This Day in U.S. Military History…… September 18

18 September
1502 – Christopher Columbus landed at Costa Rica on his 4th & last voyage.
1634 – Anne Hutchinson, the first female religious leader in American colonies, arrived at the Massachusetts Bay Colony with her family. She preached that faith alone was sufficient for salvation. As her following grew, she was brought to trial and found guilty of heresy against Puritan orthodoxy and banished from Massachusetts. She left with 70 followers to Providence, Rhode Island, Roger Williams’s colony based on religious freedom.
1679 – New Hampshire became a county of Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1755 – Ft. Ticonderoga was established in NY.
1758 – James Abercromby was replaced as supreme commander of British forces after his defeat by French commander, the Marquis of Montcalm, at Fort Ticonderoga during the French and Indian War.
1759 – Quebec surrendered to the British and the Battle of Quebec ended. The French surrendered to the British after their defeat on the Plains of Abraham.
1789 – It was bound to happen sometime, and on September 18, 1789, with the nation’s finances in something of a mess, the government took out its first loan. Under the supervision of newly appointed Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton, the government took a little under a year to pay back the loan of $191,608.81.
1793 – President George Washington laid the foundation stone for the U.S. Capitol on Jenkins Hill.
1850 – The U.S. Congress passes the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. The Fugitive Slave Law or Fugitive Slave Act was passed by the United States Congress as part of the Compromise of 1850 between Southern slave-holding interests and Northern Free-Soilers. This was one of the most controversial elements of the 1850 compromise and heightened Northern fears of a “slave power conspiracy”. It required that all escaped slaves were, upon capture, to be returned to their masters and that officials and citizens of free states had to cooperate in this law. Abolitionists nicknamed it the “Bloodhound Law” for the dogs that were used to track down runaway slaves.
1862 – Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s army pulls away from Antietam Creek, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, and heads back to Virginia. The day before, Lee’s force had engaged in the biggest one-day battle of the Civil War against the army of General George B. McClellan. The armies struggled to a standstill, but the magnitude of losses forced Lee to abandon his invasion of Maryland. The significance of the battle was not Lee’s withdrawal, but McClellan’s lack of pursuit. When Lee settled into a defensive line above Antietam Creek on September 16, he had only about 43,000 troops. McClellan had around 50,000 in position on September 17, with many more on the way. On September 18, the armies remained in their positions without fighting. By this point, Lee was highly vulnerable. His army had its back to the Potomac River, just a few miles away, and a quarter of his force had been lost in the previous day’s battle. And after more than two weeks of marching, his men were tired. McClellan, on the other hand, welcomed an additional 12,000 troops on September 18, with another 24,000 who had seen little or no action the day before, to join his original force. But, although he outnumbered Lee’s troops by almost three times, McClellan did not pursue Lee. In fact, despite constant urging from President Lincoln and Chief of Staff Henry Halleck, McClellan did not move toward Virginia for over a month. McClellan overestimated the size of Lee’s force, assuming that Lee had nearly 100,000 troops in his command, and insisted that the fall of Harpers Ferry, Virginia, on September 15 allowed an additional 40,000 Confederate troops—in his inflated estimation—to fight at Antietam. It should be noted that while McClellan’s soldiers were extremely fatigued after the Battle of Antietam, which was the bloodiest day of the war, it would be difficult to rally them for another attack; but certainly not impossible. Instead, Lee was allowed to escape with his command intact. A chance to destroy the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia was lost, and the war lasted another two and a half years.
1863 – Union cavalry troops clashed with a group of Confederates at Chickamauga Creek.
1864 – Battle of Martinsburg WV.
1873 – The U.S. bank Jay Cooke & Company declares bankruptcy, triggering a series of bank failures, the beginning of the Panic of 1873. Known as the Long Depression in Europe where it began, the Panic of 1873 was a financial crisis that triggered a depression that lasted from 1873 until 1879, and even longer in some countries. The Panic was known as the “Great Depression” until the events in the early 1930s took precedence. The Panic of 1873 and the subsequent depression had several underlying causes, of which economic historians debate the relative importance. Post-war inflation, rampant speculative investments (overwhelmingly in railroads), a large trade deficit, ripples from economic dislocation in Europe resulting from the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), property losses in the Chicago (1871) and Boston (1872) fires, and other factors put a massive strain on bank reserves, which plummeted in New York City during September and October 1873 from $50 million to $17 million.
