Feast Day of St. Martin of Tours, Patron Saint of Chaplains and Logisticians: When Sulpicius Severus first met Martin of Tours he was stunned. Not only did the bishop offer him hospitality at his residence — a monk’s cell in the wilderness instead of a palace — but Martin washed Sulpicius’ hands before dinner and his feet in the evening. But Sulpicius was just the kind of person Martin showed the greatest honor to — a humble man without any rank or privilege. People of nobility and position were turned away from his abbey by chalk cliffs, out of fear of the temptation to pride. From that visit, Sulpicius became Martin’s disciple, friend, and biographer. Little is known of many of the saints who died in the early years of Christianity but thanks to Sulpicius, who wrote his first biography of Martin before the saint died and who talked to most of the people involved in his life, we have a priceless record of Martin’s life.
1620 – The Mayflower Compact is signed in what is now Provincetown Harbor near Cape Cod. The Mayflower Compact was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony. It was written by the Separatists, sometimes referred to as the “Saints”, fleeing from religious persecution by King James of England. They traveled aboard the Mayflower in 1620 along with adventurers, tradesmen, and servants, most of whom were referred to, by the Separatists as “Strangers”. The Mayflower Compact was signed aboard ship by most adult men. The Pilgrims used the Julian Calendar, also known as Old Style dates, which, at that time, was ten days behind the Gregorian Calendar. Signing the covenant were 41 of the ship’s 101 passengers, while the Mayflower was anchored in what is now Provincetown Harbor within the hook at the northern tip of Cape Cod.
1778 – Iroquois Indians and Torries, led by William Butler, massacred 40 inhabitants of Cherry Valley, N.Y. The Cherry Valley massacre was an attack by British and Iroquois forces on a fort and the village of Cherry Valley in eastern New York during the American Revolutionary War. It has been described as one of the most horrific frontier massacres of the war. A mixed force of Loyalists, British soldiers, Seneca and Mohawks descended on Cherry Valley, whose defenders, despite warnings, were unprepared for the attack. During the raid, the Seneca in particular targeted non-combatants, and reports state that 30 such individuals were slain, in addition to a number of armed defenders. The raiders were under the overall command of Walter Butler, who exercised little authority over the Indians on the expedition. Historian Barbara Graymont describes Butler’s command of the expedition as “criminally incompetent”. The Seneca were angered by accusations that they had committed atrocities at the Battle of Wyoming, and the colonists’ recent destruction of their forward bases of operation at Unadilla, Onaquaga, and Tioga. Butler’s authority with the Indians was undermined by his poor treatment of Joseph Brant, the leader of the Mohawks. Butler repeatedly maintained, against accusations that he permitted the atrocities to take place, that he was powerless to restrain the Seneca. During the campaigns of 1778, Brant achieved an undeserved reputation for brutality. He was not present at Wyoming, although many thought he was, and actively sought to minimize the atrocities that took place at Cherry Valley. The massacre contributed to calls for reprisals, leading to the 1779 Sullivan Expedition which drove the Iroquois out of western New York.
1811 – Confederate General Ben McCulloch is born near Rutherford City, Tennessee. Raised in Tennessee, McCulloch followed his friends Davy Crockett and Sam Houston to Texas in 1835. Measles kept him from joining Crockett at the Alamo, where its defenders, including Crockett, were massacred when the Mexican army overran the mission during the Texas War for Independence. McCulloch served with Houston at the decisive Battle of San Jacinto, in which Mexican General Santa Anna’s army was defeated and Texas gained its independence. After the war, McCulloch served in the Texas legislature and the Texas Rangers, the primary law enforcement agency in the Republic of Texas. He fought under General Zachary Taylor during the Mexican War and served as a U.S. marshal in the 1850s. When the Civil War broke out, McCulloch became a colonel in command of Texas troops. He rode to San Antonio and forced the surrender of a Federal arsenal there, while his brother, Henry, took control of Federal posts on the Texas frontier. In May 1861, Ben McCulloch became a brigadier general in the Confederate army and was assigned to defend Indian Territory. He formed alliances with several tribes in the area before moving his force to southwestern Missouri, where he played a key role in the Confederate victory at Wilson’s Creek on August 10, 1861. McCulloch commanded a wing of the Army of the West as it approached a Union force led by General Samuel Curtis in northwestern Arkansas in March 1862. Curtis took up a defensive position around Elkhorn Tavern and waited for the Confederates to attack. On the night of March 6, McCulloch marched his troops around Curtis’s right flank and prepared for an early morning assault on March 7. Curtis discovered the movement, and blocked McCulloch’s advance. That day, at the Battle of Pea Ridge, Curtis held off a furious attack by McCulloch’s force. McCulloch rode forward to monitor his men’s progress when he emerged from some underbrush directly in front of a Union regiment. Identifiable by his trademark black velvet suit (he eschewed uniforms), a volley from the Yankees killed McCulloch instantly. His successor, General James McIntosh, was killed minutes later and the leaderless Confederates retreated. McCulloch’s death was the turning point in the battle, and the Confederate defeat ensured Union domination of northern Arkansas for the rest of the war.
