1624 – Class-based legislation was passed in the colony of Virginia, exempting the upper class from punishment by whipping.
1766 – Antonio de Ulloa, the first Spanish governor of Louisiana, arrives in New Orleans.
1770 – Five Americans, including Crispus Attucks, are fatally shot by British troops in an event that would contribute to the outbreak of the American War of Independence five years later. In the cold, snowy night, a mob of American colonists gathers at the Customs House in Boston and begins taunting the British soldiers guarding the building. The protesters, who called themselves Patriots, were protesting the occupation of their city by British troops, who were sent to Boston in 1768 to enforce unpopular taxation measures passed by a British parliament that lacked American representation. British Captain Thomas Preston, the commanding officer at the Customs House, ordered his men to fix their bayonets and join the guard outside the building. The colonists responded by throwing snowballs and other objects at the British regulars, and Private Hugh Montgomery was hit, leading him to discharge his rifle at the crowd. The other soldiers began firing a moment later, and when the smoke cleared, five colonists were dead or dying – Crispus Attucks, Patrick Carr, Samuel Gray, Samuel Maverick, and James Caldwell – and three more were injured. Although it is unclear whether Crispus Attucks, an African American, was the first to fall as is commonly believed, the deaths of the five men are regarded by some historians as the first fatalities in the American Revolutionary War. The British soldiers were put on trial, and patriots John Adams and Josiah Quincy agreed to defend the soldiers in a show of support of the colonial justice system. When the trial ended in December 1770, two British soldiers were found guilty of manslaughter and had their thumbs branded with an “M” for murder as punishment. The Sons of Liberty, a Patriot group formed in 1765 to oppose the Stamp Act, advertised the “Boston Massacre” as a battle for American liberty and just cause for the removal of British troops from Boston. Patriot Paul Revere made a provocative engraving of the incident, depicting the British soldiers lining up like an organized army to suppress an idealized representation of the colonist uprising. Copies of the engraving were distributed throughout the colonies and helped reinforce negative American sentiments about British rule. In April 1775, the American Revolution began when British troops from Boston skirmished with American militiamen at the battles of Lexington and Concord. The British troops were under orders to capture Patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock in Lexington and to confiscate the Patriot arsenal at Concord. Neither missions were accomplished because of Paul Revere and William Dawes, who rode ahead of the British, warning Adams and Hancock and rousing the Patriot minutemen. Eleven months later, in March 1776, British forces had to evacuate Boston following American General George Washington’s successful placement of fortifications and cannons on Dorchester Heights. This bloodless liberation of Boston brought an end to the hated eight-year British occupation of the city. For the victory, General Washington, commander of the Continental Army, was presented with the first medal ever awarded by the Continental Congress. It would be more than five years before the Revolutionary War came to an end with British General Charles Cornwallis’ surrender to Washington at Yorktown, Virginia.
1776 – General Howe orders the evacuation of Boston. On the 4th, the General had noticed how many cannon The Colonials had pointed at him and his troops from Dorchester Heights, South of Boston, he couldn’t believe how much work they had done in, what he believed to be, just one night. “The rebels have done more in one night than my whole army could do in months.” He didn’t realize it took two nights, because the Continentals hid the evidence of their first night’s work. General Washington and his troops had put their guns on Dorchester Heights where they could command Boston, threaten the British Army, and made the Boston Harbor unsafe for any British ship. First General Howe planned to attack to recapture Dorchester Heights. Then he decided to leave Boston and move his troops to New York, which was more important to both armies since it would control the traffic to and from Canada. A big storm came up that night giving the General an excuse for the evacuation.
1836 – Samuel Colt manufactured the 1st pistol, a 34-caliber “Texas” model. Samuel Colt patented a revolver mechanism that led to the widespread use of the revolver. According to Samuel Colt, he came up with the idea for the revolver while at sea, inspired by the capstan, which had a ratchet and pawl mechanism on it, a version of which was used in his guns to rotate the cylinder. Revolvers proliferated largely due to Colt’s ability as a salesman. But his influence spread in other ways as well; the build quality of his company’s guns became famous, and its armories in America and England trained several seminal generations of toolmakers and other machinists, who had great influence in other manufacturing efforts of the next half century.
