1689 – Bostonians rise up in rebellion against Sir Edmund Andros. The 1689 Boston revolt was a popular uprising against the rule of Sir Edmund Andros, the governor of the Dominion of New England. A well-organized “mob” of provincial militia and citizens formed in the city and arrested dominion officials. Members of the Church of England, believed by Puritans to sympathize with the administration of the dominion, were also taken into custody by the rebels. Neither faction sustained casualties during the revolt. Leaders of the former Massachusetts Bay Colony then reclaimed control of the government. In other colonies, members of governments displaced by the dominion were returned to power. Andros, commissioned governor of New England in 1686, had earned the enmity of the local populace by enforcing the restrictive Navigation Acts, denying the validity of existing land titles, restricting town meetings, and appointing unpopular regular officers to lead colonial militia, among other actions. Furthermore, he had infuriated Puritans in Boston by promoting the Church of England, which was disliked by many Nonconformist New England colonists.
1775 – In Massachusetts, British troops march out of Boston on a mission to confiscate the Patriot arsenal at Concord and to capture Patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock, known to be hiding at Lexington. As the British departed, Boston Patriots Paul Revere and William Dawes set out on horseback from the city to warn Adams and Hancock and rouse the Patriot minutemen. By 1775, tensions between the American colonies and the British government approached the breaking point, especially in Massachusetts, where Patriot leaders formed a shadow revolutionary government and trained militias to prepare for armed conflict with the British troops occupying Boston. In the spring of 1775, General Thomas Gage, the British governor of Massachusetts, received instructions from England to seize all stores of weapons and gunpowder accessible to the American insurgents. On April 18, he ordered British troops to march against Concord and Lexington. The Boston Patriots had been preparing for such a British military action for some time, and upon learning of the British plan Revere and Dawes set off across the Massachusetts countryside. Taking separate routes in case one of them were captured, Dawes left Boston by the Boston Neck peninsula, and Revere crossed the Charles River to Charlestown by boat. As the two couriers made their way, Patriots in Charlestown waited for a signal from Boston informing them of the British troop movement. As previously agreed, one lantern would be hung in the steeple of Boston’s Old North Church, the highest point in the city, if the British were marching out of the city by Boston Neck, and two if they were crossing the Charles River to Cambridge. Two lanterns were hung, and the armed Patriots set out for Lexington and Concord accordingly. Along the way, Revere and Dawes roused hundreds of minutemen, who armed themselves and set out to oppose the British. Revere arrived in Lexington shortly before Dawes, but together they warned Adams and Hancock and then set out for Concord. Along the way, they were joined by Samuel Prescott, a young Patriot who had been riding home after visiting a friend. Early in the morning of April 19, a British patrol captured Revere, and Dawes lost his horse, forcing him to walk back to Lexington on foot. However, Prescott escaped and rode on to Concord to warn the Patriots there. After being roughly questioned for an hour or two, Revere was released when the patrol heard minutemen alarm guns being fired on their approach to Lexington. Around 5 a.m., 700 British troops under Major John Pitcairn arrived at the town to find a 77-man-strong colonial militia under Captain John Parker waiting for them on Lexington’s common green. Pitcairn ordered the outnumbered Patriots to disperse, and after a moment’s hesitation the Americans began to drift off the green. Suddenly, the “shot heard around the world” was fired from an undetermined gun, and a cloud of musket smoke soon covered the green. When the brief Battle of Lexington ended, eight Americans lay dead and 10 others were wounded. Only one British soldier was injured, but the American Revolution had begun.
1778 – John Paul Jones attacked the British revenue cutter Husar near the Isle of Man, but it escaped. Soon thereafter he raided Whitehaven and burned one coal ship.
1805 – The Revenue cutter Louisiana recaptured the merchant brig Felicity from privateers off the mouth of the Mississippi River.
