** TODAY IN MILITARY HISTORY **

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:20 am
June 25th ~ {continued...}

1964 – North Vietnamese Foreign Minister Xuan Thuy writes to Communist China and other signers of the Geneva Agreements and urges them ‘to demand that the US government give up its…provocation and sabotage against North Vietnam.’

1965 – President Johnson appeals to the United nations to persuade North Vietnam to negotiate a peace.

1965 – Two Viet Cong terrorist bombs rip through a floating restaurant on the Saigon River. Thirty-one people, including nine Americans, were killed in the explosions. Dozens of other diners were wounded, including 11 Americans.

1967 – Mohammed Ali (Cassius Clay) was sentenced to 5 years for draft evasion.

1969 – The U.S. Navy turns 64 river patrol gunboats valued at $18.2 million over to the South Vietnamese Navy in what is described as the largest single transfer of military equipment in the war thus far. The transfer raised the total number of boats in the South Vietnamese Navy to more than 600. This was part of the “Vietnamization” program, which President Richard Nixon initiated to increase the fighting capability of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces (to include the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps) so that they could assume more responsibility for the war. Vietnamization included the provision of new equipment and weapons and an intensified advisory effort.

1971 – As announced by the North Vietnamese Paris peace talks delegation, the Pathet Lao renew their peace plan proposal which includes an immediate end to US military involvement and bombing raids in Laos. Laotian Premier Souvanna Phouma rejects the plan by calling for Vientiane as the site of the proposed Laotian peace talks and by calling for the prior withdrawal of North Vietnamese troops from Laos.

1981 – The Supreme Court decided that male-only draft registration was constitutional.

1981 – HMH-464 at MCAS New River, North Carolina, received its first CH-53E “Super Stallion.”

1986 – Congress approved $100 million in aid to the Contras fighting in Nicaragua.

1988 – American-born Mildred Gillars, better known during World War II as “Axis Sally” for her Nazi propaganda broadcasts, died in Columbus, Ohio, at age 87. Gillars had served 12 years in prison for treason.

1992 – The space shuttle Columbia, carrying seven astronauts, blasted off on a two-week mission.

1996 – At least 23 Americans were killed at a US base near Dhahran and another 105 suffered serious injuries from a truck bomb estimated at 5,000 pounds at the Khobar Towers apartment complex adjacent to King Abdul Aziz Air Base. About 5,000 US troops served in Saudi Arabia. US, French and British aircraft resumed flying 100 missions per day over southern Iraz from Saudi Arabia. In 1997 intelligence information tied a senior Iranian intelligence officer to Hani Abd Rahim Sayegh, a man who fled Saudi Arabia shortly after the bombing.

In 1999 the US threatened was set to deport Hani al-Sayegh to Saudi Arabia. Sayegh feared torture and asked for US asylum. Sayegh was deported Oct 10. In 2000 Ahmad Behbahani told a 60 Minutes journalist from a refugee camp in Turkey that he proposed the Pan Am operation and coordinated the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. In 2001, 13 Saudis and one Lebanese man were indicted for the bombing that killed 19 American airmen and wounded nearly 400 others.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:23 am
June 25th ~ {continued...}

1996 – Later reports said that Osama bin Laden, an exiled Saudi billionaire, bankrolled the bombing of the US base that killed 19 US servicemen. He was an advocate of strict Islamic rule and had said that he would campaign to overthrow the Saudi royal family. He had lived in the Sudan for 5 1/2 years and recently moved to Afghanistan and was accepted by the Taliban. In 1998 a senior Saudi official absolved Iran of any involvement in the bombing. In 2000 it was reported that the Bin Laden family firm was awarded the contract to rebuild the Khobar Towers.

1998 – Albanian security personnel (SHIK) under CIA guidance arrested Shawki Salama Attiya, a Tirana cell forger. Over the next month they made successful raids on more suspected members of the Egyptian Jihad terrorist organization. The suspected terrorists were turned over to anti-terrorist officials in Egypt, where they delivered forced confessions following torture.

1999 – US Marines killed one person following an attack southeast of Pristina.

2000 – In Puerto Rico US Navy bombing in Vieques resumed with nonexplosive dummy bombs after 37 demonstrators were arrested. A fatal accident had prompted a yearlong occupation by protesters.

2001 – In southern Iraq a US Navy fighter jet attacked an anti-aircraft site in response to artillery fire.

2001 – In Skopje, Macedonia, rioting erupted after US troops escorted rebels away from the capital.

2002 – A federal judge in Alexandria, Va., refused to accept a no-contest plea from Zacarias Moussaoui, accused of conspiracy in the Sept. 11 attacks, and instead entered an innocent plea on his behalf.

2002 – The Defense Department told Congress it planned to supply the Canadian navy with Raytheon Co. -built SM-2 Standard surface-to-air missiles and related gear valued at up to $19 million.

2002 – U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation Michael Jackson, joined by U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Thomas H. Collins, announced the award of the largest acquisition in the history of the Coast Guard. The Integrated Deepwater System (IDS) contract was awarded to Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS), a joint venture established by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. The Deepwater contract had the potential to extend up to 30 years, with an approximate value of $17 billion.

At full implementation, the interoperable ICGS system comprised three classes of new cutters and their associated small boats, a new fixed-wing manned aircraft fleet, a combination of new and upgraded helicopters, and both cutter-based and land-based unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). All of these highly capable assets were to be linked with Command, Control, Communications and Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems, and were supported by an integrated logistics regime.

2002 – In Morocco authorities have arrested three more people in a widening investigation into the Moroccan tendrils of al-Qaida, bringing the number of suspects held here to 10, including three Saudis.

2004 – In southern Afghanistan suspected Taliban gunmen sprayed a van with bullets after finding that occupants had registered to vote. At least 10 people were killed.

2004 – US air strikes hit Fallujah and up to 25 people were killed. Al-Sadr announced a unilateral cease fire.

2011 – U.S. Predator drones attacked a Shabaab training camp south of Kismayo. Ibrahim al-Afghani, a senior al Shabaab leader was rumored to be killed in the strike.

2014 – Al-Nusra Front’s branch in the Syrian town of al-Bukamal pledged loyalty to ISIS, thus bringing to a close months of fighting between the two groups.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:45 am
June 26th ~

1604 – French explorer Samuel de Champlain, Pierre Dugua and 77 others landed on the island of St. Croix and made friends with the native Passamaquoddy Indians. It later became part of Maine on the US-Canadian border.

1742 – Arthur Middleton, signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born.

1804 – The Lewis and Clark Expedition reached the mouth of the Kansas River after completing a westward trek of nearly 400 river miles.

1819 – Abner Doubleday (d.1893), Civil War General, was born. He was incorrectly credited with inventing American baseball.

1862 – Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia strikes Union General George B. McClellan’s Army of the Potomac, beginning the Seven Days’ Battles. Although the Confederates sustained heavy losses and did not succeed in decisively defeating the Yankees, the battle had unnerved McClellan. During the next week, Lee drove him from the outskirts of Richmond back to his base on the James River. This was Lee’s first battle as commander of the army.

On June 1, 1862, he had replaced Joseph Johnston, who was severely wounded at the Battle of Fair Oaks. McClellan’s offensive had stalled just five miles from Richmond, and his army remained there until late June. During that time, General J.E.B. Stuart and his Rebel cavalry made a spectacular ride around McClellan’s force, bringing back information that indicated that McClellan’s right flank was “in the air,” or unprotected by natural barriers.

Lee informed his commanders on June 23rd of his intention to attack the flank, occupied by Fitz John Porter’s V corps, which was separated from the rest of the Union army by the Chickahominy River. This was a bold move—because it meant leaving a skeleton force to face the rest of McClellan’s army south of the Chickahominy—and an early indication of Lee’s audacious style. But the attack did not go as planned.

McClellan, alerted to the vulnerability of his flanks by Stuart’s ride two weeks prior, had shored up his left, and moved Porter’s men to high ground with a deep creek in front of them. Lee’s plan had called for several smaller forces to overwhelm Porter’s men, but it required precise timing. When the assault came, the coordination did not materialize. A major problem, among others, was General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s corps, which was slow to move into place. Jackson was just back from his brilliant campaign in the Shenandoah Valley, but he showed none of his previous vigor and speed at Mechanicsville. Lee planned to bring about 55,000 troops against Porter, but the mistakes made by Jackson and others meant there were only about 11,000. Lee lost 1,475 men; Union losses were only 361.

But Lee had stunned McClellan, who then began to fall back away from Richmond. Lee continued to hammer on McClellan for the next week, and the Yankees retreated to the James River. McClellan did not threaten Richmond again, and he eventually sailed his army back to Washington.

1863 – Jubal Early and his Confederate forces moved into Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:47 am
June 26th ~ {continued...}

1863 – Rear Admiral Andrew Hull Foote died in New York City of the wound received while brilliantly leading the naval forces on the Western rivers. The next day the Navy Department announced: ‘A gallant and distinguished naval officer is lost to the country. The hero of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, the daring and inimitable spirit that created and led to successive victories the Mississippi Flotilla, the heroic Christian sailor, who in the China Seas and on the coast of Africa, as well as the great interior rivers of our country, sustained with unfaltering fidelity and devotion the honor of our flag and the causes of the Union-Rear-Admiral Andrew Hull Foote-is no more. . . . Appreciating his virtues and his services, a grateful country had rendered him while living its willing honors, and will mourn his death.”