1813 – In the Battle of Crysler’s Farm, British and Canadian forces defeat a larger American force, causing the Americans to abandon their Saint Lawrence campaign. The Battle of Crysler’s Farm, also known as the Battle of Crysler’s Field, was fought on 11 November 1813, during the War of 1812. The name Chrysler’s Farm is sometimes used for the engagement, but Crysler is the proper spelling.
1831 – Nat Turner was hanged and skinned in Southampton county, Va. Hysteria surrounded this rebellion and over 200 slaves, some as far away as North Carolina, were murdered by whites in fear of a generalized uprising. A martyr to the anti-slavery cause, Turner’s actions had the adverse effect of virtually ending all abolitionist activities in the south before the Civil War.
1839 – The Virginia Military Institute is founded in Lexington, Virginia.
1861 – Thaddeus Lowe made balloon observation of Confederate forces from Balloon- Boat G.W. Parke Custis anchored in Potomac River. G. W. Parke Custis was procured for $150, and readied for the service at the Washington Navy Yard. Lowe reported: “I left the navy-yard early Sunday morning, the 10th instant– . . . towed our by the steamer Coeur de Lion, having on board competent assistant aeronauts, together with my new gas generating apparatus, which, though used for the first time, worked admirably. We located at the mouth of Mattawoman Creek, about three miles from the opposite or Virginia shore. [11 November] proceeded to make observations accompanied in my ascensions by General Sickles and others. We had a fine view of the enemy’s camp-fires during the evening, and saw the rebels constructing new batteries at Freestone Point.”
1864 – Sherman’s troops destroyed Rome, Georgia and continued on toward Atlanta.
1864 – Commander Henry K. Davenport, U.S.S. Lancaster, captured Confederates on board steamer Salvador, bound from Panama to California, after having been informed that they intended to seize the ship at sea and convert her into a raider. Salvador’s captain had warned naval authorities at Panama Bay that the attempt was to be made, and Davenport and his men arranged to search the baggage of the passengers after the vessel passed the territorial limits of Panama. The search revealed guns and ammunition, along with a commission from Secretary Mallory for the capture; the Confederates were promptly taken into custody. This daring party, led by Acting Master Thomas E. Hogg, CSN, was one of many attempting to seize Union steamers and convert them into commerce raiders, especially with a view toward capturing the gold shipments from California. Union warships usually convoyed the California ships to prevent their capture.
1865 – Dr. Mary Edward Walker, 1st Army female surgeon, was awarded Medal of Honor by Pres. Andrew Johnson for her work as a field doctor for outstanding service at the Battle of Bull Run, at the Battle of Chickamauga, as a Confederate prisoner of war in Richmond, Va., and at the Battle of Atlanta.
1870 – Navy expedition to explore the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, southern Mexico, commanded by CAPT Robert W. Shufeldt, enters the Coatzacoalcos River to begin a survey for possible interoceanic canal. Support provided by USS Kansas and USS Mayflower.
