1715 – The Yamasee War begins in South Carolina. The Yamasee War (also spelled Yemassee War) (1715–1717) was a conflict between British settlers of colonial South Carolina and various Native American tribes, including the Yamasee, Muscogee, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Catawba, Apalachee, Apalachicola, Yuchi, Savannah River Shawnee, Congaree, Waxhaw, Pee Dee, Cape Fear, Cheraw, and others. Some of the Native American Indian groups played a minor role while others launched attacks throughout South Carolina in an attempt to destroy the colony. Native Americans killed hundreds of colonists and destroyed many settlements. Traders “in the field” were killed throughout what is now southeastern United States. Abandoning settled frontiers, people fled to Charles Town, where starvation set in as supplies ran low. The survival of the South Carolina colony was in question during 1715. The tide turned in early 1716 when the Cherokee sided with the colonists against the Creek, their traditional enemy. The last of South Carolina’s major Native American foes withdrew from the conflict in 1717, bringing a fragile peace to the colony. The Yamasee War was one of the most disruptive and transformational conflicts of colonial America. It was one of the American Indians’ most serious challenges to European dominance. For over a year the colony faced the possibility of annihilation. About 7% of South Carolina’s white citizenry was killed, making the war bloodier than King Philip’s War, which is often cited as North America’s bloodiest war involving Native Americans. The geopolitical situation for British, Spanish, and French colonies, as well as the Indian groups of the southeast, was radically altered. The war marks the end of the early colonial era of the American South. The Yamasee War and its aftermath contributed to the emergence of new Indian confederated nations, such as the Muscogee Creek and Catawba. The origin of the war was complex. Reasons for fighting differed among the many Indian groups who participated. Commitment differed as well. Factors included land encroachment by Europeans, the trading system, trader abuses, the Indian slave trade, the depletion of deer, increasing Indian debts in contrast to increasing wealth among some colonists, the spread of rice plantation agriculture, French power in Louisiana offering an alternative to British trade, long-established Indian links to Spanish Florida, the vying for power among Indian groups, as well as an increasingly large-scale and robust inter-tribal communication network, and recent experiences in military collaboration among previously distant tribes.
1775 – The first abolition society in North America is established. The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage is organized in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.
1775 – Gen. Thomas Gage, commander of British forces in North America, received orders from Parliament authorizing him to use aggressive military force against the American rebels.
1777 – NY adopted a new constitution as an independent state. Governeur Morris was the chief writer of the state constitution.
1860 – First Pony Express rider arrived in San Francisco with mail originating in St. Joseph, Missouri.
1861 – Robert E. Lee resigned from Union army.
1862 – Union mortar boats of Flag Officer Foote’s force commenced regular bombardment of Fort Pillow, Tennessee the next Army-Navy objective on the drive down the Mississippi.
1865 – John Wilkes Booth shoots President Abraham Lincoln at a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington. Five days earlier, Confederate General Robert E. Lee had surrendered his army to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. The war was nearly over, although there were still Confederate forces yet to surrender. The president had recently visited the captured Rebel capital of Richmond, and now Lincoln sought a relaxing evening by attending a production of Our American Cousin starring Laura Keene. Ford’s Theater, seven blocks from the White House, was crammed with people trying to catch a glimpse of Grant, who was rumored to be in attendance. The general and his wife had cancelled abruptly for an out-of-town trip. Lincoln occupied a booth above the stage with his wife; Henry Rathbone, a young army officer; and his fiancée, Clara Harris, daughter of New York Senator Ira Harris. The Lincolns arrived late for the comedy, but the president was in a fine mood and laughed heartily during the production. At 10:15, Booth slipped into the box and fired his .44-caliber single-shot derringer into the back of Lincoln’s head. Rathbone rushed Booth, who stabbed the soldier in the shoulder. Booth then leapt from the president’s box to the stage below, breaking his leg as he landed. He shouted, “Sic semper tyrannis!” (“Thus ever to tyrants!”–the Virginia state motto) and ran from the stage. There was a pause, as the crowd initially thought the unfolding drama was part of the production, but a scream from Mrs. Lincoln told them otherwise. The stricken president was carried from the box to a house across the street, where he died the following morning.
