1565– A Spanish expedition under Pedro Menendez de Aviles established the first permanent European colony in the present day St. Augustine, Fla. Aviles founded St. Augustine on the site of the Timucuan Indian village of Seloy, 42 years before the English settled at Jamestown and 55 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest permanent European settlement in the US. Castillo de San Marco fortress was built by the Spanish to defend St. Augustine.
1628 – John Endecott arrived with colonists at Salem, Massachusetts, where he would become the governor.
1664 – Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant surrenders New Amsterdam, the capital of New Netherland, to an English naval squadron under Colonel Richard Nicolls. Stuyvesant had hoped to resist the English, but he was an unpopular ruler, and his Dutch subjects refused to rally around him. Following its capture, New Amsterdam’s name was changed to New York, in honor of the Duke of York, who organized the mission. The colony of New Netherland was established by the Dutch West India Company in 1624 and grew to encompass all of present-day New York City and parts of Long Island, Connecticut, and New Jersey. A successful Dutch settlement in the colony grew up on the southern tip of Manhattan Island and was christened New Amsterdam. To legitimatize Dutch claims to New Amsterdam, Dutch governor Peter Minuit formally purchased Manhattan from the local tribe from which it derives it name in 1626. According to legend, the Manhattans–Indians of Algonquian linguistic stock–agreed to give up the island in exchange for trinkets valued at only $24. However, as they were ignorant of European customs of property and contracts, it was not long before the Manhattans came into armed conflict with the expanding Dutch settlement at New Amsterdam. Beginning in 1641, a protracted war was fought between the colonists and the Manhattans, which resulted in the death of more than 1,000 Indians and settlers. In 1664, New Amsterdam passed to English control, and English and Dutch settlers lived together peacefully. In 1673, there was a short interruption of English rule when the Netherlands temporary regained the settlement. In 1674, New York was returned to the English, and in 1686 it became the first city in the colonies to receive a royal charter. After the American Revolution, it became the first capital of the United States.
1740 – Eight hundred volunteers drawn from the militia of several colonies board transports to sail as part of the joint British/American colonial expedition to capture the Spanish colony of Cartagena (today the nation of Columbia). In all, troops from eleven colonies take part in this endeavor, which ends in failure, due more to disease than enemy actions. Perhaps the most memorable aspect was Captain Lawrence Washington’s service with the expedition’s commander, Admiral Edward Vernon. When Washington returned home he renamed his house overlooking the Potomac River in northern Virginia as “Mount Vernon” in honor of his former commander. Lawrence died in 1752 and his younger brother, George, inherited the home which retains its name to this day. George also replaced him as one of four ‘adjutants’ of the Virginia militia, responsible to the governor to report on the status of militia preparedness in his district. George so impressed the governor with his devotion to duty that he was selected in 1754 to tell the French to leave the area of what today is Pittsburgh, PA. He started a war, lost a battle, and gained national recognition. The rest is history.
1755 – The Battle of Lake George was fought in the north of the Province of New York. The battle was part of a campaign by the British to expel the French from North America in the French and Indian War. On one side were 1,500 French, Canadien, and Indian troops under the command of the Baron de Dieskau and on the other side 1,500 colonial troops under William Johnson and 200 Mohawks led by a noted war chief, Hendrick Theyanoguin. William Johnson, who had recently been named the British agent to the Iroquois, arrived at the southern end of Lac Saint Sacrement on 28 August 1755 and renamed it Lake George in honor of his sovereign, George II. His intention was to advance via Lakes George and Champlain to attack French-held Fort St. Frédéric at Crown Point, which was a keystone in the defense of Canada. With a view to stopping Johnson’s advance, Dieskau had already left Crown Point for an encampment situated between the two lakes (later to be built into Fort Carillon, the precursor of Fort Ticonderoga.) On 4 September Dieskau decided to launch a raid on Johnson’s base, the recently constructed Fort Edward (at the time called Fort Lyman) on the Hudson River. His aim was to destroy the boats, supplies and artillery that Johnson needed for his campaign. Leaving half his force at Carillon, Dieskau led the rest on an alternate route to the Hudson by landing his men at South Bay and then marching them east of Lake George along Wood Creek. Dieskau arrived near Fort Edward on the evening of 7 September 1755 with 222 French regular grenadiers from the Régiment de la Reine and the Régiment de Languedoc, 600 Canadian militia and 700 Abenaki and Caughnawaga Mohawk allies. Johnson, camped 14 miles (23 km) north of Fort Edward at the southern end of Lake George, was alerted by scouts to the presence of the enemy forces to his south, and he dispatched a messenger to warn the 500-man garrison at Fort Edward. But the messenger