1876 – Following Lieutenant Colonel George Custer’s death the previous day in the Battle of the Little Big Horn, Major Marcus Reno takes command of the surviving soldiers of the 7th Cavalry. A West Point graduate who fought for the North during the Civil War, Marcus Reno was an experienced soldier and officer. Yet, despite having been sent west in 1868 as a major in Custer’s 7th Cavalry, Reno had never actually fought any Indians prior to the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

On June 25, 1876, Custer’s scouts reported they had located a gigantic village of Sioux and Cheyenne Indians encamped nearby along the banks of the Little Big Horn River in southern Montana. Believing that his scouts must have grossly overestimated the size of the village, Custer immediately prepared to attack. He divided the 600 soldiers of the 7th Cavalry into four battalions, placing Reno in command of one of them. Custer and Reno led their two battalions down a small creek (later called Reno Creek) toward the Little Big Horn River. A third battalion commanded by Captain Frederick Benteen scouted the hills to the west, while the fourth stayed in the rear to protect the army’s horses.

About three or four miles from the Little Big Horn, Custer and Reno spotted a group of about 50 Sioux and Cheyenne warriors. Fearing that the village ahead was already fleeing, Custer ordered Reno and his battalion to give pursuit, promising “the whole outfit” would soon support him. Reno and his men quickly rode down the valley and crossed the Little Big Horn. As they charged toward the Indian village, they began to encounter growing numbers of warriors mounting a strong defense. Uncertain of what lay ahead, Reno called a halt and ordered his men to dismount and fight on foot. Within minutes, he was under attack by a massive force of Sioux and Cheyenne braves.

With no sign of the support Custer had promised, Reno decided he had no choice but to retreat and try to regain a defensible position on the high bluffs across the river. Some witnesses later said Reno panicked at this point and at least temporarily gave conflicting and confused orders. In any event, the retreat quickly became chaotic, allowing the Indians to easily pick off about one third of Reno’s troops before they reached the bluffs.

There, Benteen and his battalion soon joined them. Benteen had received a dispatch from Custer downstream ordering the troops to hasten forward, but there was considerable disagreement among the officers about what to do. Their battalions had been badly hurt, and they needed time to regroup. Finally, the officers led the troops downstream toward the sound of heavy gunfire, but the presence of many wounded slowed their advance. Unbeknownst to Reno and Benteen, by this point the Indians had already wiped out Custer’s battalion. The braves now rushed upstream to attack the advancing soldiers, forcing them to retreat to their entrenched positions on the bluffs.

The soldiers held off the Indians for another three hours of heavy fighting. When darkness fell, the Indians withdrew. The following day, June 26th, Reno took formal command of the remnants of the 7th Cavalry, and he succeeded in fighting a holding action until the Indians decided to withdraw around noon.

On June 27th, fresh troops under General Terry arrived, and the soldiers began the grisly task of identifying and burying the dead. In the postmortem of the disastrous battle, some refused to believe that the magnificent Custer could have been responsible and they blamed Reno. At Reno’s request, in early 1879 the army staged a formal inquiry into the battle.

After more than 26 days of testimony, a panel of three officers exonerated Reno. They ruled that he had fought desperately and bravely to keep his own battalion from being wiped out during the battle, and he could not be blamed for failing to go to Custer’s aid. Some civilian critics labeled the ruling a whitewash, and Reno never managed fully to redeem himself in their eyes.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:49 am
June 26th ~ {continued...}

1884 – Congress authorizes commissioning of Naval Academy graduates as ensigns.

1891 – The Corps established its first post at Port Royal, South Carolina, later known as Parris Island.

1900 – The United States announced it would send troops to fight against the Boxer rebellion in China.

1900 – A commission that included Dr. Walter Reed began the fight against the deadly disease yellow fever.

1917 – During World War I, the first 14,000 U.S. infantry troops land in France at the port of Saint Nazaire. The landing site had been kept secret because of the menace of German submarines, but by the time the Americans had lined up to take their first salute on French soil, an enthusiastic crowd had gathered to welcome them. However, the “Doughboys,” as the British referred to the green American troops, were untrained, ill-equipped, and far from ready for the difficulties of fighting along the Western Front. One of U.S. General John J. Pershing’s first duties as commander of the American Expeditionary Force was to set up training camps in France and establish communication and supply networks.

Four months later, on October 21st, the first Americans entered combat when units from the U.S. Army’s First Division were assigned to Allied trenches in the Luneville sector near Nancy, France. Each American unit was attached to a corresponding French unit. Two days later, Corporal Robert Bralet of the Sixth Artillery became the first U.S. soldier to fire a shot in the war when he discharged a French 75mm gun into a German trench a half mile away.

On November 2nd, Corporal James Gresham and privates Thomas Enright and Merle Hay of the 16th Infantry became the first American soldiers to die when Germans raided their trenches near Bathelemont, France. After four years of bloody stalemate along the Western Front, the entrance of America’s well-supplied forces into the conflict was a major turning point in the war. When the war finally ended on November 11, 1918, more than two million American soldiers had served on the battlefields of Western Europe, and more than 50,000 of these men had lost their lives.

1918 – At Belleau Woods, France after beating off some early morning counterattacks, Major Maurice Shearer sends signal, “Woods now entirely -US Marine Corps.”

1924 – After eight years of occupation, American troops left the Dominican Republic.

1926 – A memorial to the first U.S. troops in France was unveiled at St. Nazaire.

1927 – Direct commercial radio service between the Philippines and the US was inaugurated with a message from Manila to SF.

1936 – The 1st flight of Fw61 helicopter.

1942 – The Grumman F6F Hellcat fighter flew for the first time.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:50 am
June 26th ~ {continued...}

1944 – Coast Guard LCDR Quentin R. Walsh and his small commando/reconnaissance unit forced the surrender of Fort du Homet, a Nazi stronghold at Cherbourg, France, and captured 300 German soldiers and liberated 50 U.S. paratroopers who had been captured on D-Day. For his heroic actions Walsh was awarded the Navy Cross.

1944 – Most of Cherbourg, except the port, is now occupied by US 7th Corps (part of US 1st Army). The German garrison commander, General Schlieben and the naval commander, Admiral Hennecke, are taken prisoner. Meanwhile, British 2nd Army forces attacking toward Caen recieve naval support from HMS Rodney, the monitor Roberts and 3 cruisers.

1944 – The French Expeditionary Corps (part of the US 5th Army) advances north of Radicofani while South African elements of the British 8th Army, to the right, capture Chiusi.

1944 – The American 5th Amphibious Corps continues attacking on Saipan. A small Japanese reinforcement convoy heading for the island is met and forced away by US forces.

1944 – Admiral Small leads a cruiser and destroyer group to bombard Japanese positions on Matsuwa.

1945 – In the Herbst Theater auditorium in San Francisco, delegates from 50 nations sign the United Nations Charter, establishing the world body as a means of saving “succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” The Charter was ratified on October 24, and the first U.N. General Assembly met in London on January 10, 1946. Despite the failure of the League of Nations in arbitrating the conflicts that led up to World War II, the Allies as early as 1941 proposed establishing a new international body to maintain peace in the postwar world.

The idea of the United Nations began to be articulated in August 1941, when U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill signed the Atlantic Charter, which proposed a set of principles for international collaboration in maintaining peace and security. Later that year, Roosevelt coined “United Nations” to describe the nations allied against the Axis powers–Germany, Italy, and Japan.

The term was first officially used on January 1, 1942, when representatives of 26 Allied nations met in Washington, D.C., and signed the Declaration by the United Nations, which endorsed the Atlantic Charter and presented the united war aims of the Allies.

1945 – US Marines land on Kume Island, where a new radar station is installed.

1945 – On Luzon, the American paratroopers dropped near Aparri link up with the US 37th Division. The divisional headquarters now takes command of the parachute battalion and the regimental task force, sent north earlier, as well as the Filipino guerrillas operating in the area.

1945 – American B-29 Super Fortress bombers launch the first in a series of nighttime raids against Japanese oil refineries.

1948 – In order to implement the expanded postwar activities of the Coast Guard in the field of aids to navigation, Congress approved Public Law 786. It provided legislative authority for the Coast Guard to establish and operate maritime aids for the armed forces and LORAN stations essential for the armed forces and maritime and air commerce of the United States.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:52 am
June 26th ~ {continued...}

1948 – In response to the Soviet blockade of land routes into West Berlin, the United States begins a massive airlift of food, water, and medicine to the citizens of the besieged city. For nearly a year, supplies from American planes sustained the over 2 million people in West Berlin. On June 24, 1948, the Soviet Union blocked all road and rail travel to and from West Berlin, which was located within the Soviet zone of occupation in Germany.

The Soviet action was in response to the refusal of American and British officials to allow Russia more say in the economic future of Germany. The U.S. government was shocked by the provocative Soviet move, and some in President Harry S. Truman’s administration called for a direct military response. Truman, however, did not want to cause World War III. Instead, he ordered a massive airlift of supplies into West Berlin.

On June 26, 1948, the first planes took off from bases in England and western Germany and landed in West Berlin. It was a daunting logistical task to provide food, clothing, water, medicine, and other necessities of life for the over 2 million fearful citizens of the city. For nearly a year, American planes landed around the clock. Over 200,000 planes carried in more than one-and-a-half million tons of supplies. The Soviets persisted with the blockade until May 1949.

