1542– New laws were passed in Spain giving protection against the enslavement of Indians in America.
1718– Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard, is killed off North Carolina’s Outer Banks during a bloody battle with a British navy force sent from Virginia. Believed to be a native of England, Edward Teach likely began his pirating career in 1713, when he became a crewman aboard a Caribbean sloop commanded by pirate Benjamin Hornigold. In 1717, after Hornigold accepted an offer of general amnesty by the British crown and retired as a pirate, Teach took over a captured 26-gun French merchantman, increased its armament to 40 guns, and renamed it the Queen Anne’s Revenge. During the next six months, the Queen Anne’s Revenge served as the flagship of a pirate fleet featuring up to four vessels and more than 200 men. Teach became the most infamous pirate of his day, winning the popular name of Blackbeard for his long, dark beard, which he was said to light on fire during battles to intimidate his enemies. Blackbeard’s pirate forces terrorized the Caribbean and the southern coast of North America and were notorious for their cruelty. In May 1718, the Queen Anne’s Revenge and another vessel were shipwrecked, forcing Blackbeard to desert a third ship and most of his men because of a lack of supplies. With the single remaining ship, Blackbeard sailed to Bath in North Carolina and met with Governor Charles Eden. Eden agreed to pardon Blackbeard in exchange for a share of his sizable booty. At the request of North Carolina planters, Governor Alexander Spotswood of Virginia dispatched a British naval force under Lieutenant Robert Maynard to North Carolina to deal with Blackbeard. On November 22, Blackbeard’s forces were defeated and he was killed in a bloody battle of Ocracoke Island. Legend has it that Blackbeard, who captured more than 30 ships in his brief pirating career, received five musket-ball wounds and 20 sword lacerations before dying.
1812 – Seventeen Indiana Rangers are killed at the Battle of Wild Cat Creek. The Battle of Wild Cat Creek, was the result of a November 1812 terror campaign against Native American villages during the War of 1812. It has been nicknamed “Spur’s Defeat,” which is thought to refer to the spurs used by the soldiers to drive their horses away from the battle as quickly as possible. The campaign is sometimes referred to as the Second Battle of Tippecanoe. Colonels Miller and Wilcox accompanied Captain Beckes and sixty Indiana Rangers to recover the body of a Solider fallen in skirmishing the previous day. After riding about six miles up Wildcat Creek, they found a dead comrade’s head stuck on a pole and a Native standing beside the head taunting them. Thirteen Indiana Rangers were outraged by this and chased the rider, but he managed to stay ahead of them, and led them into a narrow canyon. Here, Kickapoo, Winnebago, and Shawnee warriors ambushed the Rangers. Within two minutes, twelve men and several horses were dead or dying. Many of the officers were killed, and the Rangers fled. One man who escaped did so by spurring his horse to gallop faster, hence the naming of the battle “Spur’s Defeat”. Scouts learned that a large force of Native Americans were gathering to fight Hopkin’s army, and they prepared to do battle as soon as possible. Bitter cold set in, however, and a snowstorm threatened the expedition. When the Indian camp was reached on 24 November, it was deserted. Hopkins turned back, stopping at Fort Harrison to recover from the weather before proceeding to Vincennes. By the time they reached Fort Knox, two hundred men were suffering from sickness or frostbite. Major General Hopkins became so depressed from his successive losses that he resigned. General Samuel Hopkins was brought before a Court of Inquiry for his actions in the Ill. Territory and Prophetstown. He was cleared of any wrongdoing by the military tribunal and later ran for the Senate.
1858 – Denver, Colorado, is founded.
1862 – Joint Army–Navy expedition to vicinity of Mathews Court House, Virginia. Raid under Lieutenant Farquhar and Acting Master’s Mate Nathan W. Black of U.S.S. Mahaska destroyed numerous salt works together with hundreds of bushels of salt, burned three schooners and numerous small boats, and captured 24 large canoes.
