This Day in U.S. Military History…… September 1

1 September
1676 – Nathaniel Bacon led an uprising against English Governor William Berkeley at Jamestown, Virginia, resulting in the settlement being burned to the ground. Bacon’s Rebellion came in response to the governor’s repeated refusal to defend the colonists against the Indians.
1752 – The Liberty Bell arrived in Philadelphia.
1772 – Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa formed in California. Father Junipero Serra held the 1st Mass at San Luis Obispo. He left Father Jose Cavalier the task of building the state’s 5th mission.
1774 – The Powder Alarm was a major popular reaction to the removal of gunpowder from a magazine by British soldiers under orders from General Thomas Gage, royal governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. In response to this action, amid rumors that blood had been shed, alarm spread through the countryside as far as Connecticut and beyond, and American Patriots sprang into action, fearing that war was at hand. Thousands of militiamen began streaming toward Boston and Cambridge, and mob action forced Loyalists and some government officials to flee to the protection of the British Army. Although it proved to be a false alarm, the Powder Alarm caused political and military leaders to proceed more carefully in the days ahead, and essentially provided a “dress rehearsal” for the Battles of Lexington and Concord seven and a half months later. Furthermore, actions on both sides to control weaponry, gunpowder, and other military supplies became more contentious, as the British sought to bring military stores more directly under their control, and the Patriot colonists sought to acquire them for their own use.
1781 – French fleet traps British fleet at Yorktown, VA.
1807 – Former U.S. vice president Aaron Burr is acquitted of plotting to annex parts of Louisiana and Spanish territory in Mexico to be used toward the establishment of an independent republic. He was acquitted on the grounds that, though he had conspired against the United States, he was not guilty of treason because he had not engaged in an “overt act,” a requirement of the law governing treason. Nevertheless, public opinion condemned him as a traitor, and he fled to Europe. Aaron Burr, born into a prestigious New Jersey family in 1756, graduated from the College of New Jersey (later Princeton) at the age of 17. He joined the Continental Army in 1775 and distinguished himself during the Patriot attack on Quebec. A masterful politician, he was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1783 and later served as state attorney. In 1790, he was elected to the U.S. Senate. In 1797, Burr ran for the vice presidency on Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican ticket (the forerunner of the Democratic Party), but the Federalist John Adams won the presidency. In 1797 Burr left the Senate and returned to the New York Assembly. In 1800, Jefferson again chose Burr as his running mate. Under the electoral procedure then prevailing, president and vice president were not voted for distinctly; the candidate who received the most votes was elected president, and the second in line, vice president. Jefferson and Burr each won 73 votes, and the election was sent to the House of Representatives. What at first seemed but an electoral technicality–handing Jefferson victory over his running mate–developed into a major constitutional crisis when Federalists in the lame-duck Congress threw their support behind Burr. After a remarkable 35 tie votes, a small group of Federalists changed sides and voted in Jefferson’s favor. Burr became vice president, but Jefferson grew apart from him, and he did not support Burr’s renomination to a second term in 1804. That year, a faction of New York Federalists, who had found their fortunes drastically diminished after the ascendance of Jefferson, sought to enlist the disgruntled Burr into their party and elect him governor. Burr’s old political antagonist Alexander Hamilton campaigned against him with great fervor, and he lost the Federalist nomination and then, running as an independent for governor, the election. In the campaign, Burr’s character was savagely attacked by Hamilton and others, and after the election he resolved to restore his reputation by challenging Hamilton to a duel, or an “affair of honor,” as they were known. Affairs of honor were commonplace in America at the time, and the complex rules governing them usually led to a resolution before any actual firing of weapons. In fact, the outspoken Hamilton had been involved in several affairs of honor in his life, and he had resolved most of them peaceably. No such recourse was found with Burr, however, and on July 11, 