1824 – Alexander Schimmelfennig, Brig. General Union volunteers, was born in Prussia.
1846 – First visit of U.S. warships (USS Columbus and USS Vincennes) to Japan is unsuccessful in negotiating a treaty.
1861 – The New York Tribune compared Peace Democrats to the venomous Copperhead snake, which strikes without warning. During the American Civil War, Northerners who advocated restoration of the Union through a negotiated settlement with the South was referred to as Peace Democrats.
1861 – The Congress of the Confederate States began holding sessions in Richmond, Va.
1861 – In the first major battle of the Civil War [see June 10], Confederate forces repelled an attempt by the Union Army to turn their flank in Virginia. The battle becomes known by the Confederates as Manassas, while the Union called it Bull Run. It was fought on Judith Carter Henry’s farm.
1862 – A guerrilla campaign in GA (Porter’s & Poindexter’s) left US 580 and CS 2,866 casualties.
1864 – General John Bell Hood’s Confederate force attack William T. Sherman’s troops outside of Atlanta, Georgia, but are repulsed with heavy losses. This was Hood’s first battle as head of the Army of Tennessee. Hood had assumed the command from Joseph Johnston just two days before when Confederate President Jefferson Davis replaced Johnston after Sherman backed Johnston into this key Southern city. For nearly three months, Sherman had pushed Johnston southward from Chattanooga to Atlanta. Johnston had blocked each of Sherman’s flanking maneuvers, but in doing so he lost territory. Davis finally lost patience with Johnston, and selected the more offensive-minded Hood to defeat Sherman. Hood wasted little time. He planned to strike the Army of the Cumberland, commanded by General George Thomas, as it crossed Peachtree Creek. The waterway was deep, and the Confederates destroyed all bridges on their retreat into the outskirts of Atlanta. Hood suspected that the Yankees were most vulnerable when only part of their force was across the creek so he planned a two-pronged assault to hold part of Thomas’ army at bay while the rest could be pinned against Peachtree Creek. It was a sound plan, but poor execution doomed the operation. Scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on July 20, the attack was delayed for three hours while Hood’s troops shifted into position. The overall assault lacked a general coordination, so units charged the Union positions piecemeal. Twenty thousand Rebels assaulted the same number of Yankees, but the delay proved costly. The Confederates achieved some success, but could not drive the Union troops back into Peachtree Creek. After three hours, Hood ordered a halt to the advance. Hood was not deterred. Two days later, he attacked Sherman’s forces again at the Battle of Atlanta.
1881 – Five years after General George A. Custer’s infamous defeat at the Battle of Little Bighorn, Hunkpapa Teton Sioux leader Sitting Bull surrenders to the U.S. Army, which promises amnesty for him and his followers. Sitting Bull had been a major leader in the 1876 Sioux uprising that resulted in the death of Custer and 264 of his men at Little Bighorn. Pursued by the U.S. Army after the Indian victory, he escaped to Canada with his followers. Born in the Grand River Valley in what is now South Dakota, Sitting Bull gained early recognition in his Sioux tribe as a capable warrior and a man of vision. In 1864, he fought against the U.S. Army under General Alfred Sully at Killdeer Mountain and thereafter dedicated himself to leading Sioux resistance against white encroachment. He soon gained a following in not only his own tribe but in the Cheyenne and Arapaho Native American groups as well. In 1867, he was made principal chief of the entire Sioux nation. In 1873, in what would serve as a preview of the Battle of Little Bighorn three years later, an Indian military coalition featuring the leadership of Sitting Bull skirmished briefly with Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer. In 1876, Sitting Bull was not a strategic leader in the U.S. defeat at Little Bighorn, but his spiritual influence inspired Crazy Horse and the other victorious Indian military leaders. He subsequently fled to Canada, but in 1881, with his people starving, he returned to the United States and surrendered. He was held as a prisoner of war at Fort Randall in South Dakota territory for two years and then was permitted to live on Standing Rock Reservation straddling North and South Dakota territory. In 1885, he traveled for a season with Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West show and then returned to Standing Rock. In 1889, the spiritual proclamations of Sitting Bull influenced the rise of the “Ghost Dance,” an Indian religious movement that proclaimed that the whites would disappear and the dead Indians and buffalo would return. His support of the Ghost Dance movement had brought him into disfavor with government officials, and on December 15, 1890, Indian police burst into Sitting Bull’s house in the Grand River area of South Dakota and attempted to arrest him. There is confusion as to what happened next. By some accounts, Sitting Bull’s warriors shot the leader of the police, who immediately turned and gunned down Sitting Bull. In another account, the police were instructed by Major James McLaughlin, director of the Standing Rock Sioux Agency, to kill the chief at any sign of resistance. Whatever the case, Sitting Bull was fatally shot and died within hours. The Indian police hastily buried his body at Fort Yates within the Standing Rock Reservation. In 1953, his remains were moved into Mobridge, South Dakota, where a granite shaft marks his resting place.
