1775 – Gen Horatio Gates, issued an order excluding blacks from Continental Army.
1776 – The statue of King George III was pulled down in New York City.
1778 – In support of the American Revolution, Louis XVI declared war on England.
1797 – 1st US frigate, the “United States,” was launched in Philadelphia.
1820 – The Revenue cutter Gallatin captured 19 men illegally recruited for the Columbian privateer Wilson and chased that vessel and her Spanish prize, Santiago, to sea from the harbor at Charleston, South Carolina.
1850 – Millard Fillmore (Whig) was sworn in as the 13th president following the death of Zachary Taylor.
1861 – The new Confederate States of America and the Creek Indians conclude a treaty, one of several such alliances made during the war.
1863 – Union troops land on Morris Island near Charleston, South Carolina, and prepare for a siege on Battery Wagner, a massive sand fortress on the island. In the summer of 1863, Union General Quincy Gillmore waged an unsuccessful campaign to capture Charleston. Although the city was an important port for the Confederates early in the war, the attempt to capture Charleston was largely symbolic since a Union blockade of Confederate ports earlier on had bottled up Charleston Harbor anyway. Gillmore planned to approach it from the south by capturing Morris Island. On July 10, Gillmore’s troops quickly secured most of the island. The only barrier left was Battery Wagner, an imposing fortress that guarded Charleston Harbor’s southern rim. The fort was 30 feet high, nearly 300 feet from north to south, and over 600 feet from east to west. Inside were 1,600 Confederates, 10 heavy cannons, and a mortar for hitting ships off the coast. Gillmore attacked on July 11, but the attack was easily repulsed. A much larger assault was made on July 18 with heavy Union losses. After the July 18 battle, Gillmore settled in for a long siege. The Confederates finally evacuated the fort on September 7, 1863.
1863 – Under Rear Admiral Dahlgren, ironclads U.S.S. Catskill, Commander G.W. Rodgers; Montauk, Commander Fairfax; Nahant, Commander Downes; and Weehawken, Commander Colhoun, bombarded Confederate defenses on Morris Island, Charleston harbor, supporting and covering a landing by Army troops under Brigadier General Quincy A. Gillmore. Close in support of the landing was rendered by small boats, under Lieutenant Commander Francis M. Bunce, armed with howitzers, from the blockading ships in Light House Inlet, The early morning assault followed the plan outlined by General Gillmore a week earlier in a letter to Rear Admiral Du Pont: “I cannot safely move without assistance from the Navy. We must have that island or Sullivan’s Island as preliminary to any combined military and naval attack on the interior defenses of Charleston harbor. . . . I consider a naval force abreast of Morris Island as indispensable to cover our advance upon the Island and restrain the enemy’s gunboats and ironclads.”
1864 – During the siege of Petersburg, General Ulysses S. Grant established a huge supply center, called City Point, at the confluence of the James and Appomattox rivers. After nearly 10 months of trench warfare, Confederate resistance at Petersburg, Va., suddenly collapsed. Desperate to save his army, Robert E. Lee called on his soldiers for one last miracle.
1890 – Wyoming became the 44th state.
1898 – The First Marine Battalion, commanded by LtCol Robert W. Huntington, landed on the eastern side of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The next day, Lt Herbert L. Draper hoisted the American flag on a flag pole at Camp McCalla where it flew during the next eleven days. LtCol Huntington later sent the flag with an accompanying letter to Colonel Commandant Charles Heywood noting that “when bullets were flying, …the sight of the flag upon the midnight sky has thrilled our hearts.”
1919 – President Wilson personally delivered the Treaty of Versailles to the Senate and urged its ratification.
1919 – A submarine chaser was turned over to the Corps with the first all-Marine crew.
1940 – The Germans begin the first in a long series of bombing raids against Great Britain, as the Battle of Britain, which will last three and a half months, begins. After the occupation of France by Germany, Britain knew it was only a matter of time before the Axis power turned its sights across the Channel. And on July 10, 120 German bombers and fighters struck a British shipping convoy in that very Channel, while 70 more bombers attacked dockyard installations in South Wales. Although Britain had far fewer fighters than the Germans-600 to 1,300-it had a few advantages, such as an effective radar system, which made the prospects of a German sneak attack unlikely. Britain also produced superior quality aircraft. Its Spitfires could turn tighter than Germany’s ME109s, enabling it to better elude pursuers; and its Hurricanes could carry 40mm cannon, and would shoot down, with its American Browning machine guns, over 1,500 Luftwaffe aircraft. The German single-engine fighters had a limited flight radius, and its bombers lacked the bomb-load capacity necessary to unleash permanent devastation on their targets. Britain also had the advantage of unified focus, while German infighting caused missteps in timing; they also suffered from poor intelligence. But in the opening days of battle, Britain was in immediate need of two things: a collective stiff upper lip–and aluminum. A plea was made by the government to turn in all available aluminum to the Ministry of Aircraft Production. “We will turn your pots and pans into Spitfires and Hurricanes,” the ministry declared. And they did.