1865 – John WIlkes Booth was a well-regarded actor who, along with friends Samuel Arnold, Michael O’Laughlin, and John Surratt, conspired to kidnap Lincoln and deliver him to the South. On March 17, along with George Atzerodt, David Herold, and Lewis Paine, the group met in a Washington bar to plot the abduction of the president three days later. However, when the president changed his plans, the scheme was scuttled. Shortly afterward, the South surrendered to the Union and the conspirators altered their plan. They decided to kill Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William Seward on the same evening. When April 14 came around, Atzerodt backed out of his part to kill Johnson. Lewis Paine, however, forced his way into William Seward’s house and stabbed the secretary of state several times before fleeing. Booth rode to Virginia with David Herold and stopped at the home of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who placed splints on Booth’s legs. They hid in a barn on Richard Garrett’s farm as thousands of Union troops combed the area looking for them. The other conspirators were captured, except for John Surratt, who fled to Canada.
1865 – C.S.S. Shenandoah, Lieutenant James I. Waddell, departed Ascension Island, Eastern Carolines and set a northerly course for the Kurile Islands. Unaware that General Lee had surrendered at Ap-pomattox on the 9th, Shenandoah would inflict crippling damage to the American whaling fleet in the North Pacific. The havoc wrought on Union commerce by Confederate raiders dealt the whaling industry a blow from which it never recovered.
1865 – In one of his last legislative acts before being assassinated, President Abraham Lincoln green-lighted a proposal to create the Secret Service on this day in 1865. Ironically enough, the new agency was formed to fight the rise of counterfeit cash, rather than to protect the president. However, by the 1890s, the Secret Service was increasingly called on to play its more familiar role of guarding the nation’s commander in chief; in 1901, presidential protection was officially adopted as one of the agency’s chief duties. Along the way, the Secret Service’s job description was also expanded to include quelling frauds against the government.
1865 – Mobile, Alabama, was captured.
1874 – The increasingly heated battle over greenbacks, the paper notes first printed to support the Union during the Civil War, took another turn as Congress passed The Legal Tender Act. Derisively known in some circles as the “Inflation Bill,” the legislation called for $18 million worth of greenbacks to be pumped into the economy. The Legal Tender Act also certified the hefty chunk of paper notes that had been released during the previous year. All told, the bill authorized $400 million in greenbacks as legal tender. But, like other bits of legislation associated with greenbacks, the Legal Tender Act quickly became embroiled in controversy. A mere week after Congress weighed in with its decision, President Ulysses S. Grant moved to kill the bill, arguing that it would unleash a tidal wave of inflation. But the House would not be denied: in June of 1874, pro-paper forces successfully pushed another version of the Legal Tender Act into the law books. The passage of the revised bill brought the amount of greenbacks in circulation up to $382 million.
1898 – Commissioning of first Post Civil War hospital ship, USS Solace.
1918 – Six days after being assigned for the first time to the western front, two American pilots from the U.S. First Aero Squadron engaged in America’s first aerial dogfight with enemy aircraft. In a battle fought almost directly over the Allied Squadron Aerodome at Toul, France, U.S. fliers Douglas Campbell and Alan Winslow succeeded in shooting down two German two-seaters. By the end of May, Campbell had shot down five enemy aircraft, making him the first American to qualify as a “flying ace” in World War I. The First Aero Squadron, organized in 1914 after the outbreak of World War I, undertook its first combat mission on March 19, 1917, in support of the 7,000 U.S. troops that invaded Mexico to capture Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. Despite numerous mechanical and navigational problems, the American fliers flew hundreds of scouting missions for U.S. Brigadier General John J. Pershing and gained important experience that would later be used over the battlefields of Europe in World War I.
1918 – French General Ferdinand Foch is officially promoted to the position of commander-in-chief of all forces of whatever nationality opposing Germany on the Western Front.
1941 – There are secret talks between Americans and the Icelandic consul. The Icelandic officials agree to do nothing to resist an American occupation to replace the present British force.
1943 – Joseph C. Jenkins graduates as ensign in the Coast Guard Reserve, becoming the first commissioned African-American officer in the Coast Guard.
1945 – Robert Dole, later US senator and 1996 presidential candidate, was severely crippled by an artillery shell. During World War II, Robert Dole served in the 85th Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division. While stationed in Italy he participated in Operation Craftsman where he was wounded during a firefight with German troops. Dole spent nearly 40 months in army hospitals and lost most of the use of his right arm as a result.
