1788 – South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify the U. S. Constitution.
1850 – Navy sends USS Advance and USS Rescue to attempt rescue of Sir John Franklin’s expedition, lost in Arctic.
1861 – Virginia citizens voted 3 to 1 in favor of secession, becoming the last Confederate state.
1861 – Pro Union and pro Confederate forces clashed in Clarksburg, West Virginia.
1861 – U.S.S. Mississippi. Flag Officer William Mervine, was compelled to put back into Boston for repairs because of sabotage damage to her condensers.
1862 – Stonewall Jackson took Fort Royal, Virginia, in the Valley Campaign.
1865 – The American flag was flown at full staff over White House for the 1st time since Lincoln was shot. Union Army’s Grand Review began in Washington DC.
1881 – Kit Carson, frontiersman, died.
1899 – Marines arrived to secure Cavite Naval Base, Philippines.
1908 – Part of the Great White Fleet arrived in Puget Sound, Washington.
1930 – Lieutenant Commander Elmer F. Stone received a medal from Congress for extraordinary achievement in making the first successful trans-Atlantic flight in 1919. Stone was the pilot of the Navy’s NC-4.
1939 – The US submarine Squalus sank off the coast of New Hampshire. A diving bell designed by Charles “Swede” Momsen (d.1967) brought 33 survivors (26 perished) safely to the surface. This was the first successful undersea rescue operation to retrieve a sunken submarine crew
1944 – The US 6th Corps in the Anzio beachhead launches an attack on Cisterna. German resistance results in high Allied casualties. Meanwhile, the US 5th Army continues offensive operations. US 2nd Corps patrols reach Terracina. Both the French Expeditionary Corps and the Canadian 1st Corps penetrate the German-held Senger Line. The Canadians break through by the end of the day.
1944 – American forces encounter heavy resistance in their advance westward from Arare toward Sarmi. At Aitape, Japanese attacks continue to force the Americans to fall back.
1944 – US Task Group 58.2 (Admiral Montgomery) launches air raids on Japanese positions on Wake Island.
1945 – American attacks bring shipping at Yokohama to a halt.
1945 – On Okinawa, after occupying Naha, the US 6th Marine Division (part of US 3rd Amphibious Corps) encounters heavy Japanese resistance to attempts to advance further south.
1945 – At Flensburg, the successor government of the Third Reich, including Karl Donitz, the nominal Fuhrer, as well as the German military leadership, are all arrested on the orders of General Eisenhower. At Luneburg, Heinrich Himmler commits suicide while being examined by a doctor at the headquarters of the British 2nd Army. He had been stripped and searched but bit down on a hidden phial of cyanide when the doctor attempted to stick a finger in his mouth. At St. Johann, US troops uncover $4 million in mixed currencies believed to belong to Himmler. In Bavaria, the former leading Nazi anti-Semitic propagandist, Julius Streicher, is arrested by Americans.
1951 – Eighth Army advanced toward the Kansas and Wyoming Lines to the base of the Iron Triangle against stiffening enemy resistance. By the end of May, the communists had suffered 17,000 killed and an equal number were taken prisoner.
1962 – Launch of Aurora 7 (Mercury 7), piloted by LCDR Malcolm Scott Carpenter, USN, who completed 3 orbits in 4 hours, 56 minutes at an altitude up to 166.8 statute miles at 17,549 mph. He was picked up by HSS-2 helicopters from USS Intrepid (CVS-11). The capsule was recovered by USS John R. Pierce (DD-753).
1971 – North Vietnamese demolition experts infiltrate the major U.S. air base at Cam Ranh Bay, blowing up six tanks of aviation fuel, which resulted in the loss of about 1.5 million gallons. U.S. commander Creighton Abrams criticized the inadequate security.
1988 – The V-22 Osprey, the world’s first production tilt-rotor aircraft, made its debut during rollout ceremonies at Bell Helicopter Textron’s Arlington, Texas, facility. More than 1,000 representatives from the military, industry, and media, gathered to hear various speakers, including Gen Alfred Gray, Commandant of the Marine Corps, praise the versatile rotor craft designed to meet the needs of 21st Century battlefields.
1992 – Pres. Bush ordered the Coast Guard to intercept boats with Haitian refugees.
1992 – The United States and four former Soviet republics signed an agreement in Lisbon, Portugal, to implement the START missile-reduction treaty that had been agreed to by the Soviet Union prior to its dissolution.
1995 – The nine-story hulk of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was demolished. That day, James Nichols, whose brother and a friend were charged in the Oklahoma bombing, was released from federal custody.
1999 – In Iraq US planes bombed Iraqi defense systems.
2001 – Iraq threatens to halt oil exports if a British-US proposed Security Council resolution on a new sanctions regime is enacted.
2002 – The Pentagon reported that the Defense Dept. sprayed live nerve and biological agents over Navy ships in 6 six tests between 1964-1968. The Project shipboard Hazard and Defense (SHAD) experiments included the use of sarin and VX nerve gases and the staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB).
2002 – The UN voted to extend the mandate for an int’l. force in Afghanistan for 6 months but with no expansion of troops or presence beyond Kabul.
2003 – The Iraqi Army is disbanded.
2004 – In Iraq US troops battled fighters loyal to a radical Muslim cleric in his stronghold of Kufa, and at least 32 insurgents were killed. Gunmen killed a police captain and a university student who were headed by car to Baghdad from Baqouba. Insurants loyal to al-Sadr gave up control of central Karbala.