October 26

26 October

1682 – William Penn accepted the area around Delaware River from Duke of York.
1774The first Continental Congress, which protested British measures and called for civil disobedience, concluded in Philadelphia. The Congress, which included delegated from 12 of the 13 colonies, Georgia had decided not to attend and were distracted by restive Creek Indians, had met at the Philadelphia Carpenter’s Hall. Major actions taken by the Congress included the following: The Association. The Congress adopted the Continental Association, or simply, the Association, which established a total boycott by means of non-importation, non-exportation and non-consumption accords. These agreements were to be enforced by a group of committees in each community, which would publish the names of merchants defying the boycott, confiscate contraband and encourage public frugality. Declaration of Rights and Grievances. The Congress composed a statement of American complaints. It was addressed to King George III, to whom the delegates remained loyal, and pointedly not to Parliament. The radical elements were critical of the Declaration because it conceded the right of Parliament to regulate colonial trade, a traditional view long held by most Americans, but one that was losing favor in the mid-1770s. Future Meeting. Finally the Congress agreed to convene the following spring if colonial complaints had not been properly addressed. That meeting, the Second Continental Congress, was indeed called in May 1775 in the wake of the battles of Lexington and Concord. The First Continental Congress was regarded as a success by both the general public and the delegates. The latter, despite heated and frequent disagreements, had come to understand the problems and aspirations of people living in other colonies. Many of the friendships forged there would make easier the gargantuan task of governing the new nation in the coming years.
1774Minutemen were selected in the American colonies. The terms militia and minutemen are sometimes used interchangeably, but there was a difference between them. Militia were military units formed to protect their towns from foreign invasion. Minutemen, on the other hand, were a small elite force, hand-picked by militia commanders, which were required to be able to assemble quickly. Usually 25 years of age or younger, they were chosen for their enthusiasm, reliability, and physical strength. Usually about a fourth of the militia served as Minutemen. Although today Minutemen are thought of as originating in the War for Independence, they actually began in Massachusetts during as early as 1645. Equipped with matchlocks or pikes, they were to report within half an hour of being warned. One thing the Minutemen lacked was central leadership, a flaw that would lead to their dissolution. At Concord, Minutemen companies from Concord, Acton, Littleton, and other towns combined their units. They were sent to the North Bridge in Concord with a number of light infantry. After a few volleys were fired, the British light infantry retreated back to the Concord Common area. Lacking central command, each company of Minutemen chose their own action and they did not pursue the redcoats. In the running battle that ensued fifteen miles back to Boston the Massachusetts militia would see their last action as Minutemen in history. The militia would go on to form an army, surrounding Boston and inflicting heavy casualties on the British army at Bunker and Breed’s Hill.
1775 – King George III of Great Britain goes before Parliament to declare the American colonies in rebellion, and authorized a military response to quell the American Revolution.
1776 – Benjamin Franklin departs from America for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution.
1787“Federalist Papers,” a series of articles written under the pen name of Publius by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, were published and called for ratification of Constitution. Madison, widely recognized as the Father of the Constitution, would later go on to become President of the United States. Jay would become the first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. Hamilton would serve in the Cabinet and become a major force in setting economic policy for the US.
1795Pinckney’s Treaty (Treaty of San Lorenzo) between Spain and US was signed. Spain recognized U.S. borders at the Mississippi and the 31st parallel (the northern border of Florida, a Spanish possession) and granted Americans the right to deposit goods for transshipment at New Orleans. The second provision was a vital concern of American farmers in the West. Efforts to transport their goods to market in the East by overland routes were time-consuming and expensive. The right of deposit allows one nation to temporarily store goods on another nation’s soil without paying any fees or duties. Spain granted these concessions to the United States, not from fear of America’s military might, but from concern over major power diplomatic realities. Spain was a rival of Britain and noted the warming relationship between Britain and the U.S. as evidenced in Jay’s Treaty. Therefore, Spain hoped to keep Britain off balance by establishing a positive relationship with America.
