644 – Umar of Arabia, the 2nd Caliph of Islam, was assassinated at Medina and was succeeded as caliph by Uthman. On his deathbed Umar named a council to choose the next caliph. The council appointed Uthman. Uthman continued to expand the Muslim empire.
1791 – General Arthur St. Clair, governor of Northwest Territory, was badly defeated by a large Indian army near Fort Wayne. Miami Indian Chief Little Turtle led the powerful force of Miami, Wyandot, Iroquois, Shawnee, Delaware, Ojibwa and Potawatomi that inflicted the greatest defeat ever suffered by the U.S. Army at the hands of North American Indians. Some 623 regulars led by General Arthur St. Clair were killed and 258 wounded on the banks of the Wabash River near present day Fort Wayne, Indiana. The staggering defeat moved Congress to authorize a larger army in 1792.
1798 – Congress agreed to pay a yearly tribute to Tripoli, considering it the only way to protect U.S. shipping. The US has no appreciable Navy as yet. This is the most expedient and assured way to protect American shipping in the Mediterranean.
1835 – Lunsford Lindsay Lomax (d.1913), Major General (Confederate Army), was born at Newport, R.I., the son of Mann Page Lomax, of Virginia, a major of ordnance in the United States army. His mother, Elizabeth Lindsay, was a descendant of Captain Lindsay, who commanded a company in the light horse cavalry of Harry Lee during the Revolution, and lost an arm in the war for independence. His father, also, was of an old Virginia family. Young Lomax was educated in the schools of Richmond and Norfolk, and was appointed cadet-at-large, July 1, 1852, to the military academy at West point, where he was graduated July 1, 1856, and promoted to a brevet lieutenancy in the Second cavalry. He served on frontier duty in Kansas, Nebraska and that with promotion to second lieutenant of the First region cavalry, September 30, 1856, and first lieutenant, March 21, 1861, until the secession of his State from the United States. Resigning April 25, 1861, he offered his services to Virginia, and was appointed captain in the State forces April 28th. He was at once assigned to the staff of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, as assistant adjutant-general, and later was transferred to the field of operations beyond the Mississippi, as inspector-general upon the staff of the gallant Texan, Brigadier-General McCulloch, who commanded a division of Van Dorn’s army. After McCulloch fell he was promoted inspector-general on the staff of Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He served in this capacity from July, 1862, until October, when he was made inspector-general of the army of East Tennessee. While with the western armies he participated in the battles of Pea Ridge, Ark., Farmington and Corinth, Miss., the first defense of Vicksburg from siege, Baton Rouge, La., Spring Hill and Thompson Station, Tenn. On February 8, 1863, he was promoted colonel and called to the eastern campaigns. As colonel of the Eleventh Virginia cavalry, in W. E. Jones’ brigade, he participated in the raid in West Virginia, and the subsequent Pennsylvania campaign, including the battles of Brandy Station, Winchester, Rector’s Cross-roads, Upperville, Gettysburg and Buckland. On July 23, i863, he was promoted brigadier-general and assigned to the command of a brigade of cavalry organized for him of the Fifth, Sixth and Fifteenth Virginia regiments, and the First Maryland cavalry. Under his command this brigade was one of the principal factors in the subsequent operations of Fitz Lee’s division, including the fighting at Culpeper Court House, Morton’s Ford, the second encounter at Brandy Station, Tod’s Tavern, the Wilderness campaign, Cold Harbor, Yellow Tavern, Reams’ Station and Trevilian’s. His gallant and cool leadership in these important engagements led to his promotion, August 10, 1864, to the rank of major-general. He was given command of a division composed of the cavalry brigades of Bradley T. Johnson, W. L. Jackson, Henry B. Davidson, J. D. Imboden and John McCausland, and rendered prominent and distinguished service in the Valley campaign of the army under General Early, at the battles of Winchester, Tom’s Brook and other encounters. At the battle of Woodstock, October 9th, he was made a prisoner by Torbert’s calvary, but made his escape about three hours later by personally overthrowing his captor. On October 31st he was assigned to the command of the cavalry wing of the army under Early, and on March 29, 1865, was put in entire command of the Valley district of the department of Northern Virginia. After the fall of Richmond he moved his forces to Lynchburg, and when Lee surrendered sent the news to General Echols, with whom he endeavored to form a junction with the remnants of his own, Fitz Lee’s and Rosser’s divisions. He succeeded in joining the army in North Carolina, and surrendered his division with Johnston, at Greensboro. Thence he returned to Caroline county, Va., and engaged in farming, to which he quietly devoted himself during the succeeding years until 1889, when he was called to the presidency of the college at Blacksburg- He resigned this position after five years’ service. For several years he has been engaged in the official compilation of the records of the war, at Washington, D. C.