1885 – George Smith Patton, one of the great American generals of World War II, is born in San Gabriel, California. Patton came from a family with a long history of military service. After studying at West Point, he served as a tank officer in World War I, and his experience in that conflict, along with his extensive military study, led him to become an advocate of the crucial importance of the tank in future warfare. After the American entrance into World War II, Patton was placed in command of an important U.S. tank division and played a key role in the Allied invasion of French North Africa in 1942. In 1943, Patton led the U.S. Seventh Army in its assault on Sicily and won fame for out-commanding Montgomery during the so-called Race to Messina. Although Patton was one of the ablest American commanders in World War II, he was also one of the most controversial. He presented himself as a modern-day cavalryman, designed his own uniform, and was known to make eccentric claims that he was a direct descent from great military leaders of the past through reincarnation. During the Sicilian campaign, Patton generated considerable controversy when he accused a hospitalized U.S. soldier suffering from battle fatigue of cowardice and then personally struck him across the face. The famously profane general was forced to issue a public apology and was reprimanded by General Dwight Eisenhower. However, when it was time for the invasion of Western Europe, Eisenhower could find no general as formidable as Patton, and the general was again granted an important military post. In 1944, Patton commanded the U.S. Third Army in the invasion of France, and in December of that year his expertise in military movement and tank warfare helped crush the German counteroffensive in the Ardennes. During one of his many successful campaigns, General Patton was said to have declared, “Compared to war, all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance.” On December 21, 1945, he died in a hospital in Germany from injuries sustained in an automobile accident near Mannheim.
1889 – Washington became the 42nd state of the US. Washington is located north of Oregon, west of Idaho, and south of the Canadian province of British Columbia on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Named after George Washington, the first President of the United States, the state was made out of the western part of the Washington Territory which had been ceded by Britain in 1846 by the Oregon Treaty as a settlement of the Oregon Boundary Dispute. It was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. Although its official, unambiguous name is “The State of Washington,” the state’s name is often reversed and referred to as “Washington state” to the chagrin of many natives. This is meant to distinguish it from Washington, D.C., also named for George Washington. Another nickname is “the Evergreen State.” Its largest city is Seattle, situated in the west, followed by Spokane, located in the east, and its capital is Olympia.
1909 – Construction began on the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
1918 – At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ends. At 5 a.m. that morning, Germany, bereft of manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiýgne, France. The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives. In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation, or exposure. On June 28, 1914, in an event that is widely regarded as sparking the outbreak of World War I, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, was shot to death with his wife by Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Ferdinand had been inspecting his uncle’s imperial armed forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, despite the threat of Serbian nationalists who wanted these Austro-Hungarian possessions to join newly independent Serbia. Austria-Hungary blamed the Serbian government for the attack and hoped to use the incident as justification for settling the problem of Slavic nationalism once and for all. However, as Russia supported Serbia, an Austro-Hungarian declaration of war was delayed until its leaders received assurances from German leader Kaiser Wilhelm II that Germany would support their cause in the event of a Russian intervention. On July 28, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and the tenuous peace between Europe’s great powers collapsed. On July 29, Austro-Hungarian forces began to shell the Serbian capital, Belgrade, and Russia, Serbia’s ally, ordered a troop mobilization against Austria-Hungary. France, allied with Russia, began to mobilize on August 1. France and Germany declared war against each other on August 3. After crossing through neutral Luxembourg, the German army invaded Belgium on the night of August 3-4, prompting Great Britain, Belgium’s ally, to declare war against Germany. For the most part, the people of Europe greeted the outbreak of war with jubilation. Most patriotically assumed that their country would be victorious within months. Of the initial belligerents, Germany was most prepared for the outbreak of hostilities, and its military leaders had formatted a sophisticated military strategy known as the “Schlieffen Plan,” which envisioned the conquest of France through a great arcing offensive through Belgium and into northern France. Russia, slow to mobilize, was to be kept occupied by Austro-Hungarian forces while Germany attacked France. The Schlieffen Plan was nearly successful, but in early September the French rallied and halted the German advance at the bloody Battle of the Marne near Paris. By the end of 1914, well over a million soldiers of various nationalities had been killed on the battlefields of Europe, and neither for the Allies nor the Central Powers was a final victory in sight. On the western front–the battle line that stretched across northern France and Belgium–the combatants settled down in the trenches for a terrible war of attrition. In 1915, the Allies attempted to break the stalemate with an amphibious invasion of Turkey, which had joined the Central Powers in October 1914, but after heavy bloodshed the Allies were forced to retreat in early 1916. The year 1916 saw great offensives by Germany and Britain along the western front, but neither side accomplished a decisive victory. In the east, Germany was more successful, and the disorganized Russian army suffered terrible losses, spurring the outbreak of the Russian Revolution in 1917. By the end of 1917, the Bolsheviks had seized power in Russia and immediately set about negotiating peace with Germany. In 1918, the infusion of American troops and resources into the western front finally tipped the scale in the Allies’ favor. Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies on November 11, 1918. World War I was known as the “war to end all wars” because of the great slaughter and destruction it caused. Unfortunately, the peace treaty that officially ended the conflict–the Treaty of Versailles of 1919–forced punitive terms on Germany that destabilized Europe and laid the groundwork for World War II.
