1610 – The First Anglo–Powhatan War, between the Powhatan and the English colonists, and lasted from 1610 to 1614, begins. Tired of waiting for a response from Powhattan to an untimatum regarding a series of belligerent incidents on both sides, De la Warr sent George Percy with 70 men to attack the Paspahegh capital, burning the houses and cutting down their cornfields. They killed 65 to 75, and captured one of Wowinchopunk’s wives and her children. Returning downstream, the English threw the children overboard, and shot out “their Braynes in the water”. The queen was put to the sword in Jamestown. The Paspahegh never recovered from this attack, and abandoned their town. Another small force sent with Samuel Argall against the Warraskoyaks found that they had already fled, but he destroyed their abandoned village and cornfields as well. Following these attacks, and the offense of killing royal women and children, both sides now found themselves at war.
1638 – Jonas Bronck of Holland became the 1st European settler in the Bronx.
1645 – Settlers in New Amsterdam gained peace with the Indians after conducting talks with the Mohawks.
1673 – Dutch recapture NY from English. It was regained by English in 1674.
1757 – English Ft. William Henry, NY, surrendered to French and Indian troops.
1790 – The Columbia returned to Boston Harbor after a three-year voyage, becoming the first ship to carry the American flag around the world.
1813 – After reports that British naval vessels were nearing St. Michaels, Md., to attack the shipbuilding town that night, the county militia placed lanterns on the tops of the tallest trees and on the masts of vessels in the harbor; and had all other lights extinguished. When the British attacked, they directed their fire too high and overshot the town.
1814 – Andrew Jackson and the Creek Indians signed the Treaty of Fort Jackson, giving the whites 23 million acres of Creek territory.
1815 – CAPT Stephen Decatur concludes treaty for U.S. with Tripoli.
1842 – The United States and Canada signed the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, resolving a border dispute between Maine and Canada’s New Brunswick and U.S. and Great Britain agreed to cooperate in suppressing the slave trade.
1862 – Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson narrowly defeats a Union force led by General John Pope at Cedar Mountain, Virginia. Jackson had moved north in July 1862 after it became clear that the primary Union force in the east, General George McClellan’s Army of the Potomac, was not going to attack Richmond. McClellan was camped on the James Peninsula southeast of Richmond, where General Robert E. Lee stopped him at the Seven Days’ Battles in late June. Frustrated with McClellan’s lack of action, President Lincoln began shifting troops from the peninsula to Pope’s newly formed Army of Virginia, which was operating near Washington. Jackson, who was sent north by Lee to counter the growing Yankee presence in northern Virginia, fell on part of Pope’s force at Cedar Mountain on August 9. Despite being severely outnumbered, Pope’s army dealt Jackson a near-humiliating defeat. Jackson attacked in the afternoon, but a fierce Union counterattack, led by General Nathaniel Banks, almost broke Jackson’s line. The arrival of Confederate General Ambrose P. Hill provided Jackson with enough troops to launch another assault that evening. That attack drove the Federals from the field, and only nightfall prevented a complete rout of the Yankees.Union losses totaled 2,300 out of 8,000. The Confederates suffered 1,300 casualties out of 18,000. But the battle was nearly a disaster; Jackson miscalculated, and the Confederates almost lost to an army half their size.
1865 – Return of Naval Academy to Annapolis after 4 years at Newport, RI.
