1775 – England’s King George III proclaimed the American colonies in a state of open rebellion.
1777 – With the approach of General Benedict Arnold’s army, British Colonel Barry St. Ledger abandoned Fort Stanwix and returns to Canada.
1816 – The Revenue Cutter Active, under the command of Revenue Captain Steven White and acting under orders of the Collector at Baltimore, took possession of the Spanish brig Servia, recently departed from Baltimore, which was anchored in the Patuxent River. The Servia had been captured by an American privateer and Active was ordered to arrest the Servia and return it to Baltimore for examination.
1846 – The United States annexed New Mexico.
1862 – Secretary of the Navy Welles ordered Rear Admiral L. M. Goldsborough, commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, to “assist the army, as far as you may be able, in embarking the troops at Fortress Monroe and Newport News, as desired by Major General Halleck.” The withdrawal northward of the Army of the Potomac by water transport brought to a close the Peninsular Campaign.
1863 – Following 4 day’s of intensive bombardment of Forts Wagner, Sumter, and Gregg from afloat and ashore, naval forces under Rear Admiral Dahlgren moved to press a close attack on heavily damaged Fort Sumter late at night. U.S.S. Passaic, Lieutenant Commander Edward Simpson, in advance of the other ironclads, grounded near the fort shortly after midnight. “It took so much time to get her off,” the Admiral wired Brigadier General Gillmore, “that when I was informed of the fact that I would have had but little time to make the attack before daylight [the assault] was unavoidably postponed . . . .” Dahlgren wrote Secretary Welles of the difficulties attendant upon an all-out naval offensive because of the multitude of duties his ships had to perform. He noted that one ironclad had to be stationed at Savannah and that another was repairing at Port Royal. The remaining five had to work closely in support of Army operations ashore, for the trenches can not be advanced nor even the guns kept in play, unless the ironclads keep down Wagner, and yet in doing so the power of the ironclads is abated proportionally.” This same date, Brigadier General Johnson Hagood, CSA, commanding Fort Wagner, testified to the effectiveness of the Union Navy’s gunfire support: The fire from the fleet, enfilading the land face and proving destructive, compelled us to cease firing. As soon as the vessels withdrew the sharpshooters resumed their work.”
1864 – Twelve nations sign the First Geneva Convention, the first codified international treaty that covered the sick and wounded soldiers in the battlefield.
1902 – President Theodore Roosevelt became the first U.S. chief executive to ride in an automobile in Hartford, Conn.
1911 – President William Taft vetoed a joint resolution of Congress granting statehood to Arizona. Taft vetoed the resolution because he believed a provision in the state constitution authorizing the recall of judges was a blow at the independence of the judiciary. The offending clause was removed an Arizona was admitted to statehood on February 14, 1912. Afterward, the state restored the article in its constitution.
1912 – Birthday of the Navy’s Dental Corps.
1934 – H. Norman Schwarzkopf, commander of the coalition forces during the Persian Gulf War (1991), was born in Trenton, NJ.
1942 – The 4th Marine Air Wing was commissioned at Ewa, Hawaii, as the 4th Marine Base Defense Air Wing.
1943 – US forces occupy islands of the Ellice group, including Nukufetau and Namumea. There is no Japanese opposition. Work begins on constructing airfields.
1944 – The Liberty ship SS Alexander V. Frazer, named for the “first” commandant of the Revenue Cutter Service, was launched.
1945 – Conflict in Vietnam began when a group of Free French parachute into southern Indochina, in response to a successful coup by communist guerilla Ho Chi Minh.
1945 – The Japanese garrison on Mili Atoll capitulated in a ceremony on an American destroyer escort; USS Levy. This is the first time a Japanese force surrenders en masse.
1950 – During the fighting at the “Bowling Alley” near Tabudong, North Korean Lieutenant Colonel Chong Pong UK, commander of the artillery regiment supporting the North Korean 13th Division, surrendered to the ROK 1st Division. Chong, the highest-ranking communist prisoner to date, gave precise information on the location of his artillery. Eighth Army immediately launched air and artillery strikes on the enemy guns. Chong had defected in protest against what he felt was an unfair reprimand by the 13th Division commander.
1962 – Savannah, world’s 1st nuclear powered ship, completed here maiden voyage from Yorktown, Va., to Savannah, Ga.