1806 – Putatively hoping to locate sailors who had deserted the Royal Navy, the British began to impress American merchant ships. Though the deserters often took refuge on American vessels, the British often simply seized any sailors–deserters or no–who failed to prove their American citizenship. So, on this day in 1806, Congress fired back at England by passing the Nicholson Act (nee the Non-Importation Act), legislation which effectively shut the door on the importation of numerous British goods to America. The legislation blocked the trade of brass, tin, textiles and other items that could either be produced in the States or imported from other countries. The Nicholson Act took effect in December of 1806; but, a mere month later, President Thomas Jefferson lifted the trade blockade in hopes of speeding treaty negotiations with Britain. U.S. Minister James Monroe brokered a deal with Britain, albeit one that did little to spare America’s commercial ships. In 1808, the government reinstated the Nicholson Act, though it did little to prevent America and England from sailing into another war.
1818 – A regiment of Indians and blacks was defeated at the Battle of Suwanna, in Florida, ending the first Seminole War. 1838 Aug 18, A 6-ship American expedition sailed from Hampton Roads, Virginia, under Lt. Charles Wilkes to search for the continent of Antarctica.
1847 – U.S. forces defeated the Mexicans at Cerro Gordo in one of the bloodiest battle of the war. On 12 April, Lieutenant Pierre G. T. Beauregard, of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, had determined that possession of Atalaya Hill would enable the Mexican position to be turned, and on 15 April, Captain Robert E. Lee discovered a path around the Mexican left to the hill. General David E. Twiggs’ division took the hill on 17 April, advancing up the slopes to El Telegrafo. Santa Anna reinforced El Telegrafo with Brigadier General Ciriaco Vasquez’s 2d Light, 4th, and 11th Infantry. Captain Edward J. Steptoe set up his battery on Atalaya Hill and Major James C. Burnham set up a howitzer across the river. At 7:00 am on 18 April, Twiggs directed William S. Harney’s brigade to move against the front of El Telegrafo while Bennett C. Riley attacked from the rear. The combination easily took the hill, killing General Vasquez, and Captain John B. Magruder turned the Mexican guns on the retreating Mexicans. Simultaneously, James Shields’ brigade attacked the Mexican camp and took possession of the Jalapa road. Once they realized they were surrounded, the Mexican commanders on the three hills surrendered and by 10:00 am, the remaining Mexican forces fled. General Santa Anna, caught off guard by the Fourth Regiment of the Illinois Volunteer Infantry, was compelled to ride off without his artificial leg, which was captured by U.S. forces and is still on display at the Illinois State Military Museum, in Springfield, Illinois.
1848 – U.S. Navy expedition to explore the Dead Sea and the River Jordan, commanded by LT William F. Lynch, reaches the Dead Sea.
1861 – Colonel Robert E. Lee turned down an offer to command the Union armies. 1861 – Battle of Harpers Ferry, VA.
1862 – Union mortar boats, Commander D. D. Porter, began a five day bombardment of Fort Jackson. Moored some 3,000 yards from Fort Jackson, they concentrated their heavy shells, up to 285 pounds, for six days and nights on this nearest fort from which they were hidden by intervening woods. The garrison heroically endured the fire and stuck to their guns.
1862 – Confederate Congress, hoping to stem the constant sweeping of the seas and inland waters by the Union fleets, passed an act authorizing contracts for the purchase of not more than six ironclads to be paid for in cotton.
1864 – Landing party from U.S.S. Commodore Read, Commander F. A. Parker, destroyed a Confederate base together with a quantity of equipment and supplies at Circus Point on the Rappahannock River, Virginia.
