1731 – Benjamin Franklin opened the 1st US library. The first circulating library in America, the Library Company of Philadelphia, was founded by Benjamin Franklin and others.
1830 – Oliver Otis Howard (d.1909), Major General (Union volunteers), was born. Born in Leeds, Maine, Oliver O. Howard had graduated from Bowdoin College and was fourth in his class at West Point before teaching math at the military academy. At the outset of the Civil War, Howard, an abolitionist, was made a colonel in command of the 3d Maine Regiment. After leading a brigade at the 1st Battle of Bull Run, Howard was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers in September 1861. At the June 1, 1862, Battle of Seven Pines, Howard led a brigade against superior numbers in a heated battle. The picture of bravery, Howard stayed in the thick of battle leading and animating his men. Even though two horses were shot from under him and his right arm was shattered by two bullets, he continued to spur on his men until the Confederates retreated. Howard’s arm was amputated and he eventually received the Medal of Honor for his bravery at Seven Pines. Howard was promoted to major general of volunteers in November 1862 after he led a division at Sharpsburg and Fredericksburg. In charge of the XI Corps at Chancellorsville, Howard and his men were severely routed by Gen. Stonewall Jackson and his Rebel troops. On July 1, 1863, at the Battle of Gettysburg. Howard was briefly the overall commander. His troops were again forced back, but Howard had the presence of mind to select Cemetery Hill to retreat to and anchor Union forces. He commanded the 4th Corps in the Atlanta campaign, and the Army of the Tennessee in the devastating March to the Sea and through the Carolinas. On May 12, 1865, Howard was chosen to head the Freedmen’s Bureau. Though he was honest and a devout champion of former slaves, the agency was riddled with corruption. Howard faced a court of inquiry in 1874 because of his corrupt subordinates in the bureau, but he was cleared of all charges. Howard continued to serve the army as a commander and was also superintendent of West Point. He retired in 1894.
1861 – Union Captain Charles Wilkes of the sloop San Jacinto seized Confederate commissioners John Slidell and James M. Mason from the British mail ship Trent. Lincoln’s response to uproar: “One war at a time.” The incident turned into a major diplomatic crisis between Great Britain and the United States until the diplomats were released nearly two months later.
1864 – Northern voters overwhelmingly endorse the leadership and policies of President Lincoln when they elect him to a second term. With his reelection, the fate of the Confederacy was sealed and any hope for a negotiated settlement vanished. In 1864, Lincoln faced many challenges to his presidency. The war was now in its fourth year, and many were questioning if the South could ever be fully conquered militarily. General Ulysses S. Grant mounted a massive campaign in the spring of that year to finally defeat the Confederate army of General Robert E. Lee, but after sustaining horrifying losses at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor, the Yankees bogged down around Petersburg. As the fall approached, Grant seemed no closer to defeating Lee than his predecessors. In the West, General William T. Sherman was planted outside of Atlanta, but he could not take that city. Some of the Radical Republicans were unhappy with Lincoln’s conciliatory plan for reconstruction of the South. And many Northerners had never been happy with Lincoln’s 1862 Emancipation Proclamation, which converted the war from one of reunion to a crusade to destroy slavery. Weariness with the war fueled calls for a compromise with the seceded states. The Democrats nominated George B. McClellan, the former commander of the Union Army of the Potomac. McClellan was widely regarded as brilliant in organizing and training the army, but he had failed to defeat Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Virginia. He and Lincoln quarreled constantly during his tenure as general in chief of the army, and Lincoln replaced him when McClellan failed to pursue Lee into Virginia after the Battle of Antietam in September 1862. In the months leading up to the election, the military situation changed dramatically. While Grant remained stalled at Petersburg, Mobile Bay fell to the Federal navy in August, Sherman captured Atlanta in September, and General Philip Sheridan secured Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley in October. On election day, Lincoln carried all but three states (Kentucky, New Jersey, and Deleware), and won 55 percent of the vote. He won 212 electoral votes to McCellan’s 21. Most significant, 78 percent of the Union troops voted for their commander in chief, including 71 percent of McClellan’s old command, the Army of the Potomac. Perhaps most important was the fact that the election was held at all. Before World War II, no country had ever held elections during military emergencies. Lincoln himself said, “We can not have free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forego, or postpone a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us.” Five months after Lincoln’s reelection, the collapse of the Confederacy was complete.
