1677 – The Treaty of Middle Plantation establishes peace between the Virginia colonists and various Virginia Native American tribes including the Nottoway, the Appomattoc, the Wayonaoake, the Nansemond, the Nanzatico, the Monacan, the Saponi, and the Meherrin following the end of Bacon’s Rebellion. The treaty designated those that signed as “tributary tribe(s),” meaning they were guaranteed their homeland territories, hunting and fishing rights, the right to keep and bear arms, and other colonial protections so long as they maintained obedience and subjugation to the English Empire. The twenty-one articles of the treaty were confirmed when England sent gifts to the chiefs along with various badges of authority.The Queen of Pamunkey, known as Cockacoeske to the English, received a red velvet cap which was fastened with a silver frontlet and silver chains.
1765 – Patrick Henry denounced the Stamp Act before Virginia’s House of Burgesses. Henry responded to a cry of “Treason!” by saying, “If this be treason, make the most of it!”
1780 – At the Battle of Waxhaws, the British continue attacking after the Continentals lay down their arms, killing 113 and critically wounding all but 53 that remained. The Battle of Waxhaws (also known as the Waxhaws or Waxhaw Massacre, and Buford’s Massacre) took place during the American Revolutionary War near Lancaster, South Carolina, between a Continental Army force led by Abraham Buford and a mainly Loyalist force led by Banastre Tarleton. Buford refused an initial demand to surrender, but when his men were attacked by Tarleton’s cavalry, many of them threw down their arms to surrender. Accounts differ on significant details. Buford apparently then attempted to surrender, but his surrender was either rejected or not received (Tarleton possibly having been incapacitated at that time). Tarleton’s men continued killing the Continental soldiers, including men who were not resisting. Little quarter was given to the Patriots. Of the 400 or so Continentals, 113 were killed with sabres, 150 so badly injured they could not be moved, and only 53 prisoners taken by the British and Loyalists. “Tarleton’s quarter” thereafter became a common expression for refusing to take prisoners, and in some subsequent battles in the Carolinas few of the defeated were taken alive by either side. The battle was used in an extensive propaganda campaign by the Continental Army to bolster recruitment and resentment against the British. Other accounts of the battle describe Tarleton as having no part in ordering the massacre, and having ordered thorough medical treatment of American prisoners and wounded.
1781 – Frigate Alliance captures HMS Atalanta and Trepassy off Nova Scotia.
1787 – The “Virginia Plan” was proposed.
1790 – Rhode Island became the last of the 13 original colonies to ratify the United States Constitution. They held out for an amendment securing religious freedom. The state was largely founded by Baptists fleeing persecution in Massachusetts.
1810 – Erasmus Darwin Keyes (d.1895), Major General (Union volunteers), was born.
1810 – Solomon Meredith (d,1875), Bvt Major General (Union volunteers), was born.
1825 – David Bell Birney (d.1864), Major General (Union volunteers), was born.
1827 – Reuben Lindsay Walker (d.1890), Brigadier General (Confederate Army), was born.
