February 26

26 February

1775 – British forces land at Salem, Massachusetts to capture the colonists’ arsenal. They are repulsed with no casualties.
1793 – Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury, submits to the Senate the first list of cutters with stations, officers names, rank and dates of commission.
1846Frontiersman-turned-showman William F. ”Buffalo Bill” Cody was born in Scott County, Iowa. His family moved to Kansas in 1854, and after the death of his father three years later he set out to earn the family living, working for supply trains and a freighting company. In 1859 he went to the Colorado gold fields, and in 1860 he rode briefly for the Pony Express. His adventures on the Western frontier as an army scout and later as a buffalo hunter for railroad construction camps on the Great Plains were the basis for the stories later told about him. Ned Buntline in 1872 persuaded him to appear on the stage, and, except for a brief period of scouting against the Sioux in 1876, he was from that time connected with show business. In 1883 he organized Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, and he toured with it throughout the United States and Europe for many years. Wyoming granted him a stock ranch, on which the town of Cody was laid out. He died in Denver and was buried on Lookout Mt. near Golden, Colo. The exploits attributed to him in the dime novels of Buntline and Prentice Ingraham are only slightly more imaginative than his own autobiography published in 1920.
1860 – White settlers massacred a band of Wiyot Indians at the village of Tuluwat on Indian Island near Eureka, Ca. At least 60 women, children and elders were killed. Bret Harte, newspaper reporter in Arcata, fed the news to newspapers in San Francisco.
1863 – In support of the Union, the Cherokee Indian National Council repeals its ordinance of secession.
1864 – Boat expedition under the command of Acting Master E. C. Weeks, U.S.S. Tahoma, destroyed a large salt works belonging to the Confederate government on Goose Creek, near St. Marks, Florida.
1891 – The 1st buffalo was purchased for Golden Gate Park in SF. A pair of bison, named Benjamin Harrison and Sarah Bernhardt, were settled in Golden Gate Park following reports that only 1000 were left in the US.
1901 – Boxer Rebellion leaders Chi-Hsin (Chi-hsui) and Hsu-Cheng-Yu were publicly executed in Peking.
1903 – Richard J. Gatling (84), US inventor (Gatling Gun), died.
1917President Wilson publicly asks congress for the power to arm merchant ships. Pacifist Senator LaFollette leads a filibuster against the authorizing legislation. “A little group of willful men have rendered the great government of the United States helpless and contemptible,” says Wilson angrily. The Senate will adopt a cloture rule to allow a majority vote to terminate debate. The Attorney General, however, finds that the requested powers are inherent in the Presidency and on March 9, Wilson issues the necessary directive.
1932Johnny Cash (d.2003) country singer (I Walk The Line, Folsom Prison Blues, Boy Named Sue), was born in Kingsland, Arkansas. His birth place is almost directly across the Mississippi from Lake County where Carl Perkins was born six weeks later. The family moved to Dyess, Arkansas when he was three. His father Ray Cash, was a farmer, hobo, and odd job laborer. The move to Dyess meant hope to the poverty stricken Cash Family. Ray and his son Roy, worked hard developing their government subsidized farm. When Johnny was older he joined them. After working in the fields during the day, Johnny would listen to the radio at night, picking out the Memphis stations with their mix of country and blues song. Johnny began composing songs, his first at the age of 12, combining the best of both styles. His family, especially his mother Reba, encouraged him. When he was older, he left home to work in Pontiac, MI. The job lasted only two weeks before he returned home to Arkansas. On July 7, 1950 he enlisted in the Air Force, Before leaving Cash went roller skating in San Antonio, Texas. There he met Vivian Liberto, then seventeen and in her last year of high school. They dated a few weeks and wrote each other while Cash was overseas. They decided to get married when he returned. and was stationed in Germany, where he bought his first guitar. He began setting his songs to music, and one of the first was “Folsom Prison Blues.”On July 3, 1954 Cash was discharged from the Air Force. On August 7, 1954 he married Vivian Liberto and set up home on Tutwiler Avenue in Memphis. His older brother Ray found him a job selling appliances. Trying to break in to the music business Cash auditioned for a job as a radio announcer at a station in Corith, Mississippi, but was turned down because lack of experience. Using his G.I. benefits,Cash then enrolled at the Keegan School of Broadcasting in Memphis. A few days after getting out of the service, Cash visited his older brother Roy in Memphis. Roy Cash was working at Hoehn Chevrolet where he worked with three mechanics who played together at home, small benefit concerts and Sunday morning radio. One of the three was Luther Perkins who would later develop the guitar sound that complemented Cash’s stark baritone. was during this time that he met Luther Perkins and Marshall Perkins. The three decided to try and be professional entertainers. They approached Sun Records, but Sam Phillips was busy promoting Elvis Presley’s first records. Eventually with Cash playing guitar and singing in his deep baritone voice of exceptionally low and narrow range, they auditioned for Phillips in March, 1955. Signed to Sun as Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two, their first single, “Cry, Cry, Cry,” became a moderate country hit. After the two sided smash “So Doggone Lonesome” b/w “Folsom Prison Blues,” the group had their first major pop/country hit with Cash’s own “I Walk the Line” in 1956. The group appeared on the Louisiana Hayride in December 1955, becoming regulars, before graduating to the Grand Ole Opry in July 1956. They subsequently achieved major pop/top country hits with “Ballad of a Teenage Queen” and “Guess Things Happen That Way” in 1958. That year the group became Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Three with the addition of W.S. Holland, one of country music’s first drummers. On August 1958, the group switched to Columbia Records, soon having a moderate pop/top hit with “Don’t Take Your Guns to Town.” Leaving the Grand Ole Opry and moving to California, Cash started working with June Carter of the legendary Carter Family, in 1961. feeling the strain of constant touring, and the collapse of his first marriage and death of friend Johnny Horton, Cash began taking amphetamines and tranquilizers to cope. In 1963 he scored his first major pop/top hit with Columbia with “Ring of Fire.” Cash soon began frequenting the Greenwich Village folk music scene and his next moderate hit “Understand Your Man” had a definite folk feel. In 1964 he appeared with Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival and recorded Bitter Tears, his tribute to the plight of the American Indian. It yielded a smash country hit “Ballad of Ira Hayes,” and soon Cash and June Carter scored a country hit with Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe.” Cash’s 1965 album Orange Blossom Special yielded a smash country hit/ moderate pop hit with the title song.
1935 – Radio Detection and Ranging (RADAR) was 1st demonstrated by Robert Watson-Watt.
1935Nazi leader Adolf Hitler signs a secret decree authorizing the founding of the Reich Luftwaffe as a third German military service to join the Reich army and navy. In the same decree, Hitler appointed Hermann Goering, a German air hero from World War I and high-ranking Nazi, as commander in chief of the new German air force. The Versailles Treaty that ended World War I prohibited military aviation in Germany, but a German civilian airline–Lufthansa–was founded in 1926 and provided flight training for the men who would later become Luftwaffe pilots. After coming to power in 1933, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler began to secretly develop a state-of-the-art military air force and appointed Goering as German air minister. (During World War I, Goering commanded the celebrated air squadron in which the great German ace Manfred von Richthofen–“The Red Baron”–served.) In February 1935, Hitler formally organized the Luftwaffe as a major step in his program of German rearmament. The Luftwaffe was to be uncamouflaged step-by-step so as not to alarm foreign governments, and the size and composition of Luftwaffe units were to remain secret as before. However, in March 1935, Britain announced it was strengthening its Royal Air Force (RAF), and Hitler, not to be outdone, revealed his Luftwaffe, which was rapidly growing into a formidable air force. As German rearmament moved forward at an alarming rate, Britain and France protested but failed to keep up with German war production. The German air fleet grew dramatically, and the new German fighter–the Me-109–was far more sophisticated than its counterparts in Britain, France, or Russia. The Me-109 was bloodied during the Spanish Civil War; Luftwaffe pilots received combat training as they tried out new aerial attack formations on Spanish towns such as Guernica, which suffered more than 1,000 killed during a brutal bombing by the Luftwaffe in April 1937. The Luftwaffe was configured to serve as a crucial part of the German blitzkrieg, or “lightning war”–the deadly military strategy developed by General Heinz Guderian. As German panzer divisions burst deep into enemy territory, lethal Luftwaffe dive-bombers would decimate the enemy’s supply and communication lines and cause panic. By the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, the Luftwaffe had an operational force of 1,000 fighters and 1,050 bombers. First Poland and then Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium, and France fell to the blitzkrieg. After the surrender of France, Germany turned the Luftwaffe against Britain, hoping to destroy the RAF in preparation for a proposed German landing. However, in the epic air battle known as the Battle of Britain, the outnumbered RAF fliers successfully resisted the Luftwaffe, relying on radar technology, their new, highly maneuverable Spitfire aircraft, bravery, and luck. For every British plane shot down, two German warplanes were destroyed. In the face of British resistance, Hitler changed strategy in the Battle of Britain, abandoning his invasion plans and attempting to bomb London into submission. However, in this campaign, the Luftwaffe was hampered by its lack of strategic, long-range bombers, and in early 1941 the Battle of Britain ended in failure. Britain had handed the Luftwaffe its first defeat. Later that year, Hitler ordered an invasion of the USSR, which after initial triumphs turned into an unqualified disaster. As Hitler stubbornly fought to overcome Russia’s bitter resistance, the depleted Luftwaffe steadily lost air superiority over Europe in the face of increasing British and American air attacks. By the time of the D-Day invasion of Normandy in June 1944, the Luftwaffe air fleet was a skeleton of its former self.