was intercepted, and soon afterward a supply train was captured, with the result that the disposition of all of Johnson’s forces became known to Dieskau. The Indians in the French party, after holding council, declined to assault Fort Edward because they expected it to be defended with cannons; so in the morning Dieskau gave the order to march north toward the lake. At 9 am on 8 September, Johnson sent Colonel Ephraim Williams south to reinforce Fort Edward with 200 Mohawk allies and 1,000 troops from Williams’ Massachusetts Regiment and Colonel Nathan Whiting’s Connecticut Regiment. Dieskau, warned by a deserter of Williams’ approach, blocked the portage road with his French grenadiers and sent his Canadians and Indians to ambush the Americans from both sides of the road. They lay in wait in a ravine three miles south of the present-day village of Lake George. Williams’ column marched straight into the trap and were engulfed in a blaze of enemy musketry. In an engagement known as “The Bloody Morning Scout”, Williams and Hendrick were killed along with many of their troops. At this point, the French regulars, brought forward by Dieskau, poured volleys into the beleaguered colonial troops. Most of the New Englanders fled toward Johnson’s camp, while about 100 of their comrades under Whiting and Lt. Col. Seth Pomeroy and most of the surviving Mohawks covered their withdrawal with a fighting retreat. The American rearguard were able to inflict substantial casualties on their overconfident pursuers. Pomeroy noted that his men “killed great numbers of them; they were seen to drop like pigeons”. One of those killed in this phase of the battle was Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, the highly respected commander of Dieskau’s Canadian and Indian forces. His fall caused great dismay, particularly to the French Indians. Dieskau ordered his Canadians and Indians to follow up their success with an attack on Johnson’s camp. However, with their morale already shaken by the loss of their leader, the Caughnawagas “did not wish to attack an entrenched camp, the defenders of which included hundreds of their Mohawk kinsmen. The Abenakis would not go forward without the Caughnawagas, and neither would the Canadians”. Hoping to shame the Indians into attacking, Dieskau formed his 222 French grenadiers into a column, six abreast, and led them in person along the Lake Road into the clearing where Johnson’s camp was, around which Sir William had hurriedly constructed defensive barricades of “wagons, overturned boats and hewn-down trees”. Once the grenadiers were out in the open ground, the American gunners, crewing Johnson’s three cannons, loaded up with grapeshot and cut “lanes, streets and alleys” through the French ranks. When Johnson was wounded and forced to retire to his tent for treatment, Gen. Phineas Lyman took over command. When Dieskau went down with a serious wound, the French attack was abandoned. After the French withdrawal, the Americans found about 20 severely wounded Frenchmen who were lying too close to the field of fire of Johnson’s artillery for their comrades to retrieve them. They included Baron Dieskau, who had paid the price of leading from the front with a shot through the bladder. Meanwhile, Col. Joseph Blanchard, commander of Fort Edward, saw the smoke from the battle in the distance and sent out Nathaniel Folsom’s 80-strong company of the New Hampshire Provincial Regiment and 40 New York Provincials under Capt. McGennis to investigate. “Hearing the report of guns in the direction of the Lake, they pressed forward, and when within about two miles of it, fell in with the baggage of the French army protected by a guard, which they immediately attacked and dispersed. About four o’clock in the afternoon, some 300 of the French army appeared in sight. They had rallied, and retreating in tolerable order. Capt. Folsom posted his men among the trees, and as the enemy approached, they poured in upon them a well directed and galling fire. He continued the attack in this manner till prevented by darkness, killing many of the enemy, taking some of them prisoners, and finally driving them from the field. He then collected his own wounded, and securing them with many of the enemy’s packs, he brought his prisoners and booty safe into camp. The next day the rest of the baggage was brought in, thus securing the entire baggage and ammunition of the French army. In this brilliant affair, Folsom lost only six men, but McGennis was mortally wounded, and died soon after. The loss of the French was very considerable”. The bodies of the French troops who were killed in this engagement (actually Canadians and Indians, not French regulars) were thrown into the pool “which bears to this day the name of Bloody Pond”.
1756 – The Kittanning Expedition, also known as the Armstrong Expedition or the Battle of Kittanning, was a raid during the French and Indian War that led to the destruction of the American Indian village of Kittanning, which had served as a staging point for attacks by Delaware (Lenape) warriors against colonists in the British Province of Pennsylvania. Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John Armstrong, this raid deep into hostile territory was the only major expedition carried out by Pennsylvania militia during a brutal backcountry war. Early on this morning they launched a surprise attack on the Indian village.
1760 – The French surrendered the city of Montreal to British Gen. Jeffrey Amherst.