1864 – At Poison Springs, Arkansas, Confederate soldiers under the command of General Samuel Maxey capture a Union forage train and slaughter black troops escorting the expedition. The Battle of Poison Springs was part of broad Union offensive in the region of Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. General Nathaniel Banks had led a Yankee force through Louisiana in March and April, but a defeat in northwestern Louisiana at the Battle of Mansfield on April 8 sent Banks in retreat. Union forces nearby in Arkansas were moving towards Banks’ projected thrust into Texas with the intention of securing southwestern Arkansas for the Federals. Union General Frederick Steele occupied Camden, Arkansas, on April 15. Two days later, he sent Colonel John Williams and 1,100 of his 14,000-man force to gather 5,000 bushels of corn discovered west of Camden. The force arrived to find that Confederate marauders had destroyed half of the store, but the Yankees loaded the rest into some 200 wagons and prepared to return to Camden. On the way back Maxey and 3,600 Confederates intercepted them. Maxey placed General John Marmaduke in charge of the attack that ensued. Williams positioned part of his force, the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry, between the wagon train the Confederate lines. The regiment was the first black unit in the army, comprised primarily of ex-slaves. The determined soldiers of the 1st Kansas stopped the first two Rebel attacks, but they were running low on ammunition. A third assault overwhelmed the Kansans, and the rout was on. Williams gathered the remnants of his force and retreated from the abandoned wagons. More than 300 Yankee troops were killed, wounded, or captured, while the Confederates lost just 13 killed and 81 wounded. Most shocking was the Rebel treatment of the black troops. No black troops were captured, and those left wounded on the battlefield were brutally killed, scalped, and stripped. The Washington Telegraph, the major Confederate newspaper in Arkansas, justified the atrocity by declaring “We cannot treat Negroes taken in arms as prisoners of war without a destruction of social system for which we contend.”
1865 – Dr. Samuel A. Mudd originally claimed to have never met Booth during his initial interview with investigating detectives. Presidential assassin John Wilkes Booth, injured and fleeing Ford’s Theatre, had knocked on the door of Dr. Mudd for help.
1865 – Confederate Gen Joseph Johnston surrendered to Gen W.T. Sherman in North Carolina.
1934 – Hitler named Joachim von Ribbentrop, ambassador for disarmament.
1942 – First issue of the newspaper for U.S. armed forces, Stars and Stripes, was published.
1942 – From the decks of the USS Hornet, Col. Doolittle leads 16 B-25 bombers for a raid on Tokyo. They launch from the maximum range, 650 miles from their target. Essentially unarmed to extend their flying range, the B-25’s fly unmolested to Tokyo and drop their bombs, proceeding to China where they land at the very limits of their fuel. Although the bombing does minimal damage physically, the psychological impact is great. For the Americans, this raid symbolizes the first “strike back” at the Japanese and raises American morale substantially. The Japanese, buoyed by their constant success in the Pacific are now forced to contemplate the implications of the war if it is allowed to be carried to Japanese soil. This change in Japanese attitude will affect military decisions in such crucial battles as the battle of Midway and the Coral Sea. For the Americans, the raid signifies that the Japanese are not invulnerable and therefore can ultimately be defeated.
1943 – Traveling in a bomber, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the mastermind of the attack on Pearl Harbor, was shot down by American P-38 fighters.
1943 – An aircraft carrying the Commander of the Japanese Combined Fleet, Admiral Yamamoto, is shot down by P-38 Lighting fighters over Bougainville. Yamamoto is killed. This action is the result the interception of a coded Japanese message announcing a visit by Yamamoto. The Japanese fail to deduce that their codes are insecure.
1943 – A massive convoy of 100 transport aircraft leaves Sicily with supplies for the Axis forces. At least half the planes are shot down by Allied fighters.
1944 – American B-17 and B-24 bombers attack the Heinkel works at Oranienburg and other targets near Berlin. British Mosquito bombers strike Berlin.
1945 – Ernie Pyle was killed by enemy fire on the island of Ie Shima. After his death, President Harry S. Truman spoke of how Pyle “told the story of the American fighting man as the American fighting men wanted it told.” He was buried in his hometown of Dana, Indiana, next to local soldiers who had fallen in battle. During World War II, journalist Ernie Pyle, America’s most popular war correspondent, is killed by Japanese machine-gun fire on the island of Ie Shima in the Pacific. Pyle, born in Dana, Indiana, first began writing a column for the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain in 1935. Eventually syndicated to some 200 U.S. newspapers, Pyle’s column, which related the lives and hopes of typical citizens, captured America’s affection. In 1942, after the United States entered World War II, Pyle went overseas as a war correspondent. He covered the North Africa campaign, the invasions of Sicily and Italy, and on June 7, 1944, went ashore at Normandy the day after Allied forces landed. Pyle, who always wrote about the experiences of enlisted men rather than the battles they participated in, described the D-Day scene: “It was a lovely day for strolling along the seashore. Men were sleeping on the sand, some of them sleeping forever. Men were floating in the water, but they didn’t know they were in the water, for they were dead.” The same year, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished correspondence and in 1945 traveled to the Pacific to cover the war against Japan.
