political enemies in the future. The leadership of the Nazi Storm Troopers (SA), whose four million members had helped bring Hitler to power in the early 1930s, was especially targeted. Hitler feared that some of his followers had taken his early “National Socialism” propaganda too seriously and thus might compromise his plan to suppress workers’ rights in exchange for German industry making the country war-ready. In the early 1920s, the ranks of Hitler’s Nazi Party swelled with resentful Germans who sympathized with the party’s bitter hatred of Germany’s democratic government, leftist politics, and Jews. In November 1923, after the German government resumed the payment of war reparations to Britain and France, the Nazis launched the “Beer Hall Putsch”–their first attempt at seizing the German government by force. Hitler hoped that his nationalist revolution in Bavaria would spread to the dissatisfied German army, which in turn would bring down the government in Berlin. However, the uprising was immediately suppressed, and Hitler was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison for high treason. Sent to Landsberg jail, he spent his time dictating his autobiography, Mein Kampf, and working on his oratorical skills. After nine months in prison, political pressure from supporters of the Nazi Party forced his release. During the next few years, Hitler and the other leading Nazis reorganized their party as a fanatical mass movement that was able to gain a majority in the German parliament–the Reichstag–by legal means in 1932. In the same year, President Paul von Hindenburg defeated a presidential bid by Hitler, but in January 1933 he appointed Hitler chancellor, hoping that the powerful Nazi leader could be brought to heel as a member of the president’s cabinet. However, Hindenburg underestimated Hitler’s political audacity, and one of the new chancellor’s first acts was to use the burning of the Reichstag building as a pretext for calling general elections. The police, under Nazi Hermann Goering, suppressed much of the party’s opposition before the election, and the Nazis won a bare majority. Shortly after, Hitler took on absolute power through the Enabling Acts. In 1934, Hindenburg died, and the last remnants of Germany’s democratic government were dismantled, leaving Hitler the sole master of a nation intent on war and genocide.
1943 – General Douglas MacArthur launches Operation Cartwheel, a multi-pronged assault on Rabaul and several islands in the Solomon Sea in the South Pacific. The joint effort takes nine months to complete but succeeds in recapturing more Japanese-controlled territory, further eroding their supremacy in the East. The purpose of Cartwheel was to destroy the barrier formation Japan had created in the Bismark Archipelago, a collection of islands east of New Guinea in the Solomon Sea. The Japanese considered this area vital to the protection of their conquests in the Dutch East Indies and the Philippines. For the Allies, Rabaul, in New Britain, was the key to winning control of this theater of operations, as it served as the Japanese naval headquarters and main base. On June 30, General MacArthur, strategic commander of the area, launched a simultaneous attack, on New Guinea and on New Georgia, as a setup and staging maneuver for the ultimate assault, that on Rabaul. The landing on New Georgia, led by Admiral William Halsey, proved particularly difficult, given the large Japanese garrison stationed there and the harsh climate and topography. Substantial reinforcements were needed before the region could be controlled, in August. One consequence of Cartwheel was a lesson in future strategy. By establishing a “step-by-step” approach to invasion, the Allies unwittingly gave the Japanese time to regroup and establish their next line of defense. The Allies then decided that a new strategy was to be deployed, that of leaving certain islands, or parts thereof, to “wither on the vine,” rather than waste valuable time and manpower in fighting it out for marginal gains. A leapfrogging strategy was then employed by MacArthur, whereby he left in place smaller Japanese strongholds in order to concentrate on “bigger fish.”
1943 – American forces land on several islands of the New Georgia group. Rendova island is targeted, in particular. All the landings are successful. There is heavy Japanese resistance on Vangunu. The American forces engaged for these landings are principally the 43rd Division (General Hester) with naval support by Task Force 31 (Admiral Turner) and land-based aircraft commanded by Admiral Fitch.
1943 – A mixed Australian and American unit known as McKechnie Force lands at Nassau Bay near Salamaua from Morobe. There is heavy Japanese resistance to the landing.
1944 – German resistance in the Cotentin Peninsula ends. The US 1st Army continues to battle on the approach to St. Lo; the British 2nd Army continues to battle toward Caen. Since D-Day, the Allies have landed 630,000 troops, 600,000 tons of supplies and 177,000 vehicles in the Normandy beachhead. They have suffered 62,000 dead and wounded.
1944 – Elements of US 5th Army are heavily engaged in Cecina. The main advance inland is slowed by a new German defensive line south of Siena and Arezzo.
1944 – The American 5th Amphibious Corps has captured over half of Saipan. Fighting north of Mount Tipo Pale and Mount Tapotchau continues. Death Valley and Purple Heart Ridge are cleared.
1944 – The United States breaks diplomatic relations with Finland.