1864 – Rear Admiral Farragut, writing Secretary Welles, expressed his deeply held conviction that effective seapower was not dependent so much on a particular kind of ship or a specific gun but rather on the officers and men who manned them: . . . I think the world is sadly mistaken when it supposes that battles are won by this or that kind of gun or vessel. In my humble opinion the Kearsarge would have captured or sunk the Alabama as often as they might have met under the same organization and officers. The best gun and the best vessel should certainly be chosen, but the victory three times out of four depends upon those who fight them. I do not believe that the result would have been different if the Kearsarge had had nothing but a battery of 8-inch guns and 100-pound chase rifle. What signifies the size and caliber of the gun if you do not hit your adversary?”
1864 – Acting Master Francis Josselyn, U.S.S. Commodore Hull, landed with a party of sailors at Edenton, North Carolina, under orders from Commander Macomb to break up a court session being held there. Josselyn described the unique expedition: “I landed with a detachment of men this afternoon at Edenton and adjourned sine die a county court which was in session in the court house at that place under so-called Confederate authority. This court, the first that has been held at Edenton since the breaking out of the war, the authorities had the impertinence to hold under my very guns.
1889 – Montana became the 41st state. The state’s name is derived from the Spanish word montaña (mountain). Montana has several nicknames, although none official, including “Big Sky Country” and “The Treasure State”, and slogans that include “Land of the Shining Mountains” and more recently “The Last Best Place”. The land in Montana east of the continental divide was part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Subsequent to the Lewis and Clark Expedition American, British and French fur traders operated in both east and western portions of Montana. Until the Oregon Treaty (1846), land west of the continental divide was disputed between the British and U.S. and was known as the Oregon Country. The first permanent settlement in what today is Montana was St. Mary’s (1841) near present day Stevensville.
1892 – Former President Cleveland beat incumbent Benjamin Harrison and became the first (and, to date, only) president to win non-consecutive terms in the White House. Benjamin Harrison, the sitting president, did not enjoy the Republican Party’s unified backing at the convention in 1892. The president had offended the political bosses by his forays into civil service reform as well as a large segment of the general public by his staunch support of the McKinley Tariff. Even Harrison’s cabinet found his personality icy and unappealing. Despite support for rivals James G. Blaine and William McKinley, Harrison managed to secure renomination on the first ballot. The Democrats turned again to Grover Cleveland, victor in 1884 and loser in 1888. The nominee, like his opponent, did not lead a unified party; southern and western elements agitated for support of silver programs, but did not prevail. The primary plank in the democratic platform called for the enactment of a tariff for revenue only—an obvious reaction to the McKinley Tariff. A third party, the Populists (or People’s) Party, gave its nomination to General James B. Weaver. Its platform called for free and unlimited coinage of silver and government ownership of the railroads. Both of those positions were crafted to appeal to the miners and farmers. The campaign in 1892 was subdued, due largely to Cleveland’s insistence. He respected the fact that Harrison’s wife was seriously ill and made a minimum of appearances. Mrs. Harrison died two weeks before the election. Cleveland was returned to office. He enjoyed solid support in the South and the Swing States, and managed to draw a number of votes from Republicans who were unhappy with Harrison. Weaver and the Populists became the first third party since 1860 to register electoral votes.
1898 – The Wilmington Insurrection of 1898, the only instance of an attempted coup d’état in American history. The Wilmington Coup d’Etat of 1898, also known as the Wilmington Massacre of 1898 or the Wilmington Race Riot of 1898, occurred in Wilmington, North Carolina starting on November 10, 1898 and continued for several days. It is considered a turning point in post-Reconstruction North Carolina politics. The event is credited as ushering in an era of severe racial segregation and disfranchisement throughout the South. Laura Edwards wrote in Democracy Betrayed (2000), “What happened in Wilmington became an affirmation of white supremacy not just in that one city, but in the South and in the nation as a whole.” Originally described by whites as a race riot (suggesting blacks were at fault), the events are now classified as a coup d’etat, as white Democratic insurgents overthrew the legitimately elected local government. A mob of nearly 2000 men attacked the only black newspaper in the state, and persons and property in black neighborhoods, killing an estimated 15 to more than 60 victims. Two days after the election of a Fusionist white mayor and biracial city council, two-thirds of which was white, Democratic Party white supremacists illegally seized power and overturned the elected government. Led by Alfred Waddell, who was defeated in 1878 as the congressional incumbent by Daniel L. Russell (elected governor in 1896), more than 2000 white men participated in an attack on the black newspaper, Daily Record, burning down the building. They ran officials and community leaders out of the city, and killed many blacks in widespread attacks, especially destroying the Brooklyn neighborhood. They took photographs of each other during the events. The Wilmington Light Infantry (WLI) and federal Naval Reserves, ordered to quell the riot, became involved, using rapid-fire weapons and killing several black men in the Brooklyn neighborhood. Both black and white residents later appealed for help after the coup to President William McKinley, but his administration did not respond, as Governor Russell had not requested aid. After the riot, more than 2,100 blacks left the city permanently, having to abandon their businesses and properties, turning it from a black-majority to a white-majority city.