1941 – Roosevelt submits new appropriations measures to Congress. He asks for $4,770,000,000 for the army.
1943 – Operation Husky: The Allied landings begin. Patton’s 7th Army lands in the Gulf of Gela between Licata and Scoglitti. Assault elements of the 180th and 157th Infantry regiments, both part of the 45th Infantry Division (AZ, CO, OK) storm ashore as part of the invasion of Sicily. They meet little resistance and quickly move to secure the British right flank as it moves north to take Messina, the island’s closest point to the Italian mainland. This operation marked the first time any Allied force attacked an Axis power on its home ground. The Italians soon overthrow their dictator, Benito Mussolini and asked the Allies for peace. However, the Germans quickly moved large numbers of troops into the country and fought the Allies all the way back to the Alps, not surrendering until the end of the war on May 8, 1945.
1943 – The American attack on New Georgia is held by the Japanese. American troops are having difficulty receiving supplies.
1943 – A further linking up of Australian and American forces cuts off the Japanese forces in Mubo from Salamaua.
1945 – The German submarine U-530, missing since the end of April, surfaces at Mar del Plata, south of Buenos Aires, sparking off speculation that it ferried high-ranking Nazi officials to sanctuary in South America.
1945 – US Task Force 38 aircraft, 1022 in all, raid 70 air bases in the Tokyo area, destroying 173 Japanese planes. Only light anti-aircraft fire is encountered. This is the first time that elements of the US 3rd Fleet have attacked Tokyo. Included in the task force carrying out the raids are the aircraft carriers Lexington, Essex, Independence and San Jacinto, the battleships Indiana, Massachusetts, South Dakota and Iowa, the cruisers Chicago, San Juan, Springfield and Atlanta and 14 destroyers. Tokyo radio refers to the “dark shadow of invasion” in mention of the raid.
1950 – At Taejon, Lieutenant Harold E. Morris demonstrated a T-6 trainer aircraft to be better suited for the airborne controller mission than liaison aircraft.
1950 – The first engagement between U.S. and North Korean tanks occurred near Chonui. One enemy T-34 was destroyed while two outclassed U.S. M-24 Chafee light tanks were lost. Near Pyongtaek, the Air Force achieved its greatest single-day destruction of enemy tanks and trucks during the war.
1951 – Armistice negotiations began at Kaesong.
1953 – American forces withdrew from Pork Chop Hill in Korea after heavy fighting.
1962 – The communications satellite Telstar was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, beaming live television from Europe to the United States.
1965 – U.S. planes continue heavy raids in South Vietnam and claim to have killed 580 guerrillas. U.S. Phantom jets, escorting fighter-bombers in a raid on the Yen Sen ammunition depot northwest of Hanoi, engaged North Vietnamese MiG-17s. Capt. Thomas S. Roberts with his backseater Capt. Ronald C. Anderson, and Capt. Kenneth E. Holcombe and his backseater Capt. Arthur C. Clark shot down two MiG-17s with Sidewinder missiles. The action marked the first U.S. Air Force air-to-air victories of the Vietnam War.
1967 – Outnumbered South Vietnamese troops repel an attack by two battalions of the 141st North Vietnamese Regiment on a military camp five miles east of An Loc, 60 miles north of Saigon. Communist forces captured a third of the base camp before they were thrown back with the assistance of U.S. and South Vietnamese air and artillery strikes. Farther to the north, U.S. forces suffered heavy casualties in two separate battles in the Central Highlands. In the first action, about 400 men of the 173rd Airborne Brigade came under heavy fire from North Vietnamese machine guns and mortars during a sweep of the Dak To area near Kontum. Twenty-six Americans were killed and 49 were wounded. In the second area clash, 35 soldiers of the U.S. 4th Infantry Division were killed and 31 were wounded in fighting.
1987 – Lt. Col. Oliver North told the Iran-Contra committees that the late CIA director William J. Casey had embraced a fund created by arms sales to Iran because it could be used for secret operations other than supplying the Contras.