1894 – 2000 federal troops were recalled from Chicago with the end of the Pullman strike. During the summer of 1894, the Pullman Palace Car Company was embroiled in what proved to be one of the most bitter strikes in American history. The strike was a direct response to company chief George Pullman and his hardball tactics, most notably his decision in the midst of the Depression of 1893 to preserve profits by slashing wages and hiking up workers’ rents. A band of frustrated employees implored Pullman to ease rents and restore wages; Pullman responded by firing three of the workers. In May, the workers fired back at their avaricious boss by calling a strike. Backed by the organizational muscle of Eugene Debs and the mighty American Railway Union (ARU), the workers touched off a round of sympathy strikes and boycotts that effectively crippled the Chicago-based company. However, Pullman had has own network of powerful allies, including other rail honchos and a number government officials. In hopes of enlisting the aid of the federal military, Pullman and his cronies convinced the government that the strikes and boycotts were inhibiting the delivery of America’s mail. Though Pullman’s cars didn’t carry any mail, the scheme proved effective: in early July, the government banned the boycotts and swiftly shipped troops to Chicago. Fighting broke out shortly after the government forces hit the scene; by the time the militia left Chicago on July 20, the “war” between the troops and the strikers had left thirty-four men dead. But, the damage had already been done to the Pullman strikers: their ranks and clout had been depleted, and, when American Federation of Labor chief Samuel Gompers’ refusal to lend them any substantial support, the rail workers were forced to capitulate to management. In the wake of the settlement, many of the strikers were barred from working in the rail industry.
1917 – The US draft lottery in World War I went into operation.
1917 – An Executive Order extended the jurisdiction of the Lighthouse Service, which will become part of the Coast Guard, to the non-contiguous territory of the American Virgin Islands.
1942 – The first detachment of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), later known as WACs, began basic training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa.
1942 – “The Herald-Tribune of July 20, 1942, carried the following story: A new Coast Guard regiment, made up of tough, hand-picked men, all heavily armed and with the headquarters company mounting machine guns in speedy jeep cars, has been organized for extra protection of the Port of New York, it was announced yesterday. Regimental offices of the commando-like outfit, led by Captain Francis V. Lowden, will be in the Barge Office at the Battery. There will be five battalion headquarters — one each in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island and New Jersey, and a floating one set up a harbor patrol craft. The new contingent for sabotage precaution will be known as the Port Security Regiment…. The selected men recruited for the Port Security Regiment are being trained in a variety of rough and rigorous combat tactics to fit them for meeting surprise actions. Captain Lowden, on leave from his post as Mayor of Roselle, N.J., has had twenty years of experience in organizing protective services for the port properties of Standard Oil of New Jersey.”