1950 – Far East Air Forces cargo planes began the evacuation of 700 U.S. State Department and Korean Military Advisory Group employees and their families. FEAF also sent ten F-51 Mustang fighters to the ROK forces.

1951 – The Soviet Union proposed a cease-fire in the Korean War.

1959 – In a ceremony presided over by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth II, the St. Lawrence Seaway is officially opened, creating a navigational channel from the Atlantic Ocean to all the Great Lakes. The seaway, made up of a system of canals, locks, and dredged waterways, extends a distance of nearly 2,500 miles, from the Atlantic Ocean through the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Duluth, Minnesota, on Lake Superior.

1962 – NAVFAC Cape Hatteras makes first Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) detection of a Soviet diesel submarine.

1963 – President Kennedy visited West Berlin, where he made his famous declaration: “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner) at the Berlin Wall.

1964 – A bomb explodes in an airport hangar near where General Westmoreland is addressing US servicemen returning to the United States. Two servicemen are injured, Westmoreland is not.

1965 – Hanoi Radio announces that the Vietcong now have ‘death lists,’ headed by the names of Ambassador Taylor, his deputy Alexis Johnson, Premier Ky, and General Thieu.

1965 – General William Westmoreland, senior U.S. military commander in Vietnam, is given formal authority to commit American troops to battle when he decides they are necessary “to strengthen the relative position of the GVN [Government of Vietnam] forces.” This authorization permitted Westmoreland to put his forces on the offensive. Heretofore, U.S. combat forces had been restricted to protecting U.S. airbases and other facilities.

1967 – An unarmed US Phantom jet strays off course and is shot down by Chinese planes near Hainan Island. The two crewmen eject safely and are rescued from the China Sea by a US Navy helicopter.

1968 – Speaking on behalf of the South Vietnamese House of Representatives, Duong Van Ba demands that Saigon be given a role in the Paris peace talks, asserting that ‘we should tell the United States government and the United States people that we suspect that there is now a plot to sell out South Vietnam to the Communists.’

1968 – Cyrus Vance, deputy US delegate to the peace talks, seeks to break a continuing impasse in the negotiations by appealing to North Vietnam for some sign that it is taking steps to scale down the level of military violence. Although this is the first time that US negotiators have urged military reciprocity in such broad terms, Xuan Thuy rejects the initiative and repeats Hanoi’s demand that all US bombing raids on North Vietnam be unconditionally terminated. Thuy also insists that the Saigon government be replaced by a coalition regime committed to a neutral foreign policy and eventual reunification.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:54 am
June 26th ~ {continued...}

1970 – Secretary of State Laird affirms the US plans to continue bombing raids inside Cambodia after 30 June. Laird makes clear the ‘primary emphasis’ of the raids will be the denial of routes for enemy troops and supplies, but refuses to rule out air support for allied ground combat troops.

1971 – The U.S. Justice Department issued a warrant for Daniel Ellsberg, accusing him of giving away the Pentagon Papers. The infamous Pentagon Papers gave insights into the Johnson administration’s thinking on the Vietnam War.

1972 – The United States establishes a 25-mile-wide buffer zone along Vietnam’s border with China, within which it will not bomb.

1972 – The shift of fighter-bomber squadrons, involving up to 150 U.S. planes and more than 2,000 pilots from Da Nang, to bases in Thailand is completed. The shift was necessitated by the pending withdrawal of the U.S. infantry brigade that provided security for flyers at Da Nang. The departure of the U.S. unit was part of President Richard Nixon’s Vietnamization program that he had instituted in June 1969. Under this program, the responsibility for the war was to be gradually transferred to the South Vietnamese so U.S. forces could be withdrawn.

1973 – Navy Task Force 78 completes minesweeping of North Vietnamese ports.

1975 – There was a firefight on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota as FBI agents pursued a robbery suspect. In 1977 Leonard Peltier, an Ojibwa-Sioux Indian, was found guilty of murdering 2 FBI agents, Ronald Williams and Jack Coler as they lay wounded. In 1983 Peter Matthiessen wrote “In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,” that described the related events. The book was pulled out of bookstores after an FBI agent and a former governor sued him for libel. Matthiessen claims to have spoken to the man who actually shot the agents.

1991 – A Kentucky medical examiner announced that test results showed President Zachary Taylor had died in 1850 of natural causes—and not arsenic poisoning, as speculated by a writer. Taylor’s remains were exhumed so that tissue samples could be taken.

1992 – Navy Secretary H. Lawrence Garrett III resigned, accepting responsibility for a “leadership failure” that resulted in the Tail Hook sex-abuse scandal.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:56 am
June 26th ~ {continued...}

1993 – In retaliation for an Iraqi plot to assassinate former U.S. President George Bush during his April visit to Kuwait, President Bill Clinton orders U.S. warships to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles at Iraqi intelligence headquarters in downtown Baghdad. On April 13, 1993, the day before George Bush was scheduled to visit Kuwait and be honored for his victory in the Persian Gulf War, Kuwaiti authorities foiled a car-bomb plot to assassinate him. Fourteen suspects, most of them Iraqi nationals, were arrested, and the next day their massive car bomb was discovered in Kuwait City.

Citing “compelling evidence” of the direct involvement of Iraqi intelligence in the assassination attempt, President Clinton ordered a retaliatory attack against their alleged headquarters in the Iraqi capital on June 26th. Twenty-three Tomahawk missiles, each costing more than a million dollars, were fired off the USS Peterson in the Red Sea and the cruiser USS Chancellorsville in the Persian Gulf, destroying the building and, according to Iraqi accounts, killing several civilians.

1996 – The Supreme Court ordered the Virginia Military Academy to admit women or forgo state support.

1996 – The US Senate Science, Technology and Space subcommittee sent a live audio feed over the Internet for the first time. The proceedings were on online commerce and encryption software.

1996 – The $1.6 billion Galileo spacecraft was expected to fly to within 527 miles of Ganymede, the largest moon of Jupiter. It was scheduled to photograph Jupiter and four of its 16 moons.

1996 – Guerrilla leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was sworn in as prime minister in Afghanistan as the Taliban militia launched an assault that killed 54 and wounded 118 people. Hekmatyar is a member of the dominant Pashtun group, unlike Rabanni and military commander Ahmad Shah Massoud who belong to the Tajik ethnic group.

1998 – In Thailand four Pakistanis were reported to have been arrested in Bangkok. They were suspected of planning to assassinate US Ambassador William Itoh and to launch a terrorist strike against the US embassy.

1999 – NATO reopened the main airport in Kosovo, 10 miles west of Pristina. The first flight was a Russian cargo plane. An advance contingent of Russian troops flew into Kosovo to help reopen a strategic airport and join an uneasy alliance with NATO peacekeepers.

2001 – President Bush met with Israel’s PM Ariel Sharon who resisted pressure to move faster on a US backed cease-fire accord. Sharon insisted on a complete halt to Palestinian hostilities.

2001 – George Trofimoff (74), a retired US Army Reserve officer, was convicted in Tampa for spying for Moscow for 22 years while serving as a civilian interrogator of refugees and defectors in Germany. He was sentenced to life in prison on September 27th. Trofimoff, who maintains his innocence, was sentenced to life in prison.

2002 – Ten Pakistani soldiers and two suspected al Qaeda militants were killed in a gun battle in the lawless tribal area bordering Afghanistan.

2004 – Taliban remnants claimed responsibility for the bomb attack that killed two Afghani United Nations election workers in eastern Afghanistan.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:04 am
June 27th ~

1776 – Thomas Hickey, who plotted to hand George Washington over to British, was hanged.

1778 – The Liberty Bell came home to Philadelphia after the British left.

1829 – In Genoa, Italy, English scientist James Smithson dies after a long illness, leaving behind a will with a peculiar footnote. In the event that his only nephew died without any heirs, Smithson decreed that the whole of his estate would go to “the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.”

Smithson’s curious bequest to a country that he had never visited aroused significant attention on both sides of the Atlantic. Smithson had been a fellow of the venerable Royal Society of London from the age of 22, publishing numerous scientific papers on mineral composition, geology, and chemistry. In 1802, he overturned popular scientific opinion by proving that zinc carbonates were true carbonate minerals, and one type of zinc carbonate was later named smithsonite in his honor.

Six years after his death, his nephew, Henry James Hungerford, indeed died without children, and on July 1, 1836, the U.S. Congress authorized acceptance of Smithson’s gift. President Andrew Jackson sent diplomat Richard Rush to England to negotiate for transfer of the funds, and two years later Rush set sail for home with 11 boxes containing a total of 104,960 gold sovereigns, eight shillings, and seven pence, as well as Smithson’s mineral collection, library, scientific notes, and personal effects.

After the gold was melted down, it amounted to a fortune worth well over $500,000. After considering a series of recommendations, including the creation of a national university, a public library, or an astronomical observatory, Congress agreed that the bequest would support the creation of a museum, a library, and a program of research, publication, and collection in the sciences, arts, and history.

On August 10, 1846, the act establishing the Smithsonian Institution was signed into law by President James K. Polk. Today, the Smithsonian is composed of 18 museums and galleries and many research facilities throughout the United States and the world. Besides the original Smithsonian Institution Building, popularly known as the “Castle,” visitors to Washington, D.C., tour the National Museum of Natural History, which houses the natural science collections, the National Zoological Park, and the National Portrait Gallery.

