This Day in U.S. Military History…… October 7

7 October
3761 BC – The epoch reference date epoch (origin) of the modern Hebrew calendar.
1492 – Columbus missed Florida when he changed course.
1542 – Explorer Cabrillo discovered Catalina Island off the Southern California coast.
1691 – The English royal charter for the Province of Massachusetts Bay is issued.
1728 – Caesar Rodney (d.1784), Delaware, judge and signer (Declaration of Independence), was born in Dover, Delaware. He led opposition to British laws for many years while serving in the provincial assembly. He was elected to the Continental Congresses of 1774 and 1775. In 1777, he commanded the Delaware militia, and the next year he was elected president of the state for a three -year term. Rodney on horseback represents Delaware, the first of the original 13 states to ratify the Constitution, on a new .25 -cent piece.
1763 – George III of Great Britain issued Proclamation of 1763, closing lands in North America north and west of Alleghenies to white settlement. The end of the French and Indian War in 1763 was a cause for great celebration in the colonies, for it removed several ominous barriers and opened up a host of new opportunities for the colonists. The French had effectively hemmed in the British settlers and had, from the perspective of the settlers, played the “Indians” against them. The first thing on the minds of colonists was the great western frontier that had opened to them when the French ceded that contested territory to the British. The royal proclamation of 1763 did much to dampen that celebration. The proclamation, in effect, closed off the frontier to colonial expansion. The King and his council presented the proclamation as a measure to calm the fears of the Indians, who felt that the colonists would drive them from their lands as they expanded westward. Many in the colonies felt that the object was to pen them in along the Atlantic seaboard where they would be easier to regulate. No doubt there was a large measure of truth in both of these positions. However the colonists could not help but feel a strong resentment when what they perceived to be their prize was snatched away from them. The proclamation provided that all lands west of the heads of all rivers which flowed into the Atlantic Ocean from the west or northwest were off-limits to the colonists. This excluded the rich Ohio Valley and all territory from the Ohio to the Mississippi rivers from settlement.
1765 – Delegates from nine of the American colonies met in New York to discuss the Stamp Act Crisis and colonial response to it. This “Stamp Act Congress” went on to draft resolutions condemning the Stamp and Sugar Acts, trial without jury and taxation without representation as contrary to their rights as Englishmen. Throughout the Northern colonies, associations on the basis of forcible resistance to the Stamp Act, under the name of “Sons of Liberty,” sprang suddenly into existence. Persons of influence and consideration, though they might favor the object, kept aloof, however, from so dangerous a combination, which consisted of the young, the ardent, those who loved excitement and had nothing to lose. The history of these “Sons of Liberty” is very obscure; but they seem to have spread rapidly from Connecticut and New York into Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, and to have taken up as their special business the intimidation of the stamp officers. In all the colonies these officers were persuaded or compelled to resign; and such stamps as arrived either remained unpacked, or else were seized and burned. The Assembly of Pennsylvania unanimously adopted a series of resolutions denouncing the Stamp Act as “unconstitutional, and subversive of their dearest rights.” Public meetings to protest against it were held throughout the colonies. The holding of such meetings was quite a new incident, and formed a new era in colonial history. On the day appointed by Massachusetts for the meeting of the First Colonial Congress, committees from nine colonies met in New York. Various reasons prevented the others from joining. In the course of a three weeks’ session, a Declaration of the Rights and Grievances of the Colonies was agreed to. All the privileges of Englishmen were claimed by this declaration as the birthright of the colonists,–among the rest, the right of being taxed only by their own consent. Since distance and local circumstances made a representation in the British Parliament impossible, these representatives, it was maintained, could be no other than the several colonial Legislatures. Thus was given a flat negative to a scheme lately broached in England by Pownall and others for allowing to the colonies a representation in Parliament, a project to which both Otis and Franklin seem at first to have leaned. A petition to the king and memorials to each House of Parliament were also prepared, in which the cause of the colonies was eloquently pleaded. . . . The several colonial Assemblies, at their earliest sessions, gave to the proceedings a cordial approval.