1864 – Commander John Taylor Wood, CSN, led an early morning raid on the Union-held telegraph station at Cherrystone Point, Virginia. After crossing Chesapeake Bay at night with some 15 men in open barges, Wood landed and seized the station. Small Union Army steamers Aeolus and Titan, unaware that the station was in enemy hands, put into shore and each was captured by the daring Southerners. Wood then destroyed the telegraph station and surrounding warehouses, and disabled and bonded Aeolus before boarding Titan and steaming up the Piankatank River as far as possible. A joint Army-Navy expedition to recapture her was quickly organized, but Wood evaded U.S.S. Currituck and Tulip in the still early morning haze. A force of five gunboats under Commander F.A. Parker followed the Confederates up the river on the 7th, where Titan was found destroyed by Wood, “together with a number of large boats prepared for a raid.”
1864 – Acting Master Thomas McElroy, commanding U.S.S. Petrel, reported a Confederate attack on Yazoo City. Heavy gunfire support by Petrel and U.S.S. Marmora, Acting Master Thomas Gibson, helped drive the Confederate troops off. In addition, McElroy wrote, I am proud to say that the Navy was well represented [ashore] by 3 sailors, who . . . stood by their guns through the whole action, fighting hand to hand to save the gun and the reputation of the Navy. The sailors are highly spoken of by the army officers.
1864 – General John C. Breckinridge takes control of Confederate forces in the Appalachian Mountains of western Virginia. The Kentuckian was a former senator and had been the vice president of the country and the runner-up to Abraham Lincoln in the 1860 presidential election. Breckinridge took over the obscure Western Department of Virginia, where he managed forces until he was elevated to the Confederacy’s Secretary of War in the closing weeks of the conflict. Born in 1821, Breckinridge graduated from college when he was 17 years old. He served in the military during the Mexican War and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives at age 30. In 1856, Breckinridge became the youngest vice president when he was elected with James Buchanan at age 35. In 1860, he represented the southern wing of the Democratic Party, which had split during the convention over the issue of slavery. He finished third in the popular vote behind Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, who represented the northern Democrats, but he received 72 electoral votes to finish second behind Lincoln. Although he lost the White House, his state legislature selected him as senator shortly after the election. During the summer of 1861, Breckinridge remained in the senate, supporting secessionists views as the war escalated. In September, Kentucky declared itself a Union state. Having literally become a man without a country, Breckinridge fled to the Confederacy and joined the army. He was made commander of the Orphan Brigade, a collection of Kentucky regiments with soldiers who found themselves geographically cut off from their native state. His unit suffered 34 percent casualties at the Battle of Shiloh, but went on to fight at most of the battles in the western theater. After taking control of the Western Department of Virginia, Breckinridge led forces at the Battle of New Market in May 1864, where his army routed a Union force. In October, troops in his department were victorious at the Battle of Saltville, but the victory was tarnished when the Confederates began massacring black soldiers during the Union retreat. Breckinridge also served during Jubal Early’s 1864 Shenandoah Valley campaign. On February 6, 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis tapped Breckinridge to be Secretary of War. He showed great ability in that capacity, but the Confederate cause had become hopeless. Breckinridge oversaw the evacuation of Richmond in March and fled southward with Davis. Unlike Davis, however, Breckinridge successfully escaped the country through Florida and into Cuba. Joined by his family, Breckinridge stayed for four years in Europe before a presidential pardon allowed him to return to Kentucky. He worked as a lawyer until his death in 1875.
1868 – The Senate was organized into a court of impeachment to decide charges against President Andrew Johnson.
1872 – George Westinghouse patents the air brake.