1921 – John Glenn, astronaut, was born.
1924 – After seven years of occupation, the last Marines departed the Dominican Republic.
1931 – The Mukden Incident was initiated by the Japanese Kwangtung Army in Mukden. It involved an explosion along the Japanese-controlled South Manchurian Railway. It was soon followed by the Japanese invasion of Manchuria and the eventual establishment of the Japanese-dominated state of Manchukuo. The neutrality of the area, and the ability of Japan to defend its colony in Korea, was threatened in the 1920s by efforts at unification of China. Within three months Japanese troops had spread out throughout Manchuria, an occupation that finally ended at the conclusion of the Second World War in 1945.
1936 – Squadron 40-T, based in the Mediterranean, established to protect U.S. interests and citizens around Iberian peninsula throughout the Spanish Civil War.
1939 – President Roosevelt directs enlistment of 2,000 new Coast Guardsmen and opens two new training stations.
1941 – U.S. Navy ships escort eastbound British trans-Atlantic convoy for first time (Convoy HX-150). Although the U.S. Navy ships joined HX-150, which left port escorted by British ships on 16th, on night of 17 September, the official escort duty began on 18th.
1941 – President Roosevelt requests an additional $5,985,000,000 for Lend-Lease Aid to Britain from Congress.
1941 – Phase 1 of the combined Second and Third Army Maneuvers opens when the ‘Red Army’ attacks the ‘Blue Army’ southeast of Shreveport. This set of wargames, along with those held by the First Army in the Carolina’s in November, mark the largest such operations ever held by the U.S. Army in peacetime. These maneuvers included a total of 15 Army divisions, ten of which were from the Guard; they were: 27th (NY), 31st (AL, FL, LA, MS) {the only Guard division to also participate in the First Army Maneuvers in the Carolina’s later this autumn}, 32nd (MI, WI), 33rd (IL), 34th (IA, MN, ND, SD), 35th (KS, MO, NE), 36th (TX), 37th (OH), 38th (IN, KY, WV), 45th (AZ, CO, NM, OK). In addition, twelve Guard aerial observation squadrons and numerous other non-divisional units participated.
1942 – On Guadalcanal, six transports arrive bringing supplies and the US 7th Marine Regiment. The American base now has 23,000 men and adequate supplies.
1943 – American planes from the carriers Lexington, Princeton and Belleau Wood attack the island of Tarawa. Admiral Pownall commands the carrier force.
1944 – American B-17 bombers drop 1284 containers of supplies to the embattled Polish Home Army (AK) in Warsaw. Only 228 fall on territory still controlled by the Poles. This is the only major supply drop, by the western Allies, allowed by the Soviets. The US planes land on Soviet territory after completing their mission.
1944 – Operation Market Garden continues. The British 30th Corps reaches the troops of the US 101st Airborne Division at Eindhoven and Veghel. There is increasing resistance from German forces. To the north, the US 82nd and British 1st Airborne Divisions continue to resist.
1944 – On Peleliu, American marines attempt to expand their attacks on Mount Umurgrobol. Japanese forces repulse the marines with heavy losses. On Angaur, US forces advance toward the center of the island. Japanese forces harass the movement.