1771 – Mission San Gabriel Archangel formed in California.
1781 – Gen. Nathanael Greene engaged British forces at Eutaw Springs, South Carolina and was forced to retreat.
1810 – The Tonquin sets sail from New York Harbor with 33 employees of John Jacob Astor’s newly created Pacific Fur Company on board. After a six-month journey around the tip of South America, the ship arrives at the mouth of the Columbia River and Astor’s men establish the fur-trading town of Astoria, Oregon.
1828 – Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Bvt. Major General (Union volunteers), hero of Little Round Top at Gettysburg, was born.
1829 – George Crook (d.1890), Major General (Union volunteers), was born.
1847 – The US under Gen. Scott defeated Mexicans at Battle of Molino del Rey.
1862 – A landing party from U.S.S. Kingfisher destroyed salt works at St. Joseph’s Bay, Florida, that could produce some 200 bushels a day. Three days later, similar works at St. Andrew’s Bay were destroyed by a landing party from U.S.S. Sagamore.
1863 – Federal troops reconquered the Cumberland Gap, Tennessee.
1863 – Battle of Telford’s Depot, Ten.
1863 – A small Confederate force thwarts a Federal invasion of Texas at the mouth of the Sabine River on the Texas-Louisiana border. In November 1862, Confederate General John Bankhead Magruder assumed command of the District of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The Union controlled most of the harbors along the Texas coast, but Magruder quickly changed that with two major assaults on Union defenses. He captured Galveston on January 1, 1863, and then drove off a Yankee force at Sabine Pass later that month. After Magruder’s forces drove the Union ships away, the Rebels were left with two harbors from which to operate. In the summer of 1863, the Union commander in the region, General Nathaniel Banks, launched an expedition to retake Sabine Pass. He placed General William B. Franklin in charge of an amphibious force that included four gunboats, 18 transports, and nearly 6,000 troops. They set sail from New Orleans, Louisiana, and arrived off Sabine Pass on September 7. The next day, Franklin called for an invasion of the Confederate band of 47 Irish immigrants commanded by Lieutenant Richard W. “Dick” Dowling, which was holed up inside of Fort Griffin, a stronghold armed with six old smoothbore cannons. Dowling’s men had one major advantage: Their guns were fixed on the narrow channel of Sabine Pass, through which the Yankees would have to sail in order to approach Fort Griffin. The battle commenced in the afternoon, and the Confederate cannons quickly cut into the Union flotilla. The first two ships to go through the pass were badly damaged and ran aground. The troop transports ran into trouble, and one Union ship turned around without firing a shot. Franklin called off the attack and returned to New Orleans. While the Confederates did not lose a single man, 28 Yankees were killed, 75 were wounded, and 315 were captured. The loss was humiliating for the Union. Franklin was ridiculed, and Dowling’s Rebels became heroes. Banks nixed plans for an invasion of east Texas and focused his attention on the Rio Grande Valley.
1863 – Following the evacuation of Morris Island, Rear Admiral Dahlgren demanded the surrender of Fort Sumter on the 7th; the fort had been so hammered by sea and shore bombardment that one observer noted that its appearance “from seaward was rather that of a steep, sandy island than that of a fort.” “I replied,” General Beauregard wrote, “to take it if he could.” Preparatory to renewing the assault, Dahlgren ordered U.S.S. Weehawken, Commander Colhoun, between Cum-ming’s Point, Morris Island, and Fort Sumter. Weehawken grounded in the narrow channel and could not be gotten off until the next day. That evening U.S.S. New Ironsides, Nahant, Lehigh, Montauk, and Patapsco reconnoitered the obstructions at Fort Sumter and heavily engaged Fort Moultrie. “I drew off,” Dahlgren recorded in his diary, “to give attention to Weehawken.” Be-ginning the morning of 8 September the grounded ironclad was subjected to heavy fire from Fort Moultrie and Sullivan’s and James Islands. Weehawken gallantly replied from her helpless position as other Union ironclads closed to assist. “Well done Weehawken,” Dahlgren wired Colhoun, praising his effective counter-fire; “don’t give up the ship.” U.S.S. New Ironsides, Captain Rowan, positioned herself between Weehawken and the Fort Moultrie batteries, drawing off Confederate fire. Struck over 50 times, New Ironsides finally withdrew “for want of ammunition”; Weehawken was finally floated with the aid of tugs.