1904 – Theodore Roosevelt (R), vice-president under McKinley, was elected president. He defeated Alton B. Parker (D). Theodore Roosevelt succeeded William McKinley, who was assassinated in September 1901. Roosevelt became the odds-on favorite for the Republican nomination in 1904. However, a disgruntled segment of the party voiced their view that Roosevelt’s actions were too liberal. They favored instead the nomination of Mark Hanna. Hanna had advised Roosevelt for a few months after the assassination, but then lost influence in the administration. His death in 1904 probably averted a heated contest over what direction the Republican Party would take. With the contender gone, the convention nominated Roosevelt by acclamation. The Democrats passed over William Jennings Bryan and settled on the nomination of Alton B. Parker, a conservative Appeals Court judge in New York. Parker was a firm advocate of the gold standard, embodying the Democrats’ desire to distance themselves from the shelf-worn silver issue. Bryan overcame his distaste for the nominee, campaigned dutifully in the farm belt and stressed popular progressive ideas of the day. Conservative Democrats blasted Roosevelt for his trust-busting activities and inviting Booker T. Washington, a prominent black leader, to the White House. Roosevelt won a convincing victory in November. Significant Democratic support was visible only in the South. Following his triumph, Roosevelt unwisely announced his decision to not seek a third term, a statement he would come to regret. The 1904 election witnessed a strong showing by Eugene V. Debs and the Socialists, and a notable presence by the Prohibition Party. The Populists were in steep decline and would disappear from the national scene after the next presidential election.
1916 – U.S.A. S.S. “Columbian” sunk by German submarine near Cape Finisterre.
1917 – American Mission under “Colonel” House arrives in London. Despite House’s abundant self-belief in his diplomatic abilities, he was to be found wanting in these at the Paris Peace Conference following the armistice. He was inclined to side with the European Allies when placed under pressure, rather more so than Wilson who proved less open to compromise.
1918 – Marshal Foch receives German armistice delegates at Rethondes (four miles from Compiegne), refuses request for provisional armistice, terms of armistice to be accepted or refused by 11 am on 11 November.
1923 – Adolf Hitler, president of the far-right Nazi Party, launches the Beer Hall Putsch, his first attempt at seizing control of the German government. After World War I, the victorious allies demanded billions of dollars in war reparations from Germany. Efforts by Germany’s democratic government to comply hurt the country’s economy and led to severe inflation. The German mark, which at the beginning of 1921 was valued at five marks per dollar, fell to a disastrous four billion marks per dollar in 1923. Meanwhile, the ranks of the nationalist Nazi Party swelled with resentful Germans who sympathized with the party’s bitter hatred of the democratic government, leftist politics, and German Jews. In early November 1923, the government resumed war-reparation payments, and the Nazis decided to strike. Hitler planned a coup against the state government of Bavaria, which he hoped would spread to the dissatisfied German army, which in turn would bring down the central, democratic government in Berlin. On the evening of November 8, Nazi forces under Hermann Goering surrounded the Munich beer hall where Bavarian government officials were meeting with local business leaders. A moment later, Hitler burst in with a group of Nazi storm troopers, discharged his pistol into the air, and declared that “the national revolution has begun.” Threatened at gunpoint, the Bavarian leaders reluctantly agreed to support Hitler’s new regime. In the early morning of November 9, however, the Bavarian leaders repudiated their coerced support of Hitler and ordered a rapid suppression of the Nazis. At dawn, government troops surrounded the main Nazi force occupying the War Ministry building. A desperate Hitler responded by leading a march toward the center of Munich in a last-ditch effort to rally support. Near the War Ministry building, 3,000 Nazi marchers came face to face with 100 armed policemen. Shots were exchanged, and 16 Nazis and three policemen were killed. Hermann Goering was shot in the groin, and Hitler suffered a dislocated elbow but managed to escape. Three days later, Hitler was arrested. Convicted of treason, he was given the minimum sentence of five years in prison. He was imprisoned in the Landsberg fortress and spent his time writing his autobiography, Mein Kampf, and working on his oratorical skills. Political pressure from the Nazis forced the Bavarian government to commute Hitler’s sentence, and he was released after serving only nine months. In the late 1920s, Hitler reorganized the Nazi Party as a fanatical mass movement that was able to gain a majority in the Reichstag in 1932. By 1934, Hitler was the sole master of a nation intent on war and genocide.
