April 20

20 April

1657 – Freedom of religion is granted to the Jews of New Amsterdam (later New York City).
1769 – Ottawa Chief Pontiac (b~1720) was murdered by an Indian in Cahokia.
1775British troops began the siege of Boston. The Siege of Boston lasted through March 17, 1776 and was the opening phase of the American War of Independence. New England militiamen prevented the movement by land of the British Army garrisoned in what was then the peninsular town of Boston, Massachusetts. Both sides had to deal with resource supply and personnel issues over the course of the siege. British resupply and reinforcement activities were limited to sea access. After eleven months of siege the British abandoned Boston by sailing to Nova Scotia. The siege began following the Battles of Lexington and Concord, when the militia from surrounding Massachusetts communities limited land access to Boston. The Continental Congress formed the Continental Army from the militia, with George Washington as its Commander in Chief. In June 1775, the British seized Bunker and Breed’s Hills, but their casualties were heavy and their gains were insufficient to break the Continental Army’s hold on land access to Boston. Military actions during the remainder of the siege were limited to occasional raids, minor skirmishes, and sniper fire. In November 1775, Washington sent the 25-year-old bookseller-turned-soldier Henry Knox to bring to Boston the heavy artillery that had been captured at Fort Ticonderoga. In a technically complex and demanding operation, Knox brought many cannons to the Boston area by January 1776. In March 1776, these artillery fortified Dorchester Heights, which overlooked Boston and its harbor and threatened the British supply lifeline. The British commander William Howe saw the British position as indefensible and withdrew the British forces in Boston to the British stronghold at Halifax, Nova Scotia on March 17 (celebrated today as Evacuation Day).
1777 – New York adopted a new constitution as an independent state.
1789 – President George Washington arrives in Philadelphia after his first inauguration to elaborate welcome at Gray’s Ferry just after noon.
1796 – Congress authorizes completion of 3 frigates.
1827 – John Gibbon (d.1896), Major General (Union volunteers), was born.
1836The Territory of Wisconsin was established by Congress. The Territory of Wisconsin was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed until May 29, 1848, when an eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Wisconsin. Belmont was initially chosen as the capital of the territory. In 1837, the territorial legislature met in Burlington, just north of the Skunk River on the Mississippi, which became part of the Iowa Territory in 1838. In that year, 1838, the territorial capitol of Wisconsin was moved to Madison.
1861Colonel Robert E. Lee resigns from the United States army two days after he was offered command of the Union army and three days after his native state, Virginia, seceded from the Union. Lee opposed secession, but he was a loyal son of Virginia. His official resignation was only one sentence, but he wrote a longer explanation to his friend and mentor, General Winfield Scott, later that day. Lee had fought under Scott during the Mexican War, and he revealed to his former commander the depth of his struggle. Lee interviewed with Scott on April 18, and explained that he would have resigned then “but for the struggle it has cost me to separate myself from a service to which I have devoted the best years of my life and all the ability I possess.” Lee expressed gratitude for the kindness shown him by all in the army during his 25-year service, but Lee was most grateful to Scott. “To no one, general, have I been as much indebted as to yourself for uniform kindness and consideration…” He concluded with this poignant sentiment: “Save in the defense of my native State, I never desire again to draw my sword.” But draw it he would. Two days later, Lee was appointed commander of Virginia’s forces with the rank of major general. He spent the next few months raising troops in Virginia, and in July he was sent to western Virginia to advise Confederate commanders struggling to maintain control over the mountainous region. Lee did little to build his reputation there as the Confederates experienced a series of setbacks, and he returned to Richmond when the Union gained control of the area. The next year, Lee assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia after General Joseph Johnston was wounded in battle. Lee quickly turned the tables on Union General George B. McClellan, as he would several other commanders of the Army of the Potomac. His brilliance as a battlefield tactician earned him a place among the great military leaders of all time.
1861Thaddeus Lowe’s balloon landed in South Carolina only to be surrounded by a group of incredulous Carolinians who believed he was a spy. Lowe managed to persuade the crowd that his 500-mile trip from Cincinnati, Ohio, was merely an innocent aerial journey to test his strange craft. He later tried to convince the Union to use his skill as a balloonist.