1777 – The second Battle of Saratoga began during the American Revolution. During the battle General Benedict Arnold was shot in the leg. Another bullet killed his horse, which fell on Arnold, crushing his leg. The “Boot Monument” sits close to the spot where Arnold was wounded, and is a tribute to the general’s heroic deeds during that battle. Although Arnold’s accomplishments are described on the monument, it pointedly avoids naming the man best known for betraying his country. The British forces, under Gen. John Burgoyne, surrendered 10 days later. After waiting several weeks for developments from General Henry Clinton’s campaign along the Hudson River, British commander Lieutenant General John Burgoyne finally took the offensive on 7 October 1777. Like the First Battle of Saratoga, his plan focused upon a reconnaissance in force of three columns. The three British columns moved out from their Freeman’s Farm fortifications in order to gain more information about the rebel positions at Bemis Heights. American General Horatio Gates, assumed to be acting upon the suggestion of Colonel Daniel Morgan, decided to assault the British forces in a three winged attack. With Morgan’s Rifle Corps attacking from the west and Poor’s Brigade from the east, Learned’s Continental Brigade moved towards the center of the British line. The attack began at roughly 3 PM, and the Americans repeatedly broke through the British line and pushed the enemy back, only to be repelled once the British leaders rallied their scattered forces to stage a counter-offensive. British Brigadier General Simon Fraser was mortally wounded while attempting to cover the British withdrawal. Benedict Arnold, who had been removed from command by Gates, saw an opportunity to press the advantage of the weakened British line and rode forward on his horse to take charge of Learned’s Continental Brigade. He led them towards the center of the British forces in an effort to separate the units and flank them, forcing a general withdrawal of the British forces into their fortified positions at Freeman’s Farm. At that point, Arnold led Learned’s men to attack the British fortified in Balcarres Redoubt. After several failed attempts to overcome the defenses there, Arnold urged his horse northwest across the battlefield to join an assault on Breymann Redoubt. With superior numbers on their side, the Americans were able to breach the breastworks of the redoubt and force the British forces to withdraw to the Great Redoubt, their final line of defense, as night fell.
1780 – The Battle of Kings Mountain was a decisive battle between the Patriot and Loyalist militias in the Southern campaign of the American Revolutionary War. The battle took place nine miles south of the present-day town of Kings Mountain, North Carolina in rural York County, South Carolina, where the Patriot militia defeated the Loyalist militia commanded by British Major Patrick Ferguson of the 71st Foot. Ferguson had arrived in North Carolina in early September 1780 with the purpose of recruiting for the Loyalist militia and protecting the flank of Lord Cornwallis’ main force. Ferguson issued a challenge to the rebel militias to lay down their arms or suffer the consequences. In response, the Patriot militias led by James Johnston, William Campbell, John Sevier, Joseph McDowell and Isaac Shelby rallied for an attack on Ferguson. Receiving intelligence on the oncoming attack, Ferguson decided to retreat to the safety of Lord Cornwallis’ army. However, the Patriots caught up with the Loyalists at Kings Mountain on the border with South Carolina. Achieving a complete surprise, the Patriot militiamen attacked and surrounded the Loyalists, inflicting heavy casualties. After an hour of battle, Ferguson was fatally shot while trying to break the rebel line, after which his men surrendered. Eager to avenge Banastre Tarleton’s alleged massacre of the militiamen at the Battle of Waxhaws, the Patriots gave no quarter until the rebel officers re-established control over their men. Although victorious, the Patriots had to retreat quickly from the area for fear of Cornwallis’ advance. The battle was a pivotal moment in the Southern campaign. The surprising victory over the American Loyalist militia came after a string of rebel defeats at the hands of Lord Cornwallis, and greatly raised the Patriots’ morale. With Ferguson dead and his Loyalist militia destroyed, Cornwallis was forced to abandon his plan to invade North Carolina and retreated into South Carolina.