1864 – U.S.S. Tritonia, Rodolph, Stockdale, and an Army transport commenced a two-day expedition under Acting Lieutenant George Wiggin to destroy large salt works at Salt House Point near Mobile Bay. Only Rodolph and Stockdale crossed the bar and entered Bon Secours River. Arriving at the Point at mid-morning, Wiggin sent two boat crews ashore and demolition of the salt works began immediately. So extensive were the works that destruction was not completed until late afternoon the next day. Wiggin reported: “I found some of the works well built and very strong, particularly one known as the Memphis Works, said to have cost $60,000. . . . Another work, which was very strong and well built, said to have cost $50,000.” Rear Admiral Farragut, who had ordered the attack, observed: “There were 55 furnaces, in which were manufactured nearly 2,000 bushels of salt per day, and their destruction must necessarily inconvenience the rebels.”
1883 – The Northern Pacific Railway (reporting mark NP) was completed in a ceremony at Gold Creek, Montana. Former president Ulysses S. Grant drove in the final “golden spike” in an event attended by rail and political luminaries.
1892 – An early version of “The Pledge of Allegiance” appeared in “The Youth’s Companion,” published in Boston and edited by Francis Bellamy, a Christian socialist, and cousin of writer Edward Bellamy. James Upham (d.1906), Bellamy’s supervisor, collaborated on the pledge. Frank E. Bellamy (1876-1915) of Cherryvale High School in Kansas had authored a 500-word patriotic essay which included the words of the Pledge of Allegiance and instructions on saluting the American Flag. His teacher entered the “Salute to the Flag” in a contest sponsored by the popular scholastic publication The Youth’s Companion. His essay won first place in this national school contest.
1918 – General Erich Ludendorff, expecting a major US-French attack, begins to withdraw German forces from the St. Mihiel salient southeast of Verdun.
1923 – The Honda Point Disaster was the largest peacetime loss of U.S. Navy ships. In the evening, as a result of navigation error, an earthquake in japan creating unexpected tidal effects, and poor weather, seven of fourteen Clemson class destroyers of DESRON 11, all less than 5 years old, while traveling at 20 knots (37 km/h), ran aground at Honda Point, a few miles from the northern side of the Santa Barbara Channel off Point Arguello on the coast in Santa Barbara County, California. Two other ships grounded, but were able to maneuver free of the rocks. Twenty-three sailors died in the disaster.
1939 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaims limited national emergency and increases enlisted strength in the Navy and Marine Corps; also authorizes the recall to active duty of officer, men and nurses on the retired lists of the Navy and Marine Corps.
1942 – On Guadalcanal, the 1st Raider Battalion and the 1st Parachute Battalion, supported by planes of MAG-23 and two destroyer transports, landed east of Tasimboko, advanced west into the rear of Japanese positions, and carried out a successful raid on a Japanese supply base.
1943 – Gen. Dwight Eisenhower publicly announces the surrender of Italy to the Allies. Germany reacted with Operation Axis, the Allies with Operation Avalanche. With Mussolini deposed from power and the earlier collapse of the fascist government in July, Gen. Pietro Badoglio, the man who had assumed power in Mussolini’s stead by request of King Victor Emanuel, began negotiating with Gen. Eisenhower for weeks. Weeks later, Badoglio finally approved a conditional surrender, allowing the Allies to land in southern Italy and begin beating the Germans back up the peninsula. Operation Avalanche, the Allied invasion of Italy, was given the go-ahead, and the next day would see Allied troops land in Salerno. The Germans too snapped into action. Ever since Mussolini had begun to falter, Hitler had been making plans to invade Italy to keep the Allies from gaining a foothold that would situate them within easy reach of the German-occupied Balkans. On September 8, Hitler launched Operation Axis, the occupation of Italy. As German troops entered Rome, General Badoglio and the royal family fled Rome for southeastern Italy to set up a new antifascist government. Italian troops began surrendering to their former German allies; where they resisted, as had happened earlier in Greece, they were slaughtered (1,646 Italian soldiers were murdered by Germans on the Greek island of Cephalonia, and the 5,000 that finally surrendered were ultimately shot). One of the goals of Operation Axis was to keep Italian navy vessels out of the hands of the Allies. When the Italian battleship Roma headed for an Allied-controlled port in North Africa, it was sunk by German bombers. In fact, the Roma had the dubious honor of becoming the first ship ever sunk by a radio-controlled guided missile. More than 1,500 crewmen drowned. The Germans also scrambled to move Allied POWs to labor camps in Germany in order to prevent their escape. In fact, many POWS did manage to escape before the German invasion, and several hundred volunteered to stay in Italy to fight alongside the Italian guerillas in the north. The Italians may have surrendered, but their war was far from over.
1943 – American and Japanese reinforcements arrive on Arundel. Fighting continues.
