1775 – John Murray, the Royal Governor of the Colony of Virginia, starts the first mass emancipation of slaves in North America by issuing Lord Dunmore’s Offer of Emancipation, which offers freedom to slaves who abandoned their colonial masters in order to fight with Murray and the British.
1805 – Lewis and Clark reached the Pacific Ocean. Their survival over the ‘04-’05 winter was attributed to the help of the Nez Perce Indians.
1811 – Gen. William Henry Harrison won a battle against the Shawnee Indians at the Battle of Tippecanoe in the Indiana territory. Tenskwatawa, the brother of Shawnee leader Tecumseh, was engaged in the Battle of the Wabash, aka Battle of Tippecanoe, in spite of his brother’s strict admonition to avoid it. The battle near the Tippecanoe River with the regular and militia forces of Indiana Territory Governor William Henry Harrison, took place while Tecumseh was out of the area seeking support for a united Indian movement. The battle, which was a nominal victory for Harrison’s forces, effectively put an end to Tecumseh’s dream of a pan-Indian confederation. Harrison’s leadership in the battle also provided a useful campaign slogan for his presidential bid in 1840. The Indians attacked Harrison’s men before daybreak. Harrison’s army had approximately a thousand troops, including infantry and cavalry. The American army defeated the Indians, but they suffered heavy losses: sixty-two men killed and 126 wounded. The Indian’s losses are impossible to know because they carried off most of their dead and wounded. Harrison guessed that at least forty Indians were killed. This battle became known as the Battle of Tippecanoe. The American army drove off the Indians and burned Prophetstown to the ground. Most Indians no longer believed in the Prophet. Many returned to their own villages after the defeat. Tecumseh tried to resurrect his confederation, but many natives refused to join him again. Unfortunately for Tecumseh, to gain followers he allied himself with his brother. The Prophet, by making such bold statements before the battle, led Tecumseh’s followers to reject the alliance. Divided, it was now only a matter of time before the Indians fell to the Americans.
1814 – Andrew Jackson attacked and captured Pensacola, Florida, without authorization from his superiors. His aim was to end a threat posed by a small British garrison that had caused trouble in the area. Unknown to Jackson, Major General Sir Edward Pakenham had prepared 3,000 soldiers in Jamaica and was sailing to New Orleans to open a British offensive in the South. Pakenham’s army was supplemented by other soldiers brought from England. The opposing armies met in the famed January 1815 Battle of New Orleans.
1848 – General Zachary Taylor was elected president of US. Zachary Taylor, the Amercian general who led the war against the Mexican, as a war hero, was a clear favorite at the Whig convention in June of 1848. He received the needed two thirds of the votes on the fourth ballot. The Democrats nominated Lewis Cass as their presidential candidate. The major issue in the election campaign was slavery, and this centered on the issue of whether to allow the areas acquired because of the Mexican War to allow slavery. Taylor said very little on the matter, but he himself owned 200 slaves. Cass, on the other hand, supported the idea that each territory should decide for itself whether to allow slavery. Van Buren ran as a third party candidate on the Free Soil ticket in opposition totally to the expansion of slavery. Although Van Buren did not carry any states the 10% of the vote that he received was enough to insure Taylor’s victory. Taylor won 139,000 more votes then Casss. His victory was national carrying both Northern and Southern states.