1919 – The Centralia Massacre in Centralia, Washington results the deaths of four members of the American Legion and the lynching of a local leader of the Industrial Workers of the World. The Centralia Massacre, also known as the Armistice Day Riot, was a violent and bloody incident that occurred during a parade celebrating the first anniversary of Armistice Day. This conflict between the American Legion and workers who were members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or “Wobblies”) resulted in six deaths, additional wounded, multiple prison terms, and an ongoing and especially bitter dispute over the motivations and events that precipitated the massacre. It was the culmination of years of bad blood between members of the local Legion and members of the IWW. Both Centralia and the neighboring town of Chehalis had a large number of World War I veterans, with robust chapters of the Legion, as well as a large number of IWW members, some also war veterans. The ramifications of this event included a trial that attracted national media attention, notoriety that contributed to the Red Scare of 1919–20, the creation of a powerful martyr for the IWW, a monument to one side of the battle and a mural for the other, a formal tribute to the fallen Legionnaires by President Warren G. Harding, and a deep-rooted enmity between the local American Legion and the Wobblies that persists into the 21st century.
1920– Lenah S. Higbee becomes the first woman to be awarded the Navy Cross. It was awarded for her World War I service.
1921 – Washington Naval Conference begins. More formally known as the International Conference on Naval Limitation, this disarmament effort was occasioned by the hugely expensive naval construction rivalry that existed among Britain, Japan and the United States. Senator William E. Borah, Republican of Idaho, took the lead on this matter and urged that the major Allied nations from the recent war gather in an effort to slow the arms race. The proposal was not met with initial enthusiasm by the Harding administration, but it became a political imperative when it was portrayed as a Republican alternative to League of Nations’ peace efforts. In the summer of 1921, Harding extended invitations and expanded the agenda beyond arms control to include discussion of issues in the Pacific and Far East. The formal opening of the conference occurred on Armistice Day 1921. The major naval powers of Britain, France, Italy, Japan and the United States were in attendance as well as other nations with concerns about territories in the Pacific — Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal and China — who were not parties to the disarmament discussions. Soviet Russia was not invited, nor were the defeated Central Powers. The American delegation was led by Charles Evans Hughes, the secretary of state, and included Elihu Root, Henry Cabot Lodge and Oscar Underwood, the Democratic minority leader in the Senate. In the initial session, Hughes shocked the delegates by going beyond platitudes and offering a detailed plan for arms reduction. Labeled by some as one of the most dramatic moments in American diplomatic history, Hughes called for the scrapping of nearly two million tons of warships and a lengthy “holiday” on the construction of new ships. He was widely hailed in the press as a savior, but leaders of the other Allied governments were quietly skeptical.
1921 – Exactly three years after the end of World War I, the Tomb of the Unknowns is dedicated at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia during an Armistice Day ceremony presided over by President Warren G. Harding. Two days before, an unknown American soldier, who had fallen somewhere on a World War I battlefield, arrived at the nation’s capital from a military cemetery in France. On Armistice Day, in the presence of President Harding and other government, military, and international dignitaries, the unknown soldier was buried with highest honors beside the Memorial Amphitheater. As the soldier was lowered to his final resting place, a two-inch layer of soil brought from France was placed below his coffin so that he might rest forever atop the earth on which he died. The Tomb of the Unknowns is considered the most hallowed grave at Arlington Cemetery, America’s most sacred military cemetery. The tombstone itself, designed by sculptor Thomas Hudson Jones, was not completed until 1932, when it was unveiled bearing the description “Here Rests in Honored Glory an American Soldier Known but to God.” The World War I unknown was later joined by the unidentified remains of soldiers from America’s other major 20th century wars and the tomb was put under permanent guard by special military sentinels. In 1998, a Vietnam War unknown, who was buried at the tomb for 14 years, was disinterred from the Tomb after DNA testing indicated his identity. Air Force Lieutenant Michael Blassie was returned to his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, and was buried with military honors, including an F-15 jet “missing man” flyover and a lone bugler sounding taps.
