1492 – Columbus’ fleet anchored at “Fernandina” (Long Island, Bahamas).
1701 – Yale University was founded as The Collegiate School of Kilingworth, Connecticut by Congregationalists who considered Harvard too liberal.
1710 – British troops occupied Port Royal, Nova Scotia.
1780 – A raid on Royalton, Vermont and Tunbridge, Vermont are the last major raids of the American Revolutionary War. Just before dawn the town line of Tunbridge and Royalton was witness to the last major raid of the Revolutionary War in New England. In the “Royalton Raid” three hundred Indians led by British soldiers invaded from Canada along the First Branch of the White River. Part of a series of raids designed to terrorize frontier settlements, the result was the destruction of dozens of homes, crops and livestock necessary to survive the coming winter. Although women and girls were not harmed, 28 men and boys were taken captive and marched to Canada to be imprisoned. In the years that followed, many of the captives made their way back to their families, but some never returned. One resident, Peter Button, was killed in Tunbridge near the Royalton town line along what is Rte. 110 today.
1781 – General Cornwallis finding no way out from Yorktown seige. At about 4:00 A.M. Lt. Colonel Robert Abercromby led 350 British troops on a sortie to spike allied guns now in position on the second parallel. Abercromby was able to spike four guns after pretending to be an American detachment. Moving to another position along the parallel, the British were this time driven back to their lines by a French covering party. However, they had managed to spike two more guns, but the allies were able to get all the spiked guns back into action within six hours. That evening, General Cornwallis attempted to ferry across the York River to see about fighting his way out by way of Gloucester, but a storm frustrated these efforts.
1846 – American dentist, William T. G. Morton first demonstrated ether anesthesia at the Massachusetts General Hospital in the Ether Dome.
1859 – On Sunday evening radical abolitionist John Brown and a tiny army of five black and 13 white supporters seized the Federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia). Convinced that local slaves would rise up behind him, Brown planned to establish a new republic of fugitives in the Appalachian Mountains. Brown’s plans immediately went awry when the expected slave rebellion did not happen and the townspeople trapped Brown’s men inside the engine house at the Federal arsenal. Within 24 hours, Brown and his four surviving men were captured by a force of 90 U.S. Marines under the command of Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee. Brown, quickly convicted of criminal conspiracy and treason and sentenced to death, was hanged on December 2, 1859. As he went to the gallows, Brown handed a note to one of his guards: “I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.”
1861 – The Confederacy started selling postage stamps.
1909 – William Howard Taft and Porfirio Díaz hold a summit, a first between a U.S. and a Mexican president, and they only narrowly escape assassination. Frederick Russell Burnham, a private security officer, and Private C.R. Moore, a Texas Ranger, discovered a man holding a concealed palm pistol standing at the El Paso Chamber of Commerce building along the procession route. Burnham and Moore captured and disarmed the assassin within only a few feet of Taft and Díaz.
1940 – Benjamin O. Davis, became the U.S. Army’s first African American Brigadier General. His promotion to Brigadier General aroused a brief but intense controversy, both on account of his race and because it came just a month before the presidential elections, it was viewed by some as politically motivated on the part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In command of the 2nd Cavalry Brigade at Fort Riley, Kansas, on promotion. He retired in 1941, but was immediately recalled to active duty and assigned to the Officer of the Inspector General of the Army. During World War II, he served in the European Theater of Operations as adviser on race relations in the Army. Returning to his post as Assistant Inspector General he retired again from the Army in 1948 after 50 years of service
1940 – Registration begins for the draft according to the provisions of the Selective Service Act. The first drafts will be balloted on October 29th. This is the first peacetime draft in US history.
1942 – Near Guadalcanal, American aircraft from the carrier USS Hornet raid supply bases on Santa Isabel. On Guadalcanal, the Japanese increase their bombardment of American positions in preparation for a major attack.1943 – As the US 5th Army offensive continues, German forces conduct a fighting withdrawal to the Barbara Line, in accordance with Kesselring’s orders.
1944 – Around Aachen, troops of the US 19th and 8th Corps (elements of US 1st Army) link up to the east of the city, completing its encirclement. Farther south, the US 6th Corps (part of US 7th Army) encounters heavy German resistance around Bruyeres on the Moselle River. To the south, the French 1st Army begins new attacks.
1944 – Land-based aircraft of US 13th and 5th Air Forces, from Biak, Sansapor and Morotai, attack targets on Mindanao. US Task Group 77.4 (Admiral TF Sprague), with 18 escort carriers, launches air strikes on Leyte, Cebu and Mindanao.