The National Museum of American History houses the original Star-Spangled Banner and other artifacts of U.S. history. The National Air and Space Museum has the distinction of being the most visited museum in the world, exhibiting marvels of aviation and space history such as the Wright brothers’ plane and Freedom 7, the space capsule that took the first American into space. John Smithson, the Smithsonian Institution’s great benefactor, is interred in a tomb in the Smithsonian Building.

1862 – Confederates broke through the Union lines at the Battle of Gaines’ Mill on the 3rd day of the Seven Days Battle in Virginia.

1863 – There was a skirmish at Fairfax Courthouse in Virginia.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:06 am
June 27th ~ {continued...}

1864 – Union General William T. Sherman launches a major attack on Confederate General Joseph Johnston’s army at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain in Georgia. Beginning in early May, Sherman began a slow advance down the 100-mile corridor from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Atlanta, refraining from making any large-scale assaults. The campaign was marked by many smaller battles and constant skirmishes but no decisive encounters. Johnston was losing ground, but he was also buying time for the Confederates.

With Sherman frustrated in Georgia, and Ulysses S. Grant unable to knock out Robert E. Lee’s army in Virginia, the Union war effort was stalled, casualty rates were high, and the re-election of Abraham Lincoln appeared unlikely. In the days leading up to the assault at Kennesaw Mountain, Sherman tried to flank Johnston. Since one of Johnston’s generals, John Bell Hood, attacked at Kolb’s Farm and lost 1,500 precious Confederate soldiers, Sherman believed that Johnston’s line was stretched thin and that an assault would break the Rebels. So he changed his tactics and planned a move against the center of the Confederate lines around Kennesaw Mountain.

He feigned attacks on both of Johnston’s flanks, then hurled 8,000 men at the Confederate center. It was a disaster. Entrenched Southerners bombarded the Yankees, who were attacking uphill. Three thousand Union troops fell, compared to just 500 Confederates. The battle was only a marginal Confederate victory. Sherman remained in place for four more days, but one of the decoy attacks on the Confederate flanks did, in fact, place the Union troops in a position to cut into Johnston’s rear. On July 2nd, Johnston had to vacate his Kennesaw Mountain lines and retreat toward Atlanta. Sherman followed, and the slow campaign lurched on into the Georgia summer.

1874 – Using new high-powered rifles to devastating effect, 28 buffalo hunters repulse a much larger force of attacking Indians at an old trading post in the Texas panhandle called Adobe Walls. The Commanche, Kiowa, and Cheyenne Indians living in western Texas had long resented the advancement of white settlement in their territories.

In 1867, some of the Indians accepted the terms of the Treaty of Medicine Lodge, which required them to move to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) but also reserved much of the Texas Panhandle as their exclusive hunting grounds. Many white Texans, however, maintained that the treaty had ignored their legitimate claims to the area. These white buffalo hunters, who had already greatly reduced the once massive herds, continued to hunt in the territory.

By the early 1870s, Commanche, Kiowa, and Cheyenne hunters were finding it harder to locate buffalo, and they blamed the illegal white buffalo hunters. When the federal government failed to take adequate measures to stop the white buffalo hunters, the great chief Quanah Parker and others began to argue for war. In the spring 1874, a group of white merchants occupied an old trading post called Adobe Walls near the South Canadian River in the Indian’s hunting territory. The merchants quickly transformed the site into a regional center for the buffalo-hide trade. Angered by this blatant violation of the treaty, Chief Quanah Parker and Lone Wolf amassed a force of about 700 Commanche, Kiowa, and Cheyenne braves.

On this day in 1874, the Indians attacked Adobe Walls. Only 28 hunters and traders occupied Adobe Walls, but they had two advantages over the Indians: the thick walls of the adobe structure were impenetrable to arrows and bullets, and the occupants had a number of high-powered rifles normally used on buffalo. The hunter's .50 caliber Sharps rifles represented the latest technology in long-range, rapid firing weaponry. Already skilled marksmen, the buffalo hunters used the rifles to deadly effect, decimating the warriors before they came close enough even to return effective fire.

On the second day of the siege, one hunter reportedly hit an Indian warrior at a distance of eight-tenths of a mile. Despite their overwhelmingly superior numbers, after three days the Indians concluded that Adobe Walls could not be taken and withdrew. The defenders had lost only four men in the attack, and they later estimated that the Indians had lost 13. Enraged by their defeat, several Indian bands subsequently took their revenge on poorly defended targets. Fearful settlers demanded military protection, leading to the outbreak of the Red River War.

By the time the war ended in 1875, the Commanche and Kiowa had been badly beaten and Indian resistance on the Southern Plains had effectively collapsed.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:08 am
June 27th ~ {continued...}

1905 – The dawn of the twentieth century witnessed a sustained burst of progressive activities as various disenfranchised elements of American society pushed to assert their rights. This was especially true in the world of organized labor, as workers marshaled their forces in the battle against Big Business. Along with heading to the picket line, workers formed new and increasingly more strident unions, such as the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), which was formally consecrated in Chicago on this day in 1905.

Organized by industrial labor’s more militant members, including Eugene Debs, William D. Haywood (also known as ‘Big Bill’ Haywood) and the long-stymied Socialist segment of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), the IWW tilted at the formidable windmills of industrial capitalism and its caste-like wage system. As Haywood told the union’s first convention, the IWW’s “purpose” was the “emancipation of the working class from the slave bondage of capitalism.” Towards that end, the IWW’s leaders sought to build a massive union that, rather than give in to labor’s nativist tendencies, built its numbers by pooling members from all races and ethnicites.

Once the IWW became large enough, its leaders planned to call an apocalyptic strike that would effectively fell the capitalist system. Though the IWW did score some key victories, including leading a successful strike by textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts (1912), it also drew heavy fire from business leaders, government officials and conservative sectors of the union movement alike.

1914 – US signed a treaty of commerce with Ethiopia.

1916 – The 4th Marine Regiment defeated Dominican rebels in a stand-up bayonet attack.

1927 – The U.S. Marines adopted the English bulldog as their mascot.

1929 – Scientists at Bell Laboratories in New York revealed a system for transmitting television pictures.

1940 – A confidential meeting is held between British and Australian representatives and the United States Secretary of State Cordell Hull. The British and Australians ask for help in standing up to Japan. They wish the USA to take economic measures or to move more units of the fleet to Malaysian and Philippine waters or to offer to mediate between China and Japan. Hull is unable to agree to any of these moves which would involve a more active foreign policy than the American public is prepared to contemplate at this time.

1940 – The Germans set up two-way radio communication in their newly occupied French territory, employing their most sophisticated coding machine, Enigma, to transmit information. The Germans set up radio stations in Brest and the port town of Cherbourg. Signals would be transmitted to German bombers so as to direct them to targets in Britain.

The Enigma coding machine, invented in 1919 by Hugo Koch, a Dutchman, looked like a typewriter and was originally employed for business purposes. The German army adapted the machine for wartime use and considered its encoding system unbreakable. They were wrong. The Brits had broken the code as early as the German invasion of Poland and had intercepted virtually every message sent through the system. Britain nicknamed the intercepted messages Ultra.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:10 am
June 27th ~ {continued...}

1942 – The FBI announced the capture of eight Nazi saboteurs who had been put ashore from 2 submarines, one off New York’s Long Island and the other off of Florida. The men were tried by a military court and 6 were secretly executed in a DC jail. Ernest Burger and George Dasch were sentenced to 30 years in prison for their help in revealing the plot. They were pardoned in 1948 by Pres. Truman.

1944 – American forces of 7th Corps (part of US 1st Army) complete the capture of Cherbourg. The port, however, is not presently operational. To the left, the British 2nd Army continues attacks. Forces of the British 30th Corps capture Rauray, near Caen, and British 8th Corps launches new attacks.

1945 – On Luzon, units of the US 37th Division, part of US 1st Corps, reach Aparri, on the north coast. With the occupation of the whole of the Cagayan valley, the campaign for the recapture of the island is now effectively complete. The remaining Japanese forces are isolated in remote parts of Luzon and lack supplies or medical care.

1945 – The American carrier USS Bunker Hill is struck by a Kamikaze plane, killing 373 men.

1945 – The FCC allocates airwaves for 13 TV stations. Before World War II, a few experimental TV shows had been broadcast in New York, but the war postponed the development of commercial television. With the allocation of airwaves, commercial TV began to spread. The first regularly scheduled network series appeared in 1946, and many Americans viewed television for the first time in 1947, when NBC broadcast the World Series. Since privately owned television sets were still rare, most of the series’ estimated 3.9 million viewers watched the games from a bar.

1950 – President Harry S. Truman announces that he is ordering U.S. air and naval forces to South Korea to aid the democratic nation in repulsing an invasion by communist North Korea. The United States was undertaking the major military operation, he explained, to enforce a United Nations resolution calling for an end to hostilities, and to stem the spread of communism in Asia. In addition to ordering U.S. forces to Korea, Truman also deployed the U.S. 7th Fleet to Formosa (Taiwan) to guard against invasion by communist China and ordered an acceleration of military aid to French forces fighting communist guerrillas in Vietnam.

On June 27th, President Truman announced to the nation and the world that America would intervene in the Korean conflict in order to prevent the conquest of an independent nation by communism. Truman was suggesting that the USSR was behind the North Korean invasion, and in fact the Soviets had given tacit approval to the invasion, which was carried out with Soviet-made tanks and weapons. Despite the fear that U.S. intervention in Korea might lead to open warfare between the United States and Russia after years of “cold war,” Truman’s decision was met with overwhelming approval from Congress and the U.S. public. Truman did not ask for a declaration of war, but Congress voted to extend the draft and authorized Truman to call up reservists.