1942 – An Act of Congress (Public Law 671 – 77th Congress, Chapter 508, 2d Session) established the Legion of Merit and provided that the medal “shall have suitable appurtenances and devices and not more than four degrees, and which the President, under such rules and regulations as he shall prescribe, may award to (a) personnel of the Armed Forces of the United States and of the Government of the Commonwealth Philippines and (b) personnel of the armed forces of friendly foreign nations who, since the proclamation of an emergency by the President on 8 September 1939, shall have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services”. The medal was announced in War Department Bulletin No. 40 dated 5 August 1942. Executive Order 9260, dated 29 October 1942, by President Roosevelt, established the rules for the Legion of Merit and required the President’s approval for award. However, in 1943, at the request of General George C. Marshall, approval authority for U.S. personnel was delegated to the War Department. Executive Order 10600, dated 15 March 1955, by President Eisenhower, revised approval authority. Current provisions are contained in Title 10, United States Code 1121.
1943 – American troops reach Menfi in the south of Sicily.
1943 – Roosevelt directs that information about atomic research is to be shared with the British.
1943 – New American forces take over the front on New Georgia. New road construction alleviates the supply problem. Two Japanese destroyers are sunk during a supply mission.
1944 – US 15th Air Force attacked Friedrichshafen and Memmingen. Flying Fortresses of US 8th Air Force attacked Leipzig and Dessau.
1944 – US invaded Japanese occupied Guam. Japanese aircraft carrier Hijo was sunk by US air attack.
1944 – The bombardment of Tinian is expanded as army artillery based on Saipan becomes available, in addition to the air attacks and naval shelling.
1944 – Hitler cheats death as a bomb planted in a briefcase goes off, but fails to kill him. High German officials had made up their minds that Hitler must die. He was leading Germany in a suicidal war on two fronts, and assassination was the only way to stop him. A coup d’etat would follow, and a new government in Berlin would save Germany from complete destruction at the hands of the Allies. That was the plan. This was the reality: Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, chief of the army reserve, had been given the task of planting a bomb during a conference that was to be held at Berchtesgaden (but was later moved to Hitler’s headquarters at Rastenburg). Stauffenberg planted the explosive in a briefcase, which he placed under a table, then left quickly. Hitler was studying a map of the Eastern front as Colonel Heinz Brandt, trying to get a better look at the map, moved the briefcase out of place, farther away from where the Fuhrer was standing. At 12:42 p.m. the bomb went off. When the smoke cleared, Hitler was wounded, charred, and even suffered the temporary paralysis of one arm-but he was very much alive. (He was even well enough to keep an appointment with Benito Mussolini that very afternoon. He gave Il Duce a tour of the bomb site.) Four others present died from their wounds. As the bomb went off, Stauffenberg was making his way to Berlin to carry out Operation Valkyrie, the overthrow of the central government. In Berlin, he and co-conspirator General Olbricht arrested the commander of the reserve army, General Fromm, and began issuing orders for the commandeering of various government buildings. And then the news came through from Herman Goering-Hitler was alive. Fromm, released from custody under the assumption he would nevertheless join the effort to throw Hitler out of office, turned on the conspirators. Stauffenberg and Olbricht were shot that same day. Once Hitler figured out the extent of the conspiracy (it reached all the way to occupied French), he began the systematic liquidation of his enemies. More than 7,000 Germans would be arrested (including evangelical pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer), and up to 5,000 would wind up dead-either executed or as suicides. Hitler, Himmler, and Goering took an even firmer grip on Germany and its war machine. Hitler became convinced that fate had spared him-“I regard this as a confirmation of the task imposed upon me by Providence”-and that “nothing is going to happen to me…. [T]he great cause which I serve will be brought through its present perils and…everything can be brought to a good end.”
1945 – The Potsdam Conference continues. Churchill, Truman and Stalin confer on politics and strategy, in a town near Berlin. Truman says that the Allies are making no territorial claims, wanting only peace, prosperity and “man’s greatest age.” Meanwhile, a flag which will fly over Tokyo when Japan is defeated was hoisted in Berlin today in the presence of President Truman.