1813Invading Canada from Lake Champlain, American General Wayne Hampton advanced down the Chateaugay River against defenses established by General Sir George Prevost. An American detachment under Colonel Robert Purdy was repulsed by Canadian militia led by Colonel Charles-Michel Salaberry, forcing Hampton to withdraw and later resign his commission.
1861The Pony Express ended after 18 months of operation. Financially, the owners spent $700,000 on the Pony Express and had a $200,000 deficit. The company failed to get the million dollar government contract because of political pressures and the outbreak of the Civil War. Improved communication between east and west. Proved the central route could be traveled all winter. Supported the central route for the transcontinental railroad. Kept communication open to California at the beginning of the Civil War. Provided the fastest communication between east and west until the telegraph. Captured the hearts and the imagination of people all over the world.
1864“Bloody Bill” Anderson, Confederate guerilla, is killed. Notorious Confederate guerrilla leader William “Bloody Bill” Anderson is killed in Missouri in an ambush. Born in Kentucky in 1839, Anderson grew up in Missouri and moved to Kansas in 1857. Arriving to settle on his father’s land claim east of Council Grove, he was soon enmeshed in the bitter fight over slavery that gave the area the nickname “Bleeding Kansas.” Before the war, he trafficked stolen horses and escorted wagon trains along the Santa Fe Trail. When the war broke out, Anderson joined an antislavery, pro-Union band of guerillas known as “Jayhawkers.” He soon switched sides and joined a band of pro-Confederate “Bushwhackers.” In the partisan warfare of Kansas and Missouri, these groups were often more interested in robbery, looting, and personal gain than advancement of a political cause. Anderson’s father was killed in a dispute in 1862. Anderson and his brother Jim gunned down the killer and then moved the family back to western Missouri. Anderson became the head of a band ranging from 30 to 40 guerillas, and his activities cast a shadow of suspicion over the rest of his family. The Union commander along the border, General Thomas Ewing, arrested several wives and sisters of a notorious band, led by William Quantrill, that was terrorizing and murdering Union sympathizers. While Anderson commanded his own band, he often collaborated with Quantrill’s larger force. As a result, the group Ewing arrested also included three of Anderson’s sisters, who were imprisoned in a temporary Union jail in Kansas City. On August 14, the structure collapsed, killing Anderson’s 14-year-old sister Josephine and injuring his two other sisters. Quantrill assembled 450 men to exact revenge against the abolitionist community of Lawrence, Kansas. On August 21, the band killed 150 residents and burned much of the town. Anderson was credited with 14 murders that day. Anderson went to Texas that winter, got married, and returned to Missouri in 1864 with a band of about 50 fighters. Anderson embarked on a summer of violence, leading his group on a campaign that killed hundreds and caused extensive damage. The climax came on September 27 when Anderson’s gang joined with several others to pillage the town of Centralia, Missouri. When more than 100 Union soldiers pursued them, the guerillas ambushed and massacred the entire detachment. Just a month later, Anderson’s band was caught in a Union ambush outside of Albany, Missouri, and Anderson was killed by two bullets to his head. The body of the “blood-drenched savage,” as he became known in the area, was placed on public display. Anderson kept a rope to record his killings, and there were 54 knots in it at the time of his death.
1864General Price, heading north toward St. Louis, received word at Fredericktown of Federal positions. Spies told him that 8,000 troops were encamped near St. Louis and ready to defend the city. He was also told that a garrison of 1,500 Federals was at the nearby town of Pilot Knob. The old general saw the chance of an easy victory and on September 26, he sent General Shelby northward to destroy the tracks and bridges of the Iron Mountain Railroad, cutting off the Union force at Pilot Knob from St. Louis reinforcements. The rest of Price’s army marched toward Pilot Knob until late in the afternoon when they collided with Federals at a spot called Shut-In Gap near the town of Arcadia where indecisive skirmishing took place until darkness fell. At sunrise the struggle resumed with the Federals fighting a delaying action through Ironton to Pilot Knob where their commander, Brig. Gen. Thomas Ewing, ordered his men to take up positions at Fort Davidson. Surrounded by a dry moat ten feet wide and over six feet deep, the fort was an eight-sided structure with a nine-foot high dirt parapet topped with sandbags. An impressive network of trenches beyond its walls provided the fort with outer defenses. Gen. Ewing’s force was