1945 – US 7th Army and allies forces captured Nuremberg and Stuttgart, Germany. The US 3rd Army captures Bayreuth.
1945 – Reichsfuhrer SS Himmler orders that no prisoners at Dachau “shall be allowed to fall into the hands of the enemy alive.”
1945 – Allied forces conduct Operation Teardrop. Two carrier task groups carry out an extensive search for Seewolf U-boats suspected of transporting V2 rockets to be launched against New York City.
1945 – The US 14th Corps continues its advance onto the Bicol Peninsula in the southwest of Luzon. Calauag is taken. In north Luzon, US 1st Corps continues attacking near Baguio but fails to make significant progress.
1945 – Japanese Kamikaze attacks damage the battleship USS New York. On Okinawa, American forces attack strong Japanese defenses in the hilly Motobu Peninsula in the north.
1945 – B-29’s damaged the Imperial Palace during firebombing raid over Tokyo.
1945 – The Fifth Army, now under Lucian K. Truscott (General Mark Clark, former commander of the Fifth, was made commander of the Allied armies in Italy), began pushing its way up the peninsula, capturing Massa and crossing the Frigido River. After meeting considerable German resistance in the mountains, the Fifth sent the Germans running once the battle took to open country. Bologna became the next target, falling to the Fifth one week after engaging the enemy in Italy. Ferrara, Bondeno, and Modena succumbed shortly thereafter, Genoa on the 27th, and Milan on the 29th–an agenda of assaults that mimicked Napoleon’s Italian campaigns. Helping the U.S. effort was the work of Italian guerilla partisan groups, who had successfully taken control of the area west of the Como-Milan-Genoa line. By the time of the unconditional surrender of the Germans, signed at Caserta on April 29, almost 660,000 Axis troops lay dead–compared with 321,000 Allied dead.
1949 – The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg’s made its last judgment.
1950 – President Harry S. Truman receives National Security Council Paper Number 68 (NSC-68). The report was a group effort, created with input from the Defense Department, the State Department, the CIA, and other interested agencies; NSC-68 formed the basis for America’s Cold War policy for the next two decades. In the face of U.S. foreign policy concerns, most notably the Soviet explosion of an atomic device in September 1949 and China’s fall to communism the following October, President Truman requested a complete review and re-evaluation of America’s Cold War diplomacy strategy. The result was NSC-68, a report that took four months to compile and was completed in April 1950. The report began by noting that the United States was facing a completely changed world. World War II had devastated Germany and Japan, and France and Great Britain had suffered terrific losses. This situation left the United States and the Soviet Union as the only two great world powers. The Soviet Union posed a new and frightening threat to U.S. power. Animated by “a new fanatic faith” in communism, the Soviet Union sought nothing less than the imposition of “its absolute authority over the rest of the world.” Clashes with the United States were, therefore, inevitable. According to the report, the development of nuclear weapons meant, “Every individual faces the ever-present possibility of annihilation,” and, as a result, “the integrity and vitality of our system is in greater jeopardy than ever before in our history.” According to the report, the United States should vigorously pursue a policy of “containing” Soviet expansion. NSC-68 recommended that the United States embark on rapid military expansion of conventional forces and the nuclear arsenal, including the development of the new hydrogen bomb. In addition, massive increases in military aid to U.S. allies were necessary as well as more effective use of “covert” means to achieve U.S. goals. The price of these measures was estimated to be about $50 billion; at the time the report was issued, America was spending just $13 billion on defense. Truman was somewhat taken aback at the costs associated with the report’s recommendations. As a politician, he hesitated to publicly support a program that would result in heavy tax increases for the American public, particularly since the increase would be spent on defending the United States during a time of peace. The outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950, however, prompted action. Truman signed NSC-68 into policy in September 1950. As one State Department official noted, “Thank God Korea came along,” since this act of communist aggression was believed to be crucial in convincing the public to support increased military spending. NSC-68 remained the foundation of U.S. Cold War policy until at least the 1970s. The document itself remained top secret until historians successfully lobbied for its declassification in 1975.
1951 – U.N. Forces reached the Kansas Line as Operation DAUNTLESS continued to push the communists northward.