1932 – New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated incumbent Herbert Hoover for the presidency. Roosevelt became the 32nd president with about 87% of the Electoral College. Roosevelt came into the Democratic convention in Chicago as the front runner. His main opposition was Alfred Smith. Roosevelt secured the nomination on the third ballot. Roosevelt ignored tradition by coming to Chicago to personally accept the nomination. The campaign took place against the background of great depression. Roosevelt campaigned vigorously to prove that despite his disability he could vigorously undertake the job of President. Hoover had at first planned to stay in the White House working during the crisis, but Roosevelt’s ads brought Hoover out on the campaign trail. Hoover tried to depict Roosevelt as an extremist who would bring ruin to the country. His dour campaigning compared to Roosevelt’s more positive apporach worked against him. With 1/4 of work force unemployed, Roosevelt won an overwhelming victory.
1933 – In 1933, the United States was struggling through the Depression. The major economic indices were sagging and the unemployment rolls seemed to be growing fatter by the day. With winter looming on the horizon, President Roosevelt and Henry Hopkins, one of the architects of the New Deal, moved to offer relief. They unveiled the Civil Works Administration (CWA), a program designed to secure temporary work for people who would otherwise have to endure a winter of unemployment. The CWA provided a mix of white and blue-collar jobs that promised to pay normal wages for a limited schedule of work. Though grounded more in compassion than careful planning, the program succeeded not only in helping workers through the winter, but also in giving the country a badly needed infusion of cash. According to the New York Times, the CWA had pumped $1 billion into the economy by May 1934. Roosevelt, however, never intended the CWA to be a permanent solution to the unemployment problem-he attempted to curtail the program in December 1933. So, by the spring of ’34, the CWA was retired and the government began to look for new ways to keep the nation working.
1939 – On the 16th anniversary of Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch, a bomb explodes just after Hitler has finished giving a speech. He was unharmed. Hitler had made an annual ritual on the anniversary of his infamous 1923 coup attempt, (Hitler’s first grab at power that ended in his arrest and the virtual annihilation of his National Socialist party), of regaling his followers with his vision of the Fatherland’s future. On this day, he had been addressing the Old Guard party members, those disciples and soldiers who had been loyal to Hitler and his fascist party since the earliest days of its inception. Just 12 minutes after Hitler had left the hall, along with important Nazi leaders who had accompanied him, a bomb exploded, which had been secreted in a pillar behind the speaker’s platform. Seven people were killed and 63 were wounded. The next day, the Nazi Party official paper, the Voelkischer Beobachter, squarely placed the blame on British secret agents, even implicating Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain himself. This work of propaganda was an attempt to stir up hatred for the British and whip the German people into a frenzy for war. But the inner-Nazi Party members knew better-they knew the assassination attempt was most probably the work of a German anti-Nazi military conspiracy.In an ingenious scheme to shift blame, while getting closer to the actual conspirators, Heinrich Himmler, the Gestapo chief, sent a subordinate, Walter Schellenberg, to Holland to make contact with British intelligence agents. The pretext of the meeting was to secure assurances from the British that in the event of an anti-Nazi coup, the British would support the new regime. The British agents were eager to gain whatever inside information they could about the rumored anti-Hitler movement within the German military; Schellenberg, posing as “Major Schaemmel,” was after whatever information British intelligence may have had on such a conspiracy within the German military ranks. But Himmler wanted more than talk-he wanted the British agents themselves. So on November 9, SS soldiers in Holland kidnapped, with Schellenberg’s help, two British agents, Payne Best and R.H. Stevens, stuffing them into a Buick and driving them across the border into Germany. Himmler now proudly announced to the German public that he had captured the British conspirators. The man who actually planted the bomb at their behest was declared to be Georg Elser, a German communist who made his living as a carpenter. While it seems certain that Elser did plant the bomb, who the instigators were-German military or British intelligence-remains unclear. All three “official” conspirators spent the war in Sachsenhausen concentration camp (Elser was murdered by the Gestapo on April 16, 1945-so he could never tell his story). Hitler dared not risk a public trial, as there were just too many holes in the “official” story.