1945 – Congress votes to increase the lending ceiling of the Export-Import Bank from $700 million to $3.5 billion. The United States Senate passes the Bretton Woods Bill by a vote of 61 to 16.
1945 – American forces land on Balut Island, at the entrance to Sarangani Bay of Mindanao. The small Japanese garrison is eliminated.
1945 – About 80 P-51 Mustang fighters, flying from Iwo Jima, strike targets in central Honshu.
1945 – For the second consecutive day, more than 200 Allied bombers, flying from Okinawa, attack Japanese airfields in the area of Shanghai.
1948 – William Forster, US Communist Party chairman, was arrested.
1948 – President Harry S. Truman institutes a military draft with a proclamation calling for nearly 10 million men to register for military service within the next two months. Truman’s action came during increasing Cold War tensions with the Soviet Union. Following World War II, the United States moved quickly to demobilize the vast military it had constructed during the conflict. During the war, more than 16 million men and women served in the U.S. military; when the war ended in August 1945, the American people demanded rapid demobilization. By 1948, less than 550,000 men remained in the U.S. Army. This rapid decline in the size of America’s military concerned U.S. government officials, who believed that a confrontation with the Soviet Union was imminent. During the years following World War II, relations between the Russians and Americans deteriorated rapidly. In 1947, the president issued the Truman Doctrine, which provided aid to Greece and Turkey to oppose communist subversion. In that same year, Secretary of State George C. Marshall warned that Western Europe was on the brink of political and economic chaos that would leave it defenseless against communist aggression; the following year, Congress approved billions of dollars in financial assistance to the beleaguered nations. In June 1948, the Soviets cut all land traffic into the U.S.-British-French zones of occupation in West Berlin. The United States responded with the Berlin Airlift, in which tons of food and supplies were flown in to sustain the population of the besieged city. In light of these events, many Americans believed that actual combat with the Soviet Union was not far away. In response to this threat, President Truman announced on July 20, 1948, that the United States was re-instituting the draft and issued a proclamation requiring nearly 10 million men to register for military service in the next two months. Truman’s action in July 1948 marked the first peacetime draft in the history of the United States, thereby underlining the urgency of his administration’s concern about a possible military confrontation with the Soviet Union. It also brought home to the American people in concrete terms the possibility that the Cold War could, at any moment, become an actual war. In 1950, possibility turned to reality when the United States entered the Korean War, and the size of America’s armed forces once again increased dramatically.
1950 – The U.S. 24th Infantry Regiment of the 25th Infantry Division was bloodied in an ill-fated counterattack at Yechon.
1953 – U.S. Air Force Major Stephen L. Bettinger qualified as the 40th and last ace of the Korean War. Because he was shot down during this engagement and subsequently captured, he was not officially credited with his fifth victory until after his repatriation.
1956 – The deadline set at Geneva in 1954 for nationwide elections passes. Diem’s intransigence convinces many dissidents that the struggle to demand the implementation of the Geneva Agreements is futile. Although Diem’s harsh security measures have efficiently decimated the Vietminh, disorganized and uncoordinated insurgency begins in the South.
1960 – In first launch of Polaris missile, USS George Washington (SSBN 598) successfully fires 2 operational Polaris missiles while submerged off Florida.
1964 – Four Navy divers enter Project SEALAB I capsule moored 192 feet on the ocean floor off Bermuda for 11 day experiment.
1964 – Viet Cong forces overrun Cai Be, the capital of Dinh Tuong Province, killing 11 South Vietnamese militiamen, 10 women, and 30 children. On July 31, South Vietnam charged that the enemy troops involved in the attack were North Vietnamese Army regulars and that Chinese communist advisors led the attack. This claim was never verified, but it is likely that North Vietnamese regulars participated in the action. This incident and numerous intelligence reports indicated that North Vietnamese regular troops were moving down the Ho Chi Minh Trail in great numbers to join the fighting in South Vietnam. This marked a major change in the tempo and scope of the war in South Vietnam and resulted in President Lyndon B. Johnson committing U.S. combat troops. North Vietnamese forces and U.S. troops clashed for the first time in November 1965, when units from the newly arrived 1st Cavalry Division engaged several North Vietnamese regiments in the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley in the Central Highlands.