1951 – Since Dec. 15, Bomber Command B-29s had destroyed 48 out of 60 assigned bridges and 27 of 39 listed marshaling yards under Interdiction Campaign No. 4, but at a loss of eight bombers and their crews from combat and operational causes.
1953 – Viet Minh invaded Laos with 40,00 troops in their war against French colonial forces.
1960 – The 1st underwater launching of Polaris missile.
1961 – Cuban-American invasion army departed Nicaragua.
1961 – The Soviet Union made its first live television broadcast.
1964 – The US announces that the US Military Advisory Group (MAG) in Vietnam will be combined with the Military Assistance Command (MAC) to cut duplication of effort and make more efficient use of US service personnel.
1965 – The Joint Chiefs of Staff order the deployment of the 173rd Airborne Brigade from Okinawa to South Vietnam. The 173rd arrived in Vietnam in May 1965 and was the first major U.S. Army ground combat unit committed to the war. Headquartered at Bien Hoa Air Base near Saigon from May 1965 to October 1967, the brigade conducted combat operations in the region surrounding Saigon. In November 1967, the brigade fought a major battle with North Vietnamese Army forces at Dak To in the Central Highlands, winning the Presidential Union Citation for bravery in action. After more than six years in South Vietnam, the 173rd was withdrawn from Vietnam in August 1971 as part of President Richard Nixon’s troop withdrawal program. During combat service in Vietnam, 12 troopers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade won the Medal of Honor for conspicuous bravery; 1,606 were killed in action; and 8,435 were wounded in action.
1965 – Thirty US Air Force planes bomb the radar installations on Honmatt Island.
1967 – In the Vietnam War, US planes bombed Haiphong for 1st time.
1969 – US troops kill 198 Communist soldiers in a massive enemy attack against an infantry camp 33 miles northwest of Saigon. Thirteen Americans are reported killed and three wounded.
1969 – North Korean aircraft shoots down Navy EC-121 reconnaissance aircraft from VQ-1 over the Sea of Japan.
1971 – President Nixon ended a blockade against People’s Republic of China.
1971 – In a follow up to Operation Lam Son 719, 5000 South Vietnamese troops, accompanied by 400 US Soldiers begin a push on the Communist held Ashau Valley along the Laotian border, but make no major contact.
1972 – Danang, Saigon, and other targets in South Vietnam are hit by terrorist attacks including rockets fired on Saigon and Tansonnhut Airport.
1972 – Orders for B-52 strikes against diplomatic, political, and military objectives throughout the 200-mile long southern panhandle of North Vietnam are the most extensive use of B-52s thus far in the war.
1973 – Acting FBI director L. Patrick Gray resigned after admitting he destroyed evidence in the Watergate scandal.
1975 – The American airlift of Vietnamese orphans to the United States ends after 2,600 children are transported to America. The operation began disastrously on April 4 when an Air Force cargo jet crashed shortly after take-off from Tan Son Nhut airbase in Saigon. More than 138 of the passengers, mostly children, were killed. Operation Baby Lift was initiated to bring South Vietnamese orphans to the United States for adoption by American parents. Baby Lift lasted 10 days and was carried out during the final, desperate phase of the war, as North Vietnamese forces were closing in on Saigon. Although the first flight ended in tragedy, all other flights took place without incident, and Baby Lift aircraft ferried orphans across the Pacific until the mission concluded on April 14, only 16 days before the fall of Saigon and the end of the war.
1980 – Mariel Boat Lift: The second major Cuban exodus began. The Coast Guard coordinated a three-wave operation. Coast Guard high endurance cutters operated closest to Cuba. U.S. Navy ships operated in the inner-wave and Coast Guard small cutters, 95 and 82-footers, served the waters closest to Florida. Over 660 Coast Guard Reservists were called to replace boat crews, and maintenance and repair teams. The Coast Guard Auxiliary lent support in many areas, including radio communications. Over 117,000 people in more than 5,000 boats were assisted by the Coast Guard and Navy forces.