1804, the enemies met at 7 a.m. at the dueling grounds near Weehawken, New Jersey. There are conflicting accounts of what happened next. According to Hamilton’s “second”–his assistant and witness in the duel–Hamilton decided the duel was morally wrong and deliberately fired into the air. Burr’s second claimed that Hamilton fired at Burr and missed. What happened next is agreed upon: Burr shot Hamilton in the stomach, and the bullet lodged next to his spine. Hamilton was taken back to New York, and he died the next afternoon. Few affairs of honor actually resulted in deaths, and the nation was outraged by the killing of a man as eminent as Alexander Hamilton. Charged with murder in New York and New Jersey, Burr, still vice president, returned to Washington, D.C., where he finished his term immune from prosecution. In 1805, Burr, thoroughly discredited, concocted a plot with James Wilkinson, commander-in-chief of the U.S. Army, to seize the Louisiana Territory and establish an independent empire, which Burr, presumably, would lead. He contacted the British government and unsuccessfully pleaded for assistance in the scheme. Later, when border trouble with Spanish Mexico heated up, Burr and Wilkinson conspired to seize territory in Spanish America for the same purpose. In the fall of 1806, Burr led a group of well-armed colonists toward New Orleans, prompting an immediate U.S. investigation. General Wilkinson, in an effort to save himself, turned against Burr and sent dispatches to Washington accusing Burr of treason. In February 1807, Burr was arrested in Louisiana for treason and sent to Virginia to be tried in a U.S. court. On September 1, he was acquitted on a technicality. Nevertheless, the public condemned him as a traitor, and he went into exile to Europe. He later returned to private life in New York, the murder charges against him forgotten. He died in 1836.
1821 – William Becknell led a group of traders from Independence, Mo., toward Santa Fe on what would become the Santa Fe Trail.
1838 – William Clark (68), 2nd lt. of Lewis and Clark Expedition, died.
1849 – California Constitutional Convention was held in Monterey.
1858 – The 1st transatlantic cable failed after less than 1 month.
1861 – Ulysses Grant assumed command of Federal forces at Cape Girardeau, MI.
1861 – Lincoln received news late at night from Secretary of the Navy Welles of Flag Officer Stringham’s victory at Hatteras Inlet, in the initial Army- Navy expedition of the war. Coming shortly after the defeat at Bull Run, it electrified the North and greatly raised morale.
1862 – A federal tax was levied on tobacco, especially that grown in Confederate states.
1862 – Following his brilliant victory at the Second Battle of Bull Run two days earlier, Confederate General Robert E. Lee strikes retreating Union forces at Chantilly, Virginia, and drives them away in the middle of an intense thunderstorm. Although his army routed the Yankee forces of General John Pope at Bull Run, Lee was not satisfied. By attacking the retreating Federals, Lee hoped to push them back into Washington, D.C., and achieve a decisive victory by destroying the Union army. The Bull Run battlefield lay 25 miles east of the capital, allowing Lee room to send General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s corps on a quick march to cut off part of the Union retreat before reaching the defenses of the capital. Jackson departed with his corps on August 31. Using General J.E.B. Stuart’s Rebel cavalry as a screen, he swung north and then east toward Washington. Under orders of Union General-in-Chief Henry Halleck, Pope tried to hold the town of Centerville from the advancing Confederates. Jackson moved north around Centerville, placing the bulk of Pope’s force in grave danger as the Southerners moved towards Fairfax. By the afternoon of September 1, Pope evacuated Centerville and Jackson pressed to the north of the main Yankee army. Late in the afternoon, a Union division commanded by General Isaac Stevens attacked Jackson near Chantilly. In a driving rainstorm punctuated by thunder and lightning, Stevens’s men drove into the Confederates and scattered a Louisiana brigade. But after Stevens was struck in the head by a Rebel bullet and killed, Jackson’s men drove the Union troops back. Another Yankee general, Philip Kearney, was killed when he accidentally rode behind the Confederate line in the storm. The battle was over within 90 minutes, although the storm persisted. Confederate casualties numbered about 500, while the Union lost 700. Lee could not flank Pope’s army, so he turned his army northward for an invasion of Maryland. The result was the Battle of Antietam on September 17.
1863 – 6th Ohio Cavalry ambush at Barbees Crossroads, Virginia.