1864 – Confederate General John Bell Hood invades Tennessee in a desperate attempt to draw General William T. Sherman out of Georgia. This movement was part of the sad saga of Hood’s Army of Tennessee in 1864. In the spring, the army, commanded then by Joseph Johnston, blocked Sherman’s path to Atlanta from Chattanooga. During the summer, Sherman and Johnston fought a series of relatively small engagements as Sherman tried to flank the Rebel army. Johnston slowly retreated toward Atlanta, but kept his army intact. By July, Confederate President Jefferson Davis had seen enough territory lost to the Yankees, so he replaced the defensive Johnston with the aggressive Hood. Hood made a series of attacks on Sherman outside of Atlanta that did nothing but diminish his own army’s capabilities. After a one-month siege, Hood was forced to withdraw from Atlanta. He took his army south, then swung around west of Atlanta in an attempt to cut Sherman’s supply line. This line ran down the corridor from Chattanooga covering the same ground over which the two armies had fought in the summer. Although Sherman had to commit a substantial part of his force to protect the lines, Hood could do little more than pick at them. In October, Hood headed into Alabama to rest his beleaguered army. Hood then embarked on a bold expedition to save the western theater for the Confederates. He planned to move toward Nashville, into Kentucky and maybe even into the Northern states before turning east and joining up with General Robert E. Lee’s army, which was under siege at Petersburg, Virginia. It was an enormous task, but Hood was determined to carry it out. The November 22 passage into Tennessee marked the start of a new campaign that spelled disaster for the Confederates. In early November, Sherman took part of his force, cut loose from his supply lines, and began his March to the Sea, which would end with the capture of Savannah just before Christmas. He sent the rest of the force under George Thomas back to Nashville to guard against Hood. Hood charged toward Thomas and attacked part of his force at Franklin, Tennessee, on November 30. Hood suffered a devastating defeat there but continued on to attack Thomas at Nashville on December 15. After that attack, little remained of Hood’s once-proud Army of Tennessee.
1906– The “S-O-S” (SOS) distress signal was adopted at the International Radio Telegraphic Convention in Berlin. Considerable discussion ensued and finally SOS was adopted. The thinking was that three dots, three dashes and three dots could not be misinterpreted. It was to be sent together as one string.
1910– Amy Elizabeth Thorpe, a Minnesota-born British spy known as “Cynthia” was born in Minneapolis. She has been described as World War II`s “Mata Hari.” Family and friends called her Betty. William Stephenson, who ran Great Britain’s World War II intelligence activities in the Western Hemisphere, would one day give her a code name–“Cynthia.” She reputedly was one of the most successful spies in history.
1915 – The Wilson administration rejects a German offer of $1000 for each passenger killed following the torpedoing of the Lusitania on May 7.
1917 – U.S.A. Mission under Colonel House leaves London for Paris.
1923– Pres. Coolidge pardoned WW I German spy Lothar Witzke, who was sentenced to death. Witzke, a member of a “fifth column” organization run from Mexico. He was suspected in the “Black Tom” explosion that damaged the Statue of Liberty in 1916 and convicted of the Mare Island explosion the following year.
1935– Pan Am inaugurated the first transpacific airmail service, San Francisco to Manila. The Pan Am China Clipper under Captain Ed Musick took off from Alameda Point bound for the Philippines. It was the company’s first trans-Pacific flight. The plane was a 25-ton Martin M-130 flying boat with a wingspan of 130 feet, and was the largest aircraft in world service.
1943– President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek met in Cairo to discuss measures for defeating Japan.
1943– On the Tarawa Atoll, there is heavy fighting. The American marines are advancing. On Makin Atoll, the American infantry occupy most of Butaritari by nightfall. On Abimama Atoll, there are American landings.
1944– Operations of the US 9th Army and the US 1st Army secure Eschweiler. Forces of the US 3rd Army capture Metz. US 7th Army forces take St. Die as others approach Saverne. The French 1st Army occupies Mulhouse, after defeating a counterattack by German forces.
1948– Ho Chi Minh’s Democratic Republic of Vietnam requested admittance to the UN.
1952 – Captain Cecil G. Foster of the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing became the 23rd ace of the Korean War.
1953 – A great boon to ocean navigation for aircraft surface vessels was the completion of four new LORAN stations in the Far East. The stations were built at Mikayo Jima, Ryuku Islands; Bataan and Cantanduanes Islands, Philippines; and Anguar, Palau Island in the Carolinas chain. Now replaced by the more accurate LORAN-C network, these stations on sparsely-populated, remote and typhoon-battered islands.
1963– President John F. Kennedy is assassinated during a visit to Dallas, Texas. His death caused intense mourning in the United States and brought Vice President Lyndon Johnson to the presidency. Kennedy’s untimely death also left future generations with a great many “what if” questions concerning the subsequent history of the Cold War. In the years since Kennedy’s death, a number of supporters argued that had he lived he would have done much to bring the Cold War to a close. Some have suggested that he would have sharply curtailed military spending and brought the arms race under control. The most persistent claim, which served as the centerpiece of Oliver Stone’s 1991 film JFK, is that Kennedy would have withdrawn U.S. troops from Vietnam after being re-elected in 1964. Stone went on to charge that right-wing militants in the U.S. government coordinated the assassination plot. It is difficult to say what Kennedy would have done had he not been killed in November 1963, but the arguments raised by Stone and others do not seem supported by the available evidence. During his brief presidency, Kennedy consistently requested higher military spending, asking for billions in increased funding. After the humiliating defeat at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba, his administration approved Operation Mongoose, a CIA program that involved plots to destabilize the communist government in Cuba. There was even discussion about assassinating Cuban leader Fidel Castro. In Vietnam, Kennedy increased the number of U.S. advisers from around 1,500 when he took office, to more than 16,000 by the time of his death. His administration also participated in the planning of the coup that ultimately overthrew South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, who was murdered by his own military just three weeks prior to Kennedy’s assassination. If Kennedy was going to become less of a cold warrior after 1964, there was little to suggest this change prior to November 22, 1963.