1922 – Kurt Vonnegut, American author who wrote “Slaughterhouse Five,” was born. Vonnegut was a World War II soldier who witnessed the firebombing of Dresden. Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He attended Cornell and joined the Air Force during World War II. He was captured by Germans and held in Dresden, where he was forced to dig out dead and charred bodies in the aftermath of the city’s bombing. After the war, he studied anthropology at the University of Chicago and later wrote journalism and public relations material. Vonnegut’s other novels, including Cat’s Cradle (1963), Breakfast of Champions (1973), Galapagos (1985), and others, did not generate as much controversy as Slaughterhouse-Five. His experimental writing style, combining the real, the absurd, the satiric, and the fanciful, attracted attention and made his books popular. Vonnegut is also a gifted graphic artist whose satirical sketches appear in some of his later novels, including Breakfast of Champions.
1940 – Willys unveiled the “Jeep.” The invitation to submit bids was sent to 135 U.S. automobile manufacturers to produce 70 vehicles; the small Bantam company managed to meet the deadline delivering the pilot model in September 23, 1940. Although it was 730 lbs. overweight it was judged good. Willys-Overland submitted crude sketches of their vehicle and underbid Bantam, although they could not meet the 75 day delivery period; after adding penalties for this the Bantam proposal was lower and this company received an order to produce 70 Model 60 or MKII. Willys Overland submited two units of its pilot model, the Quad, on this day; this had many of the features from the Bantam as did another prototype from Ford, who delivered two of its Pigmy in November 23. Both Willys-Overland and Ford were given free access to Bantam’s prototype and blueprints, which goes a long way to explain the similarities. With all three prototypes satisfactory, the Army decided to order 1500 of each for field evaluation, with deliveries to begin in early 1941; each of the prototypes should suffer alterations to remedy deficiencies brought out by the testing. The modified versions were the Bantam 40 BRC, the Willys MA and the Ford GP (G for Government, P for 80″ wheelbase). In July 1941 the War Department decided to adopt one single model; Willys was selected because it bid lower than the others but the MA had to be redesigned in view of the experience gained with the tests. The redesigned model was named MB by Willys but the contracts to manufacture the vehicle went both to Willys and Ford, where it was named GPW (the W was added to refer to the Willys motor). Meanwhile, about 1000 Bantam 40 BRCs were built for the Russian Army.
1940 – The British Mediterranean Fleet attacks the Italian base at Taranto. During the night 21 Swordfish aircraft attack in two waves and gain three torpedo hits on the brand new battleship Littorio and one each on Caio Duilio and Conte di Cavour. Two other ships are damaged. The aircraft have come from the carrier Illustrious and only two are lost. This brilliant attack will certainly be studied by other navies and the potential for such an attack on an enemy fleet in harbor is clear to the Japanese.
1942 – On Guadalcanal, the American attacks to the west are halted when news of Japanese supply convoys comes in.
1942 – Congress approves lowering the draft age to 18 and raising the upper limit to age 37. In September 1940, Congress, by wide margins in both houses, passed the Burke-Wadsworth Act, and the first peacetime draft was imposed in the history of the United States. The registration of men between the ages of 21 and 36 began exactly one month later. There were some 20 million eligible young men-50 percent were rejected the very first year, either for health reasons or because 20 percent of those who registered were illiterate. But by November 1942, with the United States now a participant in the war, and not merely a neutral bystander, the draft ages had to be expanded; men 18 to 37 were now eligible. Blacks were passed over for the draft because of racist assumptions about their abilities and the viability of a mixed-race military. But this changed in 1943, when a “quota” was imposed, meant to limit the numbers of blacks drafted to reflect their numbers in the overall population, roughly 10.6 percent of the whole. Initially, blacks were restricted to “labor units,” but this too ended as the war progressed, when they were finally used in combat. By war’s end, approximately 34 million men had registered; 10 million had been inducted into the military.
1943 – American Admiral Sherman and Admiral Montgomery lead two separate carrier task forces in an attack on the Japanese base at Rabaul on New Britain Island. Five carriers and 185 planes are involved. The Japanese lost almost 70 of their defending fighters as well as 1 light cruiser and 2 destroyers in the attack. A Japanese air strike on the carriers fails. Raid was first use of SB2C Curtiss Helldivers in combat.