1942 – Operation Torch. The Allies land in French North Africa. There are three main task forces: The Western Task Force, commanded by General Patton, is comprised of 35,000 troops. It is supported by naval forces under Admiral Hewitt (two battleships, one fleet carrier, four escort carriers and numerous cruisers and destroyers); the Central Task Force, commanded by General Fredendall is comprised of 39,000 American troops. Commodore Toubridge commands its naval support force (two escort carriers and many smaller ships); the Eastern Task Force, contains 52 warships and 33,000 soldiers, led by General Ryder and Admiral Burroughs. The British contingent, 87th Division is supported by Admiral Syfret commanding British Force H, comprised of three battleships, three fleet carriers and a strong force of cruisers and destroyers. The Western Task force lands at three places along a 200 mile front around Casablanca. The Central is to land in and around Oran and the Eastern Task force lands in Algiers. The Eastern force at Algiers makes good early progress and quickly captures the town. A prize prisoner is found in Admiral Darlan, a prominent leader of the Vichy government, who is there on private business. At Oran, the Central Force is not as quickly successful and two destroyers are lost in an attempt to rush the harbor. By night, however the landings are well established and the airfield at Tafaraiu is in Allied hands. An American manned Spitfire force is ready to begin operations. The Western Task force at Casablanca runs into the greatest opposition. The French battleship Jean Bart, at anchor but armed fights a gun battle with the USS Massechusetts. The French destroyer flotilla in the port fights as well but are driven off or sunk. Landings at Port Lyautey face fierce fighting, those at Safi go well. In total there are 1800 casualties. The landings receive some help from Free French supporters. This is most effective at Algiers where General Mast limits the French reaction so that the landings are not hindered. Both Mast and the Allied leaders are surprised to find Admiral Darlan a prisoner and negotiations for an armistice begin with him immediately. In Casablanca, support for the invasion is lower as General Nogues is less sympathetic to the Allied cause and Admiral Michelier, head of the naval forces there, is virulently anti-British. The Allies take care to present Operation Torch to the French as an American operation to minimize the anti-British feeling prevalent with many French officials. The British have been responsible for allaying Spanish fears to enlist their support against a possible German move through Gibraltar. Both the American and the British assure Spain her neutrality will be respected.
1942 – Vichy-France dropped diplomatic relations with US. Prime Minister Laval gives permission to the Germans to use airfields in Tunisia. Marshal Petain, while publicly denouncing the invasion, privately sends encouragement to Admiral Darlan to negotiate with the Allies.
1944 – The US 3rd Army begins a new offensive around Metz and to the south. During the day, the Seille River is crossed, and Nomony captured.
1944 – 1st Lt. Edward R. “Buddy” Haydon, 357th Fighter Group killed Major Walter Nowotny, commander of Kommando Nowotny, flying the Me-262 jet fighter. This event almost caused Hitler to kill the jet fighter program.
1945 – In the wake of World War II, America needed to convert its economy back to peacetime conditions. The passage of the Revenue Act of 1945 on November 8 was a key step in rolling back the heavy taxes which had been implemented to help wage the war. Along with cutting $6 billion in taxes, the Revenue Act initiated an extensive post-war revision of the nation’s entire tax system.
1950 – During the Korean conflict the first all-jet air combat took place over Korea as U.S. Air Force Lieut. Russell J. Brown, piloting an F-80 Shooting Star, shot down two North Korean MiG-15s. It lasted about 30 seconds.
1950 – President Harry Truman lifted the ban on bombing within five miles of the Yalu River, and the bridges at Sinuiju were struck. Seventy-nine B-29s along with naval aircraft carried out the mission.
1950 – The Korean Service Medal was authorized by Executive Order 10179. Some 1.7 million U.S. service members were eventually awarded this medal for service in Korea and its contiguous waters between June 27, 1950, to July 27, 1954.
1956 – Navy Stratolab balloon (LCDRs Malcolm D. Ross and M. Lee Lewis) better world height record soaring to 76,000 feet over Black Hills, SD, on flight to gather meteorological, cosmic ray, and other scientific data.
1960 – Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kennedy was elected 35th president by 118,550 popular votes. He defeated Richard Nixon in the US pres. elections. Popular legend later held that the political machine of Richard Daley in Chicago provided the necessary votes for Kennedy to win Illinois (27 electoral votes) and the elections. The Electoral College result was 303 to 219.
1965 – The 173rd Airborne is ambushed by over 1,200 Viet Cong in Operation Hump during the Vietnam War, while the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment fight one of the first set-piece engagements of the war between Australian forces and the Viet Cong at the Battle of Gang Toi.
1974 – Charges were dropped against eight Ohio National Guardsmen for their role in the deaths of four anti-war protestors at Kent State University. A federal grand jury had indicted 8 National Guardsmen for the May 4, 1970 Kent State shootings.
1975 – Over 100 Sailors and Marines from USS Inchon (LPH-12) and USS Bagley (DE-1069) fight a fire aboard a Spanish merchant vessel at Palma.