1861Norfolk Navy Yard partially destroyed to prevent Yard facilities from falling into Confederate hands and abandoned by Union forces. U.S. S. Pennsylvania, Germantown’, Raritan. Columbia, and Dolphin were burned to water’s edge. U.S.S. Delaware, Columbus, Plymouth, and Merrimack (later C.S.S. Virginia) were burned and sunk. Old frigate U.S.S. United States was abandoned. U.S.S. Pawnee, Commodore Paulding, and tug Yankee. towing U.S.S. Cumberland, escaped; Pawnee returned to Washington to augment small defenses at the Capital. This major Yard was of prime importance to the South. The Confederacy had limited industrial capacity, and possession of the Norfolk Yard provided her with guns and other ordnance materiel, and, equally as important, gave her a drydock and an industrial plant in which to manufacture crucially needed items. In large measure, guns for the batteries and fortifications erected by the Confederates on the Atlantic coast and rivers during 1861 came from the Norfolk Yard.
1862 – U.S.S. Itasca, Lieutenant Caldwell, and U.S.S. Pinola, Lieutenant Crosby, under direction of Commander Bell, breached the obstructions below Forts Jackson and St. Philip under heavy fire, opening the way for Flag Officer Farragut’s fleet.
1863A joint Army-Navy attack succeeded in capturing a strong Confederate position at Hill’s Point on the Nansemond River, Virginia, taking 5 howitzers and some 160 prisoners, as well as denying the South the use of an effective position from which to shell the flotilla guarding the Union Army position near Suffolk. Later that night, 20 April, the Confederates evacuated their battery at Reed’s Ferrys. Though there were intermittent skirmishes for almost 2 weeks following this action, the back of the planned Confederate offensive was broken.
1863 – U.S.S. Estrella, Lieutenant Commander Cooke, with U.S.S. Clifton, Arina, and Calhoun, engaged and received the surrender of Fort Burton, Butte a’ la Rose, Louisiana.
1871With passage of the Third Force Act, popularly known as the Ku Klux Act, Congress authorizes President Ulysses S. Grant to declare martial law, impose heavy penalties against terrorist organizations, and use military force to suppress the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Founded in 1865 by a group of Confederate veterans, the KKK rapidly grew from a secret social fraternity to a paramilitary force bent on reversing the federal government’s progressive Reconstruction Era-activities in the South, especially policies that elevated the rights of the local African-American population. The name of the Ku Klux Klan was derived from the Greek word kyklos, meaning “circle,” and the Scottish-Gaelic word “clan,” which was probably chosen for the sake of alliteration. Under a platform of philosophized white racial superiority, the group employed violence as a means of pushing back Reconstruction and its enfranchisement of African-Americans. Former Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest was the KKK’s first grand wizard and in 1869 unsuccessfully tried to disband it after he grew critical of the Klan’s excessive violence. Most prominent in counties where the races were relatively balanced, the KKK engaged in terrorist raids against African-Americans and white Republicans at night, employing intimidation, destruction of property, assault, and murder to achieve its aims and influence upcoming elections. In a few Southern states, Republicans organized militia units to break up the Klan. In 1871, passage of the Ku Klux Act led to nine South Carolina counties being placed under martial law and thousands of arrests. In 1882, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the Ku Klux Act unconstitutional, but by that time Reconstruction had ended, and the KKK had faded away. The 20th century would see two revivals of the KKK: one in response to immigration in the 1910s and ’20s, and another in response to the African-American civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s.
1871 – Secretary of Treasury authorized to employ crews of experienced surfmen at lifeboat stations at maximum rate of $40 per month, marking the end of the volunteer system. This was the beginning of direct Federal control over life-saving activities.
1889Adolf Hitler, leader of National Socialist Party (1921-1945), was born in Braunau, Austria. He was the dictator of Nazi Germany from 1933-1945 and started World War II by invading Poland. He committed suicide in his Berlin bunker. The German Fascist leader, promised to bring Germany to the promised land on one condition: that the state would have total control over all the organs, organizations, and citizens of the nation.
1898 – President McKinley signed a congressional resolution recognizing Cuban independence from Spain. He signed the Joint Resolution for War with Spain that authorized U.S. military intervention to Cuban independence.