1877 – Having refused government demands that they move to a reservation, a small band of Nez Perce Indians clash with the U.S. Army near the Big Hole River in Montana. The conflict between the U.S. government and the Nez Perce was one of the most tragic of the many Indian wars of the 19th century. Beginning with the tribe’s first contact with the explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, the peaceful Nez Perce had befriended and cooperated with the Americans. Even when hordes of white settlers began to flood into their homelands along the Snake River (around the present-day intersection of the Oregon, Washington, and Idaho state borders), most of the Nez Perce peacefully moved to a reservation. However, about a quarter of the Nez Perce, most of them stockmen and buffalo hunters, refused to accept internment on a reservation. Government pressure to force these last resisters to comply finally led to the outbreak of the Nez Perce War of 1877. A small band of warriors-never more than 145 men, though burdened with about 500 noncombatants-fought U.S. soldiers at four major battles. The third battle of the Nez Perce War occurred on this day in 1877. Fleeing eastward with hopes of escaping to Canada, the Nez Perce made camp in the Big Hole Basin in present-day western Montana. At 3:30 a.m., Colonel John Gibbon attacked the sleeping Indians with a force of 183 men. Raking the Indian lodges with withering rifle fire, the soldiers initially seemed to be victorious. The Nez Perce, however, soon counterattacked from concealed positions in the surrounding hills. After four days of sporadic fighting, the Nez Perce withdrew. Both sides suffered serious casualties. The soldiers lost 29 men with 40 wounded. The army body count found 89 Nez Perce dead, mostly women and children. The battle dealt the Nez Perce a grave, though not fatal, blow. The remaining Indians were able to escape, and they headed northeast towards Canada. Two months later, on October 5, Colonel Nelson Miles decisively defeated the Nez Perce at the Battle of the Bear Paw Mountains. Those who were not killed surrendered and reluctantly agreed to return to the reservation. The Nez Perce were only 40 miles short of the Canadian border.
1892 – Thomas Edison receives a patent for a two-way telegraph.
1918 – Following the lead of countries all over the world, the U. S. government ordered automobile production to halt by January 1, 1919, and convert to military production. Factories instead manufactured shells, and the engineering lessons of motor racing produced light, powerful engines for planes. Manufacturers turned out staff cars and ambulances by the hundreds. In fact, World War I has often been described as the war of the machines.
1919 – Construction of rigid airship ZR-1 (Shenandoah) authorized.
1921 – Congress creates the Veterans Bureau to administer assistance to World War I veterans. It quickly devolves into corruption, and is abolished nine years later under a cloud of scandal.
1929 – It was hardly a tell-tale sign of trouble, but on August 9, 1929 Wall Street got an inkling of the upcoming crash as the New York Bank raised the rediscount rate on loans to brokers a full point to 6 percent. The hike was precipitated by the unsettling news that brokers had racked up a record $6 million debt, the fourth time during August 1929 that their loans had swelled to record levels. Still, bankers assured the business community that the move, which was the biggest raise to the rate since the close of World War I, wasn’t cause for alarm. Soothing words aside, reports from the day note that the new rate did indeed catch Wall Street by surprise. The following day the DOW dropped 14.11 points to close at a month-long low of 337.99. Until that point, investors had been reveling in “Big Bull Market,” a record-setting run which was well over a year old. As the DOW hit new highs, the stock market became a national past time; the craze for playing the stocks spread from being the sole province of the big-city elite to a part of the daily life of small-town America. However, as the Reserve Bank’s move to advance the interest rate oh-so-subtly suggested, the good times were based on speculation rather than solid financial practices. By November 1929, this quiet hint at a downturn in the market would look more like a prophetic warning call.
1935 – Fleet Marine Force Headquarters moved from Quantico to San Diego.
1941 – President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill met at Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. Their meeting produced the Atlantic Charter, an agreement between the two countries on war aims, even though the United States was still a neutral country.
1942 – After the removal of the American aircraft carriers, a Japanese cruiser force, commanded by Admiral Mikawa enters the Sealark Channel south of Savo Island. The remaining American naval defenses, lead by Admiral Crutchley, have little experience of, or the equipment needed for, night fighting. The Americans lose four cruisers and sink none of the Japanese ships. Sealark Channel is later renamed Ironbottom Sound. The American transports unloading at Lunga Point are not attacked, however they are ordered to withdraw due to the threat and the 1st Marine Division is left short of heavy equipment and with only one half of their supplies. The Coast Guard-manned transport USS Hunter Liggett rescued the survivors of three U. S. Navy and one Australian cruisers that had been sunk the preceding night by Imperial Japanese Navy during the Battle of Savo Island. The night battle, also known as the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, was one of the worst defeats ever suffered by the Navy.