1864 – With Union General William T. Sherman threatening to cut his only escape route, Confederate General John Bell Hood evacuates Atlanta, Georgia, at the climax of a four-month campaign by Sherman to capture the vital Rebel supply center.
1864 – 2nd day of battle at Jonesboro, Georgia, left some 3,000 casualties.
1864 – Battle of Petersburg, VA.
1866 – Manuelito, the last Navaho chief, turned himself in at Fort Wingate, New Mexico.
1918 – US troops landed in Vladivostok, Siberia, and stayed until 1920.
1925 – Navy CDR John Rodgers and crew of 4 in PN-9 run out of fuel on first San Francisco to Hawaii flight. Landing at sea, they rigged a sail and set sail for Hawaii.
1939 – At 0445 hours German forces invade Poland without a declaration of war. The operation is code named Fall Weiss (Plan White). The Germans allot 52 divisions for the invasion (some 1.5 million men), including the 6 armored divisions and all their motorized units. Of the divisions left to defend against an Anglo-French front, only about 10 are regarded by the Germans as being fit for any kind of action. General Brauchitsch, the Commander-in-Chief of the German Army, is in command of the campaign. Bock leads Army Group North, consisting of the 4th Army (Kuchler) and 3rd Army (Kluge); Rundstedt leads Army Group South, consisting of 8th Army (Balskowitz), 10th Army (Reichenau) and 14th Army (List). Air support comes from two Air Fleets, commanded by Kesselring and Lohr, which have around 1,600 aircraft. Army Group South, advancing from Silesia, is to provide the main German attacks. The 8th Army on the left is to move toward Poznan, the principal thrust is to be delivered by 10th Army which is to advance in the center to the Vistula River between Warsaw and Sandomierz, while 14th Army on the right moves toward Krakow and the Carpathian flank. The 4th Army from East Prussia is to move south toward Warsaw and the line to the Bug River to the east; 3rd Army is to cross the Polish Corridor and join 4th Army in moving south. The Poles have 23 regular infantry divisions prepared with 7 more assembling, 1 weak armored division and an inadequate supply of artillery. They also have a considerable force of cavalry. The reserve units were only called up on August 30th and are not ready for combat. In the air, almost all the 500 Polish planes are obsolete and prove unable to blunt the impact of the German attack. During the day, the Luftwaffe launches air strikes on Warsaw, Lodz and Krakow. The Polish Commander in Chief, Marshal Rydz-Smigly, has deployed the stronger parts of his army in the northwestern half of the country, including large forces in the Poznan area and the Polish Corridor. He hopes to hold the Germans to only gradual gains. All along the front the superior training, equipment and strength of the Germans quickly brings them the advantage in the first battles. Many Polish units are overrun before their reinforcements from the reserve mobilization can arrive. At sea, as in the air, Polish technical inferiority leads to crushing early defeats. Three of the four Polish destroyers manage to leave for Britain before hostilities begin and later one submarine also escapes. On the first day the old pre-Dreadnought battleship, Schleswig-Holstein, bombards the Polish naval base at Westerplatte.
1939 – President Roosevelt calls for a ban on indiscriminate bombing of civilians and undefended towns.
1940 – Gen. George Marshall was sworn in as chief of staff of US army.
1941 – U.S. assumes responsibility for trans-Atlantic convoys from Argentia, Canada to the meridian of Iceland. The US Atlantic Fleet announces the formation of the Denmark Strait Patrol. Two heavy cruisers and four destroyers are allocated for to the force. The US Navy is now permitted to escort convoys in the Atlantic containing American merchant vessels.
1942 – Establishment of Air Force, Pacific Fleet, VADM Aubrey W. Fitch, USN.
1942 – First Seabee unit to serve in a combat area, 6th Naval Construction Battalion, arrives on Guadalcanal.
1942 – A federal judge in Sacramento, Calif., upheld the wartime detention of Japanese-Americans as well as Japanese nationals.
1942 – Joseph C. Jenkins was given a temporary promotion to warrant officer (Boatswain); becoming the first African-American warrant officer in the Coast Guard.
1942 – The Coast Guard transferred responsibility for running the merchant marine training programs to the War Shipping Administration.
