1644 – Massachusetts established 1st 2-chamber legislature in colonies.
1654 – Massachusetts colonists seek to widen their power over the recently annexed Maine territory. Supported by a grant from Parliament, Plymouth colonist Thomas Prince travels to the Kenebec River to organize the settlement.
1707 – Stephen Hopkins, signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born.
1774 – The British close the port of Boston to all commerce. The Boston Port Bill was intended to close down completely the Port of Boston until the East India Company was paid for their tea lost in the Boston Tea Party and Parliament was paid the tax due on the tea.
1774 – A 2nd Boston tea party was held.
1776 – Lead by General William Howe, the British evacuate Boston. Howe’s army and a group of 1000 loyalists will set sail for Halifax, Nova Scotia on 17 March.
1778 – Capt. James Cook 1st sighted the Oregon coast at Yaquina Bay.
1847 – U.S. General Scott occupied Veracruz, Mexico. Pres. Polk decided to attack the heart of Mexico. He sent Gen. Winfield Scott, who landed at Veracruz and with his troops hacked their way to Mexico City.
1862 – Union forces under General Samuel Curtis defeat the army of General Earl Van Dorn at Pea Ridge, located in an extreme northwestern section of Arkansas. Pea Ridge was part of a larger campaign for control of Missouri. Seven months earlier, the Confederates defeated a Union force at Wilson’s Creek, some 70 miles northeast of Pea Ridge. General Henry Halleck, the Federal commander in Missouri, now organized an expedition to drive the Confederates from southwestern Missouri. In February 1862, General Samuel Curtis led the 12,000-man army toward Springfield, Missouri. Confederate General Sterling Price retreated from the city with 8,000 troops in the face of the Union advance. Price withdrew into Arkansas, and Curtis followed him. Price hooked up with another Rebel force led by General Ben McCulloch, and their combined army was placed under the leadership of General Earl Van Dorn, recently appointed commander of Confederates forces in the trans-Mississippi area. Van Dorn joined Price and McCulloch on March 2 and ordered an advance on Curtis’ army. Curtis received word of the approaching Confederates and concentrated his force around Elkhorn Tavern. Van Dorn sent part of his army on a march around the Yankees. On March 7, McCulloch slammed into the rear of the Union force, but Curtis anticipated the move and turned his men towards the attack. McCulloch was killed during the battle, and the Confederate attack withered. Meanwhile, the other part of Van Dorn’s army attacked the front of Curtis’ command. Through bitter fighting the Union troops held their ground. Curtis, suspecting that the Confederates were low on ammunition, attacked the divided Rebel army the following morning. Van Dorn realized he was in danger and ordered a retreat, ending the battle. The Yankees suffered 1,384 men killed, wounded, or captured out of 10,000 engaged; the Confederates suffered a loss of about 2,000 out of 14,000 engaged. The Union won a decisive victory that also helped them clear the upper Mississippi Valley region on the way to securing control of the Mississippi River by mid-1863.
1865 – Battles were fought around Kingston, NC.
1865 – Lieutenant Commander Hooker, commanding a naval squadron consisting of U.S.S. Commodore Read, Yankee, Delaware, and Heliotrope, joined with an Army unit in conducting a raid at Hamilton’s Crossing on the Rappahannock River six miles below Fredericksburg. Hooker reported that the expedition succeeded in “burning and destroying the railroad bridge, the depot, and a portion of the track….; also the telegraph line was cut and the telegraphic apparatus brought away. A train of twenty-eight cars, eighteen of them being principally loaded with tobacco, and an army wagon train were also captured and burned. A considerable number of mules were captured and some thirty or forty prisoners taken. A mail containing a quantity of valuable information was secured.” Throughout the war, rivers were avenues of strength for the North, highways of destruction to the South, which enabled warships and joint expeditions to thrust deep into the Confederacy.
1876 – Patent #174,465 was issued to Alexander Graham Bell for his telephone.