1945 – On Okinawa, American forces complete mopping-up operations (June 23-30) in which 8975 Japanese are reported killed and 2902 captured
1946 – The general World War II demobilization task was completed with all Separation Centers decommissioned, resulting in a reduced Coast Guard personnel to 23,000 officers and enlisted personnel from a wartime peak of about 171,000 on 30 June 1945.
1946 – The U .S. Navy returned the Coast Guard’s eleven air stations to the operational control of the Coast Guard.
1948 – Bell Labs introduced the point-contact transistor in the New York Times on p.46 as a replacement for the vacuum tube. Bell Labs had kept it secret for six months. John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley demonstrated their invention, the transistor, for the first time. John Pierce (d.2002) proposed the name.
1950 – Just three days after the United Nations Security Council voted to provide military assistance to South Korea, President Harry S. Truman orders U.S. armed forces to assist in defending that nation from invading North Korean armies. Truman’s dramatic step marked the official entry of the United States into the Korean War. On June 25, 1950, military forces from communist North Korea invaded South Korea. South Korean forces and the small number of U.S. troops stationed in the nation reeled under the surprise attack. On June 27, the United States asked the Security Council in the United Nations to pass a resolution calling on member states of the United Nations to assist South Korea. With the Soviets boycotting the meeting for other reasons, the resolution passed. Three days later, President Truman ordered U.S. ground forces into South Korea and the troops entered South Korea that same day. At the same time, Truman ordered the U.S. Air Force to bomb military targets in North Korea and directed the U.S. Navy to blockade the North Korean coast. Truman’s action signaled the beginning of official and large-scale U.S. participation in the Korean War. Over the next three years, the United States provided at least half of the U.N. ground forces in Korea and the vast majority of the air and sea forces used in the conflict against North Korea and, later, against communist China, which entered the war on the side of North Korea in late 1950. Nearly 55,000 Americans were killed in the war and over 100,000 were wounded. Cost estimates for the war ranged as high as $20 billion. In July 1953, an armistice was signed that ended the fighting and left Korea a divided nation.
1951 – Marine Corps Captain Edwin B. Long scored the first night kill of the Korean War and the first in a F7F Tigercat victory ever by downing a PO-2 near Kimpo.
1951 – On orders from Washington, General Matthew Ridgeway broadcast that the United Nations was willing to discuss an armistice with North Korea. In 1950, as U.S. Marines tried to fight their way out of a Chinese trap, Korea suffered its worst winter of the century.
1951 – Naval Administration of Marianas ends.
1953 – U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Henry “Hank” Buttleman, 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, became the 36th and youngest ace of the Korean War, having just turned 24. He accomplished this feat only 12 days after his first kill. (An ace has five kills.) Colonel James K. Johnson, 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing, qualified as the eighth “double ace” of the war, with 10 total kills.
1955 – The U.S. began funding West Germany’s rearmament.
1957 – The American occupation headquarters in Japan was dissolved.
1958 – Congress passed a law authorizing the admission of Alaska as the 49th state in the Union, the first new state since 1912.
1958 – The Communists have formed a coordinated command structure in the eastern Mekong Delta. Most of the 37 companies formed in October 1957 are located in the western Mekong Delta.
1960 – US stopped sugar imports from Cuba.
1965 – US forces in Vietnam are assigned to operate under the so-called enclave strategy. The marines are now at Danang, Phubai, and Chulai, and the Army at Vungtau. US forces are expected to defend these coastal areas, leaving ARVN troops to take the offensive in the rest of the country.
1966 – Congressional reaction to the Hanoi-Haiphong air attacks of the previous day ranges from applause to denunciation. In voicing his approval, Senator Richard Russell (R-GA) states that the raid will reduce American casualties. Sixteen Democratic Representatives issue a joint statement declaring that the expanded air strikes commit the US to ‘a profoundly dangerous policy of brinksmanship’ which challenges China. Peking, meanwhile calls the raids a serious escalation of the war, warning that it is prepared for any eventuality.
1967 – The South Vietnamese Armed Forces Council resolves rival claims to the presidency in favor of Nguyen Van Thieu, Chief of State. Former Premier Nguyen Cao Ky, who had announced on May 11 that he would run for president, was forced to accept second place on the presidential ticket. Thieu had been an Army officer in command of the 5th Infantry Division near Saigon when he and other senior South Vietnamese officers led a coup against President Ngo Dinh Diem. Following the coup, a series of groups jockeyed for power. In June 1965, another coup against the civilian government momentarily in power resulted in a 10-man Military National Leadership Committee, which elected Ky as premier and Thieu as Chairman and Chief of State. When elections were held in 1967, the situation was reversed and Thieu became president. In 1971, Ky would choose not to run against Thieu and Thieu would be re-elected to the presidency, although charges of a rigged election surfaced. Pressured by the United States to agree to the Paris Peace Accords in 1973, which left the North Vietnamese in control of large segments of South Vietnam, President Thieu’s position was further undermined when the U.S. Congress cut promised military aid. After an open North Vietnamese attack on Phuoc Long Province in November 1974, President Gerald Ford failed to honor U.S. promises to come to the aid of the South Vietnamese in the case of such an attack. With four North Vietnamese corps closing in on Saigon and all hope of outside assistance gone, President Thieu resigned, and on April 25, 1975, he left South Vietnam, flying to Taiwan and then to Great Britain.