1969 – At 10:56 p.m. EDT, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, 240,000 miles from Earth, speaks these words to more than a billion people listening at home: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” A moment later, he stepped off the lunar landing module Eagle and became the first human to walk on the surface of the moon. The American effort to send astronauts to the moon has its origins in a famous appeal President John F. Kennedy made to a special joint session of Congress on May 25, 1961: “I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth.” At the time, the United States was still trailing the Soviet Union in space developments, and Cold War-era America welcomed Kennedy’s bold proposal. In 1966, after five years of work by an international team of scientists and engineers, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducted the first unmanned Apollo mission, testing the structural integrity of the proposed launch vehicle and spacecraft combination. Then, on January 27, 1967, tragedy struck at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, when a fire broke out during a manned launch-pad test of the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn rocket. Three astronauts were killed in the fire. Despite the setback, NASA and its thousands of employees forged ahead, and in October 1968, Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, orbited Earth and successfully tested many of the sophisticated systems needed to conduct a moon journey and landing. In December of the same year, Apollo 8 took three astronauts to the dark side of the moon and back, and in March 1969 Apollo 9 tested the lunar module for the first time while in Earth orbit. Then in May, the three astronauts of Apollo 10 took the first complete Apollo spacecraft around the moon in a dry run for the scheduled July landing mission. At 9:32 a.m. on July 16, with the world watching, Apollo 11 took off from Kennedy Space Center with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin Jr., and Michael Collins aboard. Armstrong, a 38-year-old civilian research pilot, was the commander of the mission. After traveling 240,000 miles in 76 hours, Apollo 11 entered into a lunar orbit on July 19. The next day, at 1:46 p.m., the lunar module Eagle, manned by Armstrong and Aldrin, separated from the command module, where Collins remained. Two hours later, the Eagle began its descent to the lunar surface, and at 4:18 p.m. the craft touched down on the southwestern edge of the Sea of Tranquility. Armstrong immediately radioed to Mission Control in Houston, Texas, a famous message: “The Eagle has landed.” At 10:39 p.m., five hours ahead of the original schedule, Armstrong opened the hatch of the lunar module. As he made his way down the lunar module’s ladder, a television camera attached to the craft recorded his progress and beamed the signal back to Earth, where hundreds of millions watched in great anticipation. At 10:56 p.m., Armstrong spoke his famous quote, which he later contended was slightly garbled by his microphone and meant to be “that’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” He then planted his left foot on the gray, powdery surface, took a cautious step forward, and humanity had walked on the moon. “Buzz” Aldrin joined him on the moon’s surface at 11:11 p.m., and together they took photographs of the terrain, planted a U.S. flag, ran a few simple scientific tests, and spoke with President Richard M. Nixon via Houston. By 1:11 a.m. on July 21, both astronauts were back in the lunar module and the hatch was closed. The two men slept that night on the surface of the moon, and at 1:54 p.m. the Eagle began its ascent back to the command module. Among the items left on the surface of the moon was a plaque that read: “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the moon–July 1969 A.D–We came in peace for all mankind.” At 5:35 p.m., Armstrong and Aldrin successfully docked and rejoined Collins, and at 12:56 a.m. on July 22 Apollo 11 began its journey home, safely splashing down in the Pacific Ocean at 12:51 p.m. on July 24. There would be five more successful lunar landing missions, and one unplanned lunar swing-by, Apollo 13. The last men to walk on the moon, astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt of the Apollo 17 mission, left the lunar surface on December 14, 1972. The Apollo program was a costly and labor intensive endeavor, involving an estimated 400,000 engineers, technicians, and scientists, and costing $24 billion (close to $100 billion in today’s dollars). The expense was justified by Kennedy’s 1961 mandate to beat the Soviets to the moon, and after the feat was accomplished ongoing missions lost their viability.