1988 – Republican Vice President George Bush was elected the 41st president. He defeated Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis. Vice President Bush recovered from an early third place showing in the Iowa’s Caucuses, behind Senator Dole and Reverend Pat Robertson, to force all his opponents to withdraw from the race. He thus was unopposed at the Republican convention in New Orleans. The only major issue at the convention was his decision to have Senator Quayle be his running mate, a decision that was widely criticized. Governor Dukakis of Massachusetts quickly became the front-runner after Gary Hart withdrew do to allegations of sexual improprieties, and Mario Cuomo of New York refused to run. One by one, Dukakis’ opponents withdrew, until only Jesse Jackson was left when the convention took place in Atlanta. Dukakis won on the first ballot after receiving 2,876 votes as opposed to Jackson 1218. Dukakis chose Senator Loyd Benson of Texas as his running mate. When the campaign began Governor Dukakis held a clear lead over Vice President Bush. The Republicans successfully attacked Dukakis in a number of ways. One of the most notable was an attack on Dukakis surrounding the furlough release of Willie Horton an African American convicted of murder who was released on a weekend furlough from prison while Dukakis was governor. Bush stated ” don’t let murders out on vacation to terrorize innocent people…Dukakis owes the people an explanation of why he supported this outrageous program”. The Republicans then went on to sponsor a series of television ads with picutres of Horton and the crime scenes claiming that it was Dukakis who had let that happen. The fact that the program was started by Dukakis’s Republican predecessor and that while President Reagan had been governor of California it had been instituted there was not mentioned. This and other attack ads were very effective and Bush won by a large margin.
1990 – President Bush ordered a new round of troop deployments in the Persian Gulf, adding up to 150-thousand soldiers to the multinational force facing off against Iraq.
1990 – In Iraq Saddam Hussein fired his army chief and threatened to destroy the Arabian peninsula.
1992 – Volunteers began reading aloud the 58,183 names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., as part of a tribute marking the 10th anniversary of the monument.
1995 – Retired General Colin Powell embraced the Republican Party, but said he would not run for president or any other political office in 1996 because it was “a calling that I do not yet hear.”
1998 – Four Navy fliers were lost at sea and presumed dead after their EA-6B Prowler struck an S-3 Viking aircraft on the carrier Enterprise during nighttime landing practice off of Virginia. 2 crewmen landed safely on the deck.
1999 – Former President Bush was honored in Germany for his role in the fall of the Berlin Wall ten years earlier.
2000 – A statewide recount began in Florida, which emerged as critical in deciding the winner of the 2000 presidential election. 19,000 votes were reported disqualified in West Palm Beach. Early that day, Vice President Al Gore telephoned Texas Gov. George W. Bush to concede, but called back about an hour later to retract his concession.
2000 – Saudi Arabia opened its border with Iraq and signed export contracts to nearly $600 million under exceptions to US sanctions.
2001 – In a prime-time address, President called on Americans to defy acts of terror by strengthening their communities, comforting their neighbors and remaining vigilant in the face of further threats.
2001 – U.S. jets struck Taliban targets across northern Afghanistan and fierce fighting was reported around the Taliban-held city of Mazar-e-Sharif.
2002 – Pres. Bush said the new resolution presented the Iraqi regime “with a final test.”
2002 – The UN Security Council unanimously approved a tough new Iraq resolution, aimed at forcing Saddam Hussein to disarm or face “serious consequences.” Iraq has until Nov. 15 to accept its terms and pledge to comply. Iraq has until Dec. 8 to provide weapons inspectors and the Security Council with a complete declaration of all aspects of its chemical, biological and nuclear programs. Weapons inspectors have until Dec. 23 to resume their work in Iraq. Weapons inspectors are to report to the Security Council 60 days after the start of their work. If inspectors resume their work on Dec. 23, the latest they would be able to report to the council would be Feb. 21, 2003.
2003 – In Iraq insurgents killed two US paratroopers and wounded another west of Baghdad. In Tikrit US F-16s battered suspected targets. 5 Iraqis were killed and 16 taken custody in “Operation Ivy Cyclone.”
2004 – In Iraq some 10,000 US and Iraqi troops fought their way into the western outskirts of Fallujah. A car bomb hit a civilian convoy belonging to coalition forces on the main highway to Baghdad’s airport.
2004 – U.S. Federal District Judge James Robertson rules that the system of tribunals set up by the United States military to try and sentence prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay is illegal.
2006 – Amid criticism, Donald Rumsfeld resigns as Secretary of Defense. The President will later announce the selection of former Director of Central Intelligence, Robert Gates to succeed Rumsfeld.
2014 – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, “Caliph” of ISIS is critically wounded during an US airstrike at al-Qaim.
2014 – North Korea releases American detainees Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller.
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
BALDWIN, FRANK D.