1861 – Union forces under Ulysses S. Grant overrun a Confederate camp at Belmont, Missouri, but are forced to flee when additional Confederate troops arrive. Although Grant claimed victory, the Union gained no ground and left the Confederates in firm control of that section of the Mississippi. This engagement was part of Grant’s plan to capture the Confederate stronghold at Columbus, Kentucky, just across the river from Belmont, by first driving away the Confederate garrison at Belmont. General Leonidas Polk, Confederate commander at Columbus, had posted about 1,000 men around Belmont to protect both sides of the river. On the evening of November 6, Grant sailed 3,000 troops down the Mississippi River from Cairo, Illinois. They landed early on November 7, just three miles above the Belmont, and proceeded to attack. Upon hearing noise from the battle, Polk sent another 2,500 troops across the river to provide relief for his beleaguered Rebels. The Yankees routed the arriving reinforcements and scattered them along the river. At that point, the Union troops began to celebrate their victory and loot the Confederate camp. Grant had ordered a small Union force under General Charles Smith to advance from Paducah, which lay to the northeast, to provide a diversion and keep Polk from sending any more reinforcements to Belmont. Grant hoped that Polk would believe that Smith’s advance was the primary attack and that Belmont was the diversion. Polk did not buy it, and he dispatched additional reinforcements to Belmont. Five Confederate regiments arrived as Grant ordered his men to return to the boats. Grant himself narrowly escaped capture, but he was able to get most of his force back on the river. The Yankees retreated to Cairo. Grant lost 120 dead and 487 wounded or captured, while the Confederates lost 105 dead and 536 wounded or captured. Although he gained no ground, Grant demonstrated that, unlike many other Union generals, he was willing to mount a campaign using the resources at hand rather than calling for reinforcements. This trait served Grant well during the war, and it eventually carried him to the top of the Union army. U.S.S.Tyler, Commander Walke, and U.S.S. Lexington, Commander Stembel, supported the 3000 Union troops and engaged Confederate batteries along the Mississippi River. The arrival of Confederate reinforcements had compelled Grant to withdraw under pressure. Grape, canister, and shell from the gunboats scattered the Confederates, enabling Union troops to re-embark on their transports. Grant, with characteristic restraint, reported that the gunboats’ service was “most efficient,” having “protected our transports throughout.”
1861 – Naval forces under Flag Officer Du Pont captured Port Royal Sound. While Du Pont’s ships steamed in boldly, the naval gunners poured a withering fire into the defending Forts Walker and Beauregard with extreme accuracy. The Confederate defenders abandoned the Forts, and the small Confederate naval squadron under Commodore Tattnall could offer only harassing resistance but did rescue troops by ferrying them to the mainland from Hilton Head. Marines and sailors were landed to occupy the Forts until turned over to Army troops under General T. W. Sherman. Careful planning and skill¬full execution had given Du Pont a great victory and the Union Navy an important base of operations. The Confederates were compelled to withdraw coastal defenses inland out of reach of naval gunfire. Du Pont wrote: “It is not my temper to rejoice over fallen foes, but this must be a gloomy night in Charleston.”
1863 – Battle of Rappahannock Station and Kelly’s Ford, Va.
1864 – Upon learning that Confederate officers were quartered in a house on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River near Island 68, Acting Lieutenant Frederic S. Hill led an expedition from U.S.S. Tyler to capture them. However, they had departed. The mother of one of them boldly showed Hill her permit to transport cotton up the Mississippi and a request, officially endorsed by Major General Cadwallader C. Washburn, USA; for gunboat protection. Hill reluctantly complied with the request, remarking to Rear Admiral Lee: “. . . in the face of all these documents, as I was upon the spot and a steamer then at hand ready to take the cotton, I considered it proper to give her the required protection, although with a very bad grace. Permit me, admiral, respectfully to call your attention to the anomaly of using every exertion to capture rebel officers at 2 a.m., whose cotton I am called upon to protect in its shipment to a market at 10 a.m. of the same day, thus affording them the means of supplying themselves with every comfort money can procure ere they return to their brother rebels in arms with Hood.”