1943 – Australian forces advancing on Lae from the east capture Saingaua but are held by Japanese resistance at Busu River. The Japanese begin to withdraw from Salamaua under Australian pressure. Four US destroyers shell Lae.
1944 – Germany’s V-2 offensive against England began. The 1st V-2 rockets landed in London & Antwerp.
1944 – The US 7th Corps (part of US 12th Army Group) captures Liege.
1944 – The US 6th Corps (part of US 7th Army) captures Besancon.
1945 – Hideki Tojo, Japanese PM during most of WW II, failed in his attempted suicide rather than face war crimes tribunal attempt. He was later hanged.
1945 – U.S. troops land in Korea to begin their postwar occupation of the southern part of that nation, almost exactly one month after Soviet troops had entered northern Korea to begin their own occupation. Although the U.S. and Soviet occupations were supposed to be temporary, the division of Korea quickly became permanent. Korea had been a Japanese possession since the early 20th century. During World War II, the allies–the United States, Soviet Union, China, and Great Britain–made a somewhat hazy agreement that Korea should become an independent country following the war. As the war progressed, U.S. officials began to press the Soviets to enter the war against Japan. At the Yalta Conference in February 1945, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin pledged that his nation would declare war on Japan exactly three months after Nazi Germany was defeated. A few months later, at the Potsdam Conference in July and August 1945, it was agreed that Soviet troops would occupy the northern portion of Korea, while American forces would take a similar action in southern Korea in order to secure the area and liberate it from Japanese control. The occupations would be temporary, and Korea would eventually decide its own political future, though no date was set for the end of the U.S. and Soviet occupations. On August 8, the Soviets declared war on Japan. On August 9, Soviet forces invaded northern Korea. A few days later, Japan surrendered. Keeping to their part of the bargain, U.S. forces entered southern Korea on September 8, 1945. Over the next few years, the situation in Korea steadily worsened. A civil war between communist and nationalist forces in southern Korea resulted in thousands of people killed and wounded. The Soviets steadfastly refused to consider any plans for the reunification of Korea. The United States reacted by setting up a government in South Korea, headed by Syngman Rhee. The Soviets established a communist regime in North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Il-Sung. In 1948, the United States again offered to hold national elections, but the Soviets refused the offer. Elections were held in South Korea, and Rhee’s government received a popular mandate. The Soviets refused to recognize Rhee’s government, though, and insisted that Kim Il-Sung was the true leader of all Korea. Having secured the establishment of a communist government in North Korea, Soviet troops withdrew in 1948; and U.S. troops in South Korea followed suit in 1949. In 1950, the North Koreans attempted to reunite the nation by force and launched a massive military assault on South Korea. The United States quickly came to the aid of South Korea, beginning a three-year involvement in the bloody and frustrating Korean War. Korea remains a divided nation today, and the North Korean regime is one of the few remaining communist governments left in the world.
1945 – The US 1st Cavalry Division enters Tokyo.
1950 – In 1950, Congress passed the Defense Production Act, which called for various economic measures, including wage and price controls. In 1950, Congress passed the Defense Production Act, which called for various economic measures, including wage and price controls.
1951 – A formal Treaty of Peace was signed by 48 nations of the United Nations and Japan at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco. On the same day the US and Japan signed a Joint Security Pact at the Presidio. The Soviet delegation refused to sign and said the deal provided for the exclusive existence of American military bases in Japan.
1952 – Major Frederick C. Blesse, 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing, earned his sixth and seventh aerial kills after downing a pair of MiG-15 jet fighters.
1954 – Having been directed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to put together an alliance to contain any communist aggression in the free territories of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, or Southeast Asia in general, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles forges an agreement establishing a military alliance that becomes the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). Signatories, including France, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Pakistan, Thailand, and the United States, pledged themselves to “act to meet the common danger” in the event of aggression against any signatory state. A separate protocol to SEATO designated Laos, Cambodia, and “the free territory under the jurisdiction of the State of Vietnam [South Vietnam]” as also being areas subject to the provisions of the treaty. The language of the treaty did not go as far as the absolute mutual defense commitments and force structure of the NATO alliance, instead providing only for consultations in case of aggression against a signatory or protocol state before any combined actions were initiated. This lack of an agreement that would have compelled a combined military response to aggression significantly weakened SEATO as a military alliance. It was, however, used as legal basis for U.S. involvement in South Vietnam. SEATO expired on June 30, 1977.
1958 – LT R. H. Tabor, wearing a Navy developed pressure suit, completes 72-hour simulated flight at altitudes as high a 139,000 feet. It was another step in the development of the Navy spacesuit, which NASA accepted in 1959 for use by Mercury astronauts.