1843 – John C. Fremont again departs from St. Louis to explore the West, having only recently returned from his first western expedition. The son of a French father and American mother, Fremont had an unstable and nomadic childhood, and money troubles often plagued his family. As a young man, he showed an aptitude for mathematics and surveying, and in 1838, he won a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Corps of Topographical Engineers. In 1842, he received an assignment to make a survey of the Platte River, and set out with 24 companions, including the famous guide Kit Carson. During five months of travel, Fremont crossed the South Pass in central Wyoming and explored the Wind River Mountains. Scarcely before he had time to recover from his first expedition, Fremont was preparing to depart on his second. On this day in 1843, Fremont left St. Louis on a much more ambitious journey to explore the Oregon country. In Colorado the party met up with Carson, who had again agreed to serve as a guide. On September 6, the Fremont caught site of the Great Salt Lake in Utah, “stretching in still and solitary grandeur far beyond the limits of our vision.” By early November, they arrived at Fort Vancouver, across the Columbia River from the present-day site of Portland. Having surveyed the Oregon country, Fremont’s orders were to return east via the Oregon Trail. Fremont, however, apparently decided this would be an inadequately grand approach, and decided instead to head south and cross the Sierra Nevada in the middle of the winter. The journey was awful and nearly disastrous. Fremont and his men struggled with the deep snow and bitter cold; they often got lost and ate their horses to survive. Thanks to the skill of Carson and amazing good luck with the weather, the expedition eventually emerged from the mountains and limped into Sutter’s Fort on March 6, 1844. After resting for three weeks, they returned east by a route that took them through the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains of Utah. With the help of his wife, Jessie, Fremont wrote a detailed account of his western adventures. The report made some notable errors. Fremont foolishly identified the country around the Great Salt Lake as fertile-a mistake that contributed to the Mormons decision to migrate to the area. However, Fremont’s account did provide the first comprehensive scientific survey of vast areas of the West. Fremont went on to lead two other successful expeditions to the West. His reports of these and his earlier journeys made him a national hero and he later went into politics. He lived into his early 70s, but the four western journeys he made before he was 40 remained his greatest achievements.
1848 – Following approval of statehood by the territory’s citizens, Wisconsin enters the Union as the 30th state. In 1634, French explorer Jean Nicolet landed at Green Bay, becoming the first European to visit the lake-heavy northern region that would later become Wisconsin. In 1763, at the conclusion of the French and Indian Wars, the region, a major center of the American fur trade, passed into British control. Two decades later, at the end of the American Revolution, the region came under U.S. rule and was governed as part of the Northwest Territory. However, British fur traders continued to dominate Wisconsin from across the Canadian border, and it was not until the end of the War of 1812 that the region fell firmly under American control. In the first decades of the 19th century, settlers began arriving via the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes to exploit Wisconsin’s agricultural potential, and in 1832 the Black Hawk War ended Native American resistance to white settlement. In 1836, after several decades of governance as part of other territories, Wisconsin was made a separate entity, with Madison, located midway between Milwaukee and the western centers of population, marked as the territorial capital. By 1840, population in Wisconsin had risen above 130,000, but the people voted against statehood four times, fearing the higher taxes that would come with a stronger central government. Finally, in 1848, Wisconsin citizens, envious of the prosperity that federal programs brought to neighboring Midwestern states, voted to approve statehood. Wisconsin entered the Union the next May.
1849 – A patent for lifting vessels was granted to Abraham Lincoln.
1861 – Dorothea Dix offered to help set up hospitals for Union Army.
1862 – Confederate General P.T. Beauregard retreated to Tupelo, Mississippi. He had taken command of the Trans-Mississippi area after the death of General Albert Sidney Johnson.
1864 – Union troops lose another foot race with the Confederates in a minor stop on the long and terrible campaign between Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Potomac and Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. During the entire month of May 1864, Grant and Lee had pounded each other along an arc swinging from the Wilderness forest south to the James River. After fighting in the Wilderness, Grant moved south to Spotsylvania Court House to place his army between Lee and Richmond. Predicting his move, Lee marched James Longstreet’s corps through the night and beat the Federals to the strategic crossroads. For 12 days the two armies fought in some of the bloodiest combat of the war. Finally, Grant pulled out and again moved south, this time to the North Anna River, where he probed the Rebel lines on the high banks of the river, but found no weakness. He moved south again, this time to Totopotomoy Creek. Once again, Lee and his men beat him there and stood ready to defend Richmond from the Union army. Grant was getting frustrated. After the Totopotomoy, Grant slid south to Cold Harbor, just 10 miles from Richmond. His impatience may have gotten the best of him. At Cold Harbor, Grant would commit the foolish mistake of hurling his troops at well-fortified Confederates, creating a slaughter nearly unmatched during the war.
1865 – President Andrew Johnson issues general amnesty for all Confederates.
1903 – Bob Hope (d.2003), US comedian, was born as Leslie Townes in Kent, England.
1916 – Official flag of president of United States was adopted.