1981 – The first test flight, STS-1, of America’s first operational space shuttle, the Columbia 1, ended successfully with a landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
1986 – United States launches air strikes against Libya in retaliation for the Libyan sponsorship of terrorism against American troops and citizens. The raid, which began shortly before 7 p.m. EST (2 a.m., April 15 in Libya), involved more than 100 U.S. Air Force and Navy aircraft, and was over within an hour. Five military targets and “terrorism centers” were hit, including the headquarters of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi. During the 1970s and ’80s, Qaddafi’s government financed a wide variety of Muslim and anti-U.S. and anti-British terrorist groups worldwide, from Palestinian guerrillas and Philippine Muslim rebels to the Irish Republican Army and the Black Panthers. In response, the U.S. imposed sanctions against Libya, and relations between the two nations steadily deteriorated. In 1981, Libya fired at a U.S. aircraft that passed into the Gulf of Sidra, which Qaddafi had claimed in 1973 as Libyan territorial waters. That year, the U.S. uncovered evidence of Libyan-sponsored terrorist plots against the United States, including planned assassination attempts against U.S. officials and the bombing of a U.S. embassy-sponsored dance in Khartoum, Sudan. In December 1985, five American citizens were killed in simultaneous terrorist attacks at the Rome and Vienna airports. Libya was blamed, and U.S. President Ronald Reagan ordered expanded sanctions and froze Libyan assets in the United States. On March 24, 1986, U.S. and Libyan forces clashed in the Gulf of Sidra, and four Libyan attack boats were sunk. Then, on April 5, terrorists bombed a West Berlin dance hall known to be frequented by U.S. servicemen. One U.S. serviceman and a Turkish woman were killed, and more than 200 people were wounded, including 50 other U.S. servicemen. U.S. intelligence reportedly intercepted radio messages sent from Libya to its diplomats in East Berlin ordering the April 5 attack on the LaBelle discotheque. On April 14, the United States struck back with dramatic air strikes against Tripoli and Banghazi. The attacks were mounted by 14 A-6E navy attack jets based in the Mediterranean and 18 FB-111 bombers from bases in England. Numerous other support aircraft were also involved. France refused to allow the F-111s to fly over French territory, which added 2,600 total nautical miles to the journey from England and back. Three military barracks were hit, along with the military facilities at Tripoli’s main airport and the Benina air base southeast of Benghazi. All targets except one were reportedly chosen because of their direct connection to terrorist activity. The Benina military airfield was hit to preempt Libyan interceptors from taking off and attacking the incoming U.S. bombers. Even before the operation had ended, President Reagan went on national television to discuss the air strikes. “When our citizens are abused or attacked anywhere in the world,” he said, “we will respond in self-defense. Today we have done what we had to do. If necessary, we shall do it again.” Operation El Dorado Canyon, as it was code-named, was called a success by U.S. officials. Qaddafi’s 15-month-old adopted daughter was killed in the attack on his residence, and two of his young sons were injured. Although he has never admitted it publicly, there is speculation that Qaddafi was also wounded in the bombing. Fire from Libyan surface-to-air missiles and conventional anti-aircraft artillery was heavy during the attack, and one F-111, along with its two-member crew, were lost in unknown circumstances. Several residential buildings were inadvertently bombed during the raid, and 15 Libyan civilians were reported killed. The French embassy in Tripoli was also accidentally hit, but no one was injured. On April 15, Libyan patrol boats fired missiles at a U.S. Navy communications station on the Italian island of Lamedusa, but the missiles fell short. There was no other major terrorist attack linked to Libya until the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 747 over Lockerbie, Scotland. All 259 passengers and crew of that flight were killed, and 11 people on the ground perished. In 1999, Qaddafi, seeking to lead Libya out of its long international isolation, agreed to turn over to the West two suspects wanted for the Lockerbie attack. In response, Europe lifted sanctions against Libya. The United States maintained sanctions, even after one of the Lockerbie suspects was convicted in 2001.
1987 – Secretary of State George P. Shultz met at the Kremlin with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev, who proposed the elimination of short-range nuclear missiles in East Germany and Czechoslovakia as part of an arms control agreement with the United States.