1846 – Benjamin F. Palmer of Meredith N.H. received a patent on an artificial human leg. James Potts of London had designed a prosthesis in 1800 that consisted of a wooden shank and socket, a steel knee joint and an articulated foot that was controlled by catgut tendons from the knee to the ankle. It was used by the Marquis of Anglesey after he lost his leg in the Battle of Waterloo and become known as the “Angelesey Leg”. Flexion of the knee caused dorsiflexion of the foot and extension of the knee caused plantar flexion of the foot. It has also been referred to as the “Clapper Leg” because of the noise it made with wooden foot stops or the “Cork Leg” since it was widely used in County Cork, Ireland. William Selpho then brought the Anglesey Leg to the U.S. in 1839. In 1846, Dr. Benjamin F. Palmer, a patient of Selpho, obtained a patent for his leg which improved on the Selpho leg by adding an anterior spring, smooth appearance, and concealed tendons. It was honored in 1851 at the London World’s Fair.
1854 – The first lighthouse on the West Coast was built at Alcatraz Island.
1856 – James Buchanan was elected US president. Stephen A. Douglas coveted the Democratic nomination in 1856, but his reputation had been badly tarnished by ongoing violence in Kansas. In his place the Democrats turned to James Buchanan, who had been the minister to Britain from 1853 to 1856 and was not linked to the Kansas issue. Further, Buchanan was popular in the South because of his part in the Ostend Manifesto. The Republicans ran their first presidential campaign in 1856, choosing noted Western explorer John C. Frémont, “The Pathfinder.” Frémont had no political record (regarded as a plus), but held abolitionist views (a negative in the eyes of many moderates). The American Party (Know-Nothings) nominated former president Millard Fillmore and capitalized on nativist discontent. The Republicans ran a campaign calling for repeal of the hated Kansas-Nebraska Act, opposition to the extension of slavery into the territories and support for internal improvement projects. They also took every opportunity to blame the Democrats for the horrors of “Bleeding Kansas.” Buchanan emerged the victor, but failed to gain a majority of the popular vote. In fact, a shift of a small number of votes in several states would have tipped the electoral tally to the Republicans. Mirroring the sectional feelings of the day, the Democrats were strong in the South, the Republicans in the North. The election in 1856 brought a weak president to leadership in a badly divided nation.
1863 – From the main Confederate Army at Chattanooga, Tenn., Lt. Gen. James Longstreet’s troops were sent northeast to besiege Knoxville.
1864 – There was a Confederate assault on Johnsonville, Tennessee. Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest subjects a Union supply base at Johnsonville, Tennessee, to a devastating artillery barrage that destroys millions of dollars in materiel. This action was part of a continuing effort by the Confederates to disrupt the Federal lines that supplied General William T. Sherman’s army in Georgia. In the summer of 1864, Sherman captured Atlanta, and by November he was planning his march across Georgia. Meanwhile, the defeated Confederates hoped that destroying his line would draw Sherman out of the Deep South. Nobody was better at raiding than Forrest, but Union pursuit had kept him in Mississippi during the Atlanta campaign. In the fall, Forrest mounted an ambitious raid on Union supply routes in western Tennessee and Kentucky. Johnsonville was an important transfer point from boats on the Tennessee River to a rail line that connected with Nashville to the east. When Sherman sent part of his army back to Nashville to protect his supply lines, Forrest hoped to apply pressure to that force. Forrest began moving part of his force to Johnsonville on October 16, but most of his men were not in place until early November. Incredibly, the Union forces, which numbered about 2,000, seem to have been completely unaware of the Confederates just across the river. Forrest brought up artillery and began a barrage at 2 p.m. on November 5. The attack was devastating. One observer noted, “The wharf for nearly one mile up and down the river presented one solid sheet of flame.” More than $6 million worth of supplies were destroyed, along with four gunboats, 14 transports, and 20 barges. General George Thomas, commander of the Union force at Nashville, had to divert troops to protect Johnsonville. After the raid, Forrest’s reputation grew, but the raid did not deter Sherman from embarking on the March to the Sea, his devastating expedition across Georgia.