1960 – NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., was dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. This followed the activation of the facility in July of that year, when a key element of the U.S. Army’s Ballistic Missile Agency was transferred from the Department of Defense to NASA. The Marshall Center is named in honor of General George C. Marshall, who was the Army Chief of Staff during World War II, U.S. Secretary of State, and a Nobel Prize winner for his post-World War II “Marshall Plan.”
1974 – In a controversial executive action, President Gerald Ford pardons his disgraced predecessor Richard Nixon for any crimes he may have committed or participated in while in office. Ford later defended this action before the House Judiciary Committee, explaining that he wanted to end the national divisions created by the Watergate scandal. The Watergate scandal erupted after it was revealed that Nixon and his aides had engaged in illegal activities during his reelection campaign–and then attempted to cover up evidence of wrongdoing. With impeachment proceedings underway against him in Congress, Nixon bowed to public pressure and became the first American president to resign. At noon on August 9, Nixon officially ended his term, departing with his family in a helicopter from the White House lawn. Minutes later, Vice President Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as the 38th president of the United States in the East Room of the White House. After taking the oath of office, President Ford spoke to the nation in a television address, declaring, “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.” Ford, the first president who came to the office through appointment rather than election, had replaced Spiro Agnew as vice president only eight months before. In a political scandal independent of the Nixon administration’s wrongdoings in the Watergate affair, Agnew had been forced to resign in disgrace after he was charged with income tax evasion and political corruption. Exactly one month after Nixon announced his resignation, Ford issued the former president a “full, free and absolute” pardon for any crimes he committed while in office. The pardon was widely condemned at the time. Decades later, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation presented its 2001 Profile in Courage Award to Gerald Ford for his 1974 pardon of Nixon. In pardoning Nixon, the said the foundation, Ford placed his love of country ahead of his own political future and brought needed closure to the divisive Watergate affair. Ford left politics after losing the 1976 presidential election to Democrat Jimmy Carter.
1975 – US Air Force Tech Sergeant Leonard Matlovich, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, appears in his Air Force uniform on the cover of Time magazine with the headline “I Am A Homosexual”. He is given a general discharge, which was later upgraded to honorable.
1990 – President Bush and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev arrived in Helsinki, Finland, for a one-day summit sparked by the Persian Gulf crisis.
1994 – The last US, British & French troops left West-Berlin.
1996 – Okinawans voted more than 10-to-1 in favor of a reduction of U.S. military bases on their islands, in a referendum aimed at pressuring Washington to pull out its troops.
2000 – The US Bureau of Indian Affairs marked its 175th birthday and Kevin Grover, head of the bureau, offered a formal apology to American Indians for the misdeeds of the agency that included massacres, forced relocations of tribes and attempts to wipe out Indian cultures.
2000 – The space shuttle Atlantis blasted into orbit to deliver supplies to the new int’l. space station. LCDR Daniel C. Burbank became the second Coast Guard astronaut to fly on a shuttle mission (he had been selected by NASA for astronaut training in 1996). He flew as a mission specialist on NASA flight STS-106 aboard the space shuttle Atlantis (September 8-20, 2000). During the 12-day mission, the crew successfully prepared the International Space Station for the arrival of the first permanent crew. The five astronauts and two cosmonauts delivered more than 6,600 pounds of supplies and installed batteries, power converters, oxygen generation equipment and a treadmill on the Space Station. Two crewmembers performed a space walk in order to connect power, data and communications cables to the newly arrived Zvesda Service Module and the Space Station. STS-106 orbited the Earth 185 times, and covered 4.9 million miles in 11 days, 19 hours, and 10 minutes.
2002 – The leaders of the two main Kurdish factions, KDP and PUK, that control northern Iraq signed a reconciliation agreement as the United States tries to forge a united front against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
2002 – The Guardian reports that the United States has begun a massive military build-up required for a war against Iraq, ordering the movement of tens of thousands of men and tons of material to the Gulf region.
2003 – NASA presented a “return to flight” plan for the shuttle fleet.
2003 – In Afghanistan suspected Taliban rebels stopped a car carrying Afghans working for a Danish aid organization, tied them up, then shot four of them to death.
2004 – NASA’s $260 million Genesis space capsule crashed in the Utah desert after its parachute failed to open. It carried a cargo of solar wind particles.
2004 – US warplanes launched strikes in the insurgent-held city of Fallujah, hitting at suspected militant hideouts used to plan attacks on American forces.
2004 – Insurgents kidnapped the family of an Iraqi National Guard officer and set fire to his home northeast of the capital.