1988 – Representatives of the USSR, Afghanistan, the United States, and Pakistan sign an agreement calling for the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan. In exchange for an end to the disputed Soviet occupation, the United States agreed to end its arms support for the Afghan anti-Soviet factions, and Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed not to interfere in each other’s affairs. In 1978, a Soviet-backed coup in Afghanistan installed a new communist government under Nur Mohammad Taraki. However, in 1979, a second coup toppled Taraki’s government in favor of Hafizullah Amin, a Muslim leader less favorable to the Soviets. In December 1979, Soviet tanks and troops invaded Afghanistan, and Amin was murdered in a Soviet-backed coup. Babrak Karmal, a product of the KGB, was installed in his place. Despite early gains, the Soviet army met with unanticipated resistance from Muslim guerrillas, who launched a jihad, or “holy war,” against the foreign atheists. Armed by the United States, Britain, China, and several Muslim nations, the muhajadeen, or “holy warriors,” inflicted heavy casualties on the Russians. In the USSR, the Red Army’s failure to suppress the guerrillas, and the high cost of the war in Russian lives and resources, caused significant discord in the Communist Party and Soviet society. In April 1988, after years of stalemate, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed a peace accord with Afghanistan. In February 1989, the last Soviet soldier left Afghanistan, where civil war continued until the Taliban’s seizure of power in the late 1990s.
1988 – The USS Samuel B. Roberts strikes a mine in the Persian Gulf during Operation Earnest Will. The Roberts had arrived in the Persian Gulf and was heading for a refueling rendezvous with USS San Jose on 14 April when the ship struck an M-08 naval mine in the central Persian Gulf, an area she had safely transited a few days previously. The mine blew a 15-foot (5 m) hole in the hull, flooded the engine room, and knocked the two gas turbines from their mounts. The blast also broke the keel of the ship; such structural damage is almost always fatal to most vessels. The crew fought fire and flooding for five hours and saved the ship. Among other steps, sailors cinched cables on the cracked superstructure in an effort to stabilize it. She used her auxiliary thrusters to get out of the mine field at 5kts. She never lost combat capability with her radars and Mk13 missile launcher. Ten sailors were medevaced by HC-5 CH-46s embarked in USS San Jose for injuries sustained in the blast, six returned to the Roberts in a day or so. Four burn victims were sent for treatment to a military hospital in Germany, and eventually to medical facilities in the United States. Four days later, U.S. forces retaliated against Iran in Operation Praying Mantis, a one-day campaign that was the largest American surface engagement since World War II. U.S. ships, aircraft, and troops destroyed two Iranian oil platforms allegedly used to control Iranian naval forces in the Persian Gulf, sank one Iranian frigate, damaged another, and sent at least three armed, high-speed boats to the bottom. The U.S. lost one Marine helicopter and its crew of two airmen in what appeared to be a night maneuver accident rather than a result of hostile operations.
1989 – Testimony concluded in the Iran-Contra trial of former National Security Council staff member Oliver L. North.
1991 – The final withdrawal of American combat troops from southern Iraq began, 88 days after the United States launched its massive offensive to drive Saddam Hussein’s forces from Kuwait.
1992 – Libya cut itself off from the world for 24 hours to mark the sixth anniversary of the U.S. air raid, the same day the World Court rejected Libya’s appeal to prevent sanctions against it for refusing to turn over suspects in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
1994 – Two American F-15 warplanes inadvertently shot down two U.S. helicopters over northern Iraq, killing 26 people, including 15 Americans.
1995 – The UN Security Council (Resolution 986) gave permission to Iraq, still under sanctions for its invasion of Kuwait, to sell $2 billion dollars’ worth of oil to buy food, medicine and other supplies. Iraq later rejected the offer.
1997 – An Iraqi Oil Ministry official reports that Iraq expects to earn more than $80 billion from its contract with Russia for the development of the West Qurna oil field in southern Iraq. The contract, which was approved by Iraq’s National Assembly on April 13, calls for 560 wells which will produce 4.4 billion barrels over 23 years. According to the official, the part of the field being developed with Russia has 11.5 billion barrels in reserves and the entire West Qurna field has reserves of 38 billion barrels. The official states that production will begin “soon”(initially about 250,000 barrels per day, increasing to 600,000 barrels per day).
1998 – The Clinton administration agreed to create a Persian-language radio service to transmit anti-government propaganda into Iran. $1 million was also pledged to Voice of America for non-propaganda Persian-language programming.
1998 – FMC Corp. was hit with a $125 million verdict for misleading the US Army about the safety of its Bradley Fighting Vehicle. A 1986 lawsuit by former employee Henry Boisvert complained that the vehicles did not pass all the tests the company claimed it did.
1999 – The German capital began to be moved from Bonn to Berlin.