1800 – Gabriel, slave revolt leader in Virginia, was hanged. Gabriel Prosser had mounted a slave rebellion. Gabriel Prosser, the slave of Thomas H. Prosser, was about 25 years old when he came to the attention of Virginia authorities late in August 1800. Little is known of his childhood or family background. He had two brothers and a wife, Nanny, all slaves of Prosser. Gabriel Prosser learned to read and was a serious student of the Bible, where he found inspiration in the accounts of Israel’s delivery from slavery. Prosser possessed shrewd judgment, and his master gave him much latitude. He was acknowledged as a leader by many slaves around Richmond. With the help of other slaves, especially Jack Bowler and George Smith, Prosser designed a scheme for a slave revolt. They planned to seize control of Richmond by slaying all whites (except for Methodists, Quakers, and Frenchmen) and then to establish a kingdom of Virginia with Prosser as king. The recent, successful American Revolution and the revolutions in France and Haiti–with their rhetoric of freedom, equality, and brotherhood–supplied examples and inspiration for Prosser’s rebellion. In the months preceding the attack Prosser skillfully recruited supporters and organized them into military units. Authorities never discovered how many slaves were involved, but there were undoubtedly several thousand, many armed with swords and pikes made from farm tools by slave blacksmiths. The plan was to strike on the night of Aug. 30, 1800. Men inside Richmond were to set fire to certain buildings to distract whites, and Prosser’s force from the country was to seize the armory and government buildings across town. With the firearms thus gained, the rebels would supposedly easily overcome the surprised whites. On the day of the attack the plot was disclosed by two slaves who did not want their masters slain; then Virginia governor James Monroe alerted the militia. That night, as the rebels began congregating outside Richmond, the worst rainstorm in memory flooded roads, washed out bridges, and prevented Prosser’s army from assembling. Prosser decided to postpone the attack until the next day, but by then the city was too well defended. The rebels, including Prosser, dispersed. Some slaves, in order to save their own lives, testified against the ringleaders, about 35 of whom were executed. Prosser himself managed to escape by hiding aboard a riverboat on its way to Norfolk. In Norfolk, however, he was betrayed by other slaves, who claimed the large reward for his capture on September 25. Returned to Richmond, Prosser, like most of the other leaders, refused to confess to the plot or give evidence against other slaves. He was tried and found guilty on Oct. 6, 1800.
1835 – Brigadier General William H. Jackson, one of the most prominent soldiers of Tennessee, was born at Paris, TN. At twenty -one years he was graduated at the United States military academy (1856), and assigned as brevet second lieutenant to the mounted riflemen. In December of the same y ear he was commissioned second lieutenant while serving at the cavalry school for practice at Carlisle, Pa. he was on frontier duty at Fort Bliss, Tex., 1857, and in December of that year was engaged in a skirmish against the Kiowa Indians near Fort Craig, N.M. In 1859 he was engaged in the scouting in the Navajo country, and took part in the Comanche and Kiowa expedition of 1860. On May 16, 1861, in obedience to the command of his State, he resigned his commission in the United States army and entered the service of the Confederate States as captain of artillery. In the battle of Belmont, November 7, 1861, he acted as aide on the staff of General Pillow, and was seriously wounded while executing that officer’s orders. His name is flatteringly mentioned in the reports of Generals Polk and Pillow and of Col. S. F. Marks, who, at the request of Colonel Barrow, tendered the thanks of the Eleventh Louisiana regiment to Capt. Wm. H. Jackson for valuable and gallant service rendered them. This gallant young officer was in the field again early in 1862 as colonel of the First Tennessee cavalry, winning compliments from his superior officers in every affair in which he was engaged. His name is mentioned in all the reports, and by his merit as chief of cavalry in Pemberton’s department he richly earned the commission of brigadier – general, which was bestowed upon him December 29, 1862. He had acted as chief of cavalry for Van Dorn and Price in the campaign which culminated in the battle of Corinth. On the retreat from that disastrous field he had well protected the rear of the Confederate army. He increased his already high reputation throughout the Vicksburg campaign, and after its disastrous close he was indefatigable in his labors and rendered invaluable assistance to Gen. Joseph E. Johnston. In the Meridian campaign of February, 1864, Jackson commanded the cavalry of Polk’s army, hanging upon the flanks of the enemy and compelling his foragers to keep close to the main line. During the Atlanta campaign, Jackson commanded the cavalry corps of the army of the Mississippi, which participated in all the arduous labors and many brilliant successes of the cavalry arm of the Confederate service. When, after the brilliant cavalry victory at Newnan, Wheeler moved into the rear of Sherman’s army, Jackson’s cavalry shared in the movements that defeated Kilpatrick’s raid against the Macon road. He led his division of cavalry through the Nashville and Murfreesboro campaign, and then retiring to Mississippi, was there, in February, 1865, assigned to command of all Tennessee cavalry in Forrest’s department, with other brigades, to form Jackson’s division, one of the two provided for in Forrest’s reorganization. His last military service was the cutting off of Croxton’s brigade from the main body of Wilson’s expedition, April, 1865. Since the close of the war General Jackson has engaged in stock raising, and is proprietor of the celebrated Belle Meade stock farm near Nashville, Tenn.