1992 – A federal judge in Miami sentenced former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, convicted of drug and racketeering charges, to 40 years in prison. However, a judge in March, 1998, cut Noriega’s sentence by ten years, meaning he could be eligible for parole in 2000.
1997 – President Clinton, visiting Poland, told a Warsaw square filled with cheering Poles that “never again will your fate be decided by others.” He announced a successful drive to bring Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic into NATO by 1999.
1997 – In Bosnia in Operation Tango NATO forces captured Milan Kovacevic, a physician who was the 2nd ranking officer in the Prijedor City Hall during the war. An attempt to capture Simo Drljaca, a leader of local “ethnic cleansing” led to a shootout and his death.
2000 – In Kosovo an Albanian boy (5) was killed when an American soldier’s rifle discharged accidentally.
2001 – For the second time in a month, a jury in New York rejected the death penalty for one of the men convicted in the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa, opting instead for life in prison without parole.
2001 – Kenneth Williams, an FBI agent in Phoenix, Arizona, issued a memorandum that requested detailed examination of US flight schools for al Qaeda terrorists. Mid-level officials rejected the request.
2001 – In North Carolina 3 Marines were killed in a helicopter crash near Camp Lejeune.
2003 – Cuba signed an operating agreement with the Port of Corpus Christi, an agreement that could help erode the long-standing US embargo of the island.
2004 – In Iraq US Marines clashed with insurgents in Ramadi, a city known as a stronghold of Saddam Hussein supporters, killing 3 of the attackers and wounding 5 others. Saboteurs attacked a natural gas pipeline that feeds into a northern power station.
2004 – NASCAR driver Justin Labonte, who was sponsored by the Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Recruiting Command, won his first Busch Series victory in his stock car Coast Guard #44 at the Tropicana 300 in Joliet, Illinois.
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
*PARLE, JOHN JOSEPH
Rank and organization: Ensign, U.S. Naval Reserve. Born: 26 May 1920, Omaha, Nebr. Accredited to: Nebraska. Citation: For valor and courage above and beyond the call of duty as Officer-in-Charge of Small Boats in the U.S.S. LST 375 during the amphibious assault on the island of Sicily, 9-10 July 1943. Realizing that a detonation of explosives would prematurely disclose to the enemy the assault about to be carried out, and with full knowledge of the peril involved, Ens. Parle unhesitatingly risked his life to extinguish a smoke pot accidentally ignited in a boat carrying charges of high explosives, detonating fuses and ammunition. Undaunted by fire and blinding smoke, he entered the craft, quickly snuffed out a burning fuse, and after failing in his desperate efforts to extinguish the fire pot, finally seized it with both hands and threw it over the side. Although he succumbed a week later from smoke and fumes inhaled, Ens. Parle’s heroic self-sacrifice prevented grave damage to the ship and personnel and insured the security of a vital mission. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.
*SCHOONOVER, DAN D.
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company A, 13th Engineer Combat Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Sokkogae, Korea, 8 to 10 July 1953. Entered service at: Boise, Idaho. Born: 8 October 1933, Boise, Idaho. G.O. No.: 5, 14 January 1955. Citation: Cpl. Schoonover, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. He was in charge of an engineer demolition squad attached to an infantry company which was committed to dislodge the enemy from a vital hill. Realizing that the heavy fighting and intense enemy fire made it impossible to carry out his mission, he voluntarily employed his unit as a rifle squad and, forging up the steep barren slope, participated in the assault on hostile positions. When an artillery round exploded on the roof of an enemy bunker, he courageously ran forward and leaped into the position, killing 1 hostile infantryman and taking another prisoner. Later in the action, when friendly forces were pinned down by vicious fire from another enemy bunker, he dashed through the hail of fire, hurled grenades in the nearest aperture, then ran to the doorway and emptied his pistol, killing the remainder of the enemy. His brave action neutralized the position and enabled friendly troops to continue their advance to the crest of the hill. When the enemy counterattacked he constantly exposed himself to the heavy bombardment to direct the fire of his men and to call in an effective artillery barrage on hostile forces. Although the company was relieved early the following morning, he voluntarily remained in the area, manned a machine gun for several hours, and subsequently joined another assault on enemy emplacements. When last seen he was operating an automatic rifle with devastating effect until mortally wounded by artillery fire. Cpl. Schoonover’s heroic leadership during 2 days of heavy fighting, superb personal bravery, and willing self-sacrifice inspired his comrades and saved many lives, reflecting lasting glory upon himself and upholding the honored traditions of the military service.