1999 – NATO warplanes mistakenly struck refugee vehicles and some 60-75 ethnic Albanians were reported killed near Djakovica in Kosovo. NATO acknowledged the next day that a civilian vehicle had been hit and broadcast a taped interview with the US pilot who carried out the mission. A week later NATO acknowledged that 2 separate groups of vehicles were hit.
1999 – The US pledged $37 million to help the Kenyan victims of the 1998 US Embassy bombing in Nairobi.
2001 – The 21 men and 3 women crew of the US spy plane who were held in China for 11 days landed at their home base, Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in Washington, where they were greeted by thousands of friends, family members and other well-wishers.
2003 – In the 27th day of Operation Iraqi Freedom US troops poured into Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit and fought pockets of hard-core defenders. Iraqis and US troops began jointly patrolling the streets of Baghdad to quell the lawlessness.
2003 – US commandos in Baghdad captured Abu Abbas, the leader of the violent Palestinian group that killed an American on the hijacked cruise liner Achille Lauro in 1985. Abbas died in 2004 while in U.S. custody.
2003 – Four Islamic militants were convicted in a deadly bombing outside the U.S. Consulate in Pakistan.
2004 – In Iraq U.S. warplanes and helicopters hammered gunmen in Fallujah, straining a truce there. A 2,500-strong U.S. force massed on the outskirts of the holy city of Najaf for a showdown with radical cleric al-Sadr.
2004 – The UN emissary to Iraq proposed a caretaker government to replace the Governing Council on June 30 to shepherd the country to free election in Jan 2005.
2008 – The United States begins occupying its new US$736 million embassy in Iraq, one of the largest embassies in the world. Presently under construction, it is approximately as large as the Vatican City and will permanently employ thousands of Americans, including a Marine detachment.
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
Rank and organization: Coxswain, U.S. Navy. Born: 1826, New York, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 17, 10 July 1863. Citation: Attached to the U.S.S. Minnesota and temporarily serving on the U.S.S. Mount Washington, during action against the enemy in the Nansemond River, 14 April 1863. When the Mount Washington drifted against the bank following several successive hits which struck her boilers and stopped her engines, Jordan boarded the stricken vessel and, for 6 hours as fierce artillery and musketry continued to rake her decks, calmly assisted in manning a 12-pound howitzer which had been mounted on the open hurricane deck.
SIMONDS, WILLIAM EDGAR
Rank and organization: Sergeant Major, 25th Connecticut Infantry. Place and date: At Irish Bend, La., 14 April 1863. Entered service at: Canton, Conn. Birth: ——. Date of issue: 25 February 1899. Citation. Displayed great gallantry, under a heavy fire from the enemy, in calling in the skirmishers and assisting in forming the line of battle.
Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1833, Germany. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 17, 10 July 1863. Citation: Serving temporarily on board the U.S.S. Mount Washington during the Nansemond River action, 14 April 1863. After assisting in hauling up and raising the flagstaff, Thielberg volunteered to go up on the pilothouse and observe the movements of the enemy and although 3 shells struck within a few inches of his head, remained at his post until ordered to descend.
WOOD, ROBERT B.
Rank and organization: Coxswain, U.S. Navy. Born: New Garden Ohio. Accredited to: Ohio. G.O. No.: 17, 10 July 1863. Citation: Attached to the U.S.S. Minnesota and temporarily serving on the U.S.S. Mount Washington, during action against the enemy in the Nansemond River, 14 April 1863. When the U.S.S. Mount Washington drifted against the bank and all men were driven from the decks by escaping steam following several successive hits which struck her boilers and stopped her engines, Wood boarded the stricken vessel and, despite a strike on the head by a spent ball, continued at his gun for 6 hours as fierce artillery and musketry continued to rake her decks.
Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1835, California. Accredited to. California. G.O. No.: 17, 10 July 1863. Citation: As captain of the gun, serving temporarily on board the U.S.S. Mount Washington, during the Nansemond River action, 14 April 1863. When one of his comrades was struck by a bullet and knocked overboard, Woods fearlessly jumped into the water and swam after him. Before he reached him, the man sank beneath the surface and Woods promptly swam back to the vessel, went to his gun, and fought it to the close of the action. At the close of the battle, he tirelessly cared for the wounded.