1911 – Twenty thousand US troops are sent to the Mexican border as the Mexican Revolution continues.
1918 – President Wilson authorized the Army’s Distinguished Service Medal. The Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to any person who while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Army, has distinguished himself or herself by exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great responsibility. The performance must be such as to merit recognition for service which is clearly exceptional. Exceptional performance of normal duty will not alone justify an award of this decoration. For service not related to actual war, the term “duty of great responsibility” applies to a narrower range of positions than in time of war and requires evidence of conspicuously significant achievement. However, justification of the award may accrue by virtue of exceptionally meritorious service in a succession of high positions of great importance. Awards may be made to persons other than members of the Armed Forces of the United States for wartime services only, and then only under exceptional circumstances with the express approval of the President in each case.
1936 – Nazi leader Adolf Hitler violates the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Pact by sending German military forces into the Rhineland, a demilitarized zone along the Rhine River in western Germany. The Treaty of Versailles, signed in July 1919–eight months after the guns fell silent in World War I–called for stiff war reparation payments and other punishing peace terms for defeated Germany. Having been forced to sign the treaty, the German delegation to the peace conference indicated its attitude by breaking the ceremonial pen. As dictated by the Treaty of Versailles, Germany’s military forces were reduced to insignificance and the Rhineland was to be demilitarized. In 1925, at the conclusion of a European peace conference held in Switzerland, the Locarno Pact was signed, reaffirming the national boundaries decided by the Treaty of Versailles and approving the German entry into the League of Nations. The so-called “spirit of Locarno” symbolized hopes for an era of European peace and goodwill, and by 1930 German Foreign Minister Gustav Stresemann had negotiated the removal of the last Allied troops in the demilitarized Rhineland. However, just four years later, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party seized full power in Germany, promising vengeance against the Allied nations that had forced the Treaty of Versailles on the German people. In 1935, Hitler unilaterally canceled the military clauses of the treaty and in March 1936 denounced the Locarno Pact and began remilitarizing of the Rhineland. Two years later, Nazi Germany burst out of its territories, absorbing Austria and portions of Czechoslovakia. In 1939, Hitler invaded Poland, leading to the outbreak of World War II in Europe.
1942 – Tuskegee flying school graduated its first cadets.
1943 – General Patton arrived in Djebel Kouif Tunisia.
1944 – On Bougainville the Japanese are preparing to assault the American beachhead. On the Green Islands Allied forces have completed construction of an airfield.
1944 – US Task Force 74 (Admiral Crutchley) bombards Japanese batteries on Hauwei and Ndrilo. There are 3 cruisers and 4 destroyers involved.
1945 – The leading tanks of US 3rd Corps (part of US 1st Army) reach the Rhine River opposite Remagen and find the Ludendorff Bridge there damaged but still standing. Troops are immediately rushed across and a bridgehead is firmly established during the day. Other elements of the US 1st Army complete the capture of Cologne. Units US 12th Corps from US 3rd Army continue to advance rapidly.
1945 – Hitler relieves Field Marshal Rundstedt from his post as Commander in Chief of the German armies in the west because of the American capture of the bridge at Remagen. Field Marshal Kesselring is appointed to replace him.
1945 – Forces of the US 1st Corps are engaged south of San Fernando. South of Manila, the US 14th Corps is fighting near Balayan Bay and Batangas against the defense lines of the south Luzon Shimbu Group of the Japanese forces.