1945 – Gen. Douglas MacArthur moves his command headquarters to Tokyo, as he prepares for his new role as architect of a democratic and capitalist postwar Japan. Japan had had a long history of its foreign policy being dominated by the military, as evidenced by Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoye’s failed attempts to reform his government and being virtually pushed out of power by career army officer Hideki Tojo. MacArthur was given the task of overseeing the regeneration of a Japan shorn of its imperial past. As humiliating as it would be for the defeated Japanese, the supreme allied commander in the South Pacific would lay the groundwork for Japan’s rebirth as an economic global superpower. The career of Douglas MacArthur is composed of one striking achievement after another. When he graduated from West Point, only one other person, Robert E. Lee, had exceeded MacArthur’s performance, in terms of awards and average, in the institution’s history. His performance in World War I, during combat in France, won him decorations for valor and resulted in his becoming the youngest general in the Army at the time. He retired from the Army in 1934, only to be appointed head of the Philippine Army by its president (the Philippines had U.S. Commonwealth status at the time). When World War II broke out, MacArthur was called back to active service-as commanding general of the U.S. Army in the Far East. Because of MacArthur’s time in the Far East, and the awesome respect he commanded in the Philippines, his judgment had become somewhat distorted and his vision of U.S. military strategy as a whole myopic. He was convinced that he could defeat Japan if it invaded the Philippines. In the long term, he was correct. But in the short term, the United States suffered disastrous defeats at Bataan and Corregidor. By the time U.S. forces were forced to surrender, he had already shipped out, on orders from President Roosevelt. As he left, he uttered his immortal line, “I shall return.” Refusing to admit defeat, MacArthur was awarded supreme command in the Southwest Pacific, capturing New Guinea from the Japanese with an innovative “leap frog” strategy. True to his word, he returned to the Philippines in October 1944. With the help of the U.S. Navy, which succeeded in destroying the Japanese fleet, leaving the Japanese garrisons on the islands without reinforcements, the Army defeated adamantine Japanese resistance. On March 3, 1945, MacArthur handed control of the Philippine capital back to its president. On September 2, 1945, MacArthur signed the instrument of surrender on behalf of the victorious Allies, aboard the USS Missouri, docked in Tokyo Bay. But the man who oversaw Japan’s defeat was about to put it on the road to its own kind of victory.
1947 – The National Security Act went into effect. It created a Cabinet secretary of defense and unified the Army, Navy and newly formed Air Force into a National Military Establishment. The act established the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
1947 – The U.S. Air Force was formed as a separate military service out of the old Army Air Corps. The Air Force’s motto is: “Uno Ab Alto” (One over all). At the same time the Air National Guard is created as a separate reserve component under control of the National Guard Bureau.
1950 – Kimpo Airfield, Korea, was up and running. The first aircraft to land on the airfield was a helicopter piloted by Marine Corps Captain Victor A. Armstrong.
1954 – The US, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, France, Thailand and the Philippines signed a treaty providing for the creation of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), a collective defense pact. The organization was created in response to events in Korea and Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos).The pack formally ended in 1977.
1959 – The US Navy’s Vanguard 3 is launched into Earth orbit. The satellite was launched from the Eastern Test Range into a geocentric orbit. The objectives of the flight were to measure the Earth’s magnetic field, the solar X-ray radiation and its effects on the Earth’s atmosphere, and the near-earth micrometeoroid environment. Instrumentation included a proton magnetometer, X-ray ionization chambers, and various micrometeoroid detectors. The spacecraft was a 50.8-cm-diameter magnesium sphere. The magnetometer was housed in a glass fiber phenolic resin conical tube attached to the sphere. Data transmission stopped on December 11, 1959, after 84 days of operation. The data obtained provided a comprehensive survey of the Earth’s magnetic field over the area covered, defined the lower edge of the Van Allen radiation belt, and provided a count of micrometeoroid impacts. Vanguard 3 has an expected orbital lifetime of 300 years.
1964 – South Vietnamese officials claim that two companies from the North Vietnamese army have invaded South Vietnam. A battle resulted in Quang Tri Province, just south of the Demilitarized Zone, but the North Vietnamese forces were defeated with heavy casualties. Since North Vietnamese main force units had not been seen in South Vietnam before, U.S. military advisers questioned whether these were actually North Vietnamese troops, but in fact Hanoi had ordered its forces to begin infiltrating to the South. This marked a major change in the tempo and scope of the war in South Vietnam and resulted in President Lyndon Johnson committing U.S. combat troops. North Vietnamese forces and U.S. troops clashed for the first time in November 1965, when units from the newly arrived 1st Cavalry Division engaged several North Vietnamese regiments in the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley in the Central Highlands.
1977 – Voyager I takes three images that were combined into the first photograph of the Earth and the Moon together.

1984 – Retired Air Force COL, Joseph William Kittinger II completes the first solo gas balloon crossing of the Atlantic.
1990 – A new 40-acre training facility for Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) was dedicated at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, by General Alfred M. Gray, Commandant of the Marine Corps.