2005 – Two Russian EMERCOM Il-76 aircraft carrying aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina land at a disaster aid staging area at Little Rock Air Force Base; the first time Russia has flown such a mission to North America.
2006 – A suicide car bomb explodes near the United States embassy in Kabul, killing at least ten people.
2006 – Missing United States Air Force officer Major Jill Metzger who disappeared in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan earlier this week is found in good health. Metzger says she was kidnapped by three men and a woman. Metzger was serving with the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing stationed at Manas Air Base, a US military facility that has been located at Manas International Airport since 2001, supporting Operation Enduring Freedom’s operations in Afghanistan. On September 5, shortly before she was scheduled to return to the United States, she went shopping at the ZUM department store in Bishkek to buy souvenirs for her family. She failed to return to the base as expected and on September 7, The Pentagon reported her as missing (officially, “duty status whereabouts unknown”). She was found three days later in the nearby city of Kant. Metzger claimed to have escaped from kidnappers, though U.S. officials noted “serious inconsistencies” in her account. US defense officials investigating the case said that “serious inconsistencies” had become evident and they were exploring the possibility that, rather than having been kidnapped, Metzger was attempting to flee her marriage. On July 10, 2007, Metzger’s father informed the media that she had been temporarily retired from the Air Force after having been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, a status that requires a further medical examination after 18 months to assess whether or not she can return to active duty. On October 12, 2010, Metzger returned to active duty as the chief of community programs for the Air Force District of Washington at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. Although the Federal Bureau of Investigation completed their investigation into Metzger’s disappearance in 2009, the results have not been made public.
2010– The U.S. Army announced the arrival in Iraq of the first specifically-designated Advise and Assist Brigade, the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment. It was announced that the unit would assume responsibilities in five southern provinces.
2010 – The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismisses a lawsuit associated with the Central Intelligence Agency’s practice of “extraordinary rendition”.
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
HILL, FRANK E.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company E, 5th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Date Creek, Ariz., 8 September 1872. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Mayfield, Wis. Date of issue: 12 August 1875. Citation: Secured the person of a hostile Apache Chief, although while holding the chief he was severely wounded in the back by another Indian .
Rank and organization: Chief Watertender, U.S. Navy. Born: 12 February 1871, St. Louis, Mo. Entered service at: St. Louis, Mo. G.O. No.: 83, 4 October 1910. Citation: On board the U.S.S. North Dakota, for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession during the fire on board that vessel, 8 September 1910.
Rank and organization: Watertender, U.S. Navy. Born: 2 April 1878, Washington, D.C. Accredited to: Washington, D.C. G.O. No.: 83, 4 October 1910. Citation: On board the U.S.S. North Dakota, for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession during the fire on board that vessel, 8 September 1910.
Rank and organization: Chief Watertender, U.S. Navy. Born: 17 June 1875, Dublin, Ireland. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 83, 4 October 1910. Citation: For extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession during the fire on board the U.S.S. North Dakota where Reid was serving, 8 September 1910.
ROBERTS, CHARLES CHURCH
Rank and organization: Machinist’s Mate First Class, U.S. Navy. Born: 6 March 1882, Newton, Mass. Accredited to: Illinois. G.O. No.: 83, 4 October 1910. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. North Dakota; for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession during the fire on board that vessel, 8 September 1910.
Rank and organization: Chief Machinist’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 11 August 1869, Ireland. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 83, 4 October 1910. Citation: For extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession during the fire on board the U.S.S. North Dakota, 8 September 1910.
Rank and organization: Chief Machinist’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 8 April 1875, Norway. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 83, 4 October 1910. Citation: On board the U.S.S. North Dakota, for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession during the fire on board that vessel, 8 September 1910.
*PRUSSMAN, ERNEST W.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 13th Infantry, 8th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Les Coates, Brittany, France, 8 September 1944. Entered service at: Brighton, Mass. Birth: Baltimore, Md. G.O. No.: 31, 17 April 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 8 September 1944, near Les Coates, Brittany, France. When the advance of the flank companies of 2 battalions was halted by intense enemy mortar, machinegun, and sniper fire from a fortified position on his left, Pfc. Prussman maneuvered his squad to assault the enemy fortifications. Hurdling a hedgerow, he came upon 2 enemy riflemen whom he disarmed. After leading his squad across an open field to the next hedgerow, he advanced to a machinegun position, destroyed the gun, captured its crew and 2 riflemen. Again advancing ahead of his squad in the assault, he was mortally wounded by an enemy rifleman, but as he fell to the ground he threw a handgrenade, killing his opponent. His superb leadership and heroic action at the cost of his life so demoralized the enemy that resistance at this point collapsed, permitting the 2 battalions to continue their advance.