1950 – Just one week after British physicist Klaus Fuchs was sentenced to 14 years in prison for his role in passing information on the atomic bomb to the Russians, the Soviet Union issues a terse statement denying any knowledge of Fuchs or his activities. Despite the Russian disclaimer, Fuchs’ arrest and conviction led to the uncovering of a network of individuals in the United States and Great Britain who had allegedly engaged in spying activities for the Soviet Union during World War II. Fuchs worked on developing the atomic bomb during World War II, both in Great Britain and as part of the super-secret Manhattan Project in the United States. In February 1950, British officials arrested him and charged him with passing information concerning the atomic bomb to the Soviets. After his arrest, Fuchs implicated an American, Harry Gold, as someone who served as a courier between himself and Soviet agents. Gold fingered David Greenglass, who also worked on the Manhattan Project, and Greenglass informed on his brother-in-law and sister, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Eventually, Gold and Greenglass were sentenced to jail terms for their roles. The Rosenbergs were convicted and sentenced to death; they were executed in 1953. The Soviets consistently denied any part in the spy ring. In a statement released on March 7, 1950, the Russians declared that any confession by Fuchs indicating that he was working for the Soviet Union was a “gross fabrication since Fuchs is unknown to the Soviet Government and no ‘agents’ of the Soviet Union had any connection with Fuchs.” The exact level of Soviet spying, as well as the value of any information it succeeded in digging up as a result of such activity, has never been precisely determined. Fuchs was released from prison in 1959 and spent his remaining years living with his father in East Germany.
1951 – Operation RIPPER was launched in the central and eastern sectors as IX and X Corps crossed the Han River east of Seoul. Operation Ripper, also known as the Fourth Battle of Seoul, was a United Nations military operation conceived by the commander US Eighth Army, General Matthew Ridgway. The operation was intended to destroy as much as possible of the Chinese communist People’s Volunteer Army and North Korean military around Seoul and the towns of Hongch’on, 50 miles (80 km) east of Seoul, and Ch’unch’on, 15 miles (24 km) further north. The operation also aimed to bring UN troops to the 38th parallel. It followed upon the heels of Operation Killer, an eight day UN offensive that concluded February 28, to push Communist forces north of the Han River. The operation was launched by the US I Corps and IX Corps on the west near Seoul and Hoengsong and US X Corps and ROK III Corps in the east, to reach “Line Idaho”, an arc with its apex just south of the 38th Parallel in South Korea.
1952 – The U.S. signed a military aid pact with Cuba.
1956 – President Eisenhower turns down a request by Israel to purchase military arms from the United States. It comes after the Soviet Union has provided military equipment to Egypt.
1958 – Commissioning of USS Grayback, first submarine built from keel up with guided missile capability, to fire Regulus II missile.
1966 – In the heaviest air raids since the bombing began in February 1965, U.S. Air Force and Navy planes fly an estimated 200 sorties against North Vietnam. The objectives of the raids included an oil storage area 60 miles southeast of Dien Bien Phu and a staging area 60 miles northwest of Vinh.
1966 – Department of Navy reorganized into present structure under CNO.
1967 – PBRs assists Operation Overload II in Rung Sat Zone, Vietnam.
1968 – The Battle of Saigon, begun on the day of the Tet Offensive, ends in a resounding defeat for the communists.
1968 – Operation Coronado XII begins in Mekong Delta, Vietnam.
1971 – A thousand U.S. planes bombed Cambodia and Laos.
1972 – In the biggest air battle in Southeast Asia in three years, U.S. jets battle five North Vietnamese MiGs and shoot one down 170 miles north of the Demilitarized Zone. The 86 U.S. air raids over North Vietnam in the first two months of this year equaled the total for all of 1971.