1936Japanese military troops marched into Tokyo to conduct a coup and assassinate political leaders. The February 26 Incident (also known as the 2-26 Incident) was an attempted coup d’état in Japan. It was organized by a group of young Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) officers with the goal of purging the government and military leadership of their factional rivals and ideological opponents. Although the rebels succeeded in assassinating several leading officials (including two former prime ministers) and in occupying the government center of Tokyo, they failed to assassinate Prime Minister Keisuke Okada or secure control of the Imperial Palace. Their supporters in the army made attempts to capitalize on their actions, but divisions within the military, combined with Imperial anger at the coup, meant they were unable to achieve a change of government. Facing overwhelming opposition as the army moved against them, the rebels surrendered on 29 February. Unlike earlier examples of political violence by young officers, the coup attempt had severe consequences. After a series of closed trials, 19 of the uprising’s leaders were executed for mutiny and another 40 imprisoned. The radical Kōdō-ha faction lost its influence within the army, the period of “government by assassination” came to a close, and the military increased its control over the civilian government.
1938 – The 1st passenger ship was equipped with radar.
1940 – The U.S. Air Defense Command was established at Mitchell Field, Long Island, NY.
1940 – Sumner Welles meets Mussolini and his son-in-law Count Galeazzo Ciano, the foreign minister.
1942 – Soviet Ambassador Litvinov demands the Allies open a second front. He states that “only by simultaneous offensive operations on two or more of the fronts can Hitler’s armed forces be disposed of.”
1942 – Don Mason, WWII Navy flier, sent the message: “Sighted sub sank same.”1942 – German battle cruiser Gneisenau was deactivated by bomb.
1942 – Battle of the Java Sea, Allied Naval Force attacks Japanese invasion convoy.
1942 – Werner Heisenberg informed Nazis about uranium project “Wunderwaffen.”
1943 – U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators pound German docks and U-boat lairs at Wilhelmshaven, the chief German naval base on the North Sea until the end of World War II, after which its naval installations were dismantled.
1943Elements of 10th and 21st Panzer Divisions (parts of 5th Panzer Army commanded by von Arnim) attack British positions at Medjez el Bab. No progress is made. Rommel intends to concentrate these and other forces for an attack on the British 8th Army before the Mareth Line. Montgomery’s forward units (two divisions) are vulnerable because of a lack of logistical support at the front. They are in their present positions as a diversionary move carried out as part of the response to the earlier fighting at the Kasserine Pass.
1944 – The source of the Orinoco River is discovered by the crew of a USAAF plane in a mountainous gorge near the Brazilian-Venezuelan border.
1944 – Allied aircraft raid Rabaul, on New Britain, destroying Japanese munitions dumps.
1944 – Sue Dauser was appointed the 1st female US navy captain of nurse corps.
1945During the day, US 8th Air Force bombers drop about 3000 tons of bombs on Berlin; some 500,000 incendiaries are among the bombs. The nominal targets are 3 railway stations. A total of 15 bombers and 7 escort fighters are lost. During the night, RAF Mosquito bombers attack Berlin, guided by the light of the fires started during the day.