1969 – Members of Rhode Island’s 107th Signal Company continue to perform ‘routine’ but necessary upgrades on equipment to assure a smooth flow of communications in support of Headquarters, II Field Force. The unit, in country since October 1968, actually had elements serving in three serving different locations in Vietnam. The main body was stationed at Long Binh while a platoon was based at Can Tho, 80 miles southwest of Saigon to support the IV Corps (Mekong Delta) area and a second platoon was situated at Tay Ninh (50 miles northwest of Saigon) to support the 199th Infantry Brigade. Among their tasks was the maintenance of teletype relays between different headquarters in country and the operation of a 200-line dial central office on wheels to provide commercial-quality phone service. This latter equipment allowed the unit to deploy with a mobile force and within an hour have its commo links up on line. While the unit had no men killed in action, Sergeant Ernest Perry of Warwick, RI, died of malaria. The 107th returned home in October 1969 and was reorganized in the Rhode Island Guard. However, it was disbanded in the 1990s and its lineage is now lost. It is the only National Guard unit (Army or Air) carrying Vietnam campaign credit not still in the force today.
1969 – A top-secret study, commissioned by presidential assistant Henry Kissinger, is completed by the office of the Chief of Naval Operations. Code-named Duck Hook, the study proposed measures for military escalation against North Vietnam. The military options included a massive bombing of Hanoi, Haiphong, and other key areas of North Vietnam; a ground invasion of North Vietnam; the mining of harbors and rivers; and a bombing campaign designed to sever the main railroad links to China. A total of 29 major targets in North Vietnam were pinpointed for destruction in a series of air attacks planned to last four days and to be renewed until Hanoi capitulated. This plan represented a drastic escalation of the war and was never ordered by President Richard Nixon. However, Nixon did order certain elements of the proposal, such as the intensified bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong and the mining of North Vietnamese harbors, in response to the 1972 North Vietnamese Easter Offensive.
1976 – Last US troops left Thailand.
1976 – On the seventh anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, the Viking 1 lander, an unmanned U.S. planetary probe, becomes the first spacecraft to successfully land on the surface of Mars. Viking 1 was launched on August 20, 1975, and arrived at Mars on June 19, 1976. The first month of its orbit was devoted to imaging the surface to find appropriate landing sites. On July 20, 1976, the Viking 1 lander separated from the orbiter, touched down on the Chryse Planitia region of Mars, and sent back the first close-up photographs of the rust-colored Martian surface. In September 1976, Viking 2–launched only three weeks after Viking 1–entered into orbit around Mars, where it assisted Viking 1 in imaging the surface and also sent down a lander. During the dual Viking missions, the two orbiters imaged the entire surface of Mars at a resolution of 150 to 300 meters, and the two landers sent back more than 1,400 images of the planet’s surface.
1987 – The UN Security Council voted unanimously to approve a U.S.-sponsored resolution demanding an end to the Persian Gulf war between Iraq and Iran, a move supported by Iraq and dismissed by Iran.
1988 – Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini accepted a truce with Iraq, even though he said the decision was like drinking poison.
1989 – President Bush called for a long-range space program to build an orbiting space station, establish a base on the moon and send a manned mission to the planet Mars.
1990 – A federal appeals court set aside Oliver North’s Iran-Contra convictions, reversing one outright.
1999 – After 38 years at the bottom of the Atlantic, astronaut Gus Grissom’s “Liberty Bell Seven” Mercury capsule was lifted to the surface.
2002 – In Greece police arrested two more alleged November 17 terrorists, Iraklis Kostaris and Costas Karatsolis, both 36-year-old real estate agents. One was believed to be a hit man in four assassinations including those of a U.S. Air Force sergeant and a British brigadier.
2003 – American generals said a new Iraqi civil defense force would be created over the next 45 days with some 7,000 militia members. Gen. John Abizaid, the top commander of coalition forces in Iraq, predicted that resistance to U.S. forces in Iraq would grow in coming months as progress was made in creating a new government to replace the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein.