1906 – The United States Army troops bring overwhelming force against the native Moros in the First Battle of Bud Dajo, leaving only six survivors. The First Battle of Bud Dajo, also known as the Battle of Mt. Dajo, was a counter insurgency action fought by the United States Army against native Moros in March 1906, during the Moro Rebellion phase of the Philippine–American War. While fighting was limited to ground action on Jolo Island in the Sulu Archipelago, use of naval gunfire contributed significantly to the overwhelming firepower brought to bear against the Muslim insurgents, who were mostly armed with melee weapons. The description of the engagement as a battle is disputed because of both the overwhelming firepower of the attackers and the lopsided casualties. The conflict, especially the final phase of the battle, is also known as the Moro Crater Massacre. During this battle, 790 men and officers, under the command of Colonel J.W. Duncan, assaulted the volcanic crater of Bud Dajo, which was populated by 800 to 1000 Moro villagers, including women and children. Although the battle was a victory for the American forces, it was also an unmitigated public relations disaster. It was the bloodiest of any engagement of the Moro Rebellion, with only six of the hundreds of Moro coming out of the battle alive. Estimates of American casualties range from fifteen killed to twenty-one killed and seventy-five wounded.
1927 – Some 1,000 US marines landed in China to “protect American property.”
1933 – When Franklin Roosevelt started his first term in the White House in 1933, he inherited a nation in the depths of the Depression. A record 13 million Americans were unemployed and businesses were drowning in red ink. Perhaps even more pressing was the head-spinning string of bank failures which had triggered a frantic run on the nation’s savings vaults. The wave of withdrawals by panic-stricken depositors further dried up banks’ already-depleted supply of liquid assets and pushed the nation’s banking system to the brink of disaster. On March 5–the day after being sworn into office–Roosevelt stepped into the breach and declared a “bank holiday,” which, for four days forced the closure of the nation’s banks and halted all financial transactions. The “holiday” not only helped stem the frantic run on banks, but gave Roosevelt time to push the Emergency Banking Act through the legislative chain. Passed by Congress on March 9, the act handed the president a far-reaching grip over bank dealings and “foreign transactions.” The legislation also paved the path for solvent banks to resume business as early as March 10. Three short days later nearly 1,000 banks were up and running again.
1933 – Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party receives 43.9% at the Reichstag elections. This later allows the Nazis to pass the Enabling Act and establish a dictatorship.
1942 – Name “Seabees” and insignia officially authorized.
1943 – USS Bogue begins first anti-submarine operations by escort carrier.
1944 – Two battalions of the US 126th Infantry Regiment land at Yalau Plantation, 30 miles west of Saidor. There is almost no Japanese opposition.
1944 – On Los Negros the forces of the US 5th Cavalry Regiment move into the northern half of the island. Destroyers escorting a further 1400 American reinforcements provide fire support for the advance.
1945 – Units of the US 8th Corps (part of US 1st Army) enter Cologne from the south and the east. The Allied advance continues along the entire line.
1946 – In one of the most famous orations of the Cold War period, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill condemns the Soviet Union’s policies in Europe and declares, “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent.” Churchill’s speech is considered one of the opening volleys announcing the beginning of the Cold War. Churchill, who had been defeated for re-election as prime minister in 1945, was invited to Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri where he gave this speech. President Harry S. Truman joined Churchill on the platform and listened intently to his speech. Churchill began by praising the United States, which he declared stood “at the pinnacle of world power.” It soon became clear that a primary purpose of his talk was to argue for an even closer “special relationship” between the United States and Great Britain-the great powers of the “English-speaking world”-in organizing and policing the postwar world. In particular, he warned against the expansionistic policies of the Soviet Union. In addition to the “iron curtain” that had descended across Eastern Europe, Churchill spoke of “communist fifth columns” that were operating throughout western and southern Europe. Drawing parallels with the disastrous appeasement of Hitler prior to World War II, Churchill advised that in dealing with the Soviets there was “nothing which they admire so much as strength, and there is nothing for which they have less respect than for military weakness.” Truman and many other U.S. officials warmly received the speech. Already they had decided that the Soviet Union was bent on expansion and only a tough stance would deter the Russians. Churchill’s “iron curtain” phrase immediately entered the official vocabulary of the Cold War. U.S. officials were less enthusiastic about Churchill’s call for a “special relationship” between the United States and Great Britain. While they viewed the English as valuable allies in the Cold War, they were also well aware that Britain’s power was on the wane and had no intention of being used as pawns to help support the crumbling British empire. In the Soviet Union, Russian leader Joseph Stalin denounced the speech as “war mongering,” and referred to Churchill’s comments about the “English-speaking world” as imperialist “racism.” The British, Americans, and Russians-allies against Hitler less than a year before the speech-were drawing the battle lines of the Cold War.