1945An ammunition dump on the Philippine island of Corregidor is blown up by a remnant of the Japanese garrison, causing more American casualties on the eve of U.S. victory there. In May 1942, Corregidor, a small rock island at the mouth of Manila Bay, remained one of the last Allied strongholds in the Philippines after the Japanese victory at Bataan. Constant artillery shelling and aerial bombardment attacks ate away at the American and Filipino defenders. Although still managing to sink many Japanese barges as they approached the northern shores of the island, the Allied troops could not hold the invader off any longer. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, commander of the U.S. armed forces in the Philippines, offered to surrender Corregidor to Japanese Gen. Masaharu Homma, but Homma wanted the complete, unconditional capitulation of all American forces throughout the Philippines. Wainwright had little choice given the odds against him and the poor physical condition of his troops–he had already lost 800 men. He surrendered at midnight. All 11,500 surviving Allied troops were evacuated to a prison stockade in Manila. But the Americans returned to the Philippines in full strength in October 1944, beginning with the recapture of Leyte, the Philippines’ central island. It took 67 days to subdue, with the loss of more than 55,000 Japanese soldiers during the two months of battle, and approximately another 25,000 mopping up pockets of resistance in early 1945. The U.S. forces lost about 3,500. Following the American victory of Leyte was the return of Gen. Douglas MacArthur and the struggle for Luzon and the race for Manila, the Philippine capital. One week into the Allied battle for Luzon, U.S. airborne troops parachuted onto Corregidor to take out the Japanese garrison there, which was believed to be 1,000 strong, but was actually closer to 5,000. Fierce fighting resulted in the deaths of most of the Japanese soldiers, with the survivors left huddling in the Malinta Tunnel for safety. Ironically, the tunnel, 1,400 feet long and dug deep in the heart of Corregidor, had served as MacArthur’s headquarters and a U.S. supply depot before the American defeat there. MacArthur feared the Japanese soldiers could sit there for months. The garrison had no such intention, though, and ignited a nearby ammunition dump–an act of defiance, and possibly of mass suicide. Most of the Japanese were killed in the explosion, along with 52 Americans. Those Japanese who survived the blast were forced out into the open and decimated by the Americans. Corregidor was officially in American hands by early March.
1945 – The US 1st and 9th Army units are moving rapidly from their bridgeheads over the Our River.
1946 – A race riot in Columbia, TN, killed 2 people and 10 wounded.
1949 From Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas, the Lucky Lady II, a B-50 Superfortress, takes off on the first nonstop round-the-world flight. Under the command of Captain James Gallagher, and featuring a crew of 14 men, the aircraft averaged 249 miles per hour on its 23,452-mile trek. The Lucky Lady II was refueled four times in the air by B-29 tanker planes and on March 2 returned to the United States after 94 hours in the air. In December 1986, Voyager, a lightweight propeller plane constructed mainly of plastic, landed at Edwards Air Force Base in Muroc, California, having completed the first global flight without refueling.
1951 – In the US the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, limiting a president to two terms of office, was ratified.
1952 – Ten Superfortresses, using radar aiming methods, dropped one-hundred tons of bombs on the Sinhung-dong rail road bridge near Huichon in north central Korea, knocking out two spans.
1955 – G.F. Smith became the 1st aviator to bail out at supersonic speed.
1962 – After becoming the first American to orbit the Earth, John Glenn told a joint meeting of Congress, “Exploration and the pursuit of knowledge have always paid dividends in the long run.”
1963 – US helicopters are ordered to shoot first at enemy Soldiers while escorting government troops. Two days before, one US Soldier was killed when Vietcong ground-fire downs two of three US Army H-21 helicopters airlifting government Soldiers about 100 miles north of Saigon.
1965The first contingent of South Korean troops arrives in Saigon. Although assigned to non-combat duties, they came under fire on April 3. The South Korean contingent was part of the Free World Military Forces, an effort by President Lyndon B. Johnson to enlist allies for the United States and South Vietnam. By securing support from other nations, Johnson hoped to build an international consensus behind his policies in Vietnam. The effort was also known as the “many flags” program. By the close of 1969, there were over 47,800 Korean soldiers actively involved in combat operations in South Vietnam. Seoul began to withdraw its troops in February 1972.
1966 – Apollo program: Launch of AS-201, the first flight of the Saturn IB rocket. AS-201 (or SA-201), was the first unmanned test flight of an entire production Block I Apollo Command/Service Module and the Saturn IB launch vehicle. The spacecraft consisted of the second Block I command module and the first Block I service module. The suborbital flight was a partially successful demonstration of the service propulsion system and the reaction control systems of both modules, and successfully demonstrated the capability of the Command Module’s heat shield to survive re-entry from low Earth orbit.