1963– Two amateur films recorded the assassination of Pres. Kennedy. A 24 ½ sec. video by Orville Nix Sr. and Abraham Zapruder, a dress manufacturer, captured the assassination on video tape.
1963– Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit was slain by Oswald 45 minutes after Kennedy was shot when he called Oswald over for questioning.
1964– 40,000 paid tribute to John F Kennedy at Arlington Cemetery on the first anniversary of his death.
1967– The U.N. Security Council approved Resolution 242, which called for Israel to withdraw from territories it captured in 1967, and implicitly called on adversaries to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
1967 – General William Westmoreland, commander of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, briefs officials at the Pentagon and says that the battle around Dak To was “the beginning of a great defeat for the enemy.” The battle for Dak To began on November 3 when 4,500 U.S. troops from the U.S. 4th Division and the 173rd Airborne Brigade engaged four communist regiments of about 6,000 troops in the Central Highlands. The climax of the operation came in a savage battle that began on November 19 on Hill 875, 12 miles southwest of Dak To. The 173rd defeated the North Vietnamese, causing them to abandon their last defensive line on the ridge of Hill 875. However, it was a costly victory for the Americans, who suffered the loss of 135 men. In the 19 days of the battle in and around Dak To, North Vietnamese fatalities were estimated at 1,455. Total U.S. casualties included 285 killed, 985 wounded, and 18 missing. In his briefing at the Pentagon, Westmoreland stressed the positive outcome of the battle. He revealed that a document removed from the body of a dead North Vietnamese soldier on November 6 stated that the Dak To battle was to be the beginning of a winter/spring offensive by the Communist B-3 Front. This document also revealed that the main objective of the action at Dak To was the destruction of a major American unit. The communists came close but ultimately failed in this objective. The Americans, despite heavy losses, defeated the North Vietnamese, mauling three enemy regiments so badly that the they had to be withdrawn from South Vietnam to Cambodian and Laotian sanctuaries for refitting. Westmoreland was reportedly brought home from Vietnam by President Johnson to fulfill a public relations task and revive flagging morale throughout the country. His message on U.S. military prospects in Vietnam was continually optimistic, as he emphasized that progress was being made in the fight against the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong. These public statements came back to haunt him when the communists launch a massive offensive during the Tet New Year holiday on January 30, 1968.
1972– US ended a 22 year travel ban to China.
1972 – The United States loses its first B-52 of the war. The eight-engine bomber was brought down by a North Vietnamese surface-to-air missile near Vinh on the day when B-52s flew their heaviest raids of the war over North Vietnam. The Communists claimed 19 B-52s shot down to date.
1974– UN General Assembly recognized Palestine’s right to sovereignty and national independence.
1982– President Reagan called for defense-pact deployment of the MX missile.
1988 – In the presence of members of Congress and the media, the Northrop B-2 “stealth” bomber is shown publicly for the first time at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California. The aircraft, which was developed in great secrecy for nearly a decade, was designed with stealth characteristics that would allow it to penetrate an enemy’s most sophisticated defenses unnoticed. At the time of its public unveiling, the B-2 had not even been flown on a test flight. It rapidly came under fire for its massive cost-more than $40 billion for development and a $1 billion price tag for each unit. In 1989, the B-2 was successfully flown, performing favorably. Although the aircraft had a wingspan of nearly half a football field, its radar signal was as negligible as that of a bird. The B-2 also successfully evaded infrared, sound detectors, and the visible eye. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the original order for the production of 132 stealth bombers was reduced to 21 aircraft. The B-2 has won a prominent place in the modern U.S. Air Force fleet, serving well in bombing missions during the 1990s.
1986– Justice Department found a memo in Lt. Col. Oliver North’s office on the transfer of $12 million to contras from Iran arms sale.
1990– President Bush, his wife, Barbara, and top congressional leaders shared Thanksgiving dinner with US troops in Saudi Arabia.1991- In an attempt to break a deadlock, the Bush administration proposed that Middle East peace talks resume in Washington, D.C.
1993 – NATO began enforcing United Nations’ Resolutions 713 and 757 that set in place an embargo against the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). Four Coast Guard LEDETs were deployed to Southern Europe to support the operation and were placed aboard 11 NATO warships.
1994– A gunman opened fire inside the District of Columbia’s police headquarters; the ensuing gun battle left two FBI agents, a city detective and the gunman dead.