1947 – The 7th Marine Regiment disbanded at Camp Pendleton following their return from China. Personnel and equipment were transferred to the 3rd Marine Brigade.
1951 – The U.S. 2nd Infantry Division, including the French Battalion, seized communist positions in the Pangnum area.
1953 – Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union since 1924, dies in Moscow. Like his right-wing counterpart, Hitler, who was born in Austria, Joseph Stalin was not a native of the country he ruled with an iron fist. Isoeb Dzhugashvili was born in 1889 in Georgia, then part of the old Russian empire. The son of a drunk who beat him mercilessly and a pious washerwoman mother, Stalin learned Russian, which he spoke with a heavy accent all his life, in an Orthodox Church-run school. While studying to be a priest at Tiflis Theological Seminary, he began secretly reading Karl Marx and other left-wing revolutionary thinkers. The “official” communist story is that he was expelled from the seminary for this intellectual rebellion; in reality, it may have been because of poor health. In 1900, Stalin became active in revolutionary political activism, taking part in labor demonstrations and strikes. Stalin joined the more militant wing of the Marxist Social Democratic movement, the Bolsheviks, and became a student of its leader, Vladimir Ilich Lenin. Stalin was arrested seven times between 1902 and 1913, and subjected to prison and exile. Stalin’s first big break came in 1912, when Lenin, in exile in Switzerland, named him to serve on the first Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party-now a separate entity from the Social Democrats. The following year, Stalin (finally dropping Dzugashvili and taking the new name Stalin, from the Russian word for “steel”) published a signal article on the role of Marxism in the destiny of Russia. In 1917, escaping from an exile in Siberia, he linked up with Lenin and his coup against the middle-class democratic government that had supplanted the czar’s rule. Stalin continued to move up the party ladder, from commissar for nationalities to secretary general of the Central Committee-a role that would provide the center of his dictatorial takeover and control of the party and the new USSR. In fact, upon Lenin’s death in 1924, Stalin began the consolidation of his power base, conducting show trials to purge enemies and rivals, even having Leon Trotsky assassinated during his exile in Mexico. Stalin also abandoned Lenin’s New Economic Policy, which would have meant some decentralization of industry. Stalin demanded-and got-absolute state control of the economy, as well as greater swaths of Soviet life, until his totalitarian grip on the new Russian empire was absolute. The outbreak of World War II saw Stalin attempt an alliance with Adolf Hitler for purely self-interested reasons, and despite the political fallout of a communist signing an alliance with a fascist, they signed a nonaggression pact that allowed each dictator free reign in their respective spheres of influence. Stalin then proceeded to annex parts of Poland, Romania, and Finland, and occupy Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. In May 1941, he made himself chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars; he was now the official head of the government and no longer merely head of the party. One month later, Germany invaded the USSR, making significant early inroads. As German troops approached, Stalin remained in the capital, directing a scorched-earth defensive policy and exercising personal control over the strategies of the Red Army. As the war progressed, Stalin sat in on the major Allied conferences, including those in Tehran (1943) and Yalta (1945). His iron will and deft political skills enabled him to play the loyal ally while never abandoning his vision of an expanded postwar Soviet Empire. In fact, after Germany’s surrender in April 1945, Stalin oversaw the continued occupation and domination of much of Eastern Europe, despite “promises” of free elections in those countries. Stalin did not mellow with age; he prosecuted a reign of terror, purges, executions, exiles to the Gulag Archipelago (a system of forced-labor camps in the frozen north), and persecution in the postwar USSR, suppressing all dissent and anything that smacked of foreign, especially Western European, influence. To the great relief of many, he died of a massive heart attack on March 5, 1953. He is remembered to this day as the man who helped save his nation from Nazi domination-and as the mass murderer of the century, having overseen the deaths of between 8 million and 10 million of his own people.