1968Allied troops who had recaptured the imperial capital of Hue from the North Vietnamese during the Tet Offensive discover the first mass graves in Hue. It was discovered that communist troops who had held the city for 25 days had massacred about 2,800 civilians whom they had identified as sympathizers with the government in Saigon. One authority estimated that communists might have killed as many as 5,700 people in Hue. The Tet Offensive had begun at dawn on the first day of the Tet holiday truce (January 30), when Viet Cong forces, supported by large numbers of North Vietnamese troops, launched the largest and best coordinated offensive of the war. During the attack, they drove into the center of South Vietnam’s seven largest cities and attacked 30 provincial capitals ranging from the Delta to the DMZ. Among the cities taken during the first four days of the offensive were Hue, Dalat, Kontum, and Quang Tri; in the north, all five provincial capitals were overrun. At the same time, enemy forces shelled numerous allied airfields and bases. By February 10, the offensive was largely crushed, but resulted in heavy casualties on both sides.
1970 – Five Marines were arrested on charges of murdering 11 South Vietnamese women and children.
1973 – First airborne mine sweep in a live minefield took place in the Haiphong, Vietnam ship channel by helicopters from Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron Twelve on board USS New Orleans.
1976 – US performed a nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.
1977 – The 1st flight of Space Shuttle atop a Boeing 747 took place.
1984The last U.S. Marines sent to Lebanon as part of a multinational peacekeeping force leave Beirut, the war-torn Lebanese capital where some 250 of the original 800 Marines lost their lives during the problem-plagued 18-month mission. In 1975, a bloody civil war erupted in Lebanon, with Palestinian and leftist Muslim guerrillas battling militias of the Christian Phalange Party, the Maronite Christian community, and other groups. During the next few years, Syrian, Israeli, and United Nations interventions failed to resolve the factional fighting, and on August 20, 1982, a multinational force including 800 U.S. Marines was ordered to Beirut to help coordinate the Palestinian withdrawal. The Marines left Lebanese territory on September 10 but returned in strengthened numbers on September 29, following the massacre of Palestinian refugees by a Christian militia. The next day, the first U.S. Marine to die during the mission was killed while defusing a bomb. Other Marines fell prey to snipers. On April 18, 1983, a suicide bomber driving a van devastated the U.S. embassy in Beirut, killing 63 people, including 17 Americans. Then, on October 23, a Lebanese terrorist drove a truck packed with explosives into the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 U.S. military personnel. That same morning, 58 French soldiers were killed in their barracks two miles away in a separate suicide terrorist attack. The identities of the embassy and barracks bombers were not determined, but they were suspected to be Shiite terrorists associated with Iran. After the barracks bombing, many questioned whether President Ronald Reagan had a solid policy aim in Lebanon. Serious questions also arose over the quality of security in the American sector of war-torn Beirut. The U.S. peacekeeping force occupied an exposed area near the airport, but for political reasons the Marine commander had not been allowed to maintain a completely secure perimeter before the barracks attack. In a national address on the night of October 23, President Reagan vowed to keep the Marines in Lebanon, but just four months later he announced the end of the American role in the peacekeeping force. On February 26, 1984, the main force of Marines left Lebanon, leaving just a small contingent to guard the U.S. embassy in Beirut.
1987 – The Tower Commission, which probed the Iran-Contra affair, issued its report, which rebuked President Reagan for failing to control his national security staff.
1987 – NASA launched GEOS-H.
1990A year after agreeing to free elections, Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government loses at the polls. The elections brought an end to more than a decade of U.S. efforts to unseat the Sandinista government. The Sandinistas came to power when they overthrew long-time dictator Anastacio Somoza in 1979. From the outset, U.S. officials opposed the new regime, claiming that it was Marxist in its orientation. In the face of this opposition, the Sandinistas turned to the communist bloc for economic and military assistance. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan gave his approval for covert U.S. support of the so-called Contras-anti-Sandinista rebels based mostly in Honduras and Costa Rica. This support continued for most of the Reagan administration, until disapproval from the American public and reports of Contra abuses pushed Congress to cut off funding. In 1989, Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega met with the presidents of El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Guatemala to hammer out a peace plan for his nation. In exchange for promises from the other nations to close down Contra bases within their borders, Ortega agreed to free elections within a year. These were held on February 26, 1990. Ortega and the Sandinistas suffered a stunning defeat when Violeta Barrios de Chamarro, widow of a newspaper editor assassinated during the Somoza years, polled over 55 percent of the presidential vote. The opposition also captured the National Assembly. Chamarro’s election was a repudiation of over 10 years of Sandinista rule that had been characterized by a destructive war with the Contras and a failing economic system. The United States saw Chamarro’s victory as validation of its long-time support of the Contras, and many analysts likened the electoral defeat of the Sandinistas to the crumbling of communist regimes in Eastern Europe during the same period. Critics of the U.S. policy toward Nicaragua retorted that negotiations among the Central American presidents had brought free elections to Nicaragua-which nearly 10 years of American support of armed conflict had been unable to accomplish. In the wake of the election, the administration of President George Bush immediately announced an end to the U.S. embargo against Nicaragua and pledged new economic assistance. Though rumors flew that the Sandinista-controlled army and security forces would not accept Chamarro, she was inaugurated without incident. The Sandinistas, however, continued to play a role in Nicaraguan politics and still actively campaign for, and occasionally win, political office.