2003 – Operation Warrior Sweep involved a deployment of about 1,000 soldiers of the Afghan National Army, together with U.S.-led coalition troops, in the Zormat Valley region and the 3,260 meter-high peaks of the Ayubkhel Valley in the southern Paktia province in Afghanistan. The operation was in response to intelligence reports that some Taliban and al-Qaeda operatives were active in the area. It marked the first major combat operation for the Afghan troops. The Operation was completed in mid-September. By July 29, soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division were transported in by CH-47 Chinook helicopters to assist in the Operation. The coalition forces uncovered dozens of grenades, C-4 plastic explosives, a crate of dynamite, more than 20 rocket propelled grenade rounds, a box of anti-aircraft rounds and hundreds of 7.62 mm and handgun rounds. Neither Taliban nor al-Qaeda guerrillas were encountered. U.S.-led coalition forces cleared illegal checkpoints from a number of key roads, including the main road leading from Gardez to Khost. The Afghan Army secured the road leading to Zormat. When U.S. forces arrived in the village of Atel Mohammed, residents hid their Qur’ans and other religious items. They feared that U.S. soldiers would kill them if they discovered they were Muslim. U.S. soldiers explained to the villagers that this was not the case. Toward the conclusion of the Operation in mid-September, forces from the United States, Italy, Romania and Afghanistan discovered several secret caves and caches containing more than 20,000 pieces of ordnance.
2003 – The sons of Saddam Husseing, Uday and Qusay, are killed in an engaement with US forces in Baghdad.
2004 – In Afghanistan US forces killed one militant and captured 5 others including a brother of Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
2004 – A Filipino truck driver held hostage in Iraq for nearly two weeks was freed, a day after his nation withdrew its final peacekeepers from Iraq.
2004 – A bomb attack on an Iraqi minibus killed four civilians and injured two others near Baqouba.
2004 – In Saudi Arabia the head of slain American hostage Paul M. Johnson Jr., who was kidnapped and decapitated by militants last month, was found by security forces during a raid that targeted the hideout of the Saudi al-Qaida chief. Two militants were killed.
2007 – The Deployable Operations Group (DOG) was commissioned at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., under the command of RADM Thomas F. Atkins.
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
Rank and organization: Private, Company G, 136th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Peach Tree Creek, Ga., 20 July 1864. Entered service at: Avon, N.Y. Birth: Canada. Date of issue: 7 April 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 31st Mississippi (C.S.A.).
CROSIER, WILLIAM H. H.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company G, 149th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Peach Tree Creek, Ga., 20 July 1864. Entered service at: Skaneateles, N.Y. Birth: Skaneateles, N.Y. Date of issue: 12 January 1892. Citation: Severely wounded and ambushed by the enemy, he stripped the colors from the staff and brought them back into the line.
Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, 104th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Peach Tree Creek, Ga., 20 July 1864. Entered service at: Ottawa, Ill. Born: 15 January 1839, Ephratah, Fulton County, N.Y. Date of issue: 5 April 1898. Citation: With conspicuous coolness and bravery rallied his men under a severe attack, re-formed the broken ranks, and repulsed the attack.
Rank and organization: Private, Company K, 14th West Virginia Infantry. Place and date: At Carters Farm, Va., 20 July 1864. Entered service at:——. Birth: Monomgalis County, W.Va. Date of issue: 31 January 1896. Citation: Charged upon a Confederate fieldpiece in advance of his comrades and by his individual exertions silenced the piece.
WILLIAMS, WILLIAM H.
Rank and organization: Private, Company C, 82d Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Peach Tree Creek, Ga., 20 July 1864. Entered service at: Miami County, Ohio. Birth: Hancock County, Ohio. Date of issue: 19 June 1894. Citation: Voluntarily went beyond the lines to observe the enemy; also aided a wounded comrade.