1945 – The last German forces resisting in the Ruhr Pocket surrender. Field Marshal Model, commanding German Army Group B inside the pocket, commits suicide. About 325,000 German prisoners have been taken in this area by the Allied forces. Meanwhile, the US 9th Army captures Magdeburg and troops of US 3rd Army cross the Czechoslovakian border after a rapid advance.
1945 – Airship training for U.S. Coast Guard personnel (nine officers & 30 enlisted men) began at NAVAIRSTA Lakehurst, New Jersey.
1949 – The keel for the aircraft carrier USS United States is laid down at Newport News Drydock and Shipbuilding. However, construction is canceled five days later, this would be the last straw culminating in the Revolt of the Admirals.
1946 – US recognized Tito’s Yugoslavia govt.
1946 – The League of Nations was dissolved.
1948 – International Court of Justice opened at Hague, Netherlands.
1951 – Having completed their tour of duty, the first 385 to rotate out of Korea, set sail from Korea to Japan and finally back to the United States.
1961 – Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev sent a letter to Pres. Kennedy with an “urgent call” to end “aggression” against Cuba.
1965 – US planes hit targets that include barracks at Dongthanh, a ferryboat in the Song Trac River, and highways in the southern section of North Vietnam.
1966 – In a Senate speech, majority leader Mike Mansfield (D-MT) declares that the current political crisis in Vietnam makes it urgent that the US engage in direct talks with North Vietnam, Communist China, ‘and such elements in South Vietnam as may be essential to the making and keeping of a peaceful settlement’ of the war. Peking rejects the proposal.
1967 – The US pledges an additional $150 million in economic aid for a total annual amount of $700 million, a new annual record.
1967 – General Westmoreland notifies the Joint Chiefs of additional troop needs. For an ‘optimum force,’ he requests four and two-thirds divisions — 201,250 more troops — to boost the total US strength in Vietnam to 671,616 men.
1969 – At a news conference, President Nixon says he feels the prospects for peace have “significantly improved” since he took office. He cited the greater political stability of the Saigon government and the improvement in the South Vietnamese armed forces as proof. With these remarks, Nixon was trying to set the stage for a major announcement he would make at the Midway conference in June. While conferring with South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu, Nixon announced that the United States would be pursuing a three-pronged strategy to end the war. Efforts would be increased to improve the combat capability of the South Vietnamese armed forces so that they could assume responsibility for the war against the North Vietnamese–Nixon described this effort as “Vietnamization.” As the South Vietnamese became more capable, U.S. forces would be withdrawn from South Vietnam. At the same time, U.S. negotiators would continue to try to reach a negotiated settlement to the war with the communists at the Paris peace talks. This announcement represented a significant change in the nature of the U.S. commitment to the war, as the United States would be withdrawing troops from the war for the first time. The first U.S. soldiers were withdrawn in the fall of 1969 and the withdrawals continued periodically through 1972. At the same time, the United States increased the advisory effort and provided massive amounts of new equipment and weapons to the South Vietnamese as well. When the North Vietnamese launched a massive invasion in the spring of 1972, the South Vietnamese wavered, but eventually rallied with U.S. support and prevailed over the North Vietnamese. Nixon proclaimed that the South Vietnamese victory validated his strategy. In fact, a peace agreement was finalized in January 1973, but the fighting continued anyway. The U.S. did not deliver the aid it had promised in the case of continued attacks-the South Vietnamese held out for two years but they succumbed to the North Vietnamese in April 1975.
1971 – South Vietnamese Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky denounces US Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern’s stated interest in investigating charges that Ky is implicated in opium smuggling.
1971 – Over the next four days, US jets carry out a 30th raid since 1 January against missile sites and anti-aircraft positions in North Vietnam.