1991A cease-fire was called by Pres. Bush after 100 hours of ground combat. Following the cease-fire a retreating Iraqi unit stumbled into the Gen. McCaffrey’s 24th infantry division and some 400 Iraqis were reported killed. Army investigations concluded that the Iraqis started the Rumaylah battle.
1991 – Kuwaiti resistance leaders declared themselves in control of their capital, following nearly seven months of Iraqi occupation.
1991 – Iraqi President Saddam Hussein announced on Baghdad Radio that he had ordered his forces to withdraw from Kuwait.
1993A bomb explodes in the parking garage beneath the World Trade Center in New York City. Six people died and 1,000 were injured by the powerful blast. The buildings themselves, once the world’s tallest, were nearly toppled by the bomb; an underground restraining wall came precariously close to breaking and allowing the Hudson River to spill into the World Trade Center’s support area. Hours after the explosion, an informant identified a group of Serbians in New York as the culprits. However, when the FBI conducted surveillance of the gang they found not terrorists but jewel thieves, putting an end to a major diamond-laundering operation. Fortunately, investigators at the bomb scene found a 300-pound section of a van frame that had been at the center of the blast. The van’s vehicle identification number was still visible, leading detectives to the Ryder Rental Agency in Jersey City, New Jersey. Their records indicated that Mohammed Salameh had rented the van and reported it stolen on February 25. Salameh was already in the FBI’s database as a potential terrorist, so agents knew that they had probably found their man. Salameh compounded his mistake by insisting that Ryder return his $400 deposit. When he returned to collect it, the FBI arrested him. A search of his home and records led to two other suspects. Meanwhile, the owner of a storage facility in Jersey City came forward to say that he had seen four men loading a Ryder van on February 25. When this storage space was checked, they found enough chemicals, including very unstable nitroglycerin, to make another massive bomb. Investigators also found videotapes with instructions on bomb making that led to the arrest of a fourth suspect. Other evidence showed that one of the terrorists had bought hydrogen tanks from AGL Welding Supply in New Jersey. In the wreckage under the World Trade Center, three tanks marked “AGL Welding” were found. In addition, the terrorists had sent a letter to the New York Times claiming responsibility for the blast. Portions of this letter were found on the hard drive of one of the suspect’s computers. Finally, DNA analysis of saliva on the envelope matched that of the suspect. The wealth of evidence resulted in easy convictions, and each of the men was sentenced to 240 years in prison. Despite the fact that the terrorists did not succeed in destroying the World Trade Center, the bombing remains one of the worst acts of foreign terrorism on U.S. soil.
1994 – A jury in San Antonio acquitted 11 followers of David Koresh of murder, rejecting claims they had ambushed federal agents; five were convicted of manslaughter.
1995 – The United States and China averted a trade war by signing a comprehensive agreement.
1996 – President Clinton moved to step up economic sanctions on Cuba in response to Cuba’s downing of two unarmed airplanes belonging to the Cuban-American exile group Brothers to the Rescue.
1998 – The US waived the 2-year-old sanctions against Columbia. Military and economic aid were expected to follow.
2000 – Jose Imperatori, vice consul at the Cuban interests section in Washington, was expelled from the US after he refused to leave voluntarily under charges of spying.
2001The UN War Crimes tribunal in the Hague convicted Dario Kordic, a former Bosnian Croat leader, for crimes against humanity in the 1992-1995 Bosnian War. Mario Cerkez (41), a brigade commander of Croatian troops in Bosnia, was also convicted. They had carried out an “ethnic cleansing” campaign in an area they wished to be joined to Croatia.