1837 – Robert Gould Shaw was born to a prominent abolitionist family. He became commander of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, the first unit of black soldiers in the Civil War. He was later asked by the governor of Massachusetts to organize the first regiment of black troops in a Northern state. Shaw recruited free blacks from all over New England. On May 13, 1863, the 54th Massachusetts Regiment was mustered into service in the Union Army with Shaw as its commanding officer. After leading the regiment in a handful of smaller actions, Shaw and the 54th joined two brigades of white troops in an assault on Confederates holding Battery Wagner on the South Carolina coast. Although the action was unsuccessful and Shaw himself died leading the charge, the courage of black troops under fire was proven beyond any doubt. This Kurz and Allison print honors Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts at Fort Wagner.
1864 – General Phil Sheridan wired General Ulysses Grant that he had destroyed so much between Winchester and Staunton that the area “will have little in it for man or beast.”
1864 – USS Wachusett illegally captures the CSS Florida Confederate raider while in port in Bahia, Brazil in violation of Brazilian neutrality.
1864 – Oct 7 -13, Battle of Darbytown Road, Va. More a protracted series of skirmishes than a battle. Responding to the loss of Fort Harrison and the increasing Federal threat against Richmond, Gen. Robert E. Lee directed an offensive against the Union far right flank. After routing the Federal cavalry from their position covering Darbytown Road, Field’s and Hoke’s divisions assaulted the main Union defensive line along New Market Road and were repulsed. Confederate Gen. John Gregg of the Texas brigade was killed. The Federals were not dislodged, and Lee withdrew into the Richmond defenses.
1885 – Nils Bohr, Danish physicist who won the 1992 Nobel Prize for physics and later worked on the first atom bomb, was born. Nils Bohr was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 7th October, 1885. The son of a physiology professor he got his PhD in physics from the University of Copenhagen in 1911. Bohr worked with Ernest Rutherford in Manchester (1912-16) where he developed a model of atomic structure and helped to establish the validity of quantum theory. In 1920 Bohr became director of the Institute of Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen. Several leading physicists went to work with Bohr including Edward Teller and Werner Heisenberg. In 1922 he won the Nobel Prize for physics. Otto Frisch, a young scientist who fled from Nazi Germany worked closely with Bohr in Copenhagen. In 1938 Frisch introduced Bohr to Lise Meitner, a Jewish refugee from Germany. Meitner explained her theory of uranium fission and argued that by splitting the atom it was possible to use a few pounds of uranium to create the explosive and destructive power of many thousands of pounds of dynamite. At a conference held in Washington in January, 1939, Bohr explained the possibility of creating nuclear weapons. After working with Enrico Fermi and Leo Szilard, Bohr showed that only the isotope uranium-235 would undergo fission with slow neutrons. Bohr continued with his research after Denmark was invaded by the German Army. With the help of the British Secret Service he escaped to Sweden in 1943. He then moved on to the USA where he joined Robert Oppenheimer, Edward Teller, Enrico Fermi, David Bohm, James Franck, James Chadwick, Otto Frisch, Emilio Segre, Eugene Wigner, Felix Bloch, Leo Szilard and Klaus Fuchs on the Manhattan Project. Over the next two years Bohr helped develop the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After the Second World War Bohr returned to Denmark where he argued for strict controls on the manufacture of nuclear weapons. Nils Bohr died in Copenhagen on 18th November, 1962.