1972 – Secretary of Defense Melvin laird before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says the does not rule out the possibility of blockading and mining Haiphong harbor. Every area of North Vietnam, he says, is subject to bombing for the protection of the 85,000 US troops still in Vietnam.
1978 – The U.S. Senate voted 68-32 to turn the Panama Canal over to Panamanian control on Dec. 31, 1999.
1983 – The U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, is almost completely destroyed by a car-bomb explosion that kills 63 people, including the suicide bomber and 17 Americans. The terrorist attack was carried out in protest of the U.S. military presence in Lebanon. 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 featuring U.S. Marines landed in Beirut to oversee the Palestinian withdrawal from Lebanon. The Marines left Lebanese territory on September 10 but returned 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, and on April 18, 1983, the U.S. embassy in Beirut was bombed. On October 23, Lebanese terrorists evaded security measures and drove a truck packed with explosives into the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 U.S. military personnel. Fifty-eight French soldiers were killed almost simultaneously in a separate suicide terrorist attack. On February 7, 1984, U.S. President Ronald Reagan announced the end of U.S. participation in the peacekeeping force, and on February 26 the last U.S. Marines left Beirut.
1988 – The United States launches Operation Praying Mantis against Iranian naval forces in the largest naval battle since World War II. Operation Praying Mantis was an attack by U.S. naval forces within Iranian territorial waters in retaliation for the Iranian mining of the Persian Gulf during the Iran–Iraq war and the subsequent damage to an American warship. On 14 April, the guided missile frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts had struck a mine while deployed in the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Earnest Will, the 1987–88 convoy missions in which U.S. warships escorted reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers to protect them from Iranian attacks. The explosion blew a 25-foot (7.6-meter) hole in the Roberts’s hull and nearly sank it. The crew saved their ship with no loss of life, and Roberts was towed to Dubai on 16 April. After the mining, U.S. Navy divers recovered other mines in the area. When the serial numbers were found to match those of mines seized along with the Iran Ajr the previous September, U.S. military officials planned a retaliatory operation against Iranian targets in the Persian Gulf. This battle was the largest of the five major U.S. surface engagements since the Second World War, which also include the Battle of Chumonchin Chan during the Korean War, the Gulf of Tonkin incident and the Battle of Dong Hoi during the Vietnam War, and the Action in the Gulf of Sidra in 1986. It also marked the U.S. Navy’s first exchange of anti-ship missiles by ships.
1989 – Thousands of Chinese students take to the streets in Beijing to protest government policies and issue a call for greater democracy in the communist People’s Republic of China (PRC). The protests grew until the Chinese government ruthlessly suppressed them in June during what came to be known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre. During the mid-1980s, the communist government of the PRC had been slowly edging toward a liberalization of the nation’s strict state-controlled economy, in an attempt to attract more foreign investment and increase the nation’s foreign trade. This action sparked a call among many Chinese citizens, including many students, for reform of the country’s communist-dominated political system. By early 1989, peaceful protests against the government began in some of China’s largest cities. The biggest protest was held on April 18 in the capital city of Beijing. Marching through Tiananmen Square in the center of the city, thousands of students carried banners, chanted slogans, and sang songs calling for a more democratic political atmosphere. The government’s response to the demonstrations became progressively harsher. Government officials who showed any sympathy to the protesters were purged. Several of the demonstration leaders were arrested, and a propaganda campaign was directed at the marching students, declaring that they sought to “create chaos under the heavens.” On June 3, 1989, with the protests growing larger every day and foreign journalists capturing the dramatic events on film, the Chinese army was directed to crush the movement. An unknown number of Chinese protesters were killed (estimates range into the thousands) during what came to be known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre. In the United States, the protests attracted widespread attention. Many Americans assumed that China, like the Soviet Union and the communist nations of Eastern Europe, had been moving toward a free market and political democracy. The brutal government repression of the protests shocked the American public. The U.S. government temporarily suspended arms sales to China and imposed a few economic sanctions, but the actions were largely symbolic. Growing U.S. trade and investment in China and the fear that a severe U.S. reaction to the massacre might result in a diplomatic rupture limited the official U.S. response.