not 1,500 strong as reported to Price, but actually consisted of no more than 900 men, some of whom were civilian volunteers from the vicinity. However, with four huge siege guns, three howitzers, three mortars, and six field artillery pieces, Ewing’s men prepared to hold the fort against the thousands of Confederates massing before them. That afternoon, after a short and pitifully ineffective bombardment of the fort by four cannons situated on high ground, Price ordered an assault. The high-pitched Rebel yell echoed through the valley as thousands of men hurled themselves into a hideous storm of shot and shell. Three times they charged the walls; three times they failed to take them. The hellish gunfire mowed down scores of brave, young soldiers. A few reached the moat, only to be slaughtered by rifle fire and crude grenades. As the thunder of the guns finally subsided, thick clouds of sulfureous gunsmoke drifted away to reveal a ghastly scene of carnage. The fields before Fort Davidson were covered with nearly 1,000 dead and wounded men. The surviving Confederates bivouacked for the night and prepared to renew the bloody contest in the morning, building ladders to scale the fort’s walls. Word that the hated General Ewing was in command of the Union force no doubt strengthened the resolve of the Southerners. Inside the fort, Ewing tallied up his casualties, only 75, and made plans to attempt an evacuation that night. Incredibly, he succeeded! At 3:00 A.m. his troops quietly slipped out of the fort, and in the nighttime chaos of battle preparations, the Union force was mistaken by Rebel pickets for friendly troops moving to a new position. An hour after the Yanks abandoned the fort, a slow burning fuse in the powder magazine accomplished its mission, setting off an incredible explosion that shook the surrounding hills and left a huge smoldering crater in the middle of the fort. Not taking a hint, the Confederates believed an accident had occurred within the stronghold and that the survivors would surrender at dawn. In the morning, Price learned that the fort was his but that Ewing and his men were gone. A subsequent attempt by a portion of the Confederate force to overtake the Federals was unsuccessful. There was no victory for the Confederates to celebrate at Pilot Knob and large numbers of troops began deserting the Army of Missouri soon after the bloody debacle.
1876President Grant sent federal troops to SC. The soldiers assigned to South Carolina belonged to the 7th Cavalry, Lt. Col. (Brevet Maj. Gen.) George Armstrong Custer’s regiment, which had recently fought the Cheyennes on the Great Plains. The troops were headquartered in York County, the center for much of the Klan activity in the state, and they were commanded by 37-year-old Major Lewis M. Merrill. At first skeptical of the seemingly alarmist accounts of the KKK, Merrill soon became convinced of the basic truth of the allegations and would go on to play a crucial role in combating terrorism in the state.
1889 – Marine Barracks was established at Naval Station, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
1912By an executive order Delaware was represented by the first star and Delaware wais represented by the top stripe of the American flag. Delaware was the first of the 13 colonies to ratify the Constitution, on Dec. 7, 1787. It was thus assigned the top of the 13 stripes and the first of the then 48 stars by an executive order signed by President William Howard Taft. Each subsequent stripe was then assigned to the colonies in the order in which they ratified the Constitution. The first 13 stars (from left to right) also represent the order in which the colonies ratified, and are then followed by the rest of the states in the order in which they were admitted into the Union.
1918 – General Erich Ludendorff is replaces a deputy chief of the General Staff by General Wilhelm Groener. Ludendorff has recently quarreled with his superior, Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg and has suggested that Germany seek an armistice.
1921 – In first successful test, a compressed air, turntable catapult, launches an N-9 seaplane. This type of catapult was later installed on battleships, replacing turret-mounted platforms for launching aircraft.
1922 – LCDR Godfrey deC. Chevalier makes first landing aboard a carrier (USS Langley) while underway off Cape Henry, Virginia.
1939On the eve of the Senate vote on amending the Neutrality Act, President Roosevelt delivers a fireside chat: “In and out of Congress we have heard orators and commentators and others beating their breasts proclaiming against sending the boys of American mothers to fight on the battlefields of Europe. That I do not hesitate to label as one of the worst fakes in current history. It is a deliberate setup of an imaginary bogy.”
1940ParaMarines organize at Lakehurst, New Jersey. Two Marine parachute operations were planned during the war in the Pacific, but were both cancelled. The only combat jump by the Paramarines was in Southern France when a group of Marines jumped as part of an Office of Startegic Services (OSS) team to aid the French Resistance. For the remainder of the war, the Paramarines were employed as regular infantry in the Pacific. In 1944 the Regiment was disbanded when it was decided the need for airborne Marines were no longer needed.