1946 – Ten Nazi war criminals condemned during the Nuremberg trials were hanged. The defendants included: Luftwaffe commander Hermann Göring, who was sentenced to death but committed suicide the morning of the execution; former deputy Führer Rudolph Hess, sentenced to life imprisonment; Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, hanged; head of the armed forces high command Wilhelm Keitel, hanged; writer and “philosopher” of National Socialism Alfred Rosenberg; U-boat Admiral Karl Dönitz, 10-year imprisonment; Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, life imprisonment; Hitler Youth leader Baldur von Shirach, 20-year imprisonment; procurer of slave labor Fritz Sauckel, hanged; and Alfred Jodl, chief of staff of the German high command, hanged. The hanging was badly botched as most Nazis slowly strangle to death. Also hanged were: Hans Frank, Governor-General of occupied Poland; Wilhelm Frick, Hitler’s Minister of the Interior; Julius Streicher, rabid anti-Semite editor of Der Sturmer; Alfred Rosenberg, Nazi philosopher and war criminal; Arthur Seyss-Inquart (54), Nazi leader of occupied Holland; Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Austrian Nazi and SS leader.
1962 – The Cuban missile crisis began as President Kennedy was informed that reconnaissance photographs had revealed the presence of missile bases in Cuba. Kennedy organized the Executive Committee of the National Security Council. These 19 men will help him through the coming crisis.
1964 – Red China detonated its first atomic bomb and became the world’s 4th nuclear power.
1973 – Henry Kissinger and Lê Đức Thọ are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
1987 – In the Persian Gulf, an Iranian missile hit a re-flagged Kuwaiti ship in the first direct attack on the tanker fleet guarded by the U.S. 1990 – US forces reached 200,000 in Persian Gulf.
1993 – The U.N. Security Council endorsed the deployment of U.S. warships to block arms and oil shipments to Haiti in an attempt to increase pressure on Haiti’s military leaders.
1997 – Pres. Clinton designated Argentina a “non-NATO ally” during a speech in Buenos Aires.
1997 – Bosnian Serb hard-liners launched a guerrilla-style TV broadcast and attacked the West’s efforts to silence them.
1998 – Serbian Pres. Milosevic was given an additional 10 days to withdraw forces from Kosovo and comply with UN demands.
1999 – A New York Air National Guard plane rescued Dr. Jerri Nielsen from a South Pole research center after she’d spent five months isolated by the Antarctic winter, which forced her to treat herself for a breast lump.
1999 – In Afghanistan the Taliban rejected the UN ultimatum to surrender Osama bin Laden and castigated the UN for threatening sanctions.
1999 – The 1st graduate class of the Kosovo Police Service School was honored in Pristina.
2000 – President Clinton launched a fresh effort to try to cool Middle East tensions at an emergency summit in Egypt that included Israeli and Palestinian leaders, as well as the leaders of Egypt and Jordan and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
2000 – Milosevic allies agreed to share power until elections. A German newspaper reported that the Milosevic family had $100 million in foreign accounts with some of the money from drug trafficking. Swiss authorities had already frozen 100 bank accounts worth $57 million linked to Milosevic and his allies.
2001 – A wing of the US Senate building was closed following confirmation that a letter to Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., carried anthrax. It was later found that the anthrax contained the additive bentonite to enhance suspension in air. 12 Senate offices were closed as hundreds of staffers underwent anthrax tests.
2001 – Over 100 aircraft struck targets in Afghanistan and 2 gunships fired on Taliban and al Qaeda troops. U.S. bombs struck the Red Cross compound in Afghanistan, injuring a guard.
2001 – US Customs at JFK found $140,763 in the luggage of Basam Nahshal who was bound for Yemen. A 2nd man Ali Alfatimi claimed the money was his and was being smuggled to Yemen as part of his travel business.
2001 – Taliban leaders withdrew over $5 million from the Kandahar Da Afghanistan Bank.
2001 – Operation Active Endarvour is christened. It operates in the Mediterranean Sea and is designed to prevent the movement of terrorists or weapons of mass destruction as well as to enhance the security of shipping in general. It began on October 4, 2001 as one of the eight NATO responses to the September 11, 2001 attacks. It was one of the first military actions taken by NATO in response to an invocation of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty which provides for collective defense. The current operation is conducted by Standing NRF Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) and Standing NRF Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2). Since its inception, the ships of Active Endeavour have monitored over 79,000 ships (as of April 12, 2006) and conducted voluntary boardings of over 100. They have also escorted over 480 ships through the Strait of Gibraltar until escorting was suspended in 2004.