1992 – Serbia issued a protest to the United States, accusing Washington of siding with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia in the Yugoslav crisis.
1994 – Former President Richard Nixon suffered a stroke at his home in Park Ridge, N.J., and was taken to New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center; he died four days later.
1996 – The US government will deliver $368 million in military equipment to Pakistan that was paid for in the 1980’s. Pakistan will also get $120 mil in cash that it paid for weapons and spare parts that were never manufactured.
1999 – NATO requested from Bulgaria the use of its airspace.
1999 – In Yugoslavia NATO bombers hit refineries, bridges and other targets in the 25th straight day of attacks and the heaviest strikes to date. 70% of fuel storage capability was now destroyed and Yugoslavia no longer had the ability to refine oil. In Pancevo a refinery, fertilizer plant and American-built petrochemical complex were destroyed and a dense toxic cloud was released with potential long term consequences. Pancevo’s industrial zone was bombed over 20 times within a 2-month period and created an environmental disaster.
2001 – US negotiators said China agreed to discuss the return of the US spy plane following a day of unproductive talks. Beijing and Washington staked out opposing positions on who was to blame for the incident.
2002 – Afghanistan’s former king, Mohammad Zaher Shah, returned to his country after 29 years in exile.
2003 – Burt Rutan, aircraft designer, unveiled SpaceShipOne, a rocket-powered spacecraft. He hoped to win the $10 million 1996 X Prize, offered for the 1st private launch of 3-people to an altitude of 62.5 miles twice in 2 weeks.
2003 – Iraqi opposition leader Ahmad Chalabi said he expects an Iraqi interim authority to take over most government functions from the U.S. military in “a matter of weeks rather than months.” Protesters marched in Baghdad denouncing US presence. Kurds were reported expelling Arab families from towns and villages where they had lived decades ago.
2003 – Samir Abd al-Aziz al-Najim (4 of clubs), a senior leader of the shattered Baath party, was handed over to US forces overnight by Iraqi Kurds near the northern city of Mosul. US troops in Baghdad uncovered numerous boxes of UC currency estimated at $650 million.
2003 – Iraqi police captured Hikmat Ibrahim al-Azzawi (8 of diamonds), a deputy prime minister and number 45 on an American list of the 55 most wanted Iraqis.
2003 – North Korea said it was ready to begin reprocessing more than 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods. US experts said it will give the communist state enough plutonium to make several atomic bombs.
2003 – Poland signed a deal to buy 48 US-made F-16 jet fighters for $3.5 billion, the biggest defense contract by a former Soviet bloc country since the end of the Cold War.
2009 – Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi is charged with espionage and imprisoned in Iran until 2017.
2009 – Canada’s HMCS Winnipeg and the United States’ USS Halyburton thwart Somali pirates’ attack on a Norwegian oil tanker.
2010 – Former President of the United States George Washington owes $300,000 for overdue library books he borrowed from New York Society Library five months into his presidency and which he failed to return.
2010 – US and Iraqi forces killed Abu Ayyub al-Masri the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq in a joint American and Iraqi operation near Tikrit, Iraq. The coalition forces believed al-Masri to be wearing a suicide vest and proceeded cautiously. After the lengthy exchange of fire and bombing of the house, the Iraqi troops stormed inside and found two women still alive, one of whom was al-Masri’s wife, and four dead men, identified as al-Masri, Abu Abdullah al-Rashid al-Baghdadi, an assistant to al-Masri, and al-Baghdadi’s son. A suicide vest was indeed found on al-Masri’s corpse, as the Iraqi Army subsequently stated. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced the killings of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri at a news conference in Baghdad and showed reporters photographs of their bloody corpses. “The attack was carried out by ground forces which surrounded the house, and also through the use of missiles,” Mr Maliki said. “During the operation computers were seized with e-mails and messages to the two biggest terrorists, Osama bin Laden and [his deputy] Ayman al-Zawahiri”, Maliki added. U.S. forces commander Gen. Raymond Odierno praised the operation. “The death of these terrorists is potentially the most significant blow to al-Qaeda in Iraq since the beginning of the insurgency”, he said. “There is still work to do but this is a significant step forward in ridding Iraq of terrorists.”