1940The P-51 Mustang makes its maiden flight. The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang was an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II, the Korean War and other conflicts. The Mustang was conceived, designed and built by North American Aviation (NAA) in response to a specification issued directly to NAA by the British Purchasing Commission. The prototype NA-73X airframe was rolled out on 9 September 1940, 102 days after the contract was signed and, with an engine installed, first flew on this date. The Mustang was originally designed to use the Allison V-1710 engine, which had limited high-altitude performance. It was first flown operationally by the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a tactical-reconnaissance aircraft and fighter-bomber (Mustang Mk I). The addition of the Rolls-Royce Merlin to the P-51B/C model transformed the Mustang’s performance at altitudes above 15,000 ft, matching or bettering that of the Luftwaffe’s fighters. The definitive version, the P-51D, was powered by the Packard V-1650-7, a license-built version of the Rolls-Royce Merlin 60 series two-stage two-speed supercharged engine, and armed with six .50 caliber (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns. From late 1943, P-51Bs (supplemented by P-51Ds from mid-1944) were used by the USAAF’s Eighth Air Force to escort bombers in raids over Germany, while the RAF’s 2 TAF and the USAAF’s Ninth Air Force used the Merlin-powered Mustangs as fighter-bombers, roles in which the Mustang helped ensure Allied air superiority in 1944. The P-51 was also in service with Allied air forces in the North African, Mediterranean and Italian theaters, and saw limited service against the Japanese in the Pacific War. During World War II, Mustang pilots claimed 4,950 enemy aircraft shot down. At the start of the Korean War, the Mustang was the main fighter of the United Nations until jet fighters such as the F-86 took over this role; the Mustang then became a specialized fighter-bomber. Despite the advent of jet fighters, the Mustang remained in service with some air forces until the early 1980s. After World War II and the Korean War, many Mustangs were converted for civilian use, especially air racing, and increasingly, preserved and flown as historic warbird aircraft at airshows.
1942The Battle of Santa Cruz. Both American and Japanese forces launch at dawn. Two hours later the Japanese attack reach and seriously damages the USS Hornet. Both attacks have been launched at the extreme edge of the aircrafts’ range and the Japanese have the advantage as their range is longer. When the American planes find part of the Japanese force, there is not enough fuel left for an organized attack, however, the cruiser Chikuma of Admiral Abe’s Vanguard Group is damaged. The remainder of the planes attack the carrier Shokaku and damage it heavily. A second wave of Japanese attackers severely damages the USS Enterprise but many of the planes are shot down by the antiaircraft guns of the South Dakota. The third wave of Japanese planes from the Junyo suffer the same fate. Enough though the Enterprise is made partially operational, Admiral Kinkaid decides to withdraw. The battle is considered a Japanese victory. The damaged USS Enterprise is now the only American carrier in the Pacific. However, the victory is costly as again loss of Japanese aircrew is high and the lost of aircraft has removed the effectiveness of the undamaged aircraft carrier Zuikaku. The loss of planes and crew also mean that no attack on Henderson Field airstrip is possible.
1944 – US 7th Army continues to fight for St. Die.
1944On land, elements of US 24th Corps unsuccessfully attack Japanese positions on Catmon Hill, north of Dulag. The defenders fall back after the battle. Japanese reinforcements arrive at Ormoc. At sea, American air attacks continue to harass the retiring Japanese squadrons. Three Japanese cruisers are sunk.
1944 – Special Task Air Group One makes last attack in month long demonstration of TDR drone missile against Japanese shipping and islands in the Pacific. Of 46 missiles fired, 29 reached their target areas.
1950 – U.S. Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet lands 1st Marine Division at Wonsan, Korea
1950A reconnaissance platoon for a South Korean division reached the Yalu River. They were the only elements of the U.N. force to reach the river before the Chinese offensive pushed the whole army down into South Korea. The ROK 1st and 6th ROK Infantry Divisions captured the first Chinese prisoners of the Korean War. The prisoners reported that the units of the Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) 40th and 56th Army had crossed into Korea in the past two weeks. The ROK 6th Infantry Division reached the Yalu River at Chosan.