2002 – The US offered a compromise proposal at the UN that called for serious consequences if Iraq does not comply with weapons inspections.
2002 – A Bush administration official reported that North Korea had told the United States it has a secret nuclear weapons program in violation of a 1994 agreement signed with the Clinton administration.
2002 – Congress gives President George W. Bush the authority to invade Iraq to locate and destroy Saddam Hussein’s suspected stockpiles of Weapons of Mass Destruction. While the authorization encourages Bush to seek UN support for such action it did not require him to have it in order to attack Iraq. The war, known as Operation Iraqi Freedom, starts in March 2003.
2003 – Iraqi police backed by American tanks forced out the renegade Sadr City council.
2003 – Palestinian police arrested 7 suspects in Jebaliya for a deadly attack on US diplomats, briefly exchanging fire with the militants during a nighttime raid. The suspects were members of the Popular Resistance Committees, a group of dozens of armed men from various factions, former members of the security forces and disgruntled followers of Yasser Arafat.
2003 – The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution aimed at attracting aid to stabilize Iraq and putting it on the road to independence.
2004 – In Iraq a Fallujah delegation offered to resume peace talks with the government if the US ceases attacks against the city and releases the chief negotiator. 2 US Army helicopters crashed in Baghdad and 2 soldiers were killed.
2004 – Saudi security forces captured four suspected terrorists in the Khaleej neighborhood of Riyadh.
2006 – American and Russian scientists announce the discovery of a new chemical element with the atomic number 118, temporarily designated as Ununoctium.
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 20th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Murfrees Station, Va., 16 October 1864. Entered service at:——. Birth: Clayton, N.Y. Date of issue: Unknown. Citation: Volunteered to swim Blackwater River to get a large flat used as a ferry on other side; succeeded in getting the boat safely across, making it possible for a detachment to cross the river and take possession of the enemy’s breastworks.
NEIBAUR, THOMAS C.
Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company M, 107th Infantry, 42d Division. Place and date: Near Landres-et-St. Georges, France, 16 October 1918. Entered service at: Sugar City, Idaho. Born: 17 May 1898, Sharon, Idaho. G.O. No.: 1 18, W .D., 1918. Citation: On the afternoon of 16 October 1918, when the Cote-de-Chatillion had just been gained after bitter fighting and the summit of that strong bulwark in the Kriemhilde Stellung was being organized, Pvt. Neibaur was sent out on patrol with his automatic rifle squad to enfilade enemy machinegun nests. As he gained the ridge he set up his automatic rifle and was directly thereafter wounded in both legs by fire from a hostile machinegun on his flank. The advance wave of the enemy troops, counterattacking, had about gained the ridge, and although practically cut off and surrounded, the remainder of his detachment being killed or wounded, this gallant soldier kept his automatic rifle in operation to such effect that by his own efforts and by fire from the skirmish line of his company, at least 100 yards in his rear, the attack was checked. The enemy wave being halted and Iying prone, 4 of the enemy attacked Pvt. Neibaur at close quarters. These he killed. He then moved alone among the enemy Iying on the ground about him, in the midst of the fire from his own lines, and by coolness and gallantry captured 11 prisoners at the point of his pistol and, although painfully wounded, brought them back to our lines. The counterattack in full force was arrested to a large extent by the single efforts of this soldier, whose heroic exploits took place against the skyline in full view of his entire battalion.
*BAUER, HAROLD WILLIAM
Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 20 November 1908. Woodruff, Kans. Appointed from: Nebraska. Citation: For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous courage as Squadron Commander of Marine Fighting Squadron 212 in the South Pacific Area during the period 10 May to 14 November 1942. Volunteering to pilot a fighter plane in defense of our positions on Guadalcanal, Lt. Col. Bauer participated in 2 air battles against enemy bombers and fighters outnumbering our force more than 2 to 1, boldly engaged the enemy and destroyed 1 Japanese bomber in the engagement of 28 September and shot down 4 enemy fighter planes in flames on 3 October, leaving a fifth smoking badly. After successfully leading 26 planes on an over-water ferry flight of more than 600 miles on 16 October, Lt. Col. Bauer, while circling to land, sighted a squadron of enemy planes attacking the U.S.S. McFarland. Undaunted by the formidable opposition and with valor above and beyond the call of duty, he engaged the entire squadron and, although alone and his fuel supply nearly exhausted, fought his plane so brilliantly that 4 of the Japanese planes were destroyed before he was forced down by lack of fuel. His intrepid fighting spirit and distinctive ability as a leader and an airman, exemplified in his splendid record of combat achievement, were vital factors in the successful operations in the South Pacific Area.