Rank and organization: Captain, Company D, 19th Michigan Infantry; First Lieutenant, 5th U.S. Infantry. SECOND AWARD
Place and date: At McClellans Creek, Tex., 8 November 1874. Citation: Rescued, with 2 companies, 2 white girls by a voluntary attack upon Indians whose superior numbers and strong position would have warranted delay for reinforcements, but which delay would have permitted the Indians to escape and kill their captives.
HATLER, M. WALDO
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 356th Infantry, 89th Division. Place and date: Near Pouilly, France, 8 November 1918. Entered service at: Neosho, Mo. Born: 6 January 1894, Bolivar, Mo. G.O. No.: 74, W.D., 1919. Citation: When volunteers were called for to secure information as to the enemy’s position on the opposite bank of the Meuse River, Sgt. Hatler was the first to offer his services for this dangerous mission. Swimming across the river, he succeeded in reaching the German lines, after another soldier, who had started with him, had been seized with cramps and drowned in midstream. Alone he carefully and courageously reconnoitered the enemy’s positions, which were held in force, and again successfully swam the river, bringing back information of great value.
*CRAW, DEMAS T.
Rank and organization: Colonel, U.S. Army Air Corps. Place and date. Near Port Lyautey, French Morocco, 8 November 1942. Entered service at: Michigan. Born: 9 April 1900, Traverse City, Mich. G.O. No.: 11, 4 March 1943. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty. On 8 November 1942, near Port Lyautey, French Morocco, Col. Craw volunteered to accompany the leading wave of assault boats to the shore and pass through the enemy lines to locate the French commander with a view to suspending hostilities. This request was first refused as being too dangerous but upon the officer’s ins1stence that he was qualified to undertake and accomplish the mission he was allowed to go. Encountering heavy fire while in the landing boat and unable to dock in the river because of shell fire from shore batteries, Col. Craw, accompanied by 1 officer and 1 soldier, succeeded in landing on the beach at Mehdia Plage under constant low-level strafing from 3 enemy planes. Riding in a bantam truck toward French headquarters, progress of the party was hindered by fire from our own naval guns. Nearing Port Lyautey, Col. Craw was instantly killed by a sustained burst of machinegun fire at pointblank range from a concealed position near the road.
HAMILTON, PIERPONT M.
Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army Air Corps. Place and date: Near Port Lyautey, French Morocco, 8 November 1942. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Born: 3 August 1898, Tuxedo Park, N.Y. G.O. No.: 4, 23 January 1943. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty. On 8 November 1942, near Port Lyautey, French Morocco, Lt. Col. Hamilton volunteered to accompany Col. Demas Craw on a dangerous mission to the French commander, designed to bring about a cessation of hostilities. Driven away from the mouth of the Sebou River by heavy shelling from all sides, the landing boat was finally beached at Mehdia Plage despite continuous machinegun fire from 3 low-flying hostile planes. Driven in a light truck toward French headquarters, this courageous mission encountered intermittent firing, and as it neared Port Lyautey a heavy burst of machinegun fire was delivered upon the truck from pointblank range, killing Col. Craw instantly. Although captured immediately, after this incident, Lt. Col. Hamilton completed the mission .
WILBUR, WILLIAM H.
Rank and organization: Colonel, U.S. Army, Western Task Force, North Africa. Place and date: Fedala, North Africa, 8 November 1942. Entered service at: Palmer, Mass. Birth: Palmer, Mass. G.O. No.: 2, 13 January 1943. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty. Col. Wilbur prepared the plan for making contact with French commanders in Casablanca and obtaining an armistice to prevent unnecessary bloodshed. On 8 November 1942, he landed at Fedala with the leading assault waves where opposition had developed into a firm and continuous defensive line across his route of advance. Commandeering a vehicle, he was driven toward the hostile defenses under incessant fire, finally locating a French officer who accorded him passage through the forward positions. He then proceeded in total darkness through 16 miles of enemy-occupied country intermittently subjected to heavy bursts of fire, and accomplished his mission by delivering his letters to appropriate French officials in Casablanca. Returning toward his command, Col. Wilbur detected a hostile battery firing effectively on our troops. He took charge of a platoon of American tanks and personally led them in an attack and capture of the battery. From the moment of landing until the cessation of hostile resistance, Col. Wilbur’s conduct was voluntary and exemplary in its coolness and daring.
*WILSON, ALFRED L.