1942 – With the Guadalcanal airstrip secure after heavy fighting with the Japanese, the 1st Engineer Battalion commenced work on the runway using captured equipment. Three days later, on 12 August, the first plane landed on Henderson Field, a Navy PBY which evacuated two wounded Marines. Nearly 3,000 wounded Marines would be evacuated from Henderson Field during the battle.
1944 – The German attacks around Mortain continue to be held by forces of US 1st Army. Meanwhile, the US 15th Corps (part of US 3rd Army) turns north from Le Mans, aiming for Argentan and eventually a junction with the Canadians advance southward between Argentan and Falaise. Allied fight-bombers are active throughout the day.
1944 – The United States Forest Service and the Wartime Advertising Council release posters featuring Smokey Bear for the first time.
1945 – A second atom bomb is dropped on Japan by the United States, at Nagasaki, resulting finally in Japan’s unconditional surrender. The devastation wrought at Hiroshima was not sufficient to convince the Japanese War Council to accept the Potsdam Conference’s demand for unconditional surrender. The United States had already planned to drop their second atom bomb, nicknamed “Fat Man,” on August 11 in the event of such recalcitrance, but bad weather expected for that day pushed the date up to August 9th. So at 1:56 a.m., a specially adapted B-29 bomber, called “Bock’s Car,” after its usual commander, Frederick Bock, took off from Tinian Island under the command of Maj. Charles W. Sweeney. Nagasaki was a shipbuilding center, the very industry intended for destruction. The bomb was dropped at 11:02 a.m., 1,650 feet above the city. The explosion unleashed the equivalent force of 22,000 tons of TNT. The hills that surrounded the city did a better job of containing the destructive force, but the number killed is estimated at anywhere between 60,000 and 80,000 (exact figures are impossible, the blast having obliterated bodies and disintegrated records). General Leslie R. Groves, the man responsible for organizing the Manhattan Project, which solved the problem of producing and delivering the nuclear explosion, estimated that another atom bomb would be ready to use against Japan by August 17 or 18-but it was not necessary. Even though the War Council still remained divided (“It is far too early to say that the war is lost,” opined the Minister of War), Emperor Hirohito, by request of two War Council members eager to end the war, met with the Council and declared that “continuing the war can only result in the annihilation of the Japanese people….” The Emperor of Japan gave his permission for unconditional surrender. Major Sweeney, the pilot, would in 1956, at age 37, become the youngest brigadier general in the entire peacetime Air Force when he was appointed by the governor of Massachusetts to command the 102nd Tactical Fighter Wing, Massachusetts Air National Guard.
1949 – First use of pilot-ejection seat for emergency escape in U.S. made by LT Jack I. Fruin of VF-171 near Walterboro, SC.
1950 – Congress enacted Public Law 679, which charged the Coast Guard with the function of port security.
1951 – The 1st Marine Air Wing was awarded the Army Distinguished Unit Citation for outstanding performance of duty and extraordinary heroism during the period from Nov. 22 to Dec. 14, 1950 The award was for actions in support of X Corps in the Chosin/Changjin Reservoir campaign and the evacuation from northeast Korea.
1952 – The 1st Marine Division defended against a Chinese attack in the vicinity of Bunker Hill. This was the first significant U.S. Marine ground action in western Korea since the Inchon-Seoul campaign. The Marine position on Hill 58 changed hands five times during the next two days. Eventually the Chinese managed to gain control of this outpost.
1960 – There was a race riot in Jacksonville Florida.
1967 – First Marine Division launches Operation Cochise in the Que Son valley. Meanwhile, the First Cavalry Division continued with Operation Pershing, a major clearing operation in the Binh Dinh province designed to improve the security situation in support of the ongoing pacification effort.