1916 – U.S. forces invaded the Dominican Republic and stayed until 1924. [see May 5&15, 1916]
1917 – John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States (1961-1963), was born at 83 Beals St. in Brookline, Mass. He was assassinated in his first term.
1931 – Michele Schirru, a citizen of the United States, is executed by Italian military firing squad for intent to kill Benito Mussolini.
1932 – At the height of the Great Depression, the so-called “Bonus Expeditionary Force,” a group of 1,000 World War I veterans seeking cash payments for their veterans’ bonus certificates, arrive in Washington, D.C. One month later, other veteran groups spontaneously made their way to the nation’s capital, swelling the Bonus Marchers to nearly 20,000 strong, most of them unemployed veterans in desperate financial straits. Camping in vacant government buildings and in open fields made available by District of Columbia Police Chief Pelham D. Glassford, they demanded passage of the veterans’ payment bill introduced by Representative Wright Patman. While awaiting a vote on the issue, the veterans conducted themselves in an orderly and peaceful fashion, and on June 15 the Patman bill passed in the House of Representatives. However, two days later, its defeat in the Senate infuriated the marchers, who refused to return home. In an increasingly tense situation, the federal government provided money for the protesters’ trip home, but 2,000 refused the offer and continued to protest. On July 28, President Herbert Hoover ordered the army, under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, to evict them forcibly. MacArthur’s men set their camps on fire, and the veterans were driven from the city. Hoover, increasingly regarded as insensitive to the needs of the nation’s many poor, was much criticized by the public and press for the severity of his response.
1940 – The first flight of the Vought F4U Corsair. The Chance Vought F4U Corsair was an American fighter aircraft that saw service primarily in World War II and the Korean War. Demand for the aircraft soon overwhelmed Vought’s manufacturing capability, resulting in production by Goodyear and Brewster: Goodyear-built Corsairs were designated FG and Brewster-built aircraft F3A. From the first prototype delivery to the U.S. Navy in 1940, to final delivery in 1953 to the French, 12,571 F4U Corsairs were manufactured by Vought, in 16 separate models, in the longest production run of any piston-engined fighter in U.S. history (1942–53). The Corsair was designed as a carrier-based aircraft. However its difficult carrier landing performance rendered the Corsair unsuitable for Navy use until the carrier landing issues were overcome when used by the British Fleet Air Arm. The Corsair thus came to and retained prominence in its area of greatest deployment: land based use by the U.S. Marines. The role of the dominant U.S. carrier based fighter in the second part of the war was thus filled by the Grumman F6F Hellcat, powered by the same Double Wasp engine first flown on the Corsair’s first prototype in 1940. The Corsair served to a lesser degree in the U.S. Navy. As well as the U.S. and British use the Corsair was also used by the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the French Navy Aéronavale and other, smaller, air forces until the 1960s. Some Japanese pilots regarded it as the most formidable American fighter of World War II, and the U.S. Navy counted an 11:1 kill ratio with the F4U Corsair. After the carrier landing issues had been tackled it quickly became the most capable carrier-based fighter-bomber of World War II. The Corsair served almost exclusively as a fighter-bomber throughout the Korean War and during the French colonial wars in Indochina and Algeria.
1943 – Norman Rockwell’s portrait of “Rosie the Riveter” appeared on the cover of “The Saturday Evening Post.” Rockwell’s model was Mary Keefe (19) of Arlington, Vermont. In 2002 the painting sold at auction for $4,959,500.
1943 – Churchill, Marshall and Eisenhower met in the Confederacy of Algiers.
1943 – Meat and cheese began to be rationed in US.
1943 – On Attu the Japanese mount a final attack on American forces established in Chicagof.
1944 – On Biak Island, as well as Arare on the mainland, the American beachheads are heavily attacked by Japanese forces. The Japanese garrison on Biak makes use of tanks to force the US 162nd Regiment back towards its landing zone.
1944 – The American escort carrier Block Island and a destroyer are sunk by U-549 before it is itself sunk.