1864 – Paddle-wheelers U.S.S. Key West, Acting Lieutenant King, U.S.S. Tawah, Acting Lieutenant Goudy, and small steamer U.S.S. Elfin, Acting Master Augustus F. Thompson, were destroyed after an engagement with Confederate batteries off Johnsonville, Tennessee, along with several transport steamers and a large quantity of supplies. Acting Lieutenant King, in command of the naval group, was patrolling the river and protecting the Union depot and headquarters at Johnsonville as the forces of Confederate General Forrest suddenly struck the city. On 3 November, King discovered a strong Confederate field battery emplaced to command a narrow channel in the Tennessee River between Reynoldsburg Island and the west bank two miles below Johnsonville. Confederate gunboat Undine, lately captured from the Union, twice attempted on the 3rd to lure King and his gunboats downriver in range of the batteries without success. On the morning of 4 November, Undine again came upriver from the Confederate batteries, and this time King took his three ships down to engage her. At about the same time, Lieutenant Commander Fitch, commanding U.S.S. Moose and five other small steamers, Brilliant, Victory, Curlew, Fairy, and Paw Paw, approached the downstream side of Reynoldsburg Island, to support King. The Confederates burned Undine and opened on the Union gunboats with shore fire. Because of the narrowness of the channel and the commanding position occupied by the batteries Fitch could not bring his ships closer to Johnsonville to aid Key West, Tawah, and Elfin, which had retired to a position off the town to protect the transports and supplies. The Confederates then moved their main batteries along the river to positions opposite Johnsonville, leaving suffi-cient guns to block Fitch’s passage, and commenced a fierce bombardment of the gunboats, trans-ports, and wharf area. After fighting for nearly an hour against great odds, King at last ordered his three riddled gunboats fired. Army Assistant Quartermaster Henry Howland, a witness to the action from ashore, described it: “. . . for nearly thirty minutes the cannonading was the most terrific I have ever witnessed. The gunboats fought magnificently and continued firing for more than twenty minutes after they were all disabled, when Lieutenant Commander King was compelled to order them abandoned and burned.” King and most of his men escaped to the waterfront, which by this time was itself a roaring inferno as Union officers put the torch to supplies on the wharves to prevent them from falling into Southern hands. The gunboats and transports were lost, but General Forrest was prevented from capturing them intact, and was thus unable to cross the river in force and capture Johnsonville. Instead, the Confederate commander, anxious to press his advantage, moved his batteries downstream to cut off Fitch and the gun-boats below Reynoldsburg Island. Fitch, nevertheless, succeeded in withdrawing his forces safely. Later reflecting on the action at Johnsonville, he commented: “The Key West, Tawah, and Elfin fought desperately and were handled in magnificent style, but it is impossible for boats of this class, with their batteries, to contend successfully against heavy-rifled field batteries in a narrow river full of bars and shoals, no matter with what skill and desperation they may be fought.” By this time it was clear that the Confederates were moving in force, and that Forrest was threatening to close the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers completely. Decisive events both on the rivers and the hills of Tennessee were imminent.
1884 – Democrat Grover Cleveland was elected to his first term as president, defeating Republican James G. Blaine. The campaign that ensued was one of the most deplorable in our history. The personalities indulged in have never been exceeded. The private life of each of the leading candidates was assailed, and the general conduct of the campaign in this respect was so indecent that it shocked public sentiment, and has never since been indulged in. While every effort was made to heal the breach, it was not finally closed. The pivotal State was New York, and this was carried for Cleveland by slightly over 1,000 votes, though the Republicans claimed a fraudulent count in New York City of Butler votes for Cleveland, which would have elected Blaine. Butler, in his memoirs, also makes this claim. It took several days to complete the count, and a repetition of the contest of 1876-7 was feared, but Cleveland got the State and the Presidency. Blaine’s managers made a number of tactical mistakes. A few days before the election Mr. Blaine was met by a party of clergymen with an address delivered by Dr. Burchard, who spoke of the Democracy as the party of “Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion.” It is said Blaine did not understand the second term, but supposed it to be “Mormonism.” At any rate he did not correct the statement, which angered many Roman Catholics, and is believed to have cost him the election. Mr. Cleveland had the support of many former Republicans, because they admired his conduct as Mayor and Governor, and for his professed devotion to civil service reform. These Republicans were called “Mugwumps,” and the term was considered one of reproach.