2001Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar ordered the destruction of all statues including the Buddha statues carved into the stone cliffs of Bamiyan, Afghanistan. He called on the Ministry for the promotion of Virtue and the Repression of Vice as well as the Ministry of Culture to destroy all pre-Islamic statues and sanctuaries.
2002 – It was reported that the US has begun providing the former Soviet Republic of Georgia with military aid to counter terrorist threats in the Pankisi Gorge region. Some 100-200 US soldiers were included in the $64 million program to begin in mid-March.
2003 – President Bush, offering new justification for war in Iraq, told a think tank that “ending this direct and growing threat” from Saddam Hussein would pave the way for peace in the Middle East and encourage democracy throughout the Arab world.
2003 – NYC chose an airy spire that stands taller than any other building in the world at a height of 1,776 feet, designed by Daniel Libeskind.
2003 – In a televised interview, Saddam Hussein denies any connections with al-Qaeda and says he will refuse any offer of asylum, vowing to die in Iraq. He also denies his al-Samoud 2 missiles break UN resolutions and refuses to destroy them.
2003 – Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix says his team will need a few months to complete inspections in Iraq, even if Iraq “immediately, actively and unconditionally” co-operates. He also states that it is “not clear whether Iraq really wants to co-operate” at the moment.
2003 – Warplanes taking part in US-British patrols have attacked two air defence cable communications sites in southern Iraq after the Iraqi airforce violated the no-fly zone.
2004 – President Bush tightened U.S. travel restrictions against Cuba.
2004 – The US lifted a long-standing ban on travel to Libya after Moammar Gadhafi’s government affirmed that it was responsible for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 in 1988.
2007 – The International Court of Justice finds Serbia guilty of failing to prevent genocide in the Srebrenica massacre, but clears it of direct responsibility and complicity in a case brought forth by Bosnia and Herzegovina.
2009 – Reversing prior policy, the United States Defense Department allows news agencies to publicize photographs of the coffins of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
2013 – Chuck Hagel is confirmed by the Senate as the United States Secretary of Defense.
2015 – “Jihadi John”, an ISIL terrorist featured in many beheading videos, is identified as Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born man who lived in the United Kingdom and was on a terrorism watch list.

Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken this Day

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 3d Battalion, 23d Marines, 4th Marine Division. Place and date: Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 26 February 1945. Entered service at: New York. Born: 25 November 1925, Rochester, N.Y. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 3d Battalion, 23d Marines, 4th Marine Division, in combat against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Island, 26 February 1945. Promptly destroying a stubborn 20mm. antiaircraft gun and its crew after assuming the duties of a bazooka man who had been killed, Pfc. Jacobson waged a relentless battle as his unit fought desperately toward the summit of Hill 382 in an effort to penetrate the heart of Japanese cross-island defense. Employing his weapon with ready accuracy when his platoon was halted by overwhelming enemy fire on 26 February, he first destroyed 2 hostile machinegun positions, then attacked a large blockhouse, completely neutralizing the fortification before dispatching the 5-man crew of a second pillbox and exploding the installation with a terrific demolitions blast. Moving steadily forward, he wiped out an earth-covered rifle emplacement and, confronted by a cluster of similar emplacements which constituted the perimeter of enemy defenses in his assigned sector, fearlessly advanced, quickly reduced all 6 positions to a shambles, killed 10 of the enemy, and enabled our forces to occupy the strong point. Determined to widen the breach thus forced, he volunteered his services to an adjacent assault company, neutralized a pillbox holding up its advance, opened fire on a Japanese tank pouring a steady stream of bullets on 1 of our supporting tanks, and smashed the enemy tank’s gun turret in a brief but furious action culminating in a single-handed assault against still another blockhouse and the subsequent neutralization of its firepower. By his dauntless skill and valor, Pfc. Jacobson destroyed a total of 16 enemy positions and annihilated approximately 75 Japanese, thereby contributing essentially to the success of his division’s operations against this fanatically defended outpost of the Japanese Empire. His gallant conduct in the face of tremendous odds enhanced and sustained the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Rank and organization: Pharmacist’s Mate Second Class, U.S. Navy, serving with 2d Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division. Place and date: Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands group, 3 March 1945. Entered service at: Utah. Born: 8 August 1924, Ogden, Utah. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 2d Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima in the Volcano group on 3 March 1945. Painfully wounded in the bitter action on 26 February, Wahlen remained on the battlefield, advancing well forward of the frontlines to aid a wounded marine and carrying him back to safety despite a terrific concentration of fire. Tireless in his ministrations, he consistently disregarded all danger to attend his fighting comrades as they fell under the devastating rain of shrapnel and bullets, and rendered prompt assistance to various elements of his combat group as required. When an adjacent platoon suffered heavy casualties, he defied the continuous pounding of heavy mortars and deadly fire of enemy rifles to care for the wounded, working rapidly in an area swept by constant fire and treating 14 casualties before returning to his own platoon. Wounded again on 2 March, he gallantly refused evacuation, moving out with his company the following day in a furious assault across 600 yards of open terrain and repeatedly rendering medical aid while exposed to the blasting fury of powerful Japanese guns. Stouthearted and indomitable, he persevered in his determined efforts as his unit waged fierce battle and, unable to walk after sustaining a third agonizing wound, resolutely crawled 50 yards to administer first aid to still another fallen fighter. By his dauntless fortitude and valor, Wahlen served as a constant inspiration and contributed vitally to the high morale of his company during critical phases of this strategically important engagement. His heroic spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of overwhelming enemy fire upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Rank and organization: Sergeant (then Cpl.), U.S. Army, Company E, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Maltari, Korea, 26 February 1951. Entered service at: Tomahawk, Wis. Born: 6 October 1929, Milwaukee, Wis. G.O. No.: 68, 2 August 1951. Citation: Sgt. Ingman, a member of Company E, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. The 2 leading squads of the assault platoon of his company, while attacking a strongly fortified ridge held by the enemy, were pinned down by withering fire and both squad leaders and several men were wounded. Cpl. Ingman assumed command, reorganized and combined the 2 squads, then moved from 1 position to another, designating fields of fire and giving advice and encouragement to the men. Locating an enemy machine gun position that was raking his men with devastating fire he charged it alone, threw a grenade into the position, and killed the remaining crew with rifle fire. Another enemy machine gun opened fire approximately 15 yards away and inflicted additional casualties to the group and stopped the attack. When Cpl. Ingman charged the second position he was hit by grenade fragments and a hail of fire which seriously wounded him about the face and neck and knocked him to the ground. With incredible courage and stamina, he arose instantly and, using only his rifle, killed the entire guncrew before falling unconscious from his wounds. As a result of the singular action by Cpl. Ingman the defense of the enemy was broken, his squad secured its objective, and more than 100 hostile troops abandoned their weapons and fled in disorganized retreat. Cpl. Ingman’s indomitable courage, extraordinary heroism, and superb leadership reflect the highest credit on himself and are in keeping with the esteemed traditions of the infantry and the U.S. Army.

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company A, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Phu Hoa Dong, Republic of Vietnam, 26 February 1967. Entered service at: Eugene, Oreg. Born: 29 January 1932, Lodi, Calif. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. 1st Sgt. Yabes distinguished himself with Company A, which was providing security for a land clearing operation. Early in the morning the company suddenly came under intense automatic weapons and mortar fire followed by a battalion sized assault from 3 sides. Penetrating the defensive perimeter the enemy advanced on the company command post bunker. The command post received increasingly heavy fire and was in danger of being overwhelmed. When several enemy grenades landed within the command post, 1st Sgt. Yabes shouted a warning and used his body as a shield to protect others in the bunker. Although painfully wounded by numerous grenade fragments, and despite the vicious enemy fire on the bunker, he remained there to provide covering fire and enable the others in the command group to relocate. When the command group had reached a new position, 1st Sgt. Yabes moved through a withering hail of enemy fire to another bunker 50 meters away. There he secured a grenade launcher from a fallen comrade and fired point blank into the attacking Viet Cong stopping further penetration of the perimeter. Noting 2 wounded men helpless in the fire swept area, he moved them to a safer position where they could be given medical treatment. He resumed his accurate and effective fire killing several enemy soldiers and forcing others to withdraw from the vicinity of the command post. As the battle continued, he observed an enemy machinegun within the perimeter which threatened the whole position. On his own, he dashed across the exposed area, assaulted the machinegun, killed the crew, destroyed the weapon, and fell mortally wounded. 1st Sgt. Yabes’ valiant and selfless actions saved the lives of many of his fellow soldiers and inspired his comrades to effectively repel the enemy assault. His indomitable fighting spirit, extraordinary courage and intrepidity at the cost of his life are in the highest military traditions and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

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