1876 – Rutherford B. Hayes was elected 19th president of the US. Both major political parties were influenced by the Grant era corruption and sought to nominate candidates who could win the public trust. The Democrats turned to Samuel J. Tilden, who had established an enviable record as the reform-minded governor of New York. Tilden was on record as favoring the removal of the remaining federal occupation soldiers from the South, a position regarded favorably by his supporters in that region. The Republicans passed over the frontrunner, James G. Blaine, because of his participation in some questionable dealings. The nomination was eventually given to the respected governor of Ohio, Rutherford B. Hayes. While the platform called for taking steps to assure black equality, Hayes was skeptical at best. Attacks were made on Tilden’s questionable health and his ties to the railroads. Peter Cooper, 85 years of age, received the nomination from the National Greenback Party. The election results left the nation in suspense. All agreed that Tilden had won the majority of the popular vote, but there was little agreement on what the electoral results should be. In order to win, a candidate needed 185 electoral votes. Tilden controlled 184 votes and Hayes 165; 20 votes, however, were in dispute in South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida where Reconstruction Republican governments were still in control. (A single elector was challenged in Oregon.) Each of the states with disputed votes submitted two sets of electoral ballots, one favoring Tilden, the other Hayes. The Constitution had not foreseen this event and offered no remedy. Loose talk was heard in some quarters about the possibility of war breaking out. In the end, Congress opted to appoint an Electoral Commission to find a solution. An informal agreement between the two parties, sometimes called the “Compromise of 1877,” convinced the Democrats that they should accept the Commission’s 8-7 vote, which made Hayes the new president. Lemonade Lucy, wife of Pres. Hayes, later received the 1st Siamese cat in the US.
1903 – President Theodore Roosevelt recognized the new Panama republic.
1915 – The Austrian submarine U-38 shells and then torpedoes the liner, Ancona bound for New York from Italy. Among the 208 dead are 25 US citizens. The Austrian response to the protests of the US government is considered inadequate.
1916 – President Woodrow Wilson was re-elected over Charles Evans Hughes, but the race was so close that all votes had to be counted before an outcome could be determined, so the results were not known until November 11. President Woodrow Wilson was elected for a second term largely because he had successfully kept America out of the war that was raging in Europe since 1914. His campaign slogan was: “He kept us out of the war.” Wilson beat Charles Evans Hughes, a former Supreme Court Justice with an electoral college vote of 277-254. Wilson’s victory in California, 13 electoral votes, by 3,773 votes gave him 277 electoral votes to 254 for Hughes. Wilson carried the popular vote 9.1 million to 8.5 for Hughes.
1917 – (October 25 on the older Julian calendar then used by Russia), the provisional government of Premier Aleksandr Kerensky fell to the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. He called his followers the Bolsheviks, meaning the majority, when they formed for a short period the majority of a revolutionary committee. The Bolsheviks became a majority of the ruling group, but they were only a small part of the total Russian population. Decades of czarist incompetence and the devastation of World War I had wrecked the Russian economy and in March 1917, Czar Nicholas II abdicated. Kerensky’s provisional government struggled to maintain power until Lenin’s Bolshevik followers stormed Petrograd and seized all government operations. Lenin and his lieutenant, Leon Trotsky, quickly confiscated land and nationalized industry and in March 1918, Russia withdrew from World War I by signing the humiliating Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany. Bloody civil war raged in Russia for the next two years as the anti-Bolshevik White Army battled the Communists for control.
1918 – Goddard demonstrated tube-launched solid propellant rockets.
1918 – French and Americans threaten Charleville-Mezieres.
1918 – Word that a peace agreement had been signed ending World War I put Wall Street in a festive mood. The New York Stock Exchange closed early and traders hit the streets to celebrate. The problem was that no one had actually signed a peace agreement– it was just a hopeful rumor that had made its way to the trading floor. One week later, the armistice became a reality and the war finally drew to a close.
1919 – The first Palmer Raid is conducted on the second anniversary of the Russian Revolution, arresting over 10,000 suspected communists and anarchists in twenty-three different U.S. cities. The Palmer Raids were attempts by the United States Department of Justice to arrest and deport radical leftists, especially anarchists, from the United States. The raids and arrests occurred in November 1919 and January 1920 under the leadership of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer. Though more than 500 foreign citizens were deported, including a number of prominent leftist leaders, Palmer’s efforts were largely frustrated by officials at the U.S. Department of Labor who had responsibility for deportations and who objected to Palmer’s methods. The Palmer Raids occurred in the larger context of the Red Scare, the term given to fear of and reaction against political radicals in the U.S. in the years immediately following World War I.