1918 – Art Carney, actor (Ed Norton-Honeymooners), was born in Mount Vernon, NY. Carney was born into an Irish-Catholic family and baptized Arthur William Matthew Carney. His father was a newspaperman and publicist. After appearing in amateur theatricals and imitating radio personalities, Carney won a job in 1937 traveling with Horace Heidt’s dance band, doing impressions and singing novelty songs. “There I was, an 18-year-old mimic rooming with a blind whistler,” he told People magazine in 1974. “He would order gin and grapefruit juice for us in the morning, and it was great. … No responsibilities, no remorse. I was an alcoholic, even then.” Later he won a job at $225 a week imitating Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and other world leaders on a radio show, “Report to the Nation.” He was drafted into the Army in 1944 and took part in the D-Day landing at Normandy. A piece of shrapnel shattered his right leg. He was left with a leg three-quarters of an inch shorter than the other and a lifelong limp.
1918 – Americans advance to Stenay on Meuse.
1924 – Calvin Coolidge was elected 30th president on a platform of pro-business policies.
1939 – A modification of the neutrality legislation passes into law. Although by its terms the ban on American ships and civilians in clearly defined war zones is confirmed, it does provide for supply of arms to belligerents on a “cash and carry” basis. Such arms must be ordered from private companies, paid for up front and transported to the war zone in the in ships provided by the purchaser. British naval strength means that, as is intended, only the Allies will benefit from this. Within a few days both the British and the French establish purchasing missions in Washington.
1942 – On Guadalcanal, American forces land in regimental strength at Aola, 25 miles east of the main American position. They bring engineers to attempt to build a second airstrip on the island. This idea has been dismissed as futile by local commanders because of the difficult terrain. They are correct. Raiders from this landing move out in an attempt to connect with the main position.
1942 – 19 German and 21 Italian submarines begin to patrol around Gibraltar due to the increase of Allied shipping traffic in preparation for Operation Torch. They will achieve some success, but 6 submarines will be sunk and the destination of the transports will not be discovered.
1943 – A new Japanese squadron led by Admiral Kurita arrives in Rabaul, New Britain Island. The Japanese force consists of 10 cruisers and 10 destroyers. American reconnaissance sights the squadron en route and Task Force 38 prepares to attack with its carrier aircraft.
1943 – Advance of the US 5th Army continues. The British 10th Corps holds Monte Massico and Monte Croce and moves against Monte Camino with 78th Division. The US 6th Corps captures Venafro and Rocavirondola as it advances to the German defenses of the Reinhard Line. The British 8th Army has the Germans withdrawing to the Sangro River. The Allied armies now have full lateral communications through Isernia.
1944 – A German counterattack recovers Schmidt, near Aachen, from the US 1st Army.
1944 – On Leyte, American forces advance west of Dagami around “Bloody Ridge”.
1944 – British Gen. John Dill dies in Washington, D.C., and is buried in Arlington Cemetery, the only foreigner to be so honored. Born on Christmas Day, 1881, in County Armagh, Ireland, Dill was a military man from his earliest years, serving in the South African War at age 18, then in World War I. He was promoted to the office of director of military operations and intelligence of the British War Office in 1934 and knighted for service to the empire in 1937. When the Second World War broke out he was already serving as chief of the imperial general staff and renowned for his gifts as a strategist. It was his decision to reinforce the British position in Egypt with 150 tanks in August 1940, despite a shortage of such armaments back home. And in March 1941, he championed Britain’s defense of Greece against the Axis invasion. But such early strategic successes were followed up by more cautious decision-making, which disturbed Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who favored more aggressive maneuvers against the enemy. Consequently, Churchill removed Dill from his post and transferred him to the United States, to become chief British military representative to Washington. It was there that Dill developed a close personal friendship with George C. Marshall, the U.S. chief of staff, which resulted in a closer U.S.-British alliance. Upon Dill’s death, it was Marshall who intervened to have Dill buried at Arlington National Cemetery, normally reserved only for Americans who had served their nation during wartime. Dill’s plot is also marked by only one of two equestrian statues in the cemetery.