1943 – US forces land on Baker Island and build an air strip within a week. This action is to support the campaign in the Gilbert Islands.
1943 – On Vella Lavella the US force reaches Orete Cove.
1944 – General Eisenhower establishes his headquarters in France as Commander in Chief of the Allied Expeditionary Forces. The forces of US 12th Army Group continue as well. US 1st Army approaches St. Quentin and Cambrai. The US 3rd Army captures Verdun and Comercy.
1944 – French forces of US 7th Army capture Narbonne and St. Agreve.
1944 – CGC Northland captured the crew of a scuttled Nazi supply trawler off Greenland. They had been attempting to establish a weather station on the coast of Greenland.
1945 – Americans received word of Japan’s formal surrender that ended World War II. Because of the time difference, it was Sept. 2 in Tokyo Bay, where the ceremony took place.
1945 – The US Department of War Information releases a report dealing with an expected world-wide coal shortage which is “of such proportions as to leave untouched no home or industry in any country” — with particular reference to the situation in Europe. It notes that the “destruction and disruption of the coal-producing areas of Europe during the war, the military coal needs of the Allied armies during the war, through the succeeding liberation period, and continuing during the occupation and redeployment” have created a situation in which if “no outside imports are forthcoming, the liberated countries — principally France, Holland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Italy and Greece” will be “some 30,000,000 tons below the figure set as their essential requirements for existence during the winter.”
1945 – General MacArthur ends military rule, which has been in force since the American landings on Leyte, because the Philippine government has been re-established and is functioning normally. Control of all areas reverts to the Philippine commonwealth.
1945 – USS Benevolence (AH-13) evacuates civilian internees from 2 internment camps near Tokyo, Japan.
1950 – US Company C, 1st Battalion of the 23rd Infantry Regiment, was almost completely annihilated as North Korean divisions opened an assault on UN lines on the Naktong River. Only Company C and other elements of the 2nd Infantry Division stood in the path.
1950 – US Air Force Captain Iven C. Kincheloe, 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, claimed his fifth air-to-air victory in his F-86 Sabre “Ivan” to become the 10th ace of the Korean War. Kincheloe accounted for four MiGs in six days.
1950 – U.S. Navy Lieutenant Eugene F. Clark was put ashore at Yonghung-do to command an operation to gather intelligence for the impending amphibious assault at Inchon.
1951 – At the Presidio in San Francisco, the US, Australia, and New Zealand signed the ANZUS Pact, a joint security alliance to govern their relations.
1961 – The Soviet Union ended a moratorium on atomic testing with an above-ground nuclear explosion in central Asia.
1966 – In a speech before 100,000 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, President Charles de Gaulle of France denounces U.S. policy in Vietnam and urges the U.S. government to pull its troops out of Southeast Asia. De Gaulle said that negotiations toward a settlement of the war could begin as soon as the United States committed to withdrawing its troops by a certain date. He and Prince Norodom Sihanouk signed a declaration calling for noninterference in the Indochinese peninsula by foreign nations. Three days later, Assistant Secretary of State William Bundy on NBC-TV’s Meet The Press rejected de Gaulle’s proposal and said that the United States intended to withdraw its forces when “the North Vietnamese get out.” During the same speech, he also revealed that the United States now had 25,000 military people in Thailand, principally for air force operations.
1969 – A coup in Libya overthrew the monarchy of King Idris and brought Moammar Gadhafi to power. Gadhafi emerged as leader of the revolutionary government and ordered the closure of a U.S. Air Force base.
1969 – The 1st Marine Regiment was presented the Presidential Unit Citation for Operation Hue City (Vietnam).