1955Ngo Dinh Diem proclaimed Vietnam a republic with himself as the president. Ngo Dinh Diem declares that pursuant to the wishes of the South Vietnamese people, as evidenced in a national referendum a few days before, the Republic of Vietnam is now in existence and that he will serve as the nation’s first president. The event marked a crucial step in the deepening U.S. involvement in Vietnam, and gave evidence of some troubling aspects that would characterize Diem’s eight years in power. Peace agreements in 1954, between the French and Vietnamese nationalists battling for independence, left Vietnam a divided country. In the north, Ho Chi Minh and his communist supporters were in control. In the south the French installed a weak “nationalist” government led by Bao Dai. National elections were to be held in two years to reunify the nation and select a leader. The United States was not a party to this agreement and quickly determined to save southern Vietnam from Ho’s control. Diem was viewed by U.S. officials as the best hope for a leader for an independent, democratic South Vietnam. In 1954 Bao Dai named Diem as premier. By 1955, Diem decided to jettison Bao Dai and take control. He called a national referendum, which was supported by the United States. The resulting balloting was an embarrassment to all concerned (except Diem). Diem received 98.2 percent of the vote. (Just a short time earlier, President Eisenhower had criticized elections in Iron Curtain countries, claiming that no one receives over 90 percent of the vote in a truly free election.) Charges of corruption were immediately raised, and it was soon discovered that the 400,000 voters in Saigon cast over 600,000 ballots. Nevertheless, Diem succeeded. Bao Dai was out, and Diem’s rule was complete. The United States, despite some qualms about exactly how “democratic” Diem’s government would be, recognized the new president. The nation of South Vietnam was now a reality, and the United States had committed itself to its new government and leader.
1962JFK warned Russia that the US would not allow Soviet missiles to remain in Cuba. Nikita Khrushchev sent note to JFK offering to withdraw his missiles from Cuba if US closed its bases in Turkey. The offer was rejected. A boarding party from the Pierce and Kennedy executed the first quarantine interdiction of the Marucla. A tanker, the Groznyy is placed under aerial surveillance. Three more Soviet ships en route to Cuba were reported to have changed course and were returning to their ports of departure. They were the Vishnevsky, Okhotsk, and Sergev Botkin. Later in the day, Lawrence and MacDonough were shadowing Groznyy. The tanker had several cylindrical tanks topside and had declared them to contain ammonia.
1962 – At the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, second-in-command Vasilli Arkhipov of the Soviet submarine B-59 refused to agree with his Captain’s order to launch nuclear torpedos against US warships and setting off what might well have been a terminal superpower nuclear war.  The US had been dropping depth charges near the submarine in an attempt to force it to surface, unaware it was carrying nuclear arms. The Soviet officers, who had lost radio contact with Moscow, concluded that World War 3 had begun, and 2 of the officers agreed to ‘blast the warships out of the water’. Arkhipov refused to agree – unanimous consent of 3 officers was required – and thanks to him, we are here to talk about it.
1963 – USS Andrew Jackson (SSBN-619) launches first Polaris A-3 missile from a submerged submarine, off Cape Canaveral, Florida.
1966A fire breaks out on board the 42,000-ton U.S. aircraft carrier Oriskany in the Gulf of Tonkin. The accident occurred when a locker filled with night illumination magnesium flares burst into flame. The fire spread quickly through most of the ship, resulting in 35 officers and eight enlisted men killed and a further 16 injured. The loss of life would have been much higher except for the valor of crewmen who pushed 300 500-pound, 1,000-pound, and 2,000-pound bombs that lay within reach of the flames on the hangar deck overboard. The fire destroyed four fighter-bombers and two helicopters, but it was brought under control after three hours. The fallen were returned to the United States for burial.
1967 – The Shah of Iran crowned himself and his Queen after 26 years on the Peacock Throne.
1968The 1st Infantry Division troops are attacked in Binh Long Province (III Corps), 60 miles north of Saigon near the Cambodian border. Communist forces launched a mortar, rocket, and ground attack against Fire Support Base (FSB) Julie, eight miles west of An Loc. Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry, manned the FSB. U.S. B-52s conducted 22 strikes over the area in an effort to disperse a reported massing of North Vietnamese forces. The defenders were successful in fending off the Communist attack but eight soldiers were killed and 33 were wounded.
1972 – National security adviser Henry Kissinger declared, “Peace is at hand” in Vietnam.