1948 – The International Military Tribunal for the Far East was concluded.
1950 – The 7th Marine Regiment, just north of Chinhung-ni near the Chosin (Changjin) Reservoir, destroyed the last four tanks of the North Korean 344th Tank Regiment.
1950 – The first incendiary bombs used in the Korean War are dropped by B-29 Superfortresses of the U.S. Air Force’s 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on the city of Chongjin in northeastern Korea.
1952 – Dwight D. Eisenhower (Ike) was elected president the 34th president, defeating Democrat Adlai Stevenson in presidential elections. The Republicans took over for the first time in 20 years. A Univac computer in Philadelphia predicted the results based on early returns.
1952 – With the election of Eisenhower as US President, the Indochina War ceases to be regarded as a colonial war, and the fighting in Vietnam becomes a war between Communism and the free world. The possibility of direct Chinese intervention becomes a mater of urgent preoccupation for many of Eisenhower’s closest advisers, in particular Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, and Vice President Richard Nixon.
1952 – The United States government establishes the National Security Agency, or NSA.
1956 – Following nearly two weeks of protest and political instability in Hungary, Soviet tanks and troops viciously crush the protests. Thousands were killed and wounded, and nearly a quarter-million Hungarians fled the country. The problems in Hungary had begun in October, when thousands of protesters took to the streets demanding a more democratic political system and freedom from Soviet oppression. In response, Communist Party officials appointed Imre Nagy, (a former premier who had been dismissed from the party for his criticisms of Stalinist policies), as the new premier. Nagy tried to restore peace and asked the Soviets to withdraw their troops. The Soviets did so, but Nagy then tried to push the Hungarian revolt forward by abolishing one-party rule. He also announced that Hungary was withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact (the Soviet bloc’s equivalent of NATO). On November 4, Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest to stop Hungary’s movement away from the communist bloc. Vicious street fighting broke out, but the Soviets’ greater power insured the doom of the rebels. After the deaths and injuries of thousands of Hungarians, the protests were finally put down. Nagy was captured shortly thereafter and was executed two years later. The Soviet action stunned many people in the West. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had pledged a retreat from the Stalinist policies and repression of the past, but the violent actions in Budapest suggested otherwise. Inaction on the part of the United States angered and frustrated many Hungarians. Voice of America radio broadcasts and speeches by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had recently suggested that the United States supported the “liberation” of “captive peoples” in communist nations. Yet, as Soviet tanks bore down on the protesters, the United States did nothing beyond issuing public statements of sympathy for their plight.
1962 – In a test of the Nike Hercules air defense missile, Shot Dominic-Tightrope is successfully detonated 69,000 feet above Johnston Atoll. It would also be the last atmospheric nuclear test conducted by the United States.
1969 – In the biggest battle in four months, South Vietnamese infantry, supported by U.S. planes and artillery, clash with North Vietnamese troops for 10 hours near Duc Lop near the Cambodian border. Eighty communist troops were reported killed. South Vietnamese losses included 24 killed and 38 wounded.
1970 – The United States hands over an air base in the Mekong Delta to the Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF) as part of the Vietnamization program. President Richard Nixon initiated this program in 1969 to increase the fighting capability of South Vietnam so they could assume more responsibility for the war. It included the provision of new equipment and weapons and an intensified advisory effort. Secretary of the Air Force Robert Seamans and Gen. Creighton Abrams, commander of Military Assistance Command Vietnam, attended the ceremony. The air base became the home of two South Vietnamese helicopter squadrons, with the United States providing 62 aircraft, 31 of which were turned over along with the air base. By 1973, after additional equipment and aircraft transfers had been made to VNAF, the air base had a fleet of 1,700 aircraft, including more than 500 helicopters.
1971 – USS Nathanael Greene (SSBN-636) launches a Poseidon C-3 missile in first surface launch of Poseidon missile.
1976 – The first Marine Corps Marathon kicked off in Washington, DC.
1978 – Iranian troops fired on anti-Shah student protesters by Tehran Univ.