1943 – On Bougainville, the Japanese 23rd Regiment is push back by the US 3rd Marine Division.
1943 – An Allied convoy east of Oran is attacked by about 50 German aircraft. It loses 3 transports and 1 tanker.
1944 – Private Eddie Slovik was convicted of desertion and sentenced to death for refusing to join his unit in the European Theater of Operations.
1944 – Aircraft from 8 carriers of US Task Force 38 attack a Japanese convoy off Leyte, near Ormoc. Four destroyers, 1 minesweeper and 5 transports (carrying nearly 10,000 troops) are sunk.
1944 – An American cruiser and destroyer task force, commanded by Admiral Smith, shells the island of Iwo Jima during the night.
1944 – In China, Japanese forces capture the Allied airbases at Kweilin and Liuchow. American forces have rendered the base at Liuchow unusable prior to withdrawing.
1954 – November 11 designated as Veterans Day to honor veterans of all U.S. wars.
1966 – Gemini 12 blasted off from Cape Kennedy, Fla., with astronauts James A. Lovell and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr.
1967 – Three U.S. prisoners of war, two of them African American, are released by the Viet Cong in a ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The three men were turned over to Tom Hayden, a “new left” antiwar activist. U.S. officials in Saigon said that the released prisoners had been “brainwashed,” but the State Department denied it. The Viet Cong said that the release was a response to antiwar protests in the U.S. and a gesture towards the “courageous struggle” of blacks in the United States. Also on this day: In Vietnam, the Americal (formerly Task Force Oregon) and 1st Cavalry Divisions combine to form Operation Wheeler/Wallowa in Quang Nam and Quang Tin Provinces, I Corps. The purpose of the operation was to relieve enemy pressure and to reinforce the III Marine Amphibious Force in the area, thus permitting Marines to be deployed further north. The operation lasted more than 12 months and resulted in 10,000 enemy casualties.
1968 – U.S. joint-service Operation Commando Hunt is launched. This operation was designed to interdict Communist routes of infiltration along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, through Laos into South Vietnam. The aerial campaign involved a series of intensive air operations by U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps aircraft and lasted until April 1972. During the course of the operation, nearly 3 million tons of bombs fell on Laos. While Communist infiltration was slowed by this campaign, it was not seriously disrupted. Commando Hunt was ultimately considered a failure.
1972 – The massive Long Binh military base, once the largest U.S. installation outside the continental United States, is handed over to the South Vietnamese. This logistical complex, which had been constructed on the outskirts of Bien Hoa near the outskirts of Saigon, included numerous ammunition depots, supply depots, and other logistics installations. It served as the headquarters for U.S. Army Vietnam, 1st Logistical Command, and several other related activities. The handing-over of the base effectively marked the end–after seven years–of direct U.S. participation in the war. After the Long Binh base was turned over, about 29,000 U.S. soldiers remained in South Vietnam, most them advisors with South Vietnamese units, or helicopter crewmen, and maintenance, supply, and office staff.
1978 – Veteran’s Day, originally know as Armistice Day, became a national holiday in 1938. It was changed back by Congress in this year to this day rather than the 4th Monday of October, which had been set in 1968.
1981 – Commissioning of first Trident-class Nuclear Powered Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine, USS Ohio (SSBN-726).
1991 – The United States stationed its first diplomat in Cambodia in 16 years to help the war-shocked nation arrange democratic elections.
1992 – By letter, Russian President Boris Yeltsin told U.S. senators that Americans had been held in prison camps after World War II and some were “summarily executed,” but that others were still living in his country voluntarily.
1993 – A bronze statue honoring the more than 11,000 American women who had served in the Vietnam War was dedicated in Washington, D.C.
1996 – The Army reported getting nearly 2,000 calls to a hot line set up after revelations of a sex scandal at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. Meanwhile, a Pentagon official said the Army was ready to take action in another case of alleged sexual misconduct at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
1996 – Phan Thi Kim Phuc laid a wreath at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. John Plummer, Vietnam era helicopter pilot, met with Phan Thi Kim at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington in reconciliation. Phan Thi Kim had suffered severe napalm burns after a napalm bombing of her village in Jun 1972.