1963 – Following attacks of the preceding two days on Buddhist populations by Diem and the resulting resignations of several high ranking Buddhist South Vietnamese officials, US Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge lands in Saigon and reports back to Washington that Diem’s brother, Nhu, is the architect of the attacks. Lodge confirms as well that Diem’s generals seek US support for a coup, but counsels prudence.
1963 – American Joe Walker in an X-15 test plane reaches an altitude of 106 km (66 mi).
1967 – Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General John P. McConnell, states before a Senate Subcommittee that adopting a graduated bombing policy in North Vietnam was a mistake. Three days later, Secretary of Defense McNamara admitted that the bombing of North Vietnam had not materially affected Hanoi’s “warmaking capability.”
1968 – For the first time in two months, Viet Cong forces launch a rocket attack on Saigon, killing 18 and wounding 59. Administration officials denounced the attack as a direct repudiation of President Johnson’s speech of August 19, in which he appealed to the North Vietnamese to respond favorably to his limitation of the air campaign north of the DMZ.
1971 – J. Edgar Hoover and John Mitchell announce the arrest of 20 of the Camden 28. The Camden 28 were a group of “Catholic left” anti-Vietnam War activists who in 1971 planned and executed a raid on a Camden, New Jersey draft board. The raid resulted in a high-profile trial against the activists that was seen by many as a referendum on the Vietnam War.
1987 – The supertanker Bridgeton and three other reflagged Kuwaiti tankers left Kuwait under U.S. escort and safely cleared Persian Gulf waters where the Bridgeton had hit a mine the month before.
1990 – President Bush signed an order calling up reservists to bolster the US military buildup in the Persian Gulf.
1993 – NASA engineers continued trying, without success, to re-establish contact with the Mars Observer, a day after losing contact.
1993 – In Somalia, six US soldiers are WIA when their truck is blown up.
1994 – The Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Sea and the CCCS Louis S. Ste Laurent became the first “North American surface ships” to reach the North Pole. An HH-65A from Aviation Training Center Mobile, detached to the Polar Sea, became the first U.S. (and also Coast Guard) helicopter to reach the pole as well.
1996 – The US Army began operating an incinerator in Utah to destroy a 14,000 ton stockpile of chemical weapons over 7 years.
1997 – A $64.8 million 890- lb. Lewis satellite was launched by NASA on a hoped-for 5-year mission. It went into an uncontrolled spin on Aug 22 and was expected to fall and burn up in Earth’s atmosphere in Sep.
1998 – President Clinton, in his Saturday radio address, announced he had signed an executive order putting Osama bin Laden’s Islamic Army on a list of terrorist groups.
2001 – The space shuttle Discovery returned and brought home 3 crew members, Yuri Usachev, Susan Helms, and Jim Voss, who had spent nearly 6 months on the Int’l. Space Station.
2001 – NATO members gave formal approval for alliance soldiers to collect weapons from Albanian guerrillas in Macedonia.
2002 – The US and Russia took away 100 pounds of weapons-grade uranium from an aging nuclear reactor in Belgrade to Russia for re-processing.
2002 – Two US helicopter pilots were reported lost in South Korea. Their bodies were found the next day 13 miles south of Camp Page.
2004 – U.S. warplanes bombed Najaf’s Old City and gunfire rattled amid fears a plan to end the standoff with radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr could. A car bomb exploded north of Baghdad, killing two people and injuring four others, including a deputy provincial governor.
2007 – The Storm botnet, a botnet created by the Storm Worm, sends out a record 57 million e-mails in one day.
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
CLlFFORD, ROBERT T.
Rank and organization: Master-at-Arms, U.S. Navy. Born: 1835, Pennsylvania. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: Served on board the U.S.S. Shokokon at New Topsail Inlet off Wilmington, N.C., 22 August 1863. Participating in a strategic plan to destroy an enemy schooner, Clifford aided in the portage of a dinghy across the narrow neck of land separating the sea from the sound. Launching the boat in the sound, the crew approached the enemy from the rear and Clifford gallantly crept into the rebel camp and counted the men who outnumbered his party 3 to 1. Returning to his men, he ordered a charge in which the enemy was routed, leaving behind a schooner and a quantity of supplies.