On June 28th, the Security Council met again and in the continued absence of the Soviet Union passed a U.S. resolution approving the use of force against North Korea. On June 30, Truman agreed to send U.S. ground forces to Korea, and on July 7 the Security Council recommended that all U.N. forces sent to Korea be put under U.S. command. The next day, General Douglas MacArthur was named commander of all U.N. forces in Korea. In the opening months of the war, the U.S.-led U.N. forces rapidly advanced against the North Koreans, but Chinese communist troops entered the fray in October, throwing the Allies into a hasty retreat.

In April 1951, Truman relieved MacArthur of his command after he publicly threatened to bomb China in defiance of Truman’s stated war policy. Truman feared that an escalation of fighting with China would draw the Soviet Union into the Korean War. By May 1951, the communists were pushed back to the 38th parallel, and the battle line remained in that vicinity for the remainder of the war.

On July 27th, 1953, after two years of negotiation, an armistice was signed, ending the war and reestablishing the 1945 division of Korea that still exists today. Approximately 150,000 troops from South Korea, the United States, and participating U.N. nations were killed in the Korean War, and as many as one million South Korean civilians perished.

An estimated 800,000 communist soldiers were killed, and more than 200,000 North Korean civilians died. The original figure of American troops lost–54,246 killed–became controversial when the Pentagon acknowledged in 2000 that all U.S. troops killed around the world during the period of the Korean War were incorporated into that number. For example, any American soldier killed in an car accident anywhere in the world from June 1950 to July 1953 was considered a casualty of the Korean War.

If these deaths are subtracted from the 54,000 total, leaving just the Americans who died (from whatever cause) in the Korean theater of operations, the total U.S. dead in the Korean War numbers 36,516.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:15 am
June 27th ~ {continued...}

1950 – Just two days after communist North Korean forces invaded South Korea, the United Nations Security Council approves a resolution put forward by the United States calling for armed force to repel the North Korean invaders. The action provided the pretext for U.S. intervention in the conflict and was the first time the Security Council had ever approved the use of military force.

1950 – Flying a F-82G Twin Mustang in a defensive mission over Kimpo Airfield, Lieutenant William G. “Skeeter” Hudson, 68th Fighter (All-Weather) Squadron, destroyed a Yak-7U fighter and was officially credited with the first aerial victory of the Korean War. Lieutenant Carl Fraser occupied the second cockpit as copilot.

1950 – A patrol of F80C Shooting Stars from the 35th Fighter-Bomber Squadron intercepted eight Ilyushin IL-10 fighters over Kimpo. Captain Raymond E. Schillereff and Lieutenant Robert H. Dewald each scored single victories while Lieutenant Robert E. Wayne claimed a pair IL-10s. These were the first air-to-air victories achieved by jet fighters in U.S. Air Force history.

1950 – President Truman announces he is accelerating the program of military aid for Vietnam he began in April. This includes a military mission and military advisors. Aid is funneled through Paris. The United States has been indirectly supporting a buildup of an anti-Communist Vietnamese Army since 146. Fifteen million dollars is granted in military aid to the French for the war in Indochina on 26 July. By November 1952, the United States will be carrying between one half and one third of the financial burden for the Indochina War.

1951 – Sidney M. Gutierrez, Major USAF, astronaut (STS 40), was born in Albuquerque, NM.

1954 – CIA-sponsored rebels overthrew the elected government of Guatemala. A US supported force of Guatemalan mercenaries invaded from Honduras. Pres. Arbenz was toppled and replaced by 30 years of military rule. He spent much of his exile in Cuba. Arbenz died in 1971 in Mexico City. It was disclosed in 1997 to have been motivated by US economic interests with 58 Guatemalan politicians put on a list of potential targets for political killing.

1958 – Cuban rebel forces kidnapped 29 US sailors and Marines and held them until July 18th.

1962 – NASA civilian pilot Joseph Walker took the X-15 to 6,606 kph, 37,700 miles.

1963 – USAF Major Robert A. Rushworth in X-15 reached 86,900 miles.

1963 – President Kennedy appoints Henry Cabot Lodge, his former Republican political opponent, to succeed Nolting as ambassador to Vietnam. In Washington the Kennedy administration begins seriously speculating on a coup against Diem.

1967 – There was a race riot in Buffalo, NY, and 200 were arrested.

1968 – The U.S. command in Saigon confirms that U.S. forces have begun to evacuate the military base at Khe Sanh, 14 miles below the Demilitarized Zone and six miles from the Laotian border. The command statement attributed the pullback to a change in the military situation. To cope with increased North Vietnamese infiltration and activity in the area, Allied forces were adopting a more “mobile posture,” thus making retention of the outpost at Khe Sanh unnecessary. The new western anchor of the U.S. base system in the northern region would be located 10 miles east of Khe Sanh.

The siege of Khe Sanh during the 1968 Tet Offensive had been one of the most publicized battles of the war because of the similarities it shared with the battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954, in which the communist Viet Minh forces had decisively defeated the French and forced them from the war. Many in the American media had portrayed the battle for Khe Sanh as potentially “another Dien Bien Phu.”

1973 – Nixon vetoed a Senate ban on Cambodia bombing.

1978 – US Seasat 1, the 1st oceanographic satellite, was launched into polar orbit.

1980 – President Carter signed legislation reviving draft registration.

1982 – The 4th Space Shuttle, Mission-Columbia 4, was launched.

1983 – NASA launched space vehicle S-205.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:17 am
June 27th ~ {continued...}

1985 – The U.S. House of Representatives voted to limit the use of combat troops in Nicaragua.

1986 – US informed New Zealand it will not defend it against attack.

1990 – NASA announced that a flaw in the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope was preventing the instrument from achieving optimum focus.

1993 – In Somalia, Two GIs are WIA while clearing debris from 21 October Road.

1993 – US warships fired 24 Tomahawk cruise missiles at intelligence headquarters in Baghdad in retaliation for the assassination plot. The Iraqis claimed 8 dead. Iraqis pulled their dead from the rubble of buildings wrecked by U.S. missiles during an early morning raid ordered by President Clinton in reprisal for an alleged assassination plot against former President Bush.

1994 – U.S. Coast Guard cutters intercepted 1,330 Haitian boat people on the high seas in one of the busiest days since refugees began leaving Haiti following a 1991 military coup.

1995 – The space shuttle “Atlantis” blasted off on a historic flight to link up with Russia’s space station “Mir” and bring home American astronaut Norman Thagard.

1995 – The San Francisco Chronicle received a message from the Unabomber threatening to blow up a plane by the July Fourth weekend. The Unabomber later called the threat a prank.

1996 – President Clinton and other Group of Seven leaders meeting in Lyon, France, pledged solidarity against terrorism following a truck bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 Americans.

2000 – US House Republicans cut a deal to allow direct sales of food to Cuba for the first time in four decades.

2002 – A US Air Force pilot was killed when his A10 “Warthog” crashed during a training mission in eastern France.

2003 – The Coast Guard cutter Walnut, home ported in Honolulu, returned home after being deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She deployed to the North Arabian Gulf in January with an oil spill recovery system in the event the regime of Saddam Hussein committed any acts of environmental terrorism. When those threats did not materialize, the cutter conducted maritime interception operations enforcing U.N. Security Council resolutions, participated in the search for two downed United Kingdom helicopters, and patrolled and provided assistance to captured Iraqi offshore oil terminals being secured by Coast Guard port security personnel.

The cutter’s crew completely replaced 30 buoys and repaired an additional five along the 41-mile Khawr Abd Allah Waterway. This ATON mission vastly improved the navigational safety of the waterway for humanitarian aid, commercial, and military vessels sailing to the port and was a critical step to economic recovery for the people of Iraq.

2004 – Insurgents threatened to behead Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun, a U.S. Marine who’d vanished in Iraq, in a videotaped that aired on Arab television. However, Hassoun contacted American officials in his native Lebanon the following month; after being reunited with his family in Utah, Hassoun disappeared in December.

2004 – Turkey rejected the demands of Islamic militants who are threatening to behead three of its kidnapped citizens during a visit by President Bush to Turkey.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:21 am
June 28th ~

1451 – An eclipse occurred that allegedly prevented the outbreak of war between the Mohawk and the Seneca Indians.

1776 – Jefferson’s document was placed before the Congress after some minor changes by Adams and Franklin. This event was immortalized in the painting by John Trumball.

1776 – Colonists repulsed a British sea attack on Charleston, South Carolina.

1776 – Thomas Hickey, American sergeant convicted of treason, was hanged.

1778 – “Molly Pitcher,” Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley, wife of an American artilleryman, carried water to the soldiers during the Revolutionary War Battle of Monmouth, N.J. and, supposedly, took her husband’s place at his gun after he is overcome with heat.

1794 – Joshua Humphreys appointed master builder to build Navy ships at an annual salary of $2,000.

1814 – USS Wasp captures HMS Reindeer.

1836 – James Madison (85), the 4th president of the United States (1809-17), died in Montpelier, Va. His writings included the 29 Federalist essays.

1861 – Side-wheel steamer St. Nicholas, making scheduled run between Baltimore and Georgetown, D.C., was captured by Confederates who had boarded her posing as passengers at the steamer’s various stopping points on the Potomac River. Confederates were led by Captain George N. Hollins, CSN, who took command of St. Nicholas, and Colonel Richard Thomas, CSA, who boarded disguised as a woman. St. Nicholas then began search for U.S.S. Pawnee, but, not finding her, put out into the Chesapeake Bay, where she seized schooners Margaret and Mary Pierce and brig Monticello the following day, June 29th.