Rank and organization: Technician Fifth Grade, U.S. Army, Medical Detachment, 328th Infantry, 26th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Bezange la Petite, France, 8 November 1944. Entered service at: Fairchance, Pa. Birth: Fairchance, Pa. G.O. No.: 47, 18 June 1945. Citation: He volunteered to assist as an aid man a company other than his own, which was suffering casualties from constant artillery fire. He administered to the wounded and returned to his own company when a shellburst injured a number of its men. While treating his comrades he was seriously wounded, but refused to be evacuated by litter bearers sent to relieve him. In spite of great pain and loss of blood, he continued to administer first aid until he was too weak to stand. Crawling from 1 patient to another, he continued his work until excessive loss of blood prevented him from moving. He then verbally directed unskilled enlisted men in continuing the first aid for the wounded. Still refusing assistance himself, he remained to instruct others in dressing the wounds of his comrades until he was unable to speak above a whisper and finally lapsed into unconsciousness. The effects of his injury later caused his death. By steadfastly remaining at the scene without regard for his own safety, Cpl. Wilson through distinguished devotion to duty and personal sacrifice helped to save the lives of at least 10 wounded men.
Rank and organization: Specialist Sixth Class (then Sp5c), U.S. Army, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade. Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 8 November 1965, Entered service at: New York City, N.Y. G.O. No.: 15, 5 April 1967. Born: 22 February 1928, Winston-Salem, N.C. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp6c. Joel demonstrated indomitable courage, determination, and professional skill when a numerically superior and well-concealed Viet Cong element launched a vicious attack which wounded or killed nearly every man in the lead squad of the company. After treating the men wounded by the initial burst of gunfire, he bravely moved forward to assist others who were wounded while proceeding to their objective. While moving from man to man, he was struck in the right leg by machine gun fire. Although painfully wounded his desire to aid his fellow soldiers transcended all personal feeling. He bandaged his own wound and self-administered morphine to deaden the pain enabling him to continue his dangerous undertaking. Through this period of time, he constantly shouted words of encouragement to all around him. Then, completely ignoring the warnings of others, and his pain, he continued his search for wounded, exposing himself to hostile fire; and, as bullets dug up the dirt around him, he held plasma bottles high while kneeling completely engrossed in his life saving mission. Then, after being struck a second time and with a bullet lodged in his thigh, he dragged himself over the battlefield and succeeded in treating 13 more men before his medical supplies ran out. Displaying resourcefulness, he saved the life of 1 man by placing a plastic bag over a severe chest wound to congeal the blood. As 1 of the platoons pursued the Viet Cong, an insurgent force in concealed positions opened fire on the platoon and wounded many more soldiers. With a new stock of medical supplies, Sp6c. Joel again shouted words of encouragement as he crawled through an intense hail of gunfire to the wounded men. After the 24 hour battle subsided and the Viet Cong dead numbered 410, snipers continued to harass the company. Throughout the long battle, Sp6c. Joel never lost sight of his mission as a medical aidman and continued to comfort and treat the wounded until his own evacuation was ordered. His meticulous attention to duty saved a large number of lives and his unselfish, daring example under most adverse conditions was an inspiration to all. Sp6c. Joel’s profound concern for his fellow soldiers, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, RVN. Place and date: Tay Ninh Province, Republic of Vietnam, 8 November 1966. Entered service at: Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico. Born: 1 March 1938, Ponce, Puerto Rico. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Capt. Rubio, Infantry, was serving as communications officer, 1st Battalion, when a numerically superior enemy force launched a massive attack against the battalion defense position. Intense enemy machinegun fire raked the area while mortar rounds and rifle grenades exploded within the perimeter. Leaving the relative safety of his post, Capt. Rubio received 2 serious wounds as he braved the withering fire to go to the area of most intense action where he distributed ammunition, re-established positions and rendered aid to the wounded. Disregarding the painful wounds, he unhesitatingly assumed command when a rifle company commander was medically evacuated. Capt. Rubio was wounded a third time as he selflessly exposed himself to the devastating enemy fire to move among his men to encourage them to fight with renewed effort. While aiding the evacuation of wounded personnel, he noted that a smoke grenade which was intended to mark the Viet Cong position for air strikes had fallen dangerously close to the friendly lines. Capt. Rubio ran to reposition the grenade but was immediately struck to his knees by enemy fire. Despite his several wounds, Capt. Rubio scooped up the grenade, ran through the deadly hail of fire to within 20 meters of the enemy position and hurled the already smoking grenade into the midst of the enemy before he fell for the final time. Using the repositioned grenade as a marker, friendly air strikes were directed to destroy the hostile positions. Capt. Rubio’s singularly heroic act turned the tide of battle, and his extraordinary leadership and valor were a magnificent inspiration to his men. His remarkable bravery and selfless concern for his men are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on Capt. Rubio and the U.S. Army.