1941 – The Marine Corps Reserve of 23 battalions completed its mobilization.
1942 – French General Giraud is brought from Vichy France, by the British submarine Seraph, for talks with American General Eisenhower. The Allies wish his support to minimize the resistance of locals loyal to Vichy France after the invasion. General Giraud is under the impression that command of the operation will be given to him.
1942 – On Guadalcanal, American Marines, begin attacks to the east toward Koli Point. The Japanese stage landings after dark to the west of American holdings bringing elements of the 38th Infantry Division to shore.
1943 – US Task Force 38 with the carriers Saratoga and Princeton is attacked by 100 Japanese aircraft. The air attack fails to achieve any hits on the carriers. Meanwhile, on Bougainville Island, a Japanese battalion is landed to the north of the beachhead held by the US 3rd Marine Division. A battle ensues. The Japanese reinforce their garrison on Buka Island.
1944 – Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt is reelected president of the United States for a record third time, handily defeating his Republican challenger, Wendell Wilkie, the governor of New York. Roosevelt, a fifth cousin to former president Theodore Roosevelt, first came to the White House in 1933 with a promise to lead America out of the Great Depression. Aided by a Democratic Congress, Roosevelt took prompt action, and most of his “New Deal” proposals, such as the Agricultural Adjustment Act, National Industrial Recovery Act, and creation of the Public Works Administration and Tennessee Valley Authority, were approved within his first 100 days in office. Although criticized by many in the business community, Roosevelt’s progressive legislation improved America’s economic climate, and in 1936 he easily won reelection. During his second term, he became increasingly concerned with German and Japanese aggression and so began a long campaign to awaken America from its isolationist slumber. In 1940, with World War II raging in Europe and the Pacific, Roosevelt agreed to run for an unprecedented third term. Reelected by Americans who valued his strong leadership, he proved a highly effective commander in chief after the December 1941 U.S. entrance into the war. Under Roosevelt’s guidance, America became, in his own words, the “great arsenal of democracy” and succeeded in shifting the balance of power in World War II firmly in the Allies’ favor. In 1944, with the war not yet won, he was reelected to a fourth term. Three months after his inauguration, while resting at his retreat at Warm Springs, Georgia, Roosevelt died of a massive cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 63. Following a solemn parade of his coffin through the streets of the nation’s capital, his body was buried in a family plot in Hyde Park, New York. Millions of Americans mourned the death of the man who had led the United States through two of the greatest crises of the 20th century: the Great Depression and World War II. Roosevelt’s unparalleled 13 years as president led to the passing of the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which limited future presidents to a maximum of two consecutive elected terms in office.
1944 – On Leyte, the US 96th Division captures Bloody Ridge. Near the north coast, the American advance is held by Japanese defenses.1954 – A US spy plane was shot down North of Japan.
1956 – The United Nations General Assembly adopts a resolution calling for the United Kingdom, France and Israel to immediately withdraw their troops from Egypt.
1957 – The final report from a special committee called by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to review the nation’s defense readiness indicates that the United States is falling far behind the Soviets in missile capabilities, and urges a vigorous campaign to build fallout shelters to protect American citizens. The special committee had been called together shortly after the stunning news of the success of the Soviet Sputnik I in October 1957. Headed by Ford Foundation Chairman H. Rowan Gaither, the committee concluded that the United States was in danger of losing a war against the Soviets. Only massive increases in the military budget, particularly an accelerated program of missile construction, could hope to deter Soviet aggression. It also suggested that American citizens were completely unprotected from nuclear attack and proposed a $30 billion program to construct nationwide fallout shelters. Although the committee’s report was supposed to be secret, many of its conclusions soon leaked out to the press, causing a minor panic among the American people. President Eisenhower was less impressed. Intelligence provided by U-2 spy plane flights over Russia indicated that the Soviets were not the mortal threat suggested by the Gaither Report. Eisenhower, a fiscal conservative, was also reluctant to commit to the tremendously increased military budget called for by the committee. He did increase funding for the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles and for civil defense programs, but ignored most of the other recommendations made in the report. Democrats instantly went on the attack, charging that Eisenhower was leaving the United States open to Soviet attack. By 1960, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy was still hammering away at the supposed “missile gap” between the United States and much stronger Soviet stockpiles.