1914Ending a bitter coal-miners’ strike, Colorado militiamen attack a tent colony of strikers, killing dozens of men, women, and children, known as the Ludlow Massacre. The conflict had begun the previous September. About 11,000 miners in southern Colorado went on strike against the powerful Colorado Fuel & Iron Corporation (CF&I) to protest low pay, dangerous working conditions, and the company’s autocratic dominance over the workers’ lives. The CF&I, which was owned by the Rockefeller family and Standard Oil, responded to the strike by immediately evicting the miners and their families from company-owned shacks. With help from the United Mine Workers, the miners moved with their families to canvas tent colonies scattered around the nearby hills and continued to strike. When the evictions failed to end the strike, the Rockefeller interests hired private detectives that attacked the tent colonies with rifles and Gatling guns. The miners fought back, and several were killed. When the tenacity of the strikers became apparent, the Rockefellers approached the governor of Colorado, who authorized the use of the National Guard. The Rockefellers agreed to pay their wages. At first, the strikers believed that the government had sent the National Guard to protect them. They soon discovered, though, that the militia was under orders to break the strike. On this day in 1914, two companies of guardsmen attacked the largest tent colony of strikers near the town of Ludlow, home to about 1,000 men, women, and children. The attack began in the morning with a barrage of bullets fired into the tents. The miners shot back with pistols and rifles. After a strike leader was killed while attempting to negotiate a truce, the strikers feared the attack would intensify. To stay safe from gunfire, women and children took cover in pits dug beneath the tents. At dusk, guardsmen moved down from the hills and set the tent colony on fire with torches, shooting at the families as they fled into the hills. The true carnage, however, was not discovered until the next day, when a telephone linesman discovered a pit under one of the tents filled with the burned remains of 11 children and 2 women. Although the “Ludlow Massacre” outraged many Americans, the tragedy did little to help the beleaguered Colorado miners and their families. Additional federal troops crushed the coal-miners’ strike, and the miners failed to achieve recognition of their union or any significant improvement in their wages and working conditions. Sixty-six men, women, and children died during the strike, but not a single militiaman or private detective was charged with any crime.
1914 – In first call to action of naval aviators, detachment on USS Birmingham sailed to Tampico, Mexico.
1915 – First Navy contract for lighter-than-air craft awarded.
1940 – RCA publicly demonstrated its new and powerful electron microscope in Philadelphia, Pa.
1942Malta’s precarious position continues. German and Italian bombing continue. When the USS Wasp accompanied by HMS Renown, two cruisers and six destroyers attempt to deliver 47 desperately needed Spitfires to the island, thirty per cent of them are destroyed immediately after landing.
1944During the night (April 20-21), the Germans use Neger (in English: Negro) human torpedoes against shipping off Anzio. A total of 37 are launched from beaches and 24 are lost. No results are achieved. Meanwhile, 6 Allied merchant ships are hit by torpedo planes near the Straits of Gibraltar.
1945 – Allied bombers in Italy begin a three-day attack on the bridges over the rivers Adige and Brenta to cut off German lines of retreat on the Italian peninsula.
1945During World War II, Allied forces, the U.S. 7th army, took control of the German cities of Nuremberg and Stuttgart. The American flag is raised over the rostrum of the Nuremberg Stadium — scene of Nazi Party rallies. In the Stuttgart area, the French 1st Army is advancing rapidly along the Neckar Valley, trapping German forces in the Black Forest in Bavaria.
1945 – American forces liberated Buchenwald. 350 Americans were imprisoned at Berga, a sub-camp of Buchenwald, following their Dec, 1944, capture at the Battle of the Bulge. Charles Guggenheim’s (d.2002) last documentary film was title “Berga.”
1945 – US troops capture Leipzig, Germany, only to later cede the city to the Soviet Union.
1945On Okinawa, US 3rd Amphibious Corps completes the capture of the Motobu Peninsula and the whole of the main northern part of the island. The US 24th Corps, on the Shuri Line, continue to attack but the limited gains made cannot be held against the Japanese counterattacks.
1946 – The League of Nations officially dissolves, giving most of its power to the United Nations.
1947 – CAPT L.O. Fox, USN, supported by 80 Marines, accepted the surrender of LT Yamaguchi and 26 Japanese soldiers and sailors, two and one half years after the occupation of Peleliu and nearly 20 months after the surrender of Japan.
1953 – Operation Little Switch began in Korea, the exchange of sick and wounded prisoners of war.
1953 – USS New Jersey shells Wonsan, Korea from inside the harbor.
1961 – American Harold Graham made 1st rocket belt flight.
1961Failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion of US-backed Cuban exiles against Cuba.