1970 – The U.S. Senate rejects the McGovern-Hatfield amendment by a vote of 55-39. This legislation, proposed by Senators George McGovern of South Dakota and Mark Hatfield of Oregon, would have set a deadline of December 31, 1971, for complete withdrawal of American troops from South Vietnam. The Senate also turned down 71-22, a proposal forbidding the Army from sending draftees to Vietnam. Despite the defeat of these two measures, the proposed legislation indicated the growing dissatisfaction with President Nixon’s handling of the war. On this same day, a bipartisan group of 14 senators, including both the majority and minority leaders, signed a letter to the president asking him to propose a comprehensive “standstill cease-fire” in South Vietnam at the ongoing Paris peace talks. Under this plan, the belligerents would stop fighting where they were on the battlefield while a negotiated settlement was hammered out at the talks. This approach had been discussed and rejected earlier in the Nixon White House, but the president, concerned that senators from his own party had signed the letter, had to do something to quell the mounting opposition to the seemingly endless war. Accordingly, on October 7, in a major televised speech, he proposed what he called a “major new initiative for peace” — a new truce plan for stopping the fighting in Vietnam. Although Nixon did not offer any new concessions, his speech got high marks in both Congress and the U.S. media. Unfortunately, the North Vietnamese rejected the overture, insisting that no truce was possible until the Thieu regime agreed to accept the authority of a coalition government in Saigon that “favors peace, independence, and democracy.” Thieu stubbornly refused to participate in any coalition government with the communists. Subsequent negotiations with the North Vietnamese in Paris remained deadlocked and the war continued.
1974 – The SR-71 Blackbird sets (and holds) the record for flying from New York to London in the time of 1 hour, 54 minutes and 56.4 seconds at a speed of 1,435.587 miles per hour (2,310.353 km/h).
1976 – NASA launched its space vehicle S-197.
1977 – The 1st TRS-80 Model I computer was sold.
1977 – Bobby C. Wilks became the first African American in the Coast Guard to reach the rank of captain. He was also the first African American Coast Guard aviator (Coast Guard aviator No. 735). He later became the first African American to command a Coast Guard air station. He accumulated over 6,000 flight hours in 18 different types of aircraft. He was also the project officer for the Sikorsky HH-3 helicopter when they were first delivered in the 1960s.
1979 – Pioneer 11 made the 1st fly-by of Saturn and discovered new moon rings. Ring F of Saturn was discovered by Lonny Baker at NASA’s Ames Research Center from data sent by Pioneer 11.
1982 – The United States Air Force Space Command is established. Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) is a major command of the United States Air Force, with its headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. AFSPC supports U.S. military operations worldwide through the use of many different types of satellite, launch and cyber operations. Operationally, AFSPC is under the Combatant Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command. More than 40,000 people perform AFSPC missions at 88 locations worldwide, including military, civilians and contractors. This includes approximately 22,000 military personnel and 9,000 civilian employees, although their missions overlap. On 1 December 2009, the intercontinental ballistic missile mission was transferred to the new Air Force Global Strike Command. AFSPC gained the cyber operations mission with the stand-up of 24th Air Force under AFSPC in August 2009.
1983 – Soviet jet fighters intercept a Korean Airlines passenger flight in Russian airspace and shoot the plane down, killing 269 passengers and crewmembers. The incident dramatically increased tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States. On September 1, 1983, Korean Airlines (KAL) flight 007 was on the last leg of a flight from New York City to Seoul, with a stopover in Anchorage, Alaska. As it approached its final destination, the plane began to veer far off its normal course. In just a short time, the plane flew into Russian airspace and crossed over the Kamchatka Peninsula, where some top-secret Soviet military installations were known to be located. The Soviets sent two fighters to intercept the plane. According to tapes of the conversations between the fighter pilots and Soviet ground control, the fighters quickly located the KAL flight and tried to make contact with the passenger jet. Failing to receive a response, one of the fighters fired a heat-seeking missile. KAL 007 was hit and plummeted into the Sea of Japan. All 269 people on board were killed. This was not the first time a South Korean flight had run into trouble over Russia. In 1978, the Soviets forced a passenger jet down over Murmansk; two passengers were killed during the emergency landing. In its first public statement concerning the September 1983 incident, the Soviet government merely noted that an unidentified aircraft had been shot down flying over Russian territory. The United States government reacted with horror to the disaster. The Department of State suggested that the Soviets knew the plane was an unarmed civilian passenger aircraft. President Ronald Reagan called the incident a “massacre” and issued a statement in which he declared that the Soviets had turned “against the world and the moral precepts which guide human relations among people everywhere.” Five days after the incident, the Soviets admitted that the plane had indeed been a passenger jet, but that Russian pilots had no way of knowing this. A high ranking Soviet military official stated that the KAL flight had been involved in espionage activities. The Reagan administration responded by suspending all Soviet passenger air service to the United States, and dropped several agreements being negotiated with the Soviets. Despite the heated public rhetoric, many Soviets and American officials and analysts privately agreed that the incident was simply a tragic misunderstanding. The KAL flight had veered into a course that was close to one being simultaneously flown by a U.S. spy plane; perhaps Soviet radar operators mistook the two. In the Soviet Union, several of the military officials responsible for air defense in the Far East were fired or demoted. It has never been determined how the KAL flight ended up nearly 200 miles off course.