1953 – Good weather permitted Fifth Air Force to complete 700 sorties. Sixteen F-84 ThunderJets attacked in northeastern Korea an industrial area at Chongjin, just sixty-three miles from the Siberian border, destroying buildings and two rail and two road bridges, damaging seven rail cars, and inflicting several rail and road cuts. Fighter-bombers flying ground support missions reported damage or destruction to fifty-six bunkers and gun positions, fourteen personnel shelters, and ten supply stacks.
1960 – Elvis Presley is discharged from the army after a two-year stint. Presley had already become the first big rock and roll star, gaining national fame in 1956 with his first No. 1 hit, “Heartbreak Hotel,” which led to several appearances on national television. Presley’s remarkable career began in 1954, shortly after he paid $4 to record two songs, “Casual Love Affair” and “I’ll Never Stand in Your Way,” for his mother’s birthday. The office assistant at Sun Records, where he cut the record, was so impressed that she brought a copy of the recording to studio executive Sam Phillips, who signed him. A week after Presley recorded “That’s All Right” in the summer of 1954, the song hit No. 4 on the country-western charts in Memphis. Elvis soon began performing regularly on radio programs and made his television debut on a Memphis show in March 1955. That September, he had his first No. 1 country record-a rendition of Junior Parker’s “Mystery Train.” RCA purchased Presley’s contract, and he made his first RCA recordings in Nashville in 1956, including “I Got a Woman,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” and “I Was the One.” On January 28, 1956, television audiences met Presley on the Dorsey Brothers’ Stage Show. He appeared on several variety shows before filming his first movie, Love Me Tender (1956), which took just three days to earn back its $1 million cost. All of his singles that year went gold. Elvis’ controversial dancing, with his trademark hip gyrations, upset parents but delighted teenage girls. During an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956, cameras showed him only from the waist up. Elvis received his draft notice in December 1957 but took a deferment to finish filming his fourth movie, King Creole. Before his induction he recorded enough material so that a steady stream of Elvis hits were released during his tour of duty. He continued to dominate the charts through the mid-’60s and made more than 20 movies. Elvis stopped performing live in 1961 but made a comeback in the late 60s, becoming a Las Vegas fixture and releasing several top singles, including “In the Ghetto” and “Suspicious Minds” in 1969. As his popularity continued to skyrocket, the “King of Rock and Roll” allegedly turned to drugs. His final live performance was on June 25, 1977, and on August 16, 1977, the day of his next scheduled concert, his girlfriend found him dead in a bathroom at Graceland, the Memphis mansion he built and named after his mother. Congestive heart failure was initially cited as the cause of death, but prescription drug abuse was suspected as a contributing factor. He was buried at Graceland. Nine years after his death, he was one of the first 10 people inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. During his life, he had earned 94 gold singles and more than 40 gold LPs.
1964 – The Joint Chiefs of Staff order a U.S. Air Force air commando training advisory team to Thailand to train Lao pilots in counterinsurgency tactics. Laos had won its independence from French control in July 1949 but the country quickly became a battleground as various factions vied for control of the government. One of the factions was the Neo Lao Hak Sat (Lao Liberation Front), communist insurgents more popularly known as the Pathet Lao. President Dwight Eisenhower believed that Laos was “the key to the entire area of Southeast Asia” and was concerned that the government would fall to the communists. The situation was defused somewhat when a conference in Geneva in July 1952 set up a coalition government for Laos and officially proclaimed the neutrality of the country. This eventually proved to be a farce when the North Vietnamese Army moved 80,000 soldiers into Laos to assist the Pathet Lao. The United States then increased its support to the Royal Lao government. The mission of the American air commandos was to train the Laotian pilots in the conduct of close air support for the Royal Lao ground forces. Since Laos was officially neutral, the training efforts were conducted in Thailand with that government’s permission. The training did not result in sufficient numbers of trained Laotian pilots, so in December 1964, U.S. pilots in American planes began flying support missions for the Laotian ground troops as part of Operation Barrel Roll. The mission continued until February 1973.
1965 – Reports are surfacing from US Servicemen regarding shortages of ammunition and equipment while some of this material is being sold on the black market.