The Bay of Pigs Invasion, known in Latin America as Invasión de Bahía de Cochinos, was a failed military invasion of Cuba undertaken by the CIA-sponsored paramilitary group Brigade 2506 on 17 April 1961. A counter-revolutionary military, trained and funded by the United States government’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Brigade 2506 fronted the armed wing of the Democratic Revolutionary Front (DRF) and intended to overthrow the revolutionary left-wing government of Fidel Castro. Launched from Guatemala, the invading force was defeated within three days by the Cuban armed forces, under the direct command of Prime Minister Fidel Castro. The Cuban Revolution of 1952 to 1959 had seen President Fulgencio Batista, a right-wing ally of the U.S., ousted. He was replaced by a new left-wing administration dominated by Castro, which had severed the country’s formerly strong links with the U.S. by expropriating their economic assets and developing links with the Soviet Union, with whom the U.S. was then embroiled in the Cold War. U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was concerned at the direction which Castro’s government was taking, and in March 1960, Eisenhower allocated $13.1 million to the CIA in order to plan Castro’s overthrowing. The CIA proceeded to organize the operation with the aid of various Cuban counter-revolutionary forces, training Brigade 2506 in Mexico. Following his election in 1960, president John F. Kennedy was informed of the invasion plan and gave his consent. Over 1,400 paramilitaries, divided into five infantry battalions and one paratrooper battalion, assembled in Guatemala before setting out for Cuba by boat on 13 April. On 15 April, eight CIA-supplied B-26 bombers attacked Cuban air fields and returned to the U.S. On the night of 16 April, the main invasion landed at a beach named Playa Girón in the Bay of Pigs. It initially overwhelmed a local revolutionary militia. The Cuban Army’s counter-offensive was led by Captain José Ramón Fernández, before Castro decided to take personal control of the operation. On 20 April, the invaders finally surrendered, with the majority of troops being publicly interrogated and then sent back to the U.S. The failed invasion strengthened the position of Castro’s administration, who proceeded to openly proclaim their intention to adopt socialism and strengthen ties with the Soviet Union. This led eventually to the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The invasion was a major embarrassment for U.S. foreign policy. John Kennedy ordered a number of internal investigations across Latin America.
1962 – NASA civilian pilot Neil A. Armstrong took the X-15 to 63,250 m.
1964USS Henry Clay (SSBN-625) launches a Polaris A-2 missile from the surface in first demonstration that Polaris submarines could launch missiles from the surface as well as from beneath the ocean. 30 minutes later the submarine launched another Polaris missile while submerged.
1967 – For the first time US planes, 86 planes form the carriers Kitty Hawk and Ticonderoga, bomb Haiphong, attacking two power plants in the city.
1969 – A new political party is formed in Saigon, opposed to both Communism and the administration of President Thieu. The Progressive Nationalist Movement is headed by Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Huy, a member of South Vietnam’s delegation of the Paris peace talks.
1970 – Following reports that Communist forces in Cambodia have more than doubled their are of control, Premier Lon Nol sends a personal appeal to President Nixon for military aid.
1970In a televised speech, President Nixon pledges to withdraw 150,000 more U.S. troops over the next year “based entirely on the progress” of the Vietnamization program. His program, which had first been announced in June 1969, included three parts. First, the United States would step up its effort to improve the combat capability of the South Vietnamese armed forces so that they could assume responsibility for the war against the North Vietnamese. 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. Nixon’s new strategy and the continuing U.S. troop withdrawals represented a significant change in the nature of the American commitment to the war, as the primary responsibility for the fighting was transferred to the South Vietnamese armed forces. The first U.S. soldiers were withdrawn in the fall of 1969 and the withdrawals continued periodically through 1972. The remaining U.S. troops were withdrawn from South Vietnam in March 1973 as part of the provisions of the Paris Peace Accords.
1971The Pentagon releases figures confirming that fragging incidents are on the rise. In 1970, 209 such incidents caused the deaths of 34 men; in 1969, 96 such incidents cost 34 men their lives. Fragging was a slang term used to describe U.S. military personnel tossing of fragmentation hand grenades (hence the term “fragging”) usually into sleeping areas to murder fellow soldiers. It was usually directed primarily against unit leaders, officers, and noncommissioned officers. Fragging was rare in the early days of U.S. involvement in ground combat, but it became increasingly common as the rapid turnover caused by the one-year rotation policy weakened unit cohesion. With leadership and morale already declining in the face of repetitive Vietnam tours, the withdrawal of public support led to soldiers questioning their purpose on the battlefield. The situation worsened with the gradual U.S. troop withdrawal that began in 1969. As some troops were withdrawn, discipline and motivation declined as many remaining soldiers began to question why they had to continue fighting. Fragging incidents in combat were usually attempts to remove leaders perceived to be incompetent and a threat to survival. Most fragging incidents, however, occurred in rear-echelon units and were committed by soldiers on drugs or because unit leaders were enforcing anti-drug policies. Unit leaders who were perceived to be too stringent in the enforcement of discipline or regulations sometimes received warnings via a fragmentation grenade, with the safety pin left on, but with their name painted on it left on their bunk, or a smoke grenade discharged under their bunk. Most understood the message, and intimidation through threat of fragging far exceeded actual incidents.