1983 – CGC Munro, on a diplomatic mission in Tokyo, joined in the international SAR effort but no survivors of KAL 007 were found. Munro then assisted in the search for the airliner’s black box and then recovered debris. The cutter safely rescued from the sea all four crewmen of a downed LAMPs helicopter from the USS Badger. The Munro received the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation for her part in the SAR and recovery efforts.
1993 – The Pentagon unveiled a five-year defense plan to further shrink the U.S. military in favor of a lean, high-tech force.
1996 – A day after Iraqi forces moved into a Kurdish safe haven, U.S. officials were warning the Baghdad government that the incursion would not go unpunished. That same day, Iraq ordered its troops to withdraw from Irbil.
1997 – In Bosnia several hundred Bosnian Serbs attacked some 300 armed US troops in an effort to take back a key TV transmitter that was seized by the Americans last week. The melee was a standoff.
1999 – Colombia took delivery of 6 refurbished Vietnam-era US military helicopters for use in the drug war.
2000 – Pres. Clinton put the anti-missile national defense system on hold and passed the decision for moving the project forward to his successor.
2000 – In the Philippines Abu Sayyaf rebels demanded $10 million for the release of Jeffrey Schilling and later said that Schilling had begun a hunger strike.
2002 – Secretary of State Colin Powell said the US should first seek a return of UN weapons inspectors to Iraq before taking any further steps.
2002 – Indonesian soldiers battled an armed band in Papua and killed one insurgent, near where gunmen shot dead three people, including two U.S. school teachers, and wounded at least 10 in an ambush the previous day.
2003 – Suspected Taliban fighters attacked a government checkpoint and ambushed another group of Afghan soldiers along the main road linking the south with the capital, killing at least eight soldiers over the last 2 days.
2003 – The U.S.-picked Iraqi Governing Council named a new Cabinet.
2003 – Arab TV broadcast an audiotape purportedly from Saddam Hussein denying any involvement in a bombing in Najaf, Iraq, that killed a beloved Shiite cleric.
2004 – Accused U.S. Army deserter Charles Jenkins said he will surrender to the US to face charges that have dogged him since he vanished from his unit in South Korea nearly 40 years.
2004 – The U.N. atomic watchdog agency said Iran has announced plans to turn tons of uranium into a substance that can be used to make nuclear weapons.
2004 – Pakistani officials said security forces have arrested two “important” al Qaeda operatives, including an Egyptian and a Saudi national.
2005– The Battle of Tal Afar was a military offensive conducted by the United States Army and supported by Iraqi forces, against Al Qaeda insurgents in the city of Tal Afar, Iraq in response to the growing increase of insurgent attacks against U.S. and Iraqi positions in the area. The offensive was launched as a joint United States Army and New Iraqi Army operation to destroy suspected insurgents havens and base of operations in Tal Afar. The initial fighting was heavy, but most of the city was secured on September 3. Although sporadic fighting and attacks would continue through most of September until the operation was declared finished on September 18.
2008 – CGC Dallas visited the port of Sevastopol, Ukraine during a historic voyage through the Black Sea that included delivering relief supplies to Georgia.
2008 – The U.S. military hands control of Al Anbar Governorate over to the Iraqi government.
2010 – The name “Operation Iraqi Freedom” is replaced by “Operation New Dawn”.

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