1862 – At Garnett’s and Golding’s farms, fighting continued for a 4th day between Union and Confederate forces during the Seven Days in Virginia.

1862 – A Confederate band makes a daring capture of a commercial vessel on Chesapeake Bay. The plan was the brainchild of George Hollins, a veteran of the War of 1812. Hollins joined the navy at age 15, and had a long and distinguished career. A Maryland native, he was commander of a U.S. warship in the Mediterranean when hostilities erupted in 1861, and returned to New York and resigned his commission. After a brief stop in his hometown, Baltimore, Hollins offered his services to the Confederacy and received a commission on June 21, 1861.

Soon after, Hollins met up with Richard Thomas Zarvona, a Marylander, former West Point attendee, and adventurer who had fought with pirates in China and revolutionaries in Italy. They hatched a plan to capture the St. Nicolas and use it to marshal other Yankee ships into Confederate service. Zarvona went to Baltimore and recruited a band of pirates, who boarded the St. Nicholas as paying passengers on June 28th. Using the name Madame La Force, Zarvona disguised himself as a flirtatious Frenchwoman.

Hollins then boarded the St. Nicholas at its first stop. The conspirators later retreated to the Frenchwoman’s cabin, where they armed themselves and then burst out to capture the surprised crew. Hollins took control of the vessel and stopped on the Virginia bank of the Chesapeake to pick up a crew of Confederate soldiers. They planned to capture a Union gunboat, the Pawnee, but it was called away.

Instead, the St. Nicholas and its pirate crew came upon a ship loaded with Brazilian coffee. Two more ships, carrying loads of ice and coal, soon fell to the St. Nicholas. These daring exploits earned Hollins a quick promotion from captain to commodore. At the end of July, Hollins was sent to take control of a fleet at New Orleans, Louisiana.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:23 am
June 28th ~ {continued...}

1863 – General Meade replaced General Hooker three days before the Battle of Gettysburg. General George Gordon Meade said “Well, I’ve been tried and condemned without a hearing, and I suppose I shall have to go to execution,” in response to his appointment as head of the Union Army of the Potomac during the Civil War. Within a week his army won the Battle of Gettysburg, assuring Meade of a record of success superior to all of his predecessors.

1863 – As the advance of General Robert E. Lee’s armies into Maryland (culminating in the Battle of Gettysburg) threatened Washington, Baltimore, and Annapolis, the U.S. Navy Department ordered Rear Admiral S.P. Lee to send ships immediately for the defense of the Capital and other cities. This was a move reminiscent of the opening days of the war when naval protection was vital to the holding of the area surrounding the seat of government.

1865 – CSS Shenandoah captures 11 American whalers in one day.

1902 – Congress passed the Spooner bill, authorizing a canal to be built across the isthmus of Panama. The US purchased a concession to build Panama canal from French for $40 million.

1914 – Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia, while riding in an Austro-Daimler that was chauffeured by Otto Merz, a Mercedes team driver. The assassination resulted in the outbreak of World War I. The archduke and his wife, Sophie, rode into Sarajevo in a motorcade consisting of four cars; the royals occupied the second. On the way to the City Hall as they crossed the Milijacka River at Cumuria Bridge, Serbian nationalist Nedjelko Cabrinovic threw a bomb at the Daimler carrying the archduke and his wife. Franz Ferdinand managed to deflect the bomb onto the street. About a dozen people, including Sophie, who was hit in the face with shrapnel, suffered injuries, but no one was killed.

The assassin swallowed a cyanide pill and jumped off the bridge. Unfortunately, he coughed up the pill and landed in only a foot of water. He was taken into custody. The first two cars of the motorcade continued on their way to the Sarajevo City Hall. Upon his arrival at the welcome ceremony, Franz Ferdinand interrupted the mayor’s speech, seizing him by the arm and crying, “One comes here to visit and is received with bombs. Mr. Mayor, what do you say?” He later calmed down and finished his own speech with a reaffirming pledge of his regard for the people of Sarajevo. After the speech, Franz Ferdinand ordered his chauffeur to carry him to the hospital to visit the victims of the bomb; Sophie accompanied him. Their driver took a wrong turn after crossing the Imperial Bridge and the car ended up on a street named after Franz Ferdinand’s father, Franz Josef.

Noticing his mistake, the driver applied the brakes and the car came to a halt a foot short of another Serbian nationalist, Gavrilo Princip. Princip fired his pistol into the car, striking the archduke in the neck and his wife in the stomach. In shock and unaware that she had been wounded, Sophie cried to her husband, “For heaven’s sake, what’s happened to you?” Franz Ferdinand keeled over whispering “Es ist nichts, Es ist nichts…” A lengthy investigation into the conspiracy failed to prove any complicity in the plot on the part of the Serbian government. Nevertheless, the Austrians sent their army into Serbia and World War I was born.

1918 – The Chemical Warfare Service was established on June 28, 1918, combining activities that until then had been dispersed among five separate agencies of Government. It was made a permanent branch of the Regular Army by the National Defense Act of 1920. In 1945, it was redesignated the Chemical Corps.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:25 am
June 28th ~ {continued...}

1919 – At the Palace of Versailles outside Paris, Germany signs the Treaty of Versailles with the Allies, officially ending World War I. By the fall of 1918, it was apparent to the leaders of Germany that defeat was inevitable in World War I. After four years of terrible attrition, Germany no longer had the men or resources to resist the Allies, who had been given a tremendous boost by the infusion of American manpower and supplies.

In order to avert an Allied invasion of Germany, the German government contacted U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in October 1918 and asked him to arrange a general armistice. Earlier that year, Wilson had proclaimed his “Fourteen Points,” which proposed terms for a “just and stable peace” between Germany and its enemies. The Germans asked that the armistice be established along these terms, and the Allies more or less complied, assuring Germany of a fair and unselfish final peace treaty.

On November 11, 1918, the armistice was signed and went into effect, and fighting in World War I came to an end. In January 1919, representatives traveled to the Paris Peace Conference. Germany had no role in the negotiations deciding its fate, and lesser Allied powers had little responsibility in the drafting of the final treaty. It soon became apparent that the treaty would bear only a faint resemblance to the Fourteen Points that had been proposed by Wilson and embraced by the Germans. Wilson, a great idealist, had few negotiating skills, and he soon buckled under the pressure of Clemenceau, who hoped to punish Germany as severely as it had punished France in the Treaty of Frankfurt that ended the Franco-Prussian War in 1871. Lloyd George took the middle ground between the two men, but he backed the French plan to force Germany to pay reparations for damages inflicted on Allied civilians and their property.

Since the treaty officially held Germany responsible for the outbreak of World War I (in reality it was only partially responsible), the Allies would not have to pay reparations for damages they inflicted on German civilians. The treaty that began to emerge was a thinly veiled Carthaginian Peace, an agreement that accomplished Clemenceau’s hope to crush France’s old rival. According to its terms, Germany was to relinquish 10 percent of its territory. It was to be disarmed, and its overseas empire taken over by the Allies.

Most detrimental to Germany’s immediate future, however, was the confiscation of its foreign financial holdings and its merchant carrier fleet. The German economy, already devastated by the war, was thus further crippled, and the stiff war reparations demanded ensured that it would not soon return to its feet. A final reparations figure was not agreed upon in the treaty, but estimates placed the amount in excess of $30 billion, far beyond Germany’s capacity to pay.

Germany would be subject to invasion if it fell behind on payments. The Germans initially refused to sign the Treaty of Versailles, and it took an ultimatum from the Allies to bring the German delegation to Paris on June 28th. It was five years to the day since the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, which began the chain of events that led to the outbreak of World War I. Clemenceau chose the location for the signing of the treaty: the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles Palace, site of the signing of the Treaty of Frankfurt that ended the Franco-Prussian War.

At the ceremony, General Jan Christiaan Smuts, soon to be president of South Africa, was the only Allied leader to protest formally the Treaty of Versailles, saying it would do grave injury to the industrial revival of Europe. Germany soon fell hopelessly behind in its reparations payments, and in 1923 France and Belgium occupied the industrial Ruhr region as a means of forcing payment.

In protest, workers and employers closed down the factories in the region. Catastrophic inflation ensued, and Germany’s fragile economy began quickly to collapse. By the time the crash came in November 1923, a lifetime of savings could not buy a loaf of bread. That month, the Nazi Party led by Adolf Hitler launched an abortive coup against Germany’s government. The Nazis were crushed and Hitler was imprisoned, but many resentful Germans sympathized with the Nazis and their hatred of the Treaty of Versailles. A decade later, Hitler would exploit this continuing bitterness among Germans to seize control of the German state.

In the 1930s, the Treaty of Versailles was significantly revised and altered in Germany’s favor, but this belated amendment could not stop the rise of German militarism and the subsequent outbreak of World War II.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:27 am
June 28th ~ {continued...}

1935 – FDR ordered a federal gold vault to be built at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

1941 – The US Army Bill for 1942 is passed by Congress.

1943 – More American forces occupy Kiriwina and Woodlark islands. Construction of airfields begins.

1944 – In the Cotentin Peninsula, American forces of US 1st Army prepare to eliminate German resistance in the direction of Cap de la Hague. The forces of British 2nd Army cross the Odon River on a 2 mile front near Mondrainville.