1965 – A 500-yard zone is being cleared around the Danang Airbase, and an 8 mile deep special military sector is being established. These are considered indications that US Marines are to be sent to Vietnam.
1969 – Communist forces fire at least 7 rockets into Saigon killing at least 22 civilians and wounding scores more.
1970 – The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty goes into effect after ratification by 43 nations.
1970 – SDS Weathermen terrorist group bombed 18 West 11th St. in NYC.
1971 – The U.S. 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, less its 2nd Squadron, withdraws from Vietnam. The “Blackhorse Regiment” (named for the black horse on the regimental shoulder patch) first arrived in Vietnam in September 1966 and consisted of three squadrons, each with three armored cavalry troops, a tank troop and a howitzer battery, making it a formidable fighting force. Upon arriving in Vietnam, the regiment had 51 tanks, 296 armored personnel carriers, 18 self-propelled 155-mm howitzers, nine flamethrower vehicles, and 18 helicopters. While in Vietnam, Blackhorse conducted combat operations in the 11 provinces surrounding Saigon and participated in the Cambodian incursion in 1970. During its combat service in Vietnam, Blackhorse suffered 635 troopers killed in action and 5,521 wounded in action. Three of its troopers won the Medal of Honor for bravery on the battlefield. Upon its departure from Vietnam, the group was sent to Europe where it was assigned to guard the frontier in West Germany. The regiment’s 2nd Squadron remained in Vietnam until March 1972, when it departed to join the rest of the regiment in Germany. Also on this day: Premier Chou En-lai of the People’s Republic of China visits Hanoi. After lengthy consultations, Chou and North Vietnamese Premier Pham Van Dong issued a joint communique on March 10, which vowed continued Chinese support for the North Vietnamese struggle against the United States. This support was instrumental in providing the North Vietnamese with weapons and equipment needed for the major offensive they launched in the spring of 1972.
1975 – First meeting of the Homebrew Computer Club. The Homebrew Computer Club was an early computer hobbyist group in Silicon Valley which met until December 1986. Several very high-profile hackers and computer entrepreneurs emerged from its ranks. The open exchange of ideas that went on at its biweekly meetings, and the club newsletter, launched the personal computer revolution. The Homebrew Computer Club has been called “the crucible for an entire industry.”
1978 – The Landsat 3 is launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The Landsat program is the longest running enterprise for acquisition of satellite imagery of Earth. On July 23, 1972 the Earth Resources Technology Satellite was launched. This was eventually renamed to Landsat. The most recent, Landsat 8, was launched on February 11, 2013. The instruments on the Landsat satellites have acquired millions of images. The images, archived in the United States and at Landsat receiving stations around the world, are a unique resource for global change research and applications in agriculture, cartography, geology, forestry, regional planning, surveillance and education, and can be viewed through the USGS ‘EarthExplorer’ website.
1979 – Voyager I’s closest approach to Jupiter (172,000 miles). Voyager 1 is a 722-kilogram (1,592 lb) space probe launched by NASA on September 5, 1977, to study the outer Solar System. Operating for 37 years, 1 month and 12 days as of October 17, 2014, the spacecraft communicates with the Deep Space Network to receive routine commands and return data. At a distance of about 129.18 AU (1.933×1010 km) (approximately 12 billion miles) from Earth as of September 2014, it is the farthest spacecraft from Earth.
1984 – US accused Iraq of using poison gas.
1991 – Iraq repealed its annexation of Kuwait. The Iraqis turned over 35 prisoners of war, including 15 Americans, to the Red Cross. An anti-Saddam Hussein uprising was reported sweeping city after city in Iraq.
1993 – The White House sought new ways to inflict what a spokesman called “real pain and real price” on Serb aggressors in Bosnia by tightening the U.N. blockade on supplies and money to the region.
1997 – The United Nations approves the 36th contract for the sale of Iraqi oil and announces that the $1.07 billion limit for the first 90 day period of Iraq’s oil-for-food program has been “more or less” met. The $1.07 billion includes $70 million in pipeline fees to Turkey.
1998 – NASA officials announced that the Lunar Prospector probe found the presence of water on the moon at the north and south poles. As much as 100 million tons of water was estimated. They said that the water frozen in the loose soil of the moon might support a lunar base and a human colony.