1974 – The Civil War ironclad ship, Monitor, which sank in 1862, is discovered off the coast of Hatteras, North Carolina. For more than a century, the Monitor’s resting place in the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” remained a mystery, despite numerous searches. In 1973, an interdisciplinary team of scientists led by John G. Newton of the Duke University Marine Laboratory located the Monitor while testing geological survey equipment for underwater archaeological survey and assessment. Newton’s team determined the search area by replotting the track of the USS Rhode Island, a paddlewheel steamer that was towing the Monitor when she sank on New Year’s Eve, 1862. The Rhode Island’s logbook recorded events and times as the two ships rounded treacherous Diamond Shoals off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. An 1857 coast survey chart helped refine the plotting of the search area. The scientists also developed sonar and visual configurations for the wreck with specific points of identification: the ship’s turret, armor belt, and nearly flat bottom. On August 27, 1973, after identifying twenty-one possible contacts, side-searching sonar found a long, amorphous echo. The first pass of the television camera revealed iron plates; a virtually flat, unobstructed surface (the bottom of the hull); a thick waist (the armor belt); and a circular structure (the turret). With each successive series of camera passes, evidence mounted that the wreck was that of the Monitor, but it would take an intensive study of the visual evidence over the next five months to confirm it. A second visit to the site in April 1974 will positively identify the Monitor, lying in approximately 230 feet of water about 16 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras.
1979 – Voyager 1 reached Jupiter.
1980 – Demonstrations occur outside U.S. embassy in Tehran in protest of plan to turn American hostages over to Iranian Revolutionary Council; Foreign Minister Sadegh Ghotbzadeh reportedly taking charge of hostages tomorrow.
1981 – Anti-government guerrillas in Colombia executed kidnapped American Bible translator Chester Allen Bitterman, whom they accused of being a CIA agent.
1986 – Divers from the USS Preserver locate the crew cabin of the Space Shuttle Challenger on the ocean floor.
1991 – Iraq continued to explode oil fields in Kuwait.
1994 – The U.S. Navy issued its first permanent orders assigning women to regular duty on a combat ship — in this case, the USS Eisenhower.
1996 – Three US servicemen were convicted in the rape of a 12-year-old Okinawan girl and sentenced by a Japanese court to six and a-half to seven years in prison.
1996 – 1st surface photos of Pluto were photographed by Hubble Space Telescope.
1997 – The former Haiti police chief, Lt. Col. Michel Francois, was arrested in Honduras for helping to smuggle 33 tons of Columbian drugs through Haiti into the US. Francois had fled to the Dominican Republic in 1994.
1998 – Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, speaking in Rome, said the United States wouldn’t tolerate any more violence in Kosovo, which she blamed on Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.
2001 – In Serbia NATO soldiers moved into the Kosovo village of Mijak to stem the flow of arms to Albanian guerrillas in Macedonia.
2003 – The US and its allies moved to set March 17 as the final deadline for Saddam Hussein to prove he has given up his weapons of mass destruction.
2003 – Mohamed ElBaradei, UN chief nuclear weapons inspector, expressed frustration at the quality of US information on Iraqi weapons and charged that some documents may have been faked.
2004 – In Haiti U.S. Marines shot and killed one of the gunmen who fired at a huge demonstration of protesters celebrating the flight from Haiti of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. That raised the toll to six dead and more than 30 injured in the protest.
2007 – Three Jordanians go on trial for plotting to assassinate U.S. President George W. Bush.
2009 – The Kepler space observatory, designed to discover Earth-like planets orbiting other stars, is launched. Designed to survey a portion of our region of the Milky Way to discover dozens of Earth-size extrasolar planets in or near the habitable zone and estimate how many of the billions of stars in our galaxy have such planets, Kepler’s sole instrument is a photometer that continually monitors the brightness of over 145,000 main sequence stars in a fixed field of view. This data is transmitted to Earth, then analyzed to detect periodic dimming caused by extrasolar planets that cross in front of their host star.
2011 – NATO decides to increase surveillance flights over Libya to a 24/7 basis.
2013 – Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, alleged spokesman for al-Qaeda and said to be the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, is captured in Jordan and faces criminal charges in the United States.
2013 – In the United States, Senator Rand Paul ends a 13-hour filibuster to block voting on the nomination of John O. Brennan as the Director of the CIA, questioning President Barack Obama and his administration’s use of drones, and the stated legal justification for hypothetical lethal use within the United States targeting against noncombatants. Attorney General Eric Holder states that combat drones would not be used to target and kill, without due process, Americans not engaged in combat on American soil.
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