1979 – Student followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini send shock waves across America when they storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran. The radical Islamic fundamentalists took 90 hostages. The students were enraged that the deposed Shah had been allowed to enter the United States for medical treatment and they threatened to murder hostages if any rescue was attempted. Days later, Iran’s provincial leader resigned, and the Ayatollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran’s fundamentalist revolutionaries, took full control of the country–and the fate of the hostages. Two weeks after the storming of the embassy, the Ayatollah began to release all non-U.S. captives, and all female and minority Americans, citing these groups as among the people oppressed by the United States government. The remaining 52 captives were left at the mercy of the Ayatollah for the next 14 months. President Jimmy Carter was unable to diplomatically resolve the crisis, and on April 24, 1980, he ordered a disastrous rescue mission in which eight U.S. military personnel were killed and no hostages rescued. Three months later, the former shah died of cancer in Egypt, but the crisis continued. In November 1980, Carter lost the presidential election to Republican Ronald Reagan. Soon after, with the assistance of Algerian intermediaries, successful negotiations finally began between the United States and Iran. On January 20, 1981–the day of Reagan’s inauguration–the United States freed almost $3 billion in frozen Iranian assets and promised $5 billion more in financial aid. Minutes after Reagan was sworn in, the hostages flew out of Iran on an Algerian airliner, ending their 444-day ordeal. The next day, Jimmy Carter flew to West Germany to greet them on their way home.
1980 – Ronald Reagan was elected the 40th president of the United States. He beat President Carter by a wide margin. In the campaign of 1980 there were very clear issues dividing the candidates. Carter supported the Equal Rights Amendment, while Reagan opposed it. Reagan opposed S.A.L.T. II, while Carter supported it. Carter called for a national health insurance program. Ultimately, however, it was not these issues but the twin issues of the American Hostages in Iran and what the Republicans called the misery index (inflation plus unemployment) ended Carter’s chance of being re-elected.
1988 – In a ceremony at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, President Reagan signed a measure providing for U.S. participation in an anti-genocide treaty signed by President Truman in 1948.
1984 – The CGC Northwind seizes the P/C Alexi I off Jamaica for carrying 20 tons of marijuana, becoming the first icebreaker to make a narcotics seizure.
1989 – Iran marked the 10th anniversary of the seizure of the U.S. Embassy.
1990 – Secretary of State James Baker visited US troops in the Saudi Arabian desert.
1990 – Iraq issued a new broadside, saying it was prepared to fight a “dangerous war” rather than give up Kuwait.
1992 – Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency announced the arrest of American businessman Milton Meier, who had lived in Iran for 17 years, on charges of illegal business dealings and espionage.
1997 – Iraq agreed to postpone the expulsion of American weapons inspectors until after U.N. envoys finished their mission.
1997 – US sanctions against Sudan were tightened due to the Iran-allied government’s support for int’l. terrorism and abysmal human-rights record. After lobbying by US trade associations the sanctions excluded US imports for gum arabic, a key ingredient for soft drinks, and other goods as an emulsifier.
1998 – A federal grand jury in Manhattan returned a 238-count indictment that charged Osama bin Laden for the US embassy bombings in Africa.
1999 – Some ten-thousand Iranian students rallied outside the former US Embassy in Tehran to mark the 20th anniversary of its seizure by Islamic militants.
2000 – President Clinton vetoed a bill that would have criminalized the leaking of government secrets.
2001 – The US moved more special operations forces into Afghanistan and continued air strikes on the Taliban front lines. The Air Force dropped a 15,000 pound fuel-air explosion bomb called a Daisy Cutter that was last used in the Vietnam War. Thousands of foreign volunteers were reported moving to the Taliban front lines.
2001 – The US reached a tentative agreement with Tajikistan for military cooperation in exchange for tens of millions of dollars.
2001 – It was reported that both Poland and the Czech Republic would send military forces to assist the US in Afghanistan.
2001 – It was reported that the French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur cited bin Laden as possibly possessing an arsenal of biochemical weapons. US intelligence sources were cited that bin Laden purchased laboratories from the former Yugoslavia, Ebola virus from former Soviet stockpiles, botulism from the Czech Republic, anthrax from North Korea and the assistance of chemists and biologists from the Ukraine.
2004 – In Iraq US jets pounded parts of Fallujah, targeting insurgents in a city where American forces were said to be gearing up for a major offensive.
2004 – In Iraq SCIRI (Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq) militants dressed as police abducted and executed 12 Iraqi National Guards traveling home to Najaf.