1972 – The manned lunar module from Apollo 16 landed on the moon. Apollo 16 was the tenth manned mission in the United States Apollo space program, the fifth and penultimate to land on the Moon and the first to land in the lunar highlands. The second of the so-called “J missions,” it was crewed by Commander John Young, Lunar Module Pilot Charles Duke and Command Module Pilot Ken Mattingly. John Young and Charles Duke spent 71 hours—just under three days—on the lunar surface, during which they conducted three extra-vehicular activities or moonwalks, totaling 20 hours and 14 minutes. The pair drove the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), the second produced and used on the Moon, 26.7 kilometers (16.6 mi). On the surface, Young and Duke collected 95.8 kilograms (211 lb) of lunar samples for return to Earth, while Command Module Pilot Ken Mattingly orbited in the Command/Service Module (CSM) above to perform observations. Mattingly spent 126 hours and 64 revolutions in lunar orbit. After Young and Duke rejoined Mattingly in lunar orbit, the crew released a subsatellite from the Service Module (SM). Apollo 16’s landing spot in the highlands was chosen to allow the astronauts to gather geologically older lunar material than the samples obtained in the first four landings, which were in or near lunar maria. Samples from the Descartes Formation and the Cayley Formation disproved a hypothesis that the formations were volcanic in origin.
1972 – The Communist delegations in Paris formally propose resumption of the peace talks for 27 April, whether or not the US halts its bombing of North Vietnam.
1978Soviet aircraft force a Korean Air Lines passenger jet to land in the Soviet Union after the jet veers into Russian airspace. Two people were killed and several others injured when the jet made a rough landing on a frozen lake about 300 miles south of Murmansk. The jet was on a flight from Paris to Seoul when the incident occurred. Soviet officials claimed that the plane, which usually flew over the northern polar regions to reach Seoul, suddenly veered sharply to the east and penetrated Russian airspace. Soviet jets intercepted the passenger plane and ordered it to land. Instead of going to the airfield indicated by the Soviet jets, however, the KAL flight made a very rough landing on a frozen lake south of Murmansk. Two passengers were killed and several others were injured during the landing. A short time later, the Soviet Union allowed a civilian American aircraft to retrieve the survivors. U.S. officials were confused about what had gone wrong with the KAL flight, and Soviet officials were not extraordinarily helpful in clearing up matters. South Korea claimed that “navigational errors” were to blame for the plane flying so far off course. Aviation experts, however, doubted that “errors” of that magnitude would occur in such a sophisticated aircraft or that navigation problems could account for the plane’s wildly inaccurate flight pattern. All that could be said for certain was that the episode once again demonstrated the Soviet Union’s strict adherence to the protection of its airspace. Since the end of World War II a number of civilian and military aircraft had been driven away, forced to land, or shot down by the Soviet air force. The Russian policy would have even more tragic consequences on September 1, 1983, when Soviet jets shot down KAL Flight 007 after it veered 300 miles off course and flew over the Soviet Union–nearly 270 people died in that crash.
1987 – The United States deported Karl Linnas to the Soviet Union, where he had been convicted in absentia of Nazi war crimes and faced a death sentence. Linnas, who maintained his innocence, died of heart disease in Leningrad the following July.
1989 – The case of Oliver North went to the jury in his Iran-Contra trial.
1991 – US Marines landed in northern Iraq to begin building the first center for Kurdish refugees on Iraqi territory. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the US commander of Operation Desert Storm, left Saudi Arabia for home.
1993 – President Clinton said he accepted responsibility for the decision to try to end the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound in Texas, yet laid “ultimate responsibility” on David Koresh for the deaths that resulted.
1995In the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, the FBI announced it was looking for two men suspected of renting the truck used to carry the explosive. Rescue teams suspended the search for survivors so that the remaining structure of the Alfred P. Murrah Building could be shored up.