1974 – In accordance with his statement of resignation the previous evening, Richard M. Nixon officially ends his term as the 37th president of the United States at noon. Before departing with his family in a helicopter from the White House lawn, he smiled farewell and enigmatically raised his arms in a victory or peace salute. The helicopter door was then closed, and the Nixon family began their journey home to San Clemente, California. Richard Nixon was the first U.S. president to resign from office. Minutes later, Vice President Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as the 38th president of the United States in the East Room of the White House. After taking the oath of office, President Ford spoke to the nation in a television address, declaring, “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.” Ford, the first president who came to the office through appointment rather than election, had replaced Spiro Agnew as vice president only eight months before. In a political scandal independent of the Nixon administration’s wrongdoings in the Watergate affair, Agnew had been forced to resign in disgrace after he was charged with income tax evasion and political corruption. In September 1974, Ford pardoned Nixon for any crimes he may have committed while in office, explaining that he wanted to end the national divisions created by the Watergate scandal.
1982 – Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger approved the use of Coast Guard law enforcement detachments on board Navy vessels during peace-time. The teams conducted law enforcement boardings from Navy vessels for the first time in history. The first CG TACLET was assigned to the USS Sampson on 11 August 1982.
1985 – Arthur Walker, a retired U.S. Navy officer, is found guilty of espionage for passing top-secret documents to his brother, who then passed them to Soviet agents. Walker was part of one of the most significant Cold War spy rings in the United States. The arrest of Arthur Walker on May 29, 1985, came just one day after the arrest of his brother, John, and John’s son, Michael. All three were charged with conducting espionage for the Soviet Union. John Walker, also a Navy veteran, was the ringleader, and government officials charged that he had been involved in spying for the Soviets since 1968. He recruited his son, who was serving in the U.S. Navy, a short time later. Arthur Walker was drawn into the scheme in 1980 when, at his brother’s suggestion, he took a job with VSE, a Virginia defense contractor. Over the next two years, the government charged, Arthur Walker provided John with a number of highly classified documents dealing with the construction of naval vessels. For his services, Arthur Walker received about $12,000. A nasty divorce between John Walker and his wife eventually brought the spy ring to light when his wife, angry after their separation, went to the FBI to inform on her husband. It was revealed at their trials that the motivation of all the Walker men was the repayment of large debts they had accrued. Arthur Walker was found guilty of seven counts of espionage on August 9, 1985. He was sentenced to life in prison and fined $250,000. John and Michael Walker later pled guilty to espionage charges, with John receiving two life sentences and Michael receiving 25 years in prison. A fourth conspirator, Jerry Whitworth, a friend of John Walker’s, was convicted in 1986 on 12 counts of espionage and sentenced to 365 years in prison. With the arrests and convictions, the U.S. government claimed that it had broken one of the most destructive spy rings in the United States in the history of the Cold War.
1987 – Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh, vowing to investigate the Iran-Contra affair “vigorously but fairly,” told a meeting of the American Bar Association in San Francisco that he would not be deterred by the “popularity of persons involved.”
1990 – A week after Iraq invaded Kuwait, Western European diplomats and Arab witnesses reported that Iraq had virtually sealed its borders, preventing thousands of foreigners from leaving Iraq or Kuwait.
1990 – Walking off of the first American C-141 transport to bring in the first elements what would eventually be more than 527,000 American troops were two Guardsmen from Headquarters Company, 228th Signal Brigade, South Carolina Army National Guard. They immediately set up and began operating their single channel tactical satellite radio link keeping the Saudi Defense Ministry in communication with the U.S. Army’s Third Army Headquarters, Fort McPherson, GA. These two men were the first of 37,848 Army Guard personnel to serve in Saudi Arabia during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Strom which finally forced the Iraqi army to evacuate Kuwait.
1998 – In South Korea flooding over the last 7 days claimed 165 lives that included 3 US soldiers.
2001 – It was reported that the US had decided to pay China $34,567 to cover the costs of the spy plane that was detained on Hainan island. China had asked for $1 million and rejected the offer.
2002 – In eastern Afghanistan a powerful explosion ripped through an Afghan construction firm’s building in the city of Jalalabad, killing 21 people and injuring 85 others.
2003 – The US Army began burning chemical weapons at the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility in Anniston, Ala.
2004 – In McAlester, Oklahoma, District Judge Steven Taylor sentenced Terry Nichols to 161 consecutive life sentences for the 1995 Oklahoma City federal building bombing.