2008 – Barack Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected President of the United States.
2011 – U.S. General John R. Allen, the head of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, sacks Maj. Gen. Peter Fuller for making inappropriate comments about Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his government.
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
*OKUBO, JAMES K.
Technician Fifth Grade James K. Okubo distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 28 and 29 October and 4 November 1944, in the Foret Domaniale de Champ, near Biffontaine, eastern France. On 28 October, under strong enemy fire coming from behind mine fields and roadblocks, Technician Fifth Grade Okubo, a medic, crawled 150 yards to within 40 yards of the enemy lines. Two grenades were thrown at him while he left his last covered position to carry back wounded comrades. Under constant barrages of enemy small arms and machine gun fire, he treated 17 men on 28 October and 8 more men on 29 October. On 4 November, Technician Fifth Grade Okubo ran 75 yards under grazing machine gun fire and, while exposed to hostile fire directed at him, evacuated and treated a seriously wounded crewman from a burning tank, who otherwise would have died. Technician Fifth Grade James K. Okubo’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.
*PHILLIPS, LEE H.
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Company E, 2d Battalion, 7 Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Korea, 4 November 1950. Entered service at: Ben Hill, Ga. Born: 3 February 1930, Stockbridge, Ga. Cpl. Phillips was killed in action 27 November 1950. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a squad leader of Company E, in action against enemy aggressor forces. Assuming the point position in the attack against a strongly defended and well-entrenched numerically superior enemy force occupying a vital hill position which had been unsuccessfully assaulted on 5 separate occasions by units of the Marine Corps and other friendly forces, Cpl. Phillips fearlessly led his men in a bayonet charge up the precipitous slope under a deadly hail of hostile mortar, small-arms, and machine gun fire. Quickly rallying his squad when it was pinned down by a heavy and accurate mortar barrage, he continued to lead his men through the bombarded area and, although only 5 members were left in the casualty ridden unit, gained the military crest of the hill where he was immediately subjected to an enemy counterattack. Although greatly outnumbered by an estimated enemy squad, Cpl. Phillips boldly engaged the hostile force with handgrenades and rifle fire and, exhorting his gallant group of marines to follow him, stormed forward to completely overwhelm the enemy. With only 3 men now left in his squad, he proceeded to spearhead an assault on the last remaining strongpoint which was defended by 4 of the enemy on a rocky and almost inaccessible portion of the hill position. Using 1 hand to climb up the extremely hazardous precipice, he hurled grenades with the other and, with 2 remaining comrades, succeeded in annihilating the pocket of resistance and in consolidating the position. Immediately subjected to a sharp counterattack by an estimated enemy squad, he skillfully directed the fire of his men and employed his own weapon with deadly effectiveness to repulse the numerically superior hostile force. By his valiant leadership, indomitable fighting spirit and resolute determination in the face of heavy odds, Cpl. Phillips served to inspire all who observed him and was directly responsible for the destruction of the enemy stronghold. His great personal valor reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances and sustains the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
*POYNTER, JAMES I.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company A, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Near Sudong, Korea, 4 November 1950. Entered service at: Downey, Calif. Born: 1 December 1916, Bloomington, Ill. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a squad leader in a rifle platoon of Company A, in action against enemy aggressor forces during the defense of Hill 532, south of Sudong, Korea. When a vastly outnumbering, well-concealed hostile force launched a sudden, vicious counterattack against his platoon’s hasty defensive position, Sgt. Poynter displayed superb skill and courage in leading his squad and directing its fire against the onrushing enemy. With his ranks critically depleted by casualties and he himself critically wounded as the onslaught gained momentum and the hostile force surrounded his position, he seized his bayonet and engaged in bitter hand-to-hand combat as the breakthrough continued. Observing 3 machineguns closing in at a distance of 25 yards, he dashed from his position and, grasping handgrenades from fallen marines as he ran, charged the emplacements in rapid succession, killing the crews of 2 and putting the other out of action before he fell, mortally wounded. By his self-sacrificing and valiant conduct, Sgt. Poynter inspired the remaining members of his squad to heroic endeavor in bearing down upon and repelling the disorganized enemy, thereby enabling the platoon to move out of the trap to a more favorable tactical position. His indomitable fighting spirit, fortitude, and great personal valor maintained in the face of overwhelming odds sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.