1944 – On Biak, the American divisional force, now commanded by General Doe, clears the Japanese-held caves in the western part of the island.

1945 – General MacArthur announces that the operations on Luzon are complete. It has been 5 months and 19 days since the American invasion began. An estimated 11,000 Japanese troops remain isolated in the Sierra Madre mountains and another 12,000 are trapped in the Kiangan-Bontoc (or Ifugao-Bontoc) area. The US 8th Army is assigned the task of mopping up on Luzon while the US 6th Army is reorganized for the invasion of Japan (Operation Olympic). Much of the mopping-up will be left to Filipino units. On Mindanao, mopping up operations continue.

1946 – Peacetime cruises for the cadets of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London Connecticut, were revived.

1949 – The last U.S. combat troops were called home from Korea, leaving only 500 advisers.

1950 – General Douglas MacArthur arrived in South Korea as Seoul fell to the North Korean forces.

1950 – Sergeant Leroy Deans, Korean Military Advisory Group, received a wound in the eye thereby earning the first ground combat Purple Heart of the Korean War.

1950 – Detachment X, 35 men of the 507th Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion, was the first U.S. ground force unit to arrive in Korea. Within a short time the detachment shot down a Yak fighter with quad .50-caliber machine guns, suffering five wounded in the action.

1950 – Far East Air Force aircraft dropped the first psychological warfare leaflets over Korea.

1965 – In the first major offensive ordered for U.S. forces, 3,000 troops of the 173rd Airborne Brigade–in conjunction with 800 Australian soldiers and a Vietnamese airborne unit–assault a jungle area known as Viet Cong Zone D, 20 miles northeast of Saigon. The operation was called off after three days when it failed to make any major contact with the enemy. One American was killed and nine Americans and four Australians were wounded. The State Department assured the American public that the operation was in accord with Johnson administration policy on the role of U.S. troops.

1968 – Daniel Ellsberg was indicted for leaking the Pentagon Papers.

1968 – LTC Richard A. McMahon denounces the body count as a ‘dubious and dangerous’ method of determining the enemy’s combat potential.

1968 – Prince Souvanna Phouma declares that, until North Vietnam agrees to withdraw its forces from Laos, the United States should continue to reject Hanoi’s demands for a bombing halt.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:29 am
June 28th ~ {continued...}

1969 – US sources in Saigon say that North Vietnamese infiltration into South Vietnam in January-May is 40% lower than the corresponding period in 1968.

1969 – A Gallup Poll shows that 42% of the American people favor a faster withdrawal of US troops than has been ordered by President Nixon, while 16% favor a slower rate. 29% favor a total withdrawal, 61% are opposed.

1969 – After several days of fighting around the US Special Forces base at Benhet, a 1,500-man South Vietnamese force begins new sweeps of the area. US forces remain in an advisory role and supply only air and artillery support. The US command considers the Benhet campaign a test of the ability of the South Vietnamese forces to stand up against the North Vietnamese and Vietcong.

1970 – Muhammed Ali, formerly Cassius Clay, stood before the Supreme Court regarding his refusal of induction into the Army during the Vietnam War.

1970 – USS James Madison (SSBN-627) completes conversion to Poseidon missile capability.

1971 – The Supreme Court overturned the draft evasion conviction of Muhammad Ali.

1971 – Daniel Ellsburg was arrested for leaking the Pentagon Papers to the Press. In 2002 he authored “Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and The Pentagon Papers.”

1972 – President Nixon announces that no more draftees will be sent to Vietnam unless they volunteer for such duty. He also announced that a force of 10,000 troops would be withdrawn by September 1, which would leave a total of 39,000 in Vietnam.

1976 – The first women entered the U.S. Air Force Academy.

1987 – Secretary of State George P. Shultz said he had found some of the recent revelations about the Iran-Contra affair “sickening,” but he defended the Reagan administration’s foreign policy.

1992 – In Afghanistan rebel leader Burhanuddin Rabbani became president, but factional fighting continued.

1993 – US helicopters attack Somali positions killing 2 gunmen.

1996 – The Citadel voted to admit women, ending a 153-year-old men-only policy at the South Carolina military school.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:31 am
June 28th ~ {continued...}

1999 – It was reported that NATO scaled backed initial estimates of damage to the Yugoslav army in the 78-day air campaign.

1999 – In Kosovo KLA rebels handed over weapons to NATO troops. At the same time hundreds of Albanians, fired a decade ago by Milosevic, demanded their state jobs back.

2003 – After days of intense searching by ground and air, U.S. forces found the bodies of two soldiers missing north of Baghdad.

2003 – Malawi’s army was deployed to quell violent riots after demonstrators attacked an American children’s charity and several churches to protest the removal of five Muslim foreign nationals suspected of working for al-Qaida.

2004 – The US Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that detainees at Guantanamo must have access to the US legal system. The Court ruled that the war on terrorism did not give the government a “blank check” to hold a US citizen and foreign-born terror suspects in legal limbo.

2004 – America resumed direct diplomatic ties with Libya after a 24-year break.

2004 – Seven Afghan policemen were killed as NATO agreed to boost its troop contingent there to 10,000 ahead of September elections.

2004 – The US-led coalition in a surprise move, transferred sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government two days early.

2004 – NATO leaders agreed to help train Iraq’s armed forces just hours after the new government in Baghdad took over sovereignty from the U.S.-led administration.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:24 am
June 29th ~

1502 – Christopher Columbus arrived at Santo Domingo, Hispaniola, on his 4th voyage to the new world. He requested harbor and advised Gov. Nicolas de Ovando of an approaching hurricane. Ovando denied the request and dispatched a treasure fleet to Spain. 20 ships sank in the storm, 9 returned to port and one made it to Spain.

1541 – The Spanish first crossed the Arkansas River. Francisco Vazquez de Coronado continued to explore the American southwest. He left New Mexico and crossed Texas, Oklahoma and east Kansas.

1652 – Massachusetts declared itself an independent commonwealth.

1767 – The British Parliament approved the Townshend Revenue Acts, which imposed import duties on glass, lead, paint, paper and tea shipped to America. Colonists bitterly protested the Acts, which were repealed in 1770.

1776 – The Virginia constitution was adopted and Patrick Henry was made governor.

1784 – Caesar Romney, US judge, Delaware representative as a signer of the Declaration of Independence, died. He was later depicted on the Delaware state quarter.

1804 – Privates John Collins and Hugh Hall of the Lewis and Clark Expedition were found guilty by a court-martial consisting of members of the Corps of Discovery for getting drunk on duty. Collins receives 100 lashes on his back and Hall receives 50.

1820 – Revenue cutter Dallas captured the 12-gun brig-of-war General Ramirez, which was loaded with 280 slaves, off St. Augustine. The 8 July 1820 issue of the Savannah Republican noted: “On the 28th ultimo, while the Cutter DALLAS was lying in the St. Mary’s River, Captain Jackson received information that the Brig of war GENERAL RAMIREZ, supposed to be a piratical vessel was hovering off St. Augustine.

The Cutter forthwith got under way in pursuit of the Brig having first obtained 12 United States soldiers from Fernandina to strengthen the Cutter’s force. At half past three the next day, she hailed the Brig and received for answer, “This is the Patriot Brig GENERAL RAMIREZ—-.” Captain Jackson finding a number of blacks on board took possession of the vessel and brought her into St. Mary’s, arriving on the 1st instant. Captain Jackson found on the Brig about 280 African slaves. The Captain and crew, 28 in number, acknowledged themselves Americans.”

1835 – Determined to win independence for the Mexican State of Texas, William Travis raises a volunteer army of 25 soldiers and prepares to liberate the city of Anahuac. Born in South Carolina and raised in Alabama, William Travis moved to Mexican-controlled Texas in 1831 at the age of 22. He established a legal practice in Anahuac, a small frontier town about 40 miles east of Houston. From the start, Travis disliked Mexicans personally and resented Mexican rule of Texas politically.

In 1832, he clashed with local Mexican officials and was jailed for a month. When he was released, the growing Texan independence movement hailed him as a hero, strengthening his resolve to break away from Mexico by whatever means necessary. Early in 1835, the Mexican President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna overthrew the republican government and proclaimed himself dictator. Rightly fearing that some Texans would rebel as a result, Santa Anna quickly moved to reinforce Mexican control and dispatched troops to Anahuac, among other areas. Accustomed to enjoying a large degree of autonomy, some Texans resented the presence of Santa Anna’s troops, and they turned to Travis for leadership.

On this day in 1835, Travis raised a company of 25 volunteer soldiers. The next day, the small army easily captured Captain Antonio Tenorio, the leader of Santa Anna’s forces in Anahuac, and forced the troops to surrender. More radical Texans again proclaimed Travis a hero, but others condemned him for trying to foment war and maintained that Santa Anna could still be dealt with short of revolution.

By the fall of 1835, however, conflict had become inevitable, and Texans prepared to fight a war of independence. As soon as the rebels had formed an army, Travis was made a lieutenant colonel in command of the regular troops at San Antonio.

On February 23, 1836, Travis joined forces with Jim Bowie’s army of volunteers to occupy an old Spanish mission known as the Alamo. The following day, Santa Anna and about 4,000 of his men laid siege to the Alamo. With less than 200 soldiers, Travis and Bowie were able to hold off the Mexicans for 13 days.