2000 – NATO peacekeeping troops arrested Dragoljub Prcac, a Bosnian Serb, for war crimes committed at the Omarska prison camp in 1992, where he served as deputy commander.
2000 – In Mozambique some 600 US troops arrived to help deliver food and medical supplies where flooding left an estimated 1 million people homeless.
2000 – In Russia acting Pres. Putin said that Russia would consider joining NATO if it were treated as an equal partner.
2003 – The foreign ministers of France, Germany and Russia said they will block any attempt to get UN approval for war against Iraq.
2003 – A Kuwaiti policeman was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the 2002 attack that wounded two U.S. soldiers on a Kuwaiti desert highway.
2004 – U.S. special operations forces killed nine suspected Taliban rebels in a firefight in eastern Afghanistan after the militants tried to sneak by their position.
2004 – In Haiti some 3 thousand supporters of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide marched on the U.S. and French embassies, shouting their anger at his ouster. A seven-member council met for the first time to help form a transitional government.
2007 – The United States and North Korea commence talks in New York City to establish diplomatic relations following another temporary abandonment of the North Korean nuclear weapons program.
2011 – Alan Phillip Gross (born May 2, 1949),a U.S. international development professional, was found guilty of crimes against the state of Cuba supposedly for setting up illegal Internet connections. In December 2009 he was arrested while in Cuba working as a U.S. government subcontractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of a program funded under the 1996 Helms-Burton Act. He was prosecuted in 2011 after being accused of bringing satellite phones and computer equipment (to members of Cuba’s Jewish community) without the permit required under Cuban law. After being accused of working for American intelligence services in January 2010, he was ultimately convicted for “acts against the independence or the territorial integrity of the state” and is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence in Cuba.
2014 – UN Envoy Robert Serry is ordered to leave Crimea at gunpoint after being threatened by 10–15 armed men.
2015 – A knife-wielding assailant injures the American ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, in the South Korean capital city of Seoul. Authorities report that the injuries on his face and wrist are not life-threatening.
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken this Day
BOURY, RICHARD Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company C, 1st West Virginia Cavalry. Place and date: At Charlottesville, Va., 5 March 1865. Entered service at: Wirt Courthouse, W. Va. Birth: Monroe County, Ohio. Date of issue: 26 March 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.
FRANKS, WILLIAM J. Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1830, Chatham County, N.C. Entered service at: Duvalls Bluff, Ark. G.O. No.: 32, 16 April 1864. Citation: Served on board the U.S.S. Marmora off Yazoo City, Miss., 5 March 1864. Embarking from the Marmora with a 12-pound howitzer mounted on a field carriage, Franks landed with the gun and crew in the midst of heated battle and, bravely standing by his gun despite enemy rifle fire which cut the gun carriage and rammer contributed to the turning back of the enemy during the fierce engagement.
LAFFEY, BARTLETT Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1841, Ireland. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 32, 16 April 1864. Citation. Off Yazoo City, Miss., 5 March 1864, embarking from the Marmora with a 12-pound howitzer mounted on a field carriage, Laffey landed with the gun and crew in the midst of heated battle and, bravely standing by his gun despite enemy rifle fire which cut the gun carriage and rammer, contributed to the turning back of the enemy during the fierce engagement.
STODDARD, JAMES Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1838, North Carolina. Accredited to: North Carolina. G.O. No.: 32, 16 April 1864. Citation: Off Yazoo City, Miss., 5 March 1864. Embarking from the Marmora with a 12_pound howitzer mounted on a field carriage, Stoddard landed with the gun and crew in the midst of heated battle and, bravely standing by his gun despite enemy rifle fire which cut the gun carriage and rammer, contributed to the turning back of the enemy during the fierce engagement.