1964 – The latest U.S. intelligence analysis claims that Communist forces in South Vietnam now include about 30,000 professional full-time soldiers, many of whom are North Vietnamese. Before this, it was largely reported that the war was merely an internal insurgent movement in South Vietnam opposed to the government in Saigon. This information discredited that theory and indicated that the situation involves North and South Vietnam. In Saigon, the South Vietnamese government banned the sale of the current issue of Newsweek because it carried a photograph showing a Viet Cong prisoner being tortured by South Vietnamese army personnel.
1972 – Richard Nixon defeats Senator George McGovern (D-South Dakota) and is re-elected President of the United States. With only 55 percent of the electorate voting, the lowest turnout since 1948, Nixon carried all states but Massachusetts, taking 97 percent of the electoral votes. During the campaign, Nixon pledged to secure “peace with honor” in Vietnam. Aided by the potential for a peace agreement in the ongoing Paris negotiations and the upswing in the American economy, Nixon easily defeated McGovern, an outspoken peacenik whose party was divided over several issues, not the least of which was McGovern’s extreme views on the war. McGovern had said during the campaign, “If I were President, it would take me twenty-four hours and the stroke of a pen to terminate all military operations in Southeast Asia.” He said he would withdraw all American troops within 90 days of taking office, whether or not U.S. prisoners of war were released. To many Americans, including many Democrats, McGovern’s position was tantamount to total capitulation in Southeast Asia. Given this radical alternative, Nixon seemed a better choice to most voters. In other races, the Democrats widened their majority in Congress, picking up two Senate seats. Almost unnoticed during the presidential campaign was the arrest of five men connected with Nixon’s re-election committee who had broken into the Democratic Party’s national headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington, D.C. The Watergate scandal ultimately proved to be Nixon’s undoing, and he resigned the presidency as a result of it in August 1974.
1973 – Congress overrode President Nixon’s veto of the War Powers Act, which limits a chief executive’s power to wage war without congressional approval. The act requires the president to inform Congress within forty-eight hours of military action in a hostile area. Forces must be removed within sixty to ninety days unless Congress approves of the action or declares war. The resolution was prompted by the aggressive actions of Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon without congressional approval or a declaration of war during the Vietnam War.
1983 – A bomb exploded in a public corridor near the Senate Republican Cloak Room, detonated at around 2300 EST with a time- delay device. The explosion damaged a wood-paneled conference room near the Senate Chamber and the offices of Senator Robert Byrd. No one was injured. A group calling itself the Armed Resistance Unit claimed responsibility, saying it was done in response to U.S. military action in Grenada. Three women pleaded guilty in the attack and were sentenced to prison for five to 20 years.
1995 – In a Japanese courtroom, three American military men admitted to the ambush-rape of a 12-year-old Okinawan schoolgirl, an attack that outraged the Japanese and strained security ties between Japan and the US. The men later received prison sentences ranging from six and a-half to seven years.
1996 – NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on a mission to map the surface of the Red Planet. It went into orbit around Mars in 2001.
1997 – In a rising war of words, the Clinton administration warned it was considering military options, including a cruise missile strike, if Iraq carried out its threat to shoot down U.N. surveillance planes.
1997 – In Iraq, Saddam Hussein rejected the efforts of UN envoys to resolve the dispute over weapons inspections.
1998 – The shuttle Discovery landed in Cape Canaveral, Fla. After 9 days in space. 77-year-old John Glenn returned to Earth aboard the space shuttle Discovery, visibly weak but elated after the mission.