1996 – Russia and the leaders of the world’s seven richest democracies agreed in Moscow to end nuclear tests by the fall and pledged new steps to keep nuclear materials out of the wrong hands.
1999NATO bombing continued in Yugoslavia. The UN refugee agency in Macedonia declared its camps full beyond capacity and left 2,000 to 3,000 refugees at the border. Another few thousand crossed the border to the hamlet of Milana. The border with Albania was again opened but only a few crossed over.
1999 – Bulgaria and Romania offered to let NATO use their airspace to bomb Yugoslavia.
2001President Bush attended his first international summit as leaders of the Western Hemisphere’s 34 democracies met in Quebec to advance plans to create the world’s largest free-trade zone. Police in riot gear clashed with protesters. Protestors pushed to interrupt the Summit of the Americas and held that the free trade efforts put corporate interests ahead of workers, human rights and the environment.
2001In Peru an air force jet shot down a Cessna 185 carrying US missionaries. Veronica Bowers (35) and her infant daughter, Charity, were killed when the plane crash landed in the Amazon River. The plane was identified by a US surveillance plane and was believed to be trafficking in narcotics.
2002 – A US Navy F-4 crashed during an air show at Ventura, Ca., and its 2 crew members were killed.
2003U.S. Army forces took control of Baghdad from the Marines in a changing of the guard that thinned the military presence in the capital. Celebrating Easter, the Reverend Emmanuel Delly, a longtime Iraqi bishop, pleaded for safeguards against the persecution of Christians in the new Iraq.
2003 – Jamal Mustafa Abdallah Sultan al-Tikriti (9 of clubs), son-in-law to Saddam Hussein and former deputy head of Iraq’s tribal affairs office, left Syria and surrendered to members of the Iraqi National Congress.
2004 – The NASA Gravity Probe B satellite, designed by Stanford researchers, was launched to test Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.
2004 – China urged North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to rethink his demands for a written U.S. pledge not to attack, saying only a softer line can ease the standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
2004 – Authorities in southern Italy reported that they had seized about 7,500 Kalashnikov assault rifles and other combat-grade firearms from a Turkish-flagged ship headed for New York. The weapons were destined for a company in the U.S. state of Georgia.
2006 – Famous U.S. test pilot Scott Crossfield dies in an air crash of a Cessna 210. Albert Scott Crossfield (October 2, 1921 – April 19, 2006) was an American naval officer and test pilot. In 1953, he became the first pilot to fly at Mach 2, twice the speed of sound.
2007 – William Phillips with a handgun barricades himself in NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas before killing a male hostage and himself. Police said Phillips was under review for poor job performance and he feared being dismissed.
2010 – The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven workers and beginning an oil spill, leaking about 4,900,000 barrels of crude oil, that would last six months. The US Coast Guard will play a role in the containment, cleanup, and subsequent investigation.

Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day

Rank and organization: Second Class Fireman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1850, Philadelphia, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Frolic, Trout displayed gallant conduct in endeavoring to save the life of one of the crew of that vessel who had fallen overboard at Montevideo, 20 April 1877.

Private Joe Hayashi distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 20 and 22 April 1945, near Tendola, Italy. On 20 April 1945, ordered to attack a strongly defended hill that commanded all approaches to the village of Tendola, Private Hayashi skillfully led his men to a point within 75 yards of enemy positions before they were detected and fired upon. After dragging his wounded comrades to safety, he returned alone and exposed himself to small arms fire in order to direct and adjust mortar fire against hostile emplacements. Boldly attacking the hill with the remaining men of his squad, he attained his objective and discovered that the mortars had neutralized three machine guns, killed 27 men, and wounded many others. On 22 April 1945, attacking the village of Tendola, Private Hayashi maneuvered his squad up a steep, terraced hill to within 100 yards of the enemy. Crawling under intense fire to a hostile machine gun position, he threw a grenade, killing one enemy soldier and forcing the other members of the gun crew to surrender. Seeing four enemy machine guns delivering deadly fire upon other elements of his platoon, he threw another grenade, destroying a machine gun nest. He then crawled to the right flank of another machine gun position where he killed four enemy soldiers and forced the others to flee. Attempting to pursue the enemy, he was mortally wounded by a burst of machine pistol fire. The dauntless courage and exemplary leadership of Private Hayashi enabled his company to attain its objective. Private Hayashi’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.

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