1972Igor Sikorsky (83), Russian-born helicopter pioneer, died. Igor Ivan Sikorsky pioneered early Russian aviation while barely out of his teens and had the longest continuous aeronautical career in history-more than 60 years. Among his early achievements was the world’s first four-engined airplane in 1913, the precursor to the most successful bomber of World War I. Immigrating to the United States in 1919, he founded the Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corporation, the forerunner of the present helicopter manufacturing giant, the Sikorsky Division of United Technologies. In the 1930’s, Sikorsky designed and manufactured a series of successful large passenger carrying flying boats that pioneered the transocean commercial air routes in the Caribbean and Pacific. In 1909, in Russia, he had unsuccessfully experimented with rotary-wing aircraft, and his first models failed only for want of a lightweight engine of sufficient power. He nurtured the dream, however, and on September 14, 1939, produced his first practical helicopter, the VS-300. A later model in 1943, the R-4, became the world’s first production rotary-wing craft. This led to highly successful helicopters widely used by all U.S. military services, more than 50 foreign countries, and most of the world’s scheduled helicopter airlines. The recipient of a great many honors in his lifetime, he has received the National Medal for Science and the Wright Brother’s Memorial Trophy. Few advancements in aeronautical science have had such impact on mankind as his invention of the helicopter.
1977 – The experimental space shuttle Enterprise glided to a bumpy but successful landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. This is the 5th and final test.
1993A man described as a mentally disturbed musician shot dead two American businessmen and an eminent French jurist as they ate dinner at a luxury Cairo hotel. An Italian injured in the attack later died, three other people were wounded. The government said the attacker was mentally retarded and was not a Gama’a Islaami member, but some sources described him as a militant sympathiser.
1998 – In Afghanistan the Taliban ordered an investigation of Osama bin Laden.
1998 – A UN panel reported that the Iraqi government lied to UN weapons inspectors about its nerve gas arsenal and had loaded the VX nerve agent on at least 2 warheads during the Persian Gulf War.
1998 – In Kosovo Serb forces appeared to be withdrawing under the threat of NATO air strikes.
1999 – Unidentified armed Yemenni tribesmen kidnapped three US citizens. The tribesmen demanded the government release five fellow tribesmen, according to press reports. The hostages were released unharmed on 28 October.
1999 – The US CIA agreed to give Germany copies of some 32,000 files that belonged to the Stasi, the former East German intelligence service. The CIA acquired the files in 1989.
2001 – Pres. Bush signed a sweeping anti-terrorism bill into law. It gave police and intelligence agencies vast new powers to fight terrorism. The USA Patriot Act.
2001 – Anthrax was found in the offices of 3 lawmakers in the Longworth House Office building on Capital Hill. The Supreme Court was shut down to test for anthrax spores.
2001 – Lockheed Martin won a $200 million military contract, the biggest in US history, for a new fleet of fighter jets for the US and British forces.
2001 – In Afghanistan the Taliban captured and executed Abdul Haq, a prominent opposition leader, who was attempting to arrange defections.
2001 – In Colombia US ambassador Anne Patterson said the US would provide counter-terrorist aid: “Colombia has 10% of the terrorist groups in the world.”
2002President Bush launched urgent diplomatic talks to unite Japan, South Korea and other allies behind a strategy to deal with a nuclear-armed North Korea. He also sought support for possible war with Iraq as Pacific Rim leaders stung by terrorism gathered for their annual summit.
2002 – Pacific Rim prime ministers and presidents united to tackle the most urgent of missions, preventing the melting borders of a connected world from enabling terrorists to undermine the push toward prosperity.
2003 – Iraqi insurgents attacked the heavily guarded al Rashid hotel with a missile barrage that killed an American colonel, wounded 18 other people.
2004 – Spacecraft Cassini flew within 745 miles of Titan providing scientists with new images of the Saturn largest moon.
2004 – A US airstrike in Fallujah killed an aide to Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. An Iraqi insurgent group, meanwhile, said on a Web site it had taken 11 Iraqi National Guard soldiers hostage.
2006 – George W. Bush signs into law The Secure Fence Act of 2006 to build a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. Congress has failed to fund the project sufficiently to finish the fence.
2007 – An explosion shakes the Mexican consulate in New York City. The explosion was caused by two thrown hand grenades aided by additional explosive material. 7 injuries were reported, with several windows blown out and debris entering the building.
2014 – Camp Leatherneck, an American base, and Camp Bastion, the last remaining British base in Afghanistan, next to it are handed over to the Afghan Government.

Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day

Rank and organization: Boatswain’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 1852, Ireland. Accredited to: New York. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Supply, Flannagan rescued from drowning David Walsh, seaman, of Le Havre, France, 26 October 1878.

Rank and organization: Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born. 1853 Montreal, Canada. Accredited to: New Jersey. G.O. No.: 326, 18 October 1884. Second award. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Kearsarge, at Hampton Roads, Va., 26 October 1881, Sweeney jumped overboard and assisted in saving from drowning a shipmate who had fallen overboard into a strongly running tide.

Rank and organization: Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 29 April 1877, Washington, D.C. Appointed from: District of Columbia. Citation: For extraordinary heroism and eminent and conspicuous conduct in battle at the junction of the Cadacan and Sohoton Rivers, Samar, Philippine Islands, 17 November 1901. In command of the columns upon their uniting ashore in the Sohoton Region, Col. Porter (then Capt. ) made a surprise attack on the fortified cliffs and completely routed the enemy, killing 30 and capturing and destroying the powder magazine, 40 lantacas (guns), rice, food and cuartels. Due to his courage, intelligence, discrimination and zeal, he successfully led his men up the cliffs by means of bamboo ladders to a height of 200 feet. The cliffs were of soft stone of volcanic origin, in the nature of pumice and were honeycombed with caves. Tons of rocks were suspended in platforms held in position by vines and cables (known as bejuco) in readiness to be precipitated upon people below. After driving the insurgents from their position which was almost impregnable, being covered with numerous trails lined with poisoned spears, pits, etc., Col. Porter led his men across the river, scaled the cliffs on the opposite side, and destroyed the camps there. He and the men under his command overcame incredible difficulties and dangers in destroying positions which, according to reports from old prisoners, had taken 3 years to perfect, were held as a final rallying post, and were never before penetrated by white troops. Col. Porter also rendered distinguished public service in the presence of the enemy at Quinapundan River, Samar, Philippine Islands, on 26 October 1901.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company M, 312th Infantry, 78th Division. Place and date: At Grand-Pre, France, 26 October, 1918. Entered service at: Harrison, N.J. Born: S August 1895, Newark, N.J. G.O. No.: 16, W.D., 1919. Citation: Hearing a wounded man in a shell hole some distance away calling for water, Sgt. Sawelson, upon his own initiative, left shelter and crawled through heavy machinegun fire to where the man lay, giving him what water he had in his canteen. He then went back to his own shell hole, obtained more water, and was returning to the wounded man when he was killed by a machinegun bullet.

*CARSWELL, HORACE S., JR. (Air Mission)
Rank and organization: Major, 308th Bombardment Group, U.S. Army Air Corps. Place and date: Over South China Sea, 26 October 1944. Entered service at: San Angelo, Tex. Birth: Fort Worth, Tex. G.O. No.: 14, 4 February 1946. Citation: He piloted a B-24 bomber in a one-plane strike against a Japanese convoy in the South China Sea on the night of 26 October 1944. Taking the enemy force of 12 ships escorted by at least 2 destroyers by surprise, he made 1 bombing run at 600 feet, scoring a near miss on 1 warship and escaping without drawing fire. He circled. and fully realizing that the convoy was thoroughly alerted and would meet his next attack with a barrage of antiaircraft fire, began a second low-level run which culminated in 2 direct hits on a large tanker. A hail of steel from Japanese guns, riddled the bomber, knocking out 2 engines, damaging a third, crippling the hydraulic system, puncturing 1 gasoline tank, ripping uncounted holes in the aircraft, and wounding the copilot; but by magnificent display of flying skill, Maj. Carswell controlled the plane’s plunge toward the sea and carefully forced it into a halting climb in the direction of the China shore. On reaching land, where it would have been possible to abandon the staggering bomber, one of the crew discovered that his parachute had been ripped by flak and rendered useless; the pilot, hoping to cross mountainous terrain and reach a base. continued onward until the third engine failed. He ordered the crew to bail out while he struggled to maintain altitude. and, refusing to save himself, chose to remain with his comrade and attempt a crash landing. He died when the airplane struck a mountainside and burned. With consummate gallantry and intrepidity, Maj. Carswell gave his life in a supreme effort to save all members of his crew. His sacrifice. far beyond that required of him, was in keeping with the traditional bravery of America’s war heroes.

Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company M, 141st Infantry, 36th Infantry Division. Place and date: East of Belmont sur Buttant, France, 24-27 October 1944. Entered service at: Signal Mountain, Tenn. Birth: Signal Mountain, Tenn. G.O. No.: 53, July 1945. Citation: Leading a section of heavy machineguns supported by 1 platoon of Company K, he took a position near Hill 623, east of Belmont sur Buttant, France, on 24 October 1944, with the mission of covering the right flank of the 3d Battalion and supporting its action. T/Sgt. Coolidge went forward with a sergeant of Company K to reconnoiter positions for coordinating the fires of the light and heavy machineguns. They ran into an enemy force in the woods estimated to be an infantry company. T/Sgt. Coolidge, attempting to bluff the Germans by a show of assurance and boldness called upon them to surrender, whereupon the enemy opened fire. With his carbine, T/Sgt. Coolidge wounded 2 of them. There being no officer present with the force, T/Sgt. Coolidge at once assumed command. Many of the men were replacements recently arrived; this was their first experience under fire. T/Sgt. Coolidge, unmindful of the enemy fire delivered at close range, walked along the position, calming and encouraging his men and directing their fire. The attack was thrown back. Through 25 and 26 October the enemy launched repeated attacks against the position of this combat group but each was repulsed due to T/Sgt. Coolidge’s able leadership. On 27 October, German infantry, supported by 2 tanks, made a determined attack on the position. The area was swept by enemy small arms, machinegun, and tank fire. T/Sgt. Coolidge armed himself with a bazooka and advanced to within 25 yards of the tanks. His bazooka failed to function and he threw it aside. Securing all the hand grenades he could carry, he crawled forward and inflicted heavy casualties on the advancing enemy. Finally it became apparent that the enemy, in greatly superior force, supported by tanks, would overrun the position. T/Sgt. Coolidge, displaying great coolness and courage, directed and conducted an orderly withdrawal, being himself the last to leave the position. As a result of T/Sgt. Coolidge’s heroic and superior leadership, the mission of this combat group was accomplished throughout 4 days of continuous fighting against numerically superior enemy troops in rain and cold and amid dense woods.

Rank and organization: Platoon Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps. Place and date: Solomon Islands, 26 October 1942. Entered service at: Pennsylvania. Born: 31 August 1918, Charleroi, Pa. Citation: For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action above and beyond the call of duty while serving with a company of marines in combat against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands on 26 October 1942. When the enemy broke through the line directly in front of his position, P/Sgt. Paige, commanding a machinegun section with fearless determination, continued to direct the fire of his gunners until all his men were either killed or wounded. Alone, against the deadly hail of Japanese shells, he fought with his gun and when it was destroyed, took over another, moving from gun to gun, never ceasing his withering fire against the advancing hordes until reinforcements finally arrived. Then, forming a new line, he dauntlessly and aggressively led a bayonet charge, driving the enemy back and preventing a breakthrough in our lines. His great personal valor and unyielding devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Battery F, 2d Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Korea, 26 October 1952. Entered service at: East Lansing, Mich. Born: 29 October 1929, Hartford, Conn. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as an artillery forward observer of Battery F, in action against enemy aggressor forces on the night of 26 October 1952. When his observation post in an extremely critical and vital sector of the main line of resistance was subjected to a sudden and fanatical attack by hostile forces, supported by a devastating barrage of artillery and mortar fire which completely severed communication lines connecting the outpost with friendly firing batteries, 2d Lt. Skinner, in a determined effort to hold his position, immediately organized and directed the surviving personnel in the defense of the outpost, continuing to call down fire on the enemy by means of radio alone until his equipment became damaged beyond repair. Undaunted by the intense hostile barrage and the rapidly-closing attackers, he twice left the protection of his bunker in order to direct accurate machine gun fire and to replenish the depleted supply of ammunition and grenades. Although painfully wounded on each occasion, he steadfastly refused medical aid until the rest of the men received treatment. As the ground attack reached its climax, he gallantly directed the final defense until the meager supply of ammunition was exhausted and the position overrun. During the 3 hours that the outpost was occupied by the enemy, several grenades were thrown into the bunker which served as protection for 2d Lt. Skinner and his remaining comrades. Realizing that there was no chance for other than passive resistance, he directed his men to feign death even though the hostile troops entered the bunker and searched their persons. Later, when an enemy grenade was thrown between him and 2 other survivors, he immediately threw himself on the deadly missile in an effort to protect the others, absorbing the full force of the explosion and sacrificing his life for his comrades. By his indomitable fighting spirit, superb leadership, and great personal valor in the face of tremendous odds, 2d Lt. Skinner served to inspire his fellow marines in their heroic stand against the enemy and upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

One thought on “October 26

  1. r. h. says:

    1956 – Vietnam promulgates its constitution.

    1966 – President Johnson visits U.S. troops at Cam Ranh Bay.

    President Lyndon Johnson flies to South Vietnam after attending a meeting in Manila for a surprise two-and-a-half-hour visit with U.S. troops. This is the first of two visits to South Vietnam made during Johnson’s presidency.

    1972 – Henry Kissinger declares “Peace is at hand” in Vietnam.

    Radio Hanoi reveals terms of the peace proposal and accuses the U.S. of attempting to sabotage the settlement. At the White House, now a week before the presidential election, Henry Kissinger holds a press briefing and declares,

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