1967 – Several sources report attacks by US planes on foreign ships in Haiphong harbor. The Soviet government charges that a second Russian merchant vessel, Mikhail Frunze, was bombed by US planes in Haiphong on June 29. A protest is delivered to the US embassy in Moscow on June 30. The North Vietnamese news agency reports that two other foreign ships were also struck.
1970 – The Senate votes 58 to 37 in favor of adopting the Cooper-Church amendment to limit presidential power in Cambodia. The amendment barred funds to retain U.S. troops in Cambodia after July 1 or to supply military advisers, mercenaries, or to conduct “any combat activity in the air above Cambodia in direct support of Cambodian forces” without congressional approval. The amendment represented the first limitation ever passed in the Senate concerning the president’s powers as commander-in-chief during a war situation. The House of Representatives rejected the amendment on July 9, and it was eventually dropped from the Foreign Military Sales Act.
1970 – In a written report on the U.S. incursion in Cambodia, President Nixon pronounced it a “successful” operation. Nixon ruled out the use of U.S. troops there in the future, suggesting that Cambodia’s defense would be left largely to Cambodia and its allies. Regarding the use of U.S. air power in Cambodia, Nixon stated that the United States would not provide air or logistical support for South Vietnamese forces in Cambodia, but would continue bombing enemy personnel and supply concentrations “with the approval of the Cambodian government.” Nixon noted that more than a year’s supply of weapons and ammunition had been captured and that 11,349 enemy soldiers were killed by Allied forces during the incursion into the area.
1971 – The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Pentagon Papers. On the same day Pres. Nixon told Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman to break into the Brookings Institute and bring out files collected on the Vietnam War.
1971 – The 26th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified as Ohio became the 38th state to approve it. The amendment lowered the minimum voting age from 21 to 18. The amendment was authored by Senator Jennings Randolph (d.1998 at 96) of West Virginia.
1971 – In an attempt to knock out Communist rocket emplacements that have been shelling US and South Vietnamese bases south of the DMZ during the past two weeks, 14 US F-4 Phantom fighters hit the North Vietnamese region of the DMZ.
1977 – President Jimmy Carter announced his opposition to the B-1 bomber.
1985 – 39 American hostages from a hijacked TWA jetliner were freed in Beirut after being held for 17 days.
1991 – The federal base-closing commission voted to shut down 17 military bases, including the massive Philadelphia Navy Shipyard, in addition to seven facilities ordered closed two days earlier.
1993 – 13 US helicopters attack a Somali compound.
1998 – A US fighter jet fired a missile at an Iraqi anti-aircraft site after the site’s radar locked on a British warplane.
1998 – Officials confirmed that the remains of a Vietnam War serviceman buried in the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery were identified as those of Air Force pilot Michael J. Blassie.
2001 – NASA launched its 16-foot, 1,800-pound Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) to orbit the Sun and to scan the universe for the faint afterglow of Creation by measuring variations in radiation temperature of up to 20 millionths of a degree. In 2003 it allowed scientists to calculate the age of the universe at 13.7 billion years.
2002 – The United States vetoed a resolution extending the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Bosnia, then agreed to keep the mission alive three more days while the Security Council seeks a way to meet U.S. demands for immunity from a new global war crimes court.
2003 – American troops detained the U.S.-appointed mayor of Najaf, Iraq, accusing him of kidnapping and corruption.
2004 – The Cassini probe entered Saturn’s orbit for 4 years of explorations. Its 4-year mission included a close approach to Saturn’s 3rd moon Iapetus.
2007 – The Battle of Donkey Island was a skirmish that occurred on 30 June and 1 July 2007 between elements of the U.S. Army Task Force 1-77 Armor Regiment, the 2nd Battalion 5th Marines and a numerically superior force of al-Qaeda in Iraq insurgents on the banks of a canal leading from Ramadi to Lake Habbaniyah in the Al-Anbar province of Iraq. Official reports of the clash indicate that the U.S. force suffered 2 soldiers dead and 11 wounded, while an estimated 32 insurgents were killed (out of an estimated force of 40–70 fighters). The battle was a complete victory for the U.S. forces, which detected and defeated an insurgent force before it could launch a planned assault on Ramadi.
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