1900 – Heinrich Himmler, chicken farmer who became the head of the German Gestapo in Hitler’s Germany, was born.
1943 – Approximately 100 U.S. prisoners of war remaining on Wake Island were executed by the Japanese.
1950 – The United Nations General Assembly approved an advance by UN forces north of the 38th Parallel in the Korean Conflict. Eighth Army, including British, Australian and Philippine units, relieved X Corps of tactical responsibility for the Seoul area. This action freed X Corps for operations on Korea’s East Coast.
1958 – The U.S. manned space-flight project is renamed Project Mercury. Originally it was called Project Astronaut, but President Dwight Eisenhower thought that it gave too much attention to the pilot. Instead, the name Mercury was chosen from Greco-Roman mythology, which already lent names to rockets like the Atlas and Jupiter. It absorbed military projects with the same aim such as the Air Force Man-in-Space-Soonest.
1963 – President Kennedy signed the documents of ratification for a limited nuclear test ban treaty with Britain and the Soviet Union. Testing was outlawed in the atmosphere, underwater and in outer space.
1975 – President Gerald Ford signs law allowing admission of women into service academies (Public Law 94 -106).
1981 – Egypt’s parliament named Vice President Hosni Mubarak to succeed the assassinated Anwar Sadat. He tolerated the Muslim Brotherhood.
1985 – The United States announced it would no longer automatically comply with World Court decisions. This was in response to a June 25, 1985, World Court ruling that U.S. involvement in Nicaragua violated international law. The ruling stemmed from a suit brought in April 1984 after revelations that the CIA had directed the mining of Nicaraguan ports. The U.S. later vetoed two U.N. resolutions calling for compliance to the World Court ruling.
1985 – Four Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) gunmen hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean and demanded the release of 50 Palestinians held by Israel. 413 people were held hostage for 2 days in the seizure that was masterminded by Mohammed Abul Abbas. American Leon Klinghoffer was shot while sitting in his wheelchair and thrown overboard. A case was filed against the PLO and settled in 1997. The hijackers surrendered to Egyptian authorities and were turned over to Italy which let Abbas slip out of the country. Abbas was captured in Baghdad in 2003.
1990 – Israel began handing out gas masks to its citizens.
1993 – President Clinton ordered more troops, heavy armor and naval firepower to Somalia, but also announced he would pull out all Americans by the end of March 1994.
1994 – Iraqi troops moved south toward Kuwait. Pres. Clinton dispatched a carrier group, 54,000 troops and warplanes to the gulf area after Iraqi troops were spotted moving south toward Kuwait. The Iraqis pulled back.
1996 – In Lisburn, Northern Ireland, the Irish Republican Army detonated two car bombs inside the British army’s headquarters, wounding 31 people. Two bombs of 500 and 1000 pounds exploded near Thiepval Barracks and near the base hospital.
1996 – Ethnic Tutsi rebels slaughtered 34 patients in eastern Zaire. The government has given the 200,000 Tutsis a week to leave Zaire. The Tutsi Banyamulenge arrived into Zaire some 200 years ago.
1997 – In Columbia leftist guerrillas killed three villagers near San Jose de Apartado, a pilot peace community that had declared neutrality in the civil conflicts.
1998 – In Serbia Milosevic’s government began preparing for a NATO attack.
1999 – It was reported that American fighter jets had begun using non -explosive concrete bombs to destroy military targets in northern Iraq.
1999 – Rwanda reported that army troops and Congolese allies had killed over 200 Rwandan Hutu rebels over a weeklong operation along the border where 4,000 Hutu rebels had been based.
2000 – Three Israeli soldiers were kidnapped on the Lebanon border. Un peacekeepers made a film 18 hours later that showed Hezbollah guerrillas, the vehicles used and other evidence of the abduction.
2000 – Palestinians tore up Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus and Hezbollah guerrillas captured 3 Israeli soldiers. Prime Minister Ehud Barak threatened to use force and to halt the peace process unless the violence stopped.