2012 – Senior U.S. officials condemn graphic photos depicting their troops posing with the mangled corpses of suspected Afghan suicide bombers on at least two separate occasions months apart. The Los Angeles Times defends its publication of the photos after being warned against the move by the U.S. military.
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
DALY, MICHAEL J.
Rank and organization: Captain (then Lieutenant), U.S. Army, Company A, 15th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Nuremberg, Germany, 18 April 1945. Entered service at: Southport, Conn. Born: 15 September 1924, New York, N.Y. G.O. No.: 77, 10 September 1945. Citation: Early in the morning of 18 April 1945, he led his company through the shell-battered, sniper-infested wreckage of Nuremberg, Germany. When bl1stering machinegun fire caught his unit in an exposed position, he ordered his men to take cover, dashed forward alone, and, as bullets whined about him, shot the 3-man guncrew with his carbine. Continuing the advance at the head of his company, he located an enemy patrol armed with rocket launchers which threatened friendly armor. He again went forward alone, secured a vantage point and opened fire on the Germans. Immediately he became the target for concentrated machine pistol and rocket fire, which blasted the rubble about him. Calmly, he continued to shoot at the patrol until he had killed all 6 enemy infantrymen. Continuing boldly far in front of his company, he entered a park, where as his men advanced, a German machinegun opened up on them without warning. With his carbine, he killed the gunner; and then, from a completely exposed position, he directed machinegun fire on the remainder of the crew until all were dead. In a final duel, he wiped out a third machinegun emplacement with rifle fire at a range of 10 yards. By fearlessly engaging in 4 single-handed fire fights with a desperate, powerfully armed enemy, Lt. Daly, voluntarily taking all major risks himself and protecting his men at every opportunity, killed 15 Germans, silenced 3 enemy machineguns and wiped out an entire enemy patrol. His heroism during the lone bitter struggle with fanatical enemy forces was an inspiration to the valiant Americans who took Nuremberg.
*MERRELL, JOSEPH F.
Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company I, 15th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Lohe, Germany, 18 April 1945. Entered service at: Staten Island, N.Y. Birth: Staten Island, N.Y. G.O. No.: 21, 26 February 1946. Citation: He made a gallant, 1-man attack against vastly superior enemy forces near Lohe, Germany. His unit, attempting a quick conquest of hostile hill positions that would open the route to Nuremberg before the enemy could organize his defense of that city, was pinned down by brutal fire from rifles, machine pistols, and 2 heavy machineguns. Entirely on his own initiative, Pvt. Merrell began a single-handed assault. He ran 100 yards through concentrated fire, barely escaping death at each stride, and at pointblank range engaged 4 German machine pistolmen with his rifle, killing all of them while their bullets ripped his uniform. As he started forward again, his rifle was smashed by a sniper’s bullet, leaving him armed only with 3 grenades. But he did not hesitate. He zigzagged 200 yards through a hail of bullets to within 10 yards of the first machinegun, where he hurled 2 grenades and then rushed the position ready to fight with his bare hands if necessary. In the emplacement he seized a Luger pistol and killed what Germans had survived the grenade blast. Rearmed, he crawled toward the second machinegun located 30 yards away, killing 4 Germans in camouflaged foxholes on the way, but himself receiving a critical wound in the abdomen. And yet he went on, staggering, bleeding, disregarding bullets which tore through the folds of his clothing and glanced off his helmet. He threw his last grenade into the machinegun nest and stumbled on to wipe out the crew. He had completed this self-appointed task when a machine pistol burst killed him instantly. In his spectacular 1-man attack Pvt. Merrell killed 6 Germans in the first machinegun emplacement, 7 in the next, and an additional 10 infantrymen who were astride his path to the weapons which would have decimated his unit had he not assumed the burden of the assault and stormed the enemy positions with utter fearlessness, intrepidity of the highest order, and a willingness to sacrifice his own life so that his comrades could go on to victory.