On March 6th, Santa Anna’s soldiers stormed the Alamo and killed nearly every Texan defender, including Travis. In the months that followed, “Remember the Alamo” became a rallying cry as the Texans successfully drove the Mexican forces from their borders. By April, Texas had won its independence. Travis, who first hastened the war of independence and then became a martyr to the cause, became an enduring symbol of Texan courage and defiance.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:26 am
June 29th ~ {continued...}

1862 – Confederate General Robert E. Lee attacks Union General George McClellan as he is pulling his army away from Richmond, Virginia, in retreat during the Seven Days’ Battles. Although the Yankees lost 1,000 men—twice as many as the Rebels—they were able to successfully protect the retreat. George McClellan spent the spring of 1862 preparing the Army of the Potomac for a campaign up the James Peninsula toward Richmond.

For nearly three months, McClellan landed his troops at Fort Monroe, at the end of the peninsula, and worked northwest to Richmond. The Seven Days’ Battles were the climax of this attempt to take the Confederate capital. Although he had an advantage in numbers, McClellan squandered it and surrendered the initiative to Lee, who attacked the Yankees and began driving them away from Richmond. As McClelland retreated, Lee hounded his army. When the Union army moved past Savage’s Station—a stop on the Richmond and York River Railroad and the site of a Union hospital—Lee ordered an assault on the troops screening the retreat.

This was a chance to break McClellan’s flank and deal a shattering defeat to the Yankees. But although Lee’s strategy was sound, it was complicated, requiring precise timing on the part of several generals. The Confederates inflicted serious damage on the Northerners but were not able to break the rear guard. Fighting continued until nightfall, when a torrential rainstorm ended the battle.

1863 – Battle at Westminster, Maryland: Federal assault.

1863 – George A. Custer (23) was appointed Union Brevet Brig-general.

1863 – Lee ordered his forces to concentrate near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

1864 – Converted ferryboat U.S.S. Hunchback, Lieutenant Joseph P. Fyffe, supported by single turretted monitor U.S.S. Saugus, Commander Colhoun, bombarded Confederate batteries at Deep Bottom on the James River and caused their eventual removal. Rear Admiral Lee reported: “The importance of holding our position at Deep Bottom is obvious. Without doing so our communications are cut there, and our wooden vessels can not remain above that point, and the monitors would be alone and exposed to the enemy’s light torpedo craft from above and out of Four Mile Creek. The enemy could then plant torpedoes there to prevent the monitors passing by for supplies.”

1918 – Marines landed at Vladivostok, Russia, to protect the American Consulate.

1942 – Chiang Kai-shek presents his Three Demands to General Stilwell: three US divisions before September, 500 combat planes, and a guaranteed monthly aerial supply of 5,000 tons. Chiang berates Stilwell, and hints that he might pull out of the war. Stilwell, as Chiang’s chief of staff, is not responsible for procurement of supplies. The tension between the two grows.

1943 – A squadron of American cruisers and destroyers shells the Japanese base at Shortland while other vessels lay mines in the area. A US convoy heading for New Georgia is sighted by the Japanese but it is mistakenly believed to be carrying supplies to Guadalcanal.

1943 – Germany began withdrawing U-boats from North Atlantic in anticipation of the Allied invasion of Europe.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:28 am
June 29th ~ {continued...}

1944 – CDR Frank A. Erickson landed a helicopter on the flight deck of CGC Cobb. This was the first rotary-wing shipboard landing by Coast Guard personnel.

1944 – On Biak, American forces mop up lingering Japanese resistance.

1945 – President Truman approves the plan, devised by the joint chiefs of staff, to invade Japan. The plan calls for 5 million troops, mostly Americans. Kyushu is to be invaded on November 1st with some 13 divisions (Operation Olympic) and Honshu is to be invaded on March 1, 1946 with some 23 divisions (Operation Coronet), including forces of the US 1st Army from Europe. The British will deploy a very long range bomber force in support of the invasion.

1949 – US troops withdrew from Korea after WW II.

1950 – The Coast Guard adopted a Navy directive relative to security measures, including precautions against possible sabotage at installations and aboard ships.

1950 – President Truman authorized air operations against targets located in North Korea. Subsequently, the 3rd Bombardment Group flew the first air mission north of the 38th parallel against Heijo Airfield near Pyongyang. Staff Sergeant Nyle S. Mickley, a B-26 gunner, became the first gunner to shoot down an enemy aircraft, a Yak-3 fighter serving as the sole defender of the airfield.

1950 – While defending Suwon Airfield, Air Force Lieutenant Orrin R. Fox, 80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, scored two Yak-9 kills and Lieutenants Richard J. Burns, 35th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, and Harry T. Sandlin, 80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, each shot down a Yak fighter. These were the first aerial victories made by F-51 Mustang pilots in the Korean War. Interestingly, General MacArthur witnessed the air battle while conferring with Syngman Rhee.

1950 – President Truman ordered a naval blockade of the Korean coast. Meanwhile, the USS Juneau, fired on enemy shore targets in the first U.S. Naval engagement of the Korean War.

1950 – The North Korean People’s Army seized Seoul as General of the Army Douglas MacArthur flew to Korea to confer with ROK President Syngman Rhee. Meanwhile, U.S. B-29 Superfortresses of the 20th Air Force bombed Kimpo Airfield, now in communist hands.

1951 – The United States invited the Soviet Union to the Korean peace talks on a ship in Wonson Harbor.

1951 – U.N. Forces Commander General Matthew Ridgway offered to meet with the communist commanders to discuss a cease-fire and armistice.

1954 – The Atomic Energy Commission voted against reinstating Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer’s access to classified information.

1954 – At the conclusion of a five day conference, Churchill, Eden, Eisenhower and Dulles endorse partition and agree on seven points that offer a surprisingly accurate outline of the formal agreement at the conference.

1956 – The US Federal Highway Act authorized a 42,500 mile network linking major urban centers. 90% of the cost was to be borne by the federal government.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:30 am
June 29th ~ {continued...}

1966 – During the Vietnam War, U.S. aircraft bomb the major North Vietnamese population centers of Hanoi and Haiphong for the first time, destroying oil depots located near the two cities. The U.S. military hoped that by bombing Hanoi, the capital of North Vietnam, and Haiphong, North Vietnam’s largest port, communist forces would be deprived of essential military supplies and thus the ability to wage war.

In 1961, U.S. President John F. Kennedy sent the first large force of U.S. military personnel to Vietnam to bolster the ineffectual autocratic regime of South Vietnam against communist forces. Three years later, with the South Vietnamese government crumbling, President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered limited bombing raids on North Vietnam, and Congress authorized the use of U.S. ground troops.

By 1965, Vietcong and North Vietnamese offensives left President Johnson with two choices: escalate U.S. involvement or withdraw. Johnson ordered the former, and troop levels soon jumped to more than 300,000 as U.S. air forces commenced the largest bombing campaign in history. However, as the Vietcong were able to fight with an average daily flow of only 20 tons of supplies from North Vietnam, and U.S. forces in Vietnam required 1,000 times as much, the bombing of communist industry and supply routes had little impact on the course of the war.

Nevertheless, North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh placed the destruction of U.S. bombers in the forefront of his war effort, and by 1969 more than 5,000 American planes had been lost. In addition, the extended length of the war, the high number of U.S. casualties, and the exposure of U.S. involvement in war crimes such as the massacre at My Lai turned many in the United States against the Vietnam War.

In 1973, representatives of the United States and North and South Vietnam signed a peace agreement in Paris, ending the U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War. On April 30, 1975, the last few Americans still in South Vietnam were airlifted out of the country as Saigon fell to communist forces. The Vietnam War was the longest and most unpopular foreign war in U.S. history and cost 58,000 American lives. As many as two million Vietnamese soldiers and civilians were killed.

1968 – South Vietnamese Premier, Tran Van Huong expresses concern that, because of its impatience to end the war, the United States is making too many concessions at the peace talks, behavior which the North Vietnamese interpret as a sign of weakness.

1970 – U.S. ground combat troops end two months of operations in Cambodia and return to South Vietnam. Military officials reported 354 Americans had been killed and 1,689 were wounded in the operation. The South Vietnamese reported 866 killed and 3,724 wounded. About 34,000 South Vietnamese troops remained in Cambodia. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces had launched a limited “incursion” into Cambodia to clear North Vietnamese sanctuaries 20 miles inside the Cambodian border. Some 50,000 South Vietnamese soldiers and 30,000 U.S. troops were involved, making it the largest operation of the war since Operation Junction City in 1967.

The incursion into Cambodia had given the antiwar movement in the United States a new rallying point. News of the crossing into Cambodia set off a wave of antiwar demonstrations, including one at Kent State University that resulted in the killing of four students by Army National Guard troops, and another at Jackson State in Mississippi resulting in the shooting of two students when police opened fire on a women’s dormitory. The incursion also angered many in Congress, who felt that Nixon was illegally widening the scope of the war; this resulted in a series of congressional resolutions and legislative initiatives that would severely limit the executive power of the president.

1972 – President Nixon agrees to the resumption of peace talks in Paris ‘on the assumption that the North Vietnamese are prepared to negotiate in a constructive and serious way.’ Talks will begin again on 13 July.

1973 – Congress agrees that bombing in Cambodia can continue until 15 August, after which spending for any military activity in Indochina must be approved by Congress.

1978 – Vietnam becomes a member of Comecon (The Council of Mutual Economic Assistance), the Soviet-Bloc East European economic community.
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