KEEFER, PHILIP B.
Rank and organization: Coppersmith, U.S. Navy. Born: 4 September 1875, Washington, D.C. Accredited to: District of Columbia. G.O. No.: 501, 14 December 1898. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Iowa off Santiago de Cuba, 20 July 1898. Following the blow-out of a manhole gasket of that vessel which caused the fireroom to be filled with live steam and the floor plates to be covered with boiling water, Keefer showed courageous and zealous conduct in hauling fires from 2 furnaces of boiler B.
Rank and organization: Fireman First Class, U.S. Navy. Born: 10 October 1872, City Point, Va. Accredited to: Virginia. G.O. No.: 501, 14 December 1898. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Iowa off Santiago de Cuba, 20 July 1898. Performing his duty at the risk of serious scalding at the time of the blowing out of the manhole gasket on board the vessel, Penn hauled the fire while standing on a board thrown across a coal bucket 1 foot above the boiling water which was still blowing from the boiler.
*COLLIER, GILBERT G.
Rank and organization: Sergeant (then Cpl.), U.S. Army, Company F, 223d Infantry Regiment, 40th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Tutayon, Korea, 19-20 July 1953. Entered service at: Tichnor Ark. Born: 30 December 1930, Hunter, Ark. G.O. No.: 3, 12 January 1955. Citation: Sgt. Collier, a member of Company F, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and indomitable courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. Sgt. Collier was pointman and assistant leader of a combat patrol committed to make contact with the enemy. As the patrol moved forward through the darkness, he and his commanding officer slipped and fell from a steep, 60-foot cliff and were injured. Incapacitated by a badly sprained ankle which prevented immediate movement, the officer ordered the patrol to return to the safety of friendly lines. Although suffering from a painful back injury, Sgt. Collier elected to remain with his leader, and before daylight they managed to crawl back up and over the mountainous terrain to the opposite valley where they concealed themselves in the brush until nightfall, then edged toward their company positions. Shortly after leaving the daylight retreat they were ambushed and, in the ensuing fire fight, Sgt. Collier killed 2 hostile soldiers, received painful wounds, and was separated from his companion. Then, ammunition expended, he closed in hand-to-hand combat with 4 attacking hostile infantrymen, killing, wounding, and routing the foe with his bayonet. He was mortally wounded during this action, but made a valiant attempt to reach and assist his leader in a desperate effort to save his comrade’s life without regard for his own personal safety. Sgt. Collier’s unflinching courage, consummate devotion to duty, and gallant self-sacrifice reflect lasting glory upon himself and uphold the noble traditions of the military service.
*LIBBY, GEORGE D.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 3d Engineer Combat Battalion, 24th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Taejon, Korea, 20 July 1950. Entered service at: Waterbury, Conn. Birth: Bridgton, Maine. G.O. No.: 62, 2 August 1951. Citation: Sgt. Libby distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action. While breaking through an enemy encirclement, the vehicle in which he was riding approached an enemy roadblock and encountered devastating fire which disabled the truck, killing or wounding all the passengers except Sgt. Libby. Taking cover in a ditch Sgt. Libby engaged the enemy and despite the heavy fire crossed the road twice to administer aid to his wounded comrades. He then hailed a passing M-5 artillery tractor and helped the wounded aboard. The enemy directed intense small-arms fire at the driver, and Sgt. Libby, realizing that no one else could operate the vehicle, placed himself between the driver and the enemy thereby shielding him while he returned the fire. During this action he received several wounds in the arms and body. Continuing through the town the tractor made frequent stops and Sgt. Libby helped more wounded aboard. Refusing first aid, he continued to shield the driver and return the fire of the enemy when another roadblock was encountered. Sgt. Libby received additional wounds but held his position until he lost consciousness. Sgt. Libby’s sustained, heroic actions enabled his comrades to reach friendly lines. His dauntless courage and gallant self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit upon himself and uphold the esteemed traditions of the U.S. Army.