1997 – In Pakistan 4 American oil company employees and their driver were shot dead in Karachi. It was believed to be in retaliation for the conviction of Amil Kasi for the 1993 murder of 2 CIA employees.
1998 – President Clinton ordered warships, planes and troops to the Persian Gulf as he laid out his case for a possible attack on Iraq. Iraq, meanwhile, showed no sign of backing down on its refusal to deal with U.N. weapons inspectors.
2000 – Pres. Clinton led groundbreaking ceremonies in Washington DC for the National WW II Memorial.
2000 – General elections were held in Bosnia.
2001 – In Afghanistan Northern Alliance forces with help from US warplanes and advisers captured Taloqan and some 200 Taliban were reported killed. Local warlords accepted a payment to change allegiance.
2001 – A Pakistani newspaper (Ausaf) published the second part of an interview in which Osama bin Laden was quoted as saying he had nothing to do with the anthrax attacks in the United States, and declared he would never allow himself to be captured.
2002 – Iraqi lawmakers denounced a new UN resolution on weapons inspections as dishonest, provocative and worthy of rejection. But the Iraqi parliament said it ultimately would trust whatever President Saddam Hussein decided.
2003 – The Kurdish guerrilla group that battled the Turkish army for some 15 years announced that it was dissolving itself and was planning to form a new group that would likely would pursue Kurdish rights through negotiations. The Kurdistan Workers Party changed its name to the Congress for Freedom and Democracy in Kurdistan, or KADEK, last year.
2010 – Iceland opens an inquiry as it emerges that its citizens may be being spied on by the United States embassy. This follows similar investigations into possible illegal U.S. activities in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland, with possibly hundreds of Norwegians being monitored and Sweden describing the matter as “very serious”.
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
STICKOFFER, JULIUS H.
Rank and organization: Saddler, Company L, 8th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Cienaga Springs, Utah, 11 November 1868. Entered service at:——. Birth: Switzerland. Date of issue: 3 March 1870. Citation: Gallantry in action.
*LOGAN, JOHN A.
Rank and organization: Major, 33d Infantry, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: At San Jacinto, Philippine Islands, 11 November 1899. Entered service at: Youngstown, Ohio. Born: 24 July 1865, Carbondale, Ill. Date of issue: 3 May 1902. Citation: For most distinguished gallantry in leading his battalion upon the entrenchments of the enemy, on which occasion he fell mortally wounded.
MULLIN, HUGH P.
Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 20 March 1878, Richmond, Ill. Accredited to: Illinois. G.O. No.: 537, 8 January 1900. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Texas during the coaling of that vessel at Hampton Roads, Va., 11 November 1899. Jumping overboard while wearing a pair of heavy rubber boots and at great risk to himself, Mullin rescued Alfred Kosminski, apprentice, second class, who fell overboard, by supporting him until he was safely hauled from the water.
*LINDSTROM, FLOYD K.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Mignano, Italy, 11 November 1943. Entered service at: Colorado Springs, Colo. Birth: Holdredge, Nebr. G.O. No.: 32, 20 April 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. On 11 November 1943, this soldier’s platoon was furnishing machinegun support for a rifle company attacking a hill near Mignano, Italy, when the enemy counterattacked, forcing the riflemen and half the machinegun platoon to retire to a defensive position. Pfc. Lindstrom saw that his small section was alone and outnumbered 5 to 1, yet he immediately deployed the few remaining men into position and opened fire with his single gun. The enemy centered fire on him with machinegun, machine pistols, and grenades. Unable to knock out the enemy nest from his original position, Pfc. Lindstrom picked up his own heavy machinegun and staggered 15 yards up the barren, rocky hillside to a new position, completely ignoring enemy small arms fire which was striking all around him. From this new site, only 10 yards from the enemy machinegun, he engaged it in an intense duel. Realizing that he could not hit the hostile gunners because they were behind a large rock, he charged uphill under a steady stream of fire, killed both gunners with his pistol and dragged their gun down to his own men, directing them to employ it against the enemy. Disregarding heavy rifle fire, he returned to the enemy machinegun nest for 2 boxes of ammunition, came back and resumed withering fire from his own gun. His spectacular performance completely broke up the German counterattack. Pfc. Lindstrom demonstrated aggressive spirit and complete fearlessness in the face of almost certain death.