*HIBBS, ROBERT JOHN Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company B, 2d Battalion, 28th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Place and date: Don Dien Lo Ke, Republic of Vietnam, 5 March 1966. Entered service at: Des Moines, Iowa. Born: 21 April 1943, Omaha, Nebr. G.O. No.: 8, 24 February 1967. Citations: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. 2d Lt. Hibbs was in command of a 15-man ambush patrol of the 2d Battalion, when his unit observed a company of Viet Cong advancing along the road toward the 2d Battalion’s position. Informing his command post by radio of the impending attack, he prepared his men for the oncoming Viet Cong, emplaced 2 mines in their path and, when the insurgents were within 20 feet of the patrol’s position, he fired the 2 antipersonnel mines, wounding or killing half of the enemy company. Then, to cover the withdrawal of his patrol, he threw hand grenades, stepped onto the open road, and opened fire on the remainder of the Viet Cong force of approximately 50 men. Having rejoined his men, he was leading them toward the battalion perimeter when the patrol encountered the rear elements of another Viet Cong company deployed to attack the battalion. With the advantage of surprise, he directed a charge against the Viet Cong, which carried the patrol through the insurgent force, completely disrupting its attack. Learning that a wounded patrol member was wandering in the area between the 2 opposing forces and although moments from safety and wounded in the leg himself, he and a sergeant went back to the battlefield to recover the stricken man. After they maneuvered through the withering fire of 2 Viet Cong machine guns, the sergeant grabbed the dazed soldier and dragged him back toward the friendly lines while 2d Lt. Hibbs remained behind to provide covering fire. Armed with only an M-16 rifle and a pistol, but determined to destroy the enemy positions, he then charged the 2 machine gun emplacements and was struck down. Before succumbing to his mortal wounds, he destroyed the starlight telescopic sight attached to his rifle to prevent its capture and use by the Viet Cong. 2d Lt. Hibb’s profound concern for his fellow soldiers, and his intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.
*JENKINS, ROBERT H., JR. Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, 3d Reconnaissance Battalion, 3d Marine Division (Rein), FMF. Place and date: Fire Support Base Argonne, Republic of Vietnam, 5 March 1969. Entered service at: Jacksonville, Fla. Born: 1 June 1948, Interlachen, Fla. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a machine gunner with Company C, 3d Reconnaissance Battalion, in connection with operations against enemy forces. Early in the morning Pfc. Jenkins’ 12-man reconnaissance team was occupying a defensive position at Fire Support Base Argonne south of the Demilitarized Zone. Suddenly, the marines were assaulted by a North Vietnamese Army platoon employing mortars, automatic weapons, and hand grenades. Reacting instantly, Pfc. Jenkins and another marine quickly moved into a 2-man fighting emplacement, and as they boldly delivered accurate machine gun fire against the enemy, a North Vietnamese soldier threw a hand grenade into the friendly emplacement. Fully realizing the inevitable results of his actions, Pfc. Jenkins quickly seized his comrade, and pushing the man to the ground, he leaped on top of the marine to shield him from the explosion. Absorbing the full impact of the detonation, Pfc. Jenkins was seriously injured and subsequently succumbed to his wounds. His courage, inspiring valor and selfless devotion to duty saved a fellow marine from serious injury or possible death and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
*JOHNSON, RALPH H. Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Company A, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division (Rein), FMF. Place and date: Near the Quan Duc Valley, Republic of Vietnam, 5 March 1968. Entered service at: Oakland, Calif. Born: 11 January 1949, Charleston, S.C. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a reconnaissance scout with Company A, in action against the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong forces. In the early morning hours during Operation ROCK, Pfc. Johnson was a member of a 15-man reconnaissance patrol manning an observation post on Hill 146 overlooking the Quan Duc Valley deep in enemy controlled territory. They were attacked by a platoon-size hostile force employing automatic weapons, satchel charges and hand grenades. Suddenly, a hand grenade landed in the 3-man fighting hole occupied by Pfc. Johnson and 2 fellow marines. Realizing the inherent danger to his 2 comrades, he shouted a warning and unhesitatingly hurled himself upon the explosive device. When the grenade exploded, Pfc. Johnson absorbed the tremendous impact of the blast and was killed instantly. His prompt and heroic act saved the life of 1 marine at the cost of his life and undoubtedly prevented the enemy from penetrating his sector of the patrol’s perimeter. Pfc. Johnson’s courage, inspiring valor and selfless devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.