2004 – Al Sadr, whose loyalists battled U.S. troops for a fifth straight day, vowed to fight to the death. A suicide attacker detonated a car bomb northeast of Baghdad, killing six people and wounding the deputy governor who was the intended target.
2004 – Four masked, black-clad men who said they belong to a group that has claimed responsibility for kidnappings and killings in Iraq beheaded a man identified only as a Bulgarian in a video posted on the Internet.
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
CORLISS, GEORGE W.
Rank and organization: Captain, Company C, 5th Connecticut Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Mountain, Va., 9 August 1862. Entered service at: New Haven, Conn. Birth: ——. Date •S issue: 10 September 1897. Citation: Seized a fallen flag of the regiment, the color bearer having been killed, carried it forward in the face of a severe fire, and though himself shot down and permanently disabled, planted the staff in the earth and kept the flag flying.
YOUNKER, JOHN L.
Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 12th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Mountain, Va., 9 August 1862. Entered service at: —–. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 1 November 1893. Citation: voluntarily carried an order, at great risk of life in the face of a fire of grape and canister; in doing this he was wounded.
BROWN, LORENZO D.
Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 7th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Big Hole, Mont. 9 August 1877. Entered service at: Indianapolis, Ind. Birth: Davidson County, N.C. Date of issue: 8 May 1878. Citation: After having been severely wounded in right shoulder, continued to do duty in a most courageous manner.
EDWARDS, WILLIAM D.
Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company F, 7th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Big Hole, Mont., 9 August 1877. Entered service at:——. Birth: Brooklyn, N.Y. Date of issue: 2 December 1878. Citatlon: Bravery in action.
Rank and organization: Musician, Company A, 7th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Big Hole, Mont., 9 August 1877. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Fort Belknap, Tex. Date of issue: 2 December 1878. Citation: Gallantry in action.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company A, 7th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Big Hole, Mont., 9 August 1877. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 2 December 1878. Citation: Verified and reported the company while subjected to a galling fire from the enemy.
WILSON, MILDEN H.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company I, 7th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Big Hole, Mont., 9 August 1877. Entered service at: Newark, Ohio. Birth: Huron County, Ohio. Date of issue: 2 December 1878. Citation: Gallantry in forming company from line of skirmishers and deploying again under a galling fire, and in carrying dispatches at the imminent risk of his life.
JONES, CLAUD ASHTON
Rank and organization: Commander, U.S. Navy. Born: 7 October 1885, Fire Creek, W.Va. Accredited to: West Virginia. (1 August 1932.) Citation: For extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession as a senior engineer officer on board the U.S.S. Memphis, at a time when the vessel was suffering total destruction from a hurricane while anchored off Santo Domingo City, 29 August 1916. Lt. Jones did everything possible to get the engines and boilers ready, and if the elements that burst upon the vessel had delayed for a few minutes, the engines would have saved the vessel. With boilers and steampipes bursting about him in clouds of scalding steam, with thousands of tons of water coming down upon him and in almost complete darkness, Lt. Jones nobly remained at his post as long as the engines would turn over, exhibiting the most supreme unselfish heroism which inspired the officers and men who were with him. When the boilers exploded, Lt. Jones, accompanied by 2 of his shipmates, rushed into the firerooms and drove the men there out, dragging some, carrying others to the engineroom, where there was air to be breathed instead of steam. Lt. Jones’ action on this occasion was above and beyond the call of duty.
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company H, 131st Infantry, 33d Division. Place and date: At Chipilly Ridge, France, 9 August 1918. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Born: 13 July 1887, Prizren, Serbia. G.O. No.: 44, W.D., 1919. Citation: At a critical point in the action, when all the officers with his platoon had become casualties, Cpl. Allex took command of the platoon and led it forward until the advance was stopped by fire from a machinegun nest. He then advanced alone for about 30 yards in the face of intense fire and attacked the nest. With his bayonet he killed 5 of the enemy, and when it was broken, used the butt of his rifle, capturing 15 prisoners.