2001 – U.S. aerial bombing campaign began, President Bush said “Full warning had been given, and time is running out.” The State Department gave the Pakistani government one last message to the Taliban: Hand over all al-Qaeda leaders or “every pillar of the Taliban regime will be destroyed.” Airstrikes were reported in Kabul, at the airport, at Kandahar (home of Mullah Omar), and in the city of Jalalabad. On the ground, teams from the CIA’s Special Activities Division arrived first. They were soon joined by U.S. Army Special Forces from the 5th Special Forces Group and other units from United States Special Operations Command. At 17:00 UTC, President Bush confirmed the strikes and Prime Minister Blair addressed his nation. Bush stated that Taliban military sites and terrorist training grounds would be targeted. Food, medicine and supplies would be dropped to “the starving and suffering men, women and children of Afghanistan”.
2001 – The Al -Jazeera TV network from Qatar showed video footage of Osama bin Laden praising Allah for the Sep 11 terrorist attacks.
2001 – In Afghanistan the Northern Alliance moved its front line artillery and infantry units against the Taliban.
2001 – In Pakistan Muslim clerics called for a holy war to counter the attacks in Afghanistan. Fazlur Rehman, a top fundamentalist politician, was arrested. Most of the Arab world appeared relatively calm.
2001 – A Palestinian suicide bomber, Ahmed Daraghmeh (17), killed himself and 1 Israeli near the settlement of Kibbutz Shluhot.
2002 – In a somber address to the nation to support his action against Iraq, President Bush labeled Saddam Hussein a “homicidal dictator” and said the threat from Iraq was unique and imminent: “We refuse to live in fear.”
2002 – Space shuttle Atlantis carried 6 astronauts and a 14 -ton girder for installation on the int’l. space station. This mission delivered the Integrated Truss Assembly S1 (Starboard Side Thermal Radiator Truss) and the Crew Equipment Translation Aid (CETA) Cart to the Space Station. The S1 Truss is 45 ft (13.7 m) long, 15 ft (4.6 m) wide and 10 ft (3.0 m) tall. It weighs approximately 31,000 lb (14 t). The S1 truss was attached to the S0 truss (Launched April 8, 2002 onboard STS-110) and uses 637 lb (289 kg) of anhydrous ammonia in three heat rejection radiators. The CETA cart was attached to the Mobile Transporter (also launched on STS-110) to be used by assembly crews on later missions. STS-112 also carried several science experiments to the station including the Plant Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (PGBA), Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA), the Protein Crystal Growth Single-locker Thermal Enclosure System housing the Protein Crystillization Apparatus for Microgravity (PCG-STES-PCAM) and samples for the Zeolite Crystal Growth Furnace (ZCG) experiment.
2002 – Israeli forces killed 16 Palestinians in Gaza that included a missile strike that killed 11. Hamas vowed revenge attacks.
2002 – Operation Enduring Freedom – Horn of Africa (OEF – HOA) begins. It is one component of the overall mission of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) which has, until the creation of the new Africa Command, been run out of European Command. The Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) is the primary (but not sole) military component assigned to accomplish the objectives of the mission. The naval component is the multinational Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) which operates under the direction of the United States Fifth Fleet. Both of these organizations have been historically part of United States Central Command. In February of 2007, United States President George W. Bush announced the establishment of the United States Africa Command which took over all of the area of operations of CJTF-HOA in October of 2007.
2003 – Yasser Arafat swore in new Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and a skeleton emergency Cabinet.
2003 – In the Philippines a detained Muslim terror suspect grabbed a guard’s rifle and opened fire at police headquarters in Manila, killing three officers and wounding three others before he was fatally shot.
2004 – A car bomb at Egypt’s Taba Hilton killed at least 35 people on the last day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. The attack was quickly followed by two more car bombings outside beach-bungalow camps south of Taba. The next day Israeli officials said they believe al-Qaida was probably behind 3 suicide car bomb attacks targeting Red Sea resorts filled with Israeli tourists. It was later reported that all 4 bombers who attacked the resorts escaped on foot minutes before their vehicles exploded.
2004 – US authorities, meanwhile, raised the security alert in the heavily guarded Green Zone after an improvised bomb was found in front of a restaurant there.
2014 – Kurds clash violently with Turkish police over failure to help Kurds under siege in the Syrian border city of Kobani under siege by ISIL forces. At least fourteen people have died in the clashes

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