1991 – Saying he was “pretty fed up,” President Bush said he would send warplanes to escort U.N. helicopters searching for hidden Iraqi weapons if Iraqi President Saddam Hussein continued to impede weapons inspectors.
1991 – The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite was deployed from the space shuttle Discovery. It measured the ozone hole for the next decade. Operations of the satellite ceased in 2001 due to NASA economics.
1991 – The space shuttle Discovery landed in California, ending a five-day mission.
1994 – Haiti’s military leaders agreed to an Oct. 15 departure deadline, thereby averting a U.S.-led invasion to force them from power.
1998 – ICANN is formed. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is a nonprofit organization that is responsible for the coordination of maintenance and methodology of several databases of unique identifiers related to the namespaces of the Internet, and ensuring the network’s stable and secure operation. Most visibly, much of its work has concerned the Internet’s global Domain Name System, including policy development for internationalization of the DNS system, introduction of new generic top-level domains (TLDs), and the operation of root name servers. The numbering facilities ICANN manages include the Internet Protocol address spaces for IPv4 and IPv6, and assignment of address blocks to regional Internet registries. ICANN also maintains registries of Internet protocol identifiers. ICANN performs the actual technical maintenance work of the central Internet address pools and DNS Root registries pursuant to the IANA function contract. ICANN’s primary principles of operation have been described as helping preserve the operational stability of the Internet; to promote competition; to achieve broad representation of the global Internet community; and to develop policies appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes. ICANN was incorporated on September 30, 1998. It is headquartered in the Playa Vista section of Los Angeles, California.
1999 – In Kosovo the KLA rejected a NATO plan to transform it into a small civil defense groups one day before the deadline for demobilization.
2000 – In Jordan a military tribunal sentenced 6 Muslim militants to death for planned terrorist attacks against US and Israeli targets in Jordan. 4 of the 6 were at large and tried in absentia.
2001 – A week after the Sept. 11 attacks, President George W. Bush said he hoped to “rally the world” in the battle against terrorism and predicted that all “people who love freedom” would join. Pres. Bush won a strong commitment from French Pres. Jacques Chirac to fight terrorism.
2001 – It was reported that more than 4 planes may have been targeted by hijackers on Sep 11.
2001 – Letters postmarked in Trenton, N.J., and later tested positive for anthrax, were sent to the New York Post and NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw.
2002 – The Bush administration pressed Congress to take the lead in authorizing force against Iraq, with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld asserting, “It serves no U.S. or U.N. purpose to give Saddam Hussein excuses for further delay.”
2003 – In Afghanistan US forces killed at least 11 Taliban in fighting over the last 3 days as part of operation “Mountain Viper,” which has been going on for more than two weeks. US helicopters attacked a tent in southern Afghanistan, killing two Taliban militants and 10 nomadic tribesmen after the Taliban sought shelter there. Local Taliban commander, Mullah Mohammed Gul Niazi, was among the dead.
2004 – In Afghanistan 4 gunmen riding two motorcycles ambushed the car of a militia commander in Helmand province, killing him and wounding two of his guards.
2004 – India said the US had lifted export restrictions on equipment for India’s commercial space program and nuclear power facilities.
2004 – The UN atomic watchdog agency demanded Iran suspend all uranium enrichment activities and set a November timetable for compliance.
2004 – Militants threatened to decapitate two Americans and a Briton being held hostage unless their demands were met within 48 hours. In Kirkuk a car bomb near a crowd of recruits killed 19 people and wounded 67.
2013 – Cygnus 1 (also known as Orbital Sciences COTS Demo Flight) launches the first planned flight of the Orbital Sciences’ unmanned resupply spacecraft Cygnus, its first flight to the International Space Station and the second launch of the company’s Antares launch vehicle. The flight is under contract to NASA as Cygnus’ demonstration mission in the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. The launch site is MARS on the Delmarva Peninsula in Virginia.
2014 – The United States Senate passes a budget measure authorizing President Barack Obama to equip and train moderate rebels to fight ISIL in Syria.
2014 – The President of Ukraine visits the United States to seek assistance in combating separatists in eastern Ukraine.

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