*LINDSEY, DARRELL R. (Air Mission)
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army Air Corps. Place and date: L’Isle Adam railroad bridge over the Seine in occupied France, 9 August 1944. Entered service at: Storm Lake, lowa. Birth: Jefferson, lowa. G.O. No.: 43, 30 May 1945. Citation: On 9 August 1944, Capt. Lindsey led a formation of 30 B-26 medium bombers in a hazardous mission to destroy the strategic enemy held L’lsle Adam railroad bridge over the Seine in occupied France. With most of the bridges over the Seine destroyed, the heavily fortified L’Isle Adam bridge was of inestimable value to the enemy in moving troops, supplies, and equipment to Paris. Capt. Lindsey was fully aware of the fierce resistance that would be encountered. Shortly after reaching enemy territory the formation was buffeted with heavy and accurate antiaircraft fire. By skillful evasive action, Capt. Lindsey was able to elude much of the enemy flak, but just before entering the bombing run his B-26 was peppered with holes. During the bombing run the enemy fire was even more intense, and Capt. Lindsey’s right engine received a direct hit and burst into flames. Despite the fact that his ship was hurled out of formation by the violence of the concussion, Capt. Lindsey brilliantly maneuvered back into the lead position without disrupting the flight. Fully aware that the gasoline tanks might explode at any moment, Capt. Lindsey gallantly elected to continue the perilous bombing run. With fire streaming from his right engine and his right wing half enveloped in flames, he led his formation over the target upon which the bombs were dropped with telling effect. Immediately after the objective was attacked, Capt. Lindsey gave the order for the crew to parachute from the doomed aircraft. With magnificent coolness and superb pilotage, and without regard for his own life, he held the swiftly descending airplane in a steady glide until the members of the crew could jump to safety. With the right wing completely enveloped in flames and an explosion of the gasoline tank imminent, Capt. Lindsey still remained unperturbed. The last man to leave the stricken plane was the bombardier, who offered to lower the wheels so that Capt. Lindsey might escape from the nose. Realizing that this might throw the aircraft into an uncontrollable spin and jeopardize the bombardier’s chances to escape, Capt. Lindsey refused the offer. Immediately after the bombardier had bailed out, and before Capt. Lindsey was able to follow, the right gasoline tank exploded. The aircraft sheathed in fire, went into a steep dive and was seen to explode as it crashed. All who are living today from this plane owe their lives to the fact that Capt. Lindsey remained cool and showed supreme courage in this emergency.
LEE, HOWARD V.
Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Marine Corps, Company E, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, 3d Marine Division (Rein). place and date: Near Cam Lo, Republic of Vietnam, 8 and 9 August 1966. Entered service at: Dumfries, Va. Born: 1 August 1933, New York, N.Y. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. A platoon of Maj. (then Capt.) Lee’s company, while on an operation deep in enemy territory, was attacked and surrounded by a large Vietnamese force. Realizing that the unit had suffered numerous casualties, depriving it of effective leadership, and fully aware that the platoon was even then under heavy attack by the enemy, Maj Lee took 7 men and proceeded by helicopter to reinforce the beleaguered platoon. Maj. Lee disembarked from the helicopter with 2 of his men and, braving withering enemy fire, led them into the perimeter, where he fearlessly moved from position to position, directing and encouraging the overtaxed troops. The enemy then launched a massive attack with the full might of their forces. Although painfully wounded by fragments from an enemy grenade in several areas of his body, including his eye, Maj. Lee continued undauntedly throughout the night to direct the valiant defense, coordinate supporting fire, and apprise higher headquarters of the plight of the platoon. The next morning he collapsed from his wounds and was forced to relinquish command. However the small band of marines had held their position and repeatedly fought off many vicious enemy attacks for a grueling 6 hours until their evacuation was effected the following morning. Maj. Lee’s actions saved his men from capture, minimized the loss of lives, and dealt the enemy a severe defeat. His indomitable fighting spirit, superb leadership, and great personal valor in the face of tremendous odds, reflect great credit upon himself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.