*MAGRATH, JOHN D.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company G, 85th Infantry, 10th Mountain Division. Place and date: Near Castel d’Aiano, Italy, 14 April 1945. Entered service at: East Norwalk, Conn. Birth: East Norwalk, Conn. G.O. No.: 71, 17 July 1946. Citation: He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty when his company was pinned down by heavy artillery, mortar, and small arms fire, near Castel d’Aiano, Italy. Volunteering to act as a scout, armed with only a rifle, he charged headlong into withering fire, killing 2 Germans and wounding 3 in order to capture a machinegun. Carrying this enemy weapon across an open field through heavy fire, he neutralized 2 more machinegun nests; he then circled behind 4 other Germans, killing them with a burst as they were firing on his company. Spotting another dangerous enemy position to this right, he knelt with the machinegun in his arms and exchanged fire with the Germans until he had killed 2 and wounded 3. The enemy now poured increased mortar and artillery fire on the company’s newly won position. Pfc. Magrath fearlessly volunteered again to brave the shelling in order to collect a report of casualties. Heroically carrying out this task, he made the supreme sacrifice–a climax to the valor and courage that are in keeping with highest traditions of the military service.
STREET, GEORGE LEVICK, III
Rank and organization: Commander, U.S. Navy, U.S.S. Tirante. Place and date: Harbor of Quelpart Island, off the coast of Korea, 14 April 1945. Entered service at. Virginia. Born: 27 July 1913, Richmond, Va. Other Navy awards: Navy Cross, Silver Star with 1 Gold Star. Citation. For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the U.S.S. Tirante during the first war patrol of that vessel against enemy Japanese surface forces in the harbor of Quelpart Island, off the coast of Korea, on 14 April 1945. With the crew at surface battle stations, Comdr. (then Lt. Comdr.) Street approached the hostile anchorage from the south within 1,200 yards of the coast to complete a reconnoitering circuit of the island. Leaving the 10-fathom curve far behind he penetrated the mined and shoal-obstructed waters of the restricted harbor despite numerous patrolling vessels and in defiance of 5 shore-based radar stations and menacing aircraft. Prepared to fight it out on the surface if attacked, Comdr. Street went into action, sending 2 torpedoes with deadly accuracy into a large Japanese ammunition ship and exploding the target in a mountainous and blinding glare of white flames. With the Tirante instantly spotted by the enemy as she stood out plainly in the flare of light, he ordered the torpedo data computer set up while retiring and fired his last 2 torpedoes to disintegrate in quick succession the leading frigate and a similar flanking vessel. Clearing the gutted harbor at emergency full speed ahead, he slipped undetected along the shoreline, diving deep as a pursuing patrol dropped a pattern of depth charges at the point of submergence. His illustrious record of combat achievement during the first war patrol of the Tirante characterizes Comdr. Street as a daring and skilled leader and reflects the highest credit upon himself, his valiant command, and the U.S. Naval Service.
*DUNHAM, JASON L.
Rank and Organization: Corporal, United States Marine CorpsFor conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Rifle Squad Leader, 4th Platoon, Company K, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines (Reinforced), Regimental Combat Team 7, First Marine Division (Reinforced), on 14 April 2004. Corporal Dunham’s squad was conducting a reconnaissance mission in the town of Karabilah, Iraq, when they heard rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire erupt approximately two kilometers to the west. Corporal Dunham led his Combined Anti-Armor Team towards the engagement to provide fire support to their Battalion Commander’s convoy, which had been ambushed as it was traveling to Camp Husaybah. As Corporal Dunham and his Marines advanced, they quickly began to receive enemy fire. Corporal Dunham ordered his squad to dismount their vehicles and led one of his fire teams on foot several blocks south of the ambushed convoy. Discovering seven Iraqi vehicles in a column attempting to depart, Corporal Dunham and his team stopped the vehicles to search them for weapons. As they approached the vehicles, an insurgent leaped out and attacked Corporal Dunham. Corporal Dunham wrestled the insurgent to the ground and in the ensuing struggle saw the insurgent release a grenade. Corporal Dunham immediately alerted his fellow Marines to the threat. Aware of the imminent danger and without hesitation, Corporal Dunham covered the grenade with his helmet and body, bearing the brunt of the explosion and shielding his Marines from the blast. In an ultimate and selfless act of bravery in which he was mortally wounded, he saved the lives of at least two fellow Marines. By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Corporal Dunham gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.