1944 – About 400 American bombers attack German synthetic fuel works and oil refineries at Polits and other locations. The damage caused sets back aircraft fuel production.
1944 – At Anzio, the British and American troops of the US 6th Corps take Campoleone and Carroceto. The Canadian 1st Corps begins to advance up Route 6 from Caprano toward Frosinone.
1945 – American B-29 Superfortress bombers drop incendiaries on Yokohama, burning 85 percent of the port area.
1945 – First combat mission of the Consolidated B-32 Dominator heavy bomber.
1949 – Lieutenant F. X. Riley, believed to be the first Coast Guardsman to earn an advanced degree under US Coast Guard sponsorship through night class attendance, received his MA degree in Public Administration from American University in Washington, D.C.
1953 – Surface elements carried the brunt of naval operations with strikes against Pukchong and Wonsan as adverse weather temporarily suspended air operations.
1955 – John Hinckley Jr., attempted assassin of President Reagan, was born.
1972 – In a joint communique issued by the United States and the Soviet Union following the conclusion of summit talks with General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev during President Richard Nixon’s visit to Moscow (the first visit ever by an U.S. president), both countries set forth their standard positions on Vietnam. The United States insisted that the future of South Vietnam should be left to the South Vietnamese without interference. The Soviet Union insisted on a withdrawal of U.S. and Allied forces from South Vietnam and an end to the bombing of North Vietnam. Despite this disagreement over the situation in Southeast Asia, Brezhnev and Nixon had reached a detente and Brezhnev did not want the Vietnam War to threaten the thawing of relations with the United States. Nixon, who had also visited China in February 1972, had hoped that the rapprochement with the Chinese and Soviets would scare North Vietnam into making concessions at the Paris peace talks. He was wrong, however, and the North Vietnamese continued to pursue the massive invasion of South Vietnam that they had launched on March 30 and proved intractable in the ongoing negotiations. The Soviet Union had supported North Vietnam because it served Soviet interests well by keeping the United States fully occupied in an area not of crucial importance to the USSR. After the 1968 Tet Offensive, the Soviets believed for the first time that a total victory was possible, but as the fighting continued, the Soviet leaders became increasingly weary of the war. They came to believe that little more was to be gained from a war that was proving very expensive for the Soviet Union. The Soviets had supplied weapons and equipment that were used in the 1972 spring offensive, but when the Paris peace talks became deadlocked later that year, the Soviets pressured Hanoi to accept a compromise settlement with South Vietnam and the United States that was finally reached in January 1973.
1974 – President Nixon agreed to turn over 1,200 pages of edited Watergate transcripts.
1981 – US performed a nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.
1982 – Pentagon planned 1st strategy to fight a nuclear war.
1988 – President Ronald Reagan travels to Moscow to begin the fourth summit meeting held in the past three years with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Though the summit produced no major announcements or breakthroughs, it served to illuminate both the successes and the failures achieved by the two men in terms of U.S.-Soviet relations. In May 1988, President Reagan made his first trip to Moscow to meet with Gorbachev and begin their fourth summit meeting. Just six months earlier, during a summit in Washington, D.C., in December 1987, the two men had signed the historic Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons from Europe. In many ways, Reagan’s trip to Moscow in May was a journey of celebration. Demonstrating the famous Reagan charm, the president and his wife waded into crowds of Russian well wishers and curiosity-seekers to shake hands and exchange pleasantries. Very quickly, however, the talks between Reagan and Gorbachev revealed that serious differences still existed between the Soviet Union and the United States. From the beginning, Reagan–who had in the past referred to the Soviet Union as the “evil empire”–pressed Gorbachev on the issue of human rights. He urged Gorbachev to ease Soviet restrictions on freedom of religion and also asked that the Soviet Union relax the laws that kept many Russian Jews from emigrating. The Soviets were obviously displeased at Reagan’s insistence on lecturing them about what they considered purely internal matters. A spokesman from the Soviet Foreign Ministry showed his irritation when he declared to a group of reporters, “We don’t like it when someone from outside is teaching us how to live, and this is only natural.” Despite the tension introduced by the human rights issue, the summit was largely an opportunity for Reagan and Gorbachev to trade compliments and congratulations about their accomplishments, most notably the INF Treaty. As Reagan stated after their first day of meetings, “I think the message is clear–despite clear and fundamental differences, and despite the inevitable frustrations that we have encountered, our work has begun to produce results.”