Rank: Sergeant, Organization: U.S. Marine Corps, Company: Embedded Training Team 2-8, Division: Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, Born: 26 June 1988, Columbia, KY, Departed: No, Entered Service At: Louisville, KY, G.O. Number: , Date of Issue: 09/15/2011, Accredited To: Kentucky, Place / Date: 8 September 2009, Kunar Province, Afghanistan. Citation: Corporal Meyer maintained security at a patrol rally point while other members of his team moved on foot with two platoons of Afghan National Army and Border Police into the village of Ganjgal for a pre-dawn meeting with village elders. Moving into the village, the patrol was ambushed by more than 50 enemy fighters firing rocket propelled grenades, mortars, and machine guns from houses and fortified positions on the slopes above. Hearing over the radio that four U.S. team members were cut off, Corporal Meyer seized the initiative. With a fellow Marine driving, Corporal Meyer took the exposed gunner’s position in a gun-truck as they drove down the steeply terraced terrain in a daring attempt to disrupt the enemy attack and locate the trapped U.S. team. Disregarding intense enemy fire now concentrated on their lone vehicle, Corporal Meyer killed a number of enemy fighters with the mounted machine guns and his rifle, some at near point blank range, as he and his driver made three solo trips into the ambush area. During the first two trips, he and his driver evacuated two dozen Afghan soldiers, many of whom were wounded. When one machine gun became inoperable, he directed a return to the rally point to switch to another gun-truck for a third trip into the ambush area where his accurate fire directly supported the remaining U.S. personnel and Afghan soldiers fighting their way out of the ambush. Despite a shrapnel wound to his arm, Corporal Meyer made two more trips into the ambush area in a third gun-truck accompanied by four other Afghan vehicles to recover more wounded Afghan soldiers and search for the missing U.S. team members. Still under heavy enemy fire, he dismounted the vehicle on the fifth trip and moved on foot to locate and recover the bodies of his team members. Corporal Meyer’s daring initiative and bold fighting spirit throughout the 6-hour battle significantly disrupted the enemy’s attack and inspired the members of the combined force to fight on. His unwavering courage and steadfast devotion to his U.S. and Afghan comrades in the face of almost certain death reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
*SWENSON, WILLIAM D.
Rank and Organization: Captain. U.S. Army. 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team. 10th Mountain. Place and Date: Sep. 8, 2009, Ganjgal, Kunar Province, Afghanistan. Born: November 2, 1978. Departed: No. Entered Service At: Ft. Benning, Georgia. G.O. Number: . Date of Issue: 10/15/2013. Accredited To: . Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Captain William D. Swenson distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as embedded advisor to the Afghan National Border Police, Task Force Phoenix, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan in support of 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, during combat operations against an armed enemy in Kunar Province, Afghanistan on September 8, 2009. On that morning, more than 60 well-armed, well-positioned enemy fighters ambushed Captain Swenson’s combat team as it moved on foot into the village of Ganjgal for a meeting with village elders. As the enemy unleashed a barrage of rocket-propelled grenade, mortar and machine gun fire, Captain Swenson immediately returned fire and coordinated and directed the response of his Afghan Border Police, while simultaneously calling in suppressive artillery fire and aviation support. After the enemy effectively flanked Coalition Forces, Captain Swenson repeatedly called for smoke to cover the withdrawal of the forward elements. Surrounded on three sides by enemy forces inflicting effective and accurate fire, Captain Swenson coordinated air assets, indirect fire support and medical evacuation helicopter support to allow for the evacuation of the wounded. Captain Swenson ignored enemy radio transmissions demanding surrender and maneuvered uncovered to render medical aid to a wounded fellow soldier. Captain Swenson stopped administering aid long enough to throw a grenade at approaching enemy forces, before assisting with moving the soldier for air evacuation. With complete disregard for his own safety, Captain Swenson unhesitatingly led a team in an unarmored vehicle into the kill zone, exposing himself to enemy fire on at least two occasions, to recover the wounded and search for four missing comrades. After using aviation support to mark locations of fallen and wounded comrades, it became clear that ground recovery of the fallen was required due to heavy enemy fire on helicopter landing zones. Captain Swenson’s team returned to the kill zone another time in a Humvee. Captain Swenson voluntarily exited the vehicle, exposing himself to enemy fire, to locate and recover three fallen Marines and one fallen Navy corpsman. His exceptional leadership and stout resistance against the enemy during six hours of continuous fighting rallied his teammates and effectively disrupted the enemy’s assault. Captain William D. Swenson’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Task Force Phoenix, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division and the United States Army.