1999 – In Athens, Greece, a bomb exploded outside a Levi’s jeans store. This was the 5th recent attack and was thought to be linked to an upcoming Nov 13 visit by Pres. Clinton.
2000 – In US elections Al Gore conceded to George Bush and then retracted his concession based on an early prediction of the vote in Florida, which was reversed as too close to call.
2001 – The Bush administration targeted Osama bin Laden’s multimillion-dollar financial networks, closing businesses in four states, detaining U.S. suspects and urging allies to help choke off money supplies in 40 nations. Federal agents raided 2 money transfer organizations, Al Barakaat and Al Taqwa that included 10 locations in 4 states.
2000 – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration discovers one of the country’s largest LSD labs inside a converted military missile silo in Wamego, Kansas.
2001 – At the White House, President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, allies in the war on terrorism, confidently offered back-to-back pledges of victory, no matter how long it took.
2001 – Small numbers of US forces prepared to enter southern Afghanistan for special missions.
2001 – Italy pledged an aircraft carrier and 2,700 troops to help the American campaign in Afghanistan.
2001 – In Qatar Abdullah Mubarak al-Hajiri was killed after he opened fire on US and Qatari troops guarding the Al Udeid air base.
2002 – In his first news conference since the midterm elections, President Bush, charting an agenda for the new Republican Congress, said that homeland security came first and that an economic-recovery plan with new tax cuts would wait until the next year.
2003 – On the preceeding night, two full 10th Mountain Divison companies and one platoon of 2–22 IN (A Co, B Co and C Co’s 2nd Platoon) inserted by CH-47 Chinook helicopter into farm fields on the outskirts of Namgalam Village in the eastern Afghan province of Nuristan. 1st and 3rd Platoon of C Co. 2–22 IN were held in reserve as a quick reaction force at BAF. B Co. 2–22 IN was the lead element, with A Co. 2–22 IN screening along B Co’s flank on the eastern ridgeline that formed the Waygal River Valley. Approximately 1 kilometer to the front of B Co. was a Scout/ Sniper team providing route reconnaissance and early warning. 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, established a fire base in the vicinity of the insertion landing zone (LZ), which would provide 105mm howitzer and 120mm mortar support as well as secure lines of communication and resupply. Due to the restrictive terrain, it became near impossible to conduct a tactical movement using formations other than single file. The first half of the operation occurred over the course of five days, ending with the establishment of resupply LZ’s, with B Co. 2 kilometers north of the village of Tazagul Kala, and A Co. approximately 3 kilometers to the southeast near the village of Moladis. In the early evening of 10 November, B Co was ordered to cross the Waygal River and scale the mountain to the east, designated Objective Winchester, to confirm or deny the presence of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters. The Scout/ Sniper team was already moving across elevated terrain to the objective but had been delayed by an injury to a soldier who required aerial medical evacuation. Upon reaching Objective Winchester, several detainees were taken for questioning but evidence suggested that the majority of Anti-Coalition militants had fled to the north 1–2 days prior. B Co. remained on OBJ Winchester throughout the night. A Navy SEAL command and control team co-located on the resupply LZ at the base of the mountain directed AC 130 Specter Gunship fires onto enemy positions observed by the aircraft, but no battle damage assessment was able to be conducted from the ground due to the restrictive terrain. The next morning all 2–22 IN elements were extracted and returned to BAF.
2003 – The US and Russia signed an agreement under which Russia would retrieve, within the next 5 to 10 years, uranium from research reactors in 17 countries.
2003 – In Tikrit, Iraq, an Army Black Hawk helicopter crashed, apparently shot down by insurgents, killing all six U.S. soldiers aboard. 2 other soldiers were killed near Mosul.
2004 – The Iraqi government declared a 60-day state of emergency throughout most of the country, as US and Iraqi forces prepared for an all-out assault on rebels in Fallujah.
2007 – Space Shuttle Discovery lands at the Kennedy Space Center, ending STS-120, a 15-day mission to the International Space Station
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