1989 – Student protesters in Tiananmen Square China constructed a replica of the Statue of Liberty.
1989 – Signing of an agreement between Egypt and the United States, allowing the manufacture of parts of the F-16 jet fighter plane in Egypt.
1991 – President Bush, addressing the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, unveiled a plan to curb “unnecessary and destabilizing weapons” in the Middle East.
1991 – Elements of a joint task force that included the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade departed the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Bangladesh after nearly two weeks of disaster relief operations following a devastating cyclone. The joint task force delivered tons of relief supplies using helicopters, C-130s, and landing craft in Operation Sea Angel.
1995 – The last three bodies entombed in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City were recovered.
1995 – A request from the Commander in Chief of Naval Forces Europe led to the deployment of the CGC Dallas to the Mediterranean. She departed Governors Island on 29 May 1995 and visited ports throughout the Mediterranean and Black Sea, including Istanbul and Samsun in Turkey; Durres, Albania; Varna, Bulgaria; Constanta, Romania; Koper, Slovenia; Taranto, Italy; and Bizerte, Tunisia. The crew trained with naval and coast guard forces in each country. She deployed for a few days with the Sixth Fleet and served as a plane guard for the USS Theodore Roosevelt. The crew was also able to coordinate schedules with six NATO and non-NATO nations to conduct boardings. She returned to the U.S. in August and arrived at Governors Island on 28 August 1995.
1996 – The Endeavor space shuttle landed after a 10-day mission. It went be overhauled for a space-station assembly mission in 1997.
1998 – United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan approves Iraq’s new aid distribution plan under the U.N. sponsored oil-for-food program, clearing the way for Iraq to export up to $5.26 billion worth of oil during the fourth phase of the program. If oil prices remain at current levels, Iraq will need to export close to 2 million barrels per day of oil to reach$4 billion, up from current export rates of around 1.5 million barrels per day. To reach 2 million barrels per day, Iraq’s production facilities are estimated to need approximately $300 million worth of repairs.
1999 – It was reported that the US Defense Dept. had ordered 9,000 Purple Hearts from Graco Industries near Houston to “replenish its supply.”
1999 – The space shuttle “Discovery” completed the first-ever docking with the international space station.
2000 – The space shuttle Atlantis landed at Cape Canaveral in the early morning dark after a successful overhaul of the Int’l. Space Station.
2001 – Four followers of Osama bin Laden were convicted in New York of a global conspiracy to murder Americans, including the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa that killed 224 people.
2001 – Intel unveiled its new 64-bit processor, the Itanium, previously known under the code name Merced. A 2nd generation of the chip, code-named McKinley, was planned for 2002.
2002 – FBI Director Robert Mueller acknowledged that the bureau did not pursue “red flags” in the weeks before Sep 11, and suggested for the first time that investigators might have uncovered the plot if they had been more diligent about pursuing leads. A reorganization plan for the bureau was announced with a focus on terrorist attacks.
2002 – Libya denied that it had any relationship to the deal made by lawyers to pay $2.7 billion to the families of Pan Am Flight 103 victims. The move was seen as a ploy and a settlement was expected soon.
2003 – President Bush, in a wide-ranging interview with reporters at the White House, repeated his defense of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, and hinted that relations with France remained scarred over its opposition to the war.
2004 – A new WW II memorial was dedicated on the National Mall in Washington DC.
2006 – In Kabul, Afghanistan, thousands demonstrate against the United States after several civilians were killed in a car accident in which 3 US humvees collided with a traffic jam.
2011 – U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin, the largest military contractor in the world, is targeted by a “significant and tenacious” cyber attack.
2014 – Political pressure mounts from Senate Democrats and others for Shinseki to go.
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