1995– Acting swiftly to boost the Balkan peace accord, the UN Security Council suspended economic sanctions against Serbia and eased the arms embargo against the states of the former Yugoslavia.
1997– A 75 man team of U.N. weapons experts including 4 Americans returned to work in Iraq, searching eight sites for signs the Iraqis might have worked on biological, chemical or other banned arms during a three-week forced halt in inspections.
2000– Gov. George Bush called on the US Supreme Court to stop the vote counting in Florida. In Palm Beach Circuit Court Judge Jorge Labarga ordered election officials to consider dimpled ballots. In Dade County election officials called off the recount due to their inability to meet the Nov 27 deadline.
2000– Yemen identified the bombers of the US Cole as 2 Saudi Arabian citizens with Yemeni family roots. One was named Abdul Mohsen al-Taifi and both had suspected to Osama bin Laden.
2001– In Afghanistan Northern Alliance engaged the Taliban in heavy fighting outside Kunduz. A Kunduz surrender deal was in jeopardy.
2001– Pakistan ordered the Taliban to close its embassy in Islamabad.
2001– Talks on Russia-Nato relations began in Moscow. A plan was proposed that would give Russia equal status with the 19 permanent members.
2002 – President Bush stopped in Vilnius after a NATO summit at which Lithuania and six other former communist countries received invitations to join the alliance: “The long night of fear, uncertainty and loneliness is over.”
2002– At the NATO summit in Prague, Russian President Vladimir Putin told President Bush the United States should not wage war alone against Iraq, and questioned whether Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were doing enough to fight terrorism.
2003– Five Pakistani prisoners arrived home after being freed by American authorities from the US detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
2008 – Saudi Arabia’s Royal Navy joins NATO’s mission in combating piracy in Somalia.
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
*BONNYMAN, ALEXANDER, JR.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. Born: 2 May 1910, Atlanta, Ga. Accredited to: New Mexico. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Executive Officer of the 2d Battalion Shore Party, 8th Marines, 2d Marine Division, during the assault against enemy Japanese-held Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands, 20-22 November 1943. Acting on his own initiative when assault troops were pinned down at the far end of Betio Pier by the overwhelming fire of Japanese shore batteries, 1st Lt. Bonnyman repeatedly defied the blasting fury of the enemy bombardment to organize and lead the besieged men over the long, open pier to the beach and then, voluntarily obtaining flame throwers and demolitions, organized his pioneer shore party into assault demolitionists and directed the blowing of several hostile installations before the close of D-day. Determined to effect an opening in the enemy’s strongly organized defense line the following day, he voluntarily crawled approximately 40 yards forward of our lines and placed demolitions in the entrance of a large Japanese emplacement as the initial move in his planned attack against the heavily garrisoned, bombproof installation which was stubbornly resisting despite the destruction early in the action of a large number of Japanese who had been inflicting heavy casualties on our forces and holding up our advance. Withdrawing only to replenish his ammunition, he led his men in a renewed assault, fearlessly exposing himself to the merciless slash of hostile fire as he stormed the formidable bastion, directed the placement of demolition charges in both entrances and seized the top of the bombproof position, flushing more than 100 of the enemy who were instantly cut down, and effecting the annihilation of approximately 150 troops inside the emplacement. Assailed by additional Japanese after he had gained his objective, he made a heroic stand on the edge of the structure, defending his strategic position with indomitable determination in the face of the desperate charge and killing 3 of the enemy before he fell, mortally wounded. By his dauntless fighting spirit, unrelenting aggressiveness and forceful leadership throughout 3 days of unremitting, violent battle, 1st Lt. Bonnyman had inspired his men to heroic effort, enabling them to beat off the counterattack and break the back of hostile resistance in that sector for an immediate gain of 400 yards with no further casualties to our forces in this zone. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
SHOUP, DAVID MONROE
Rank and organization: Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, commanding officer of all Marine Corps troops on Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, and Gilbert Islands, from 20 to 22 November 1943. Entered service at: Indiana. Born: 30 December 1904, Tippecanoe, Ind. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of all Marine Corps troops in action against enemy Japanese forces on Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, from 20 to 22 November 1943. Although severely shocked by an exploding enemy shell soon after landing at the pier and suffering from a serious, painful leg wound which had become infected, Col. Shoup fearlessly exposed himself to the terrific and relentless artillery, machinegun, and rifle fire from hostile shore emplacements. Rallying his hesitant troops by his own inspiring heroism, he gallantly led them across the fringing reefs to charge the heavily fortified island and reinforce our hard-pressed, thinly held lines. Upon arrival on shore, he assumed command of all landed troops and, working without rest under constant, withering enemy fire during the next 2 days, conducted smashing attacks against unbelievably strong and fanatically defended Japanese positions despite innumerable obstacles and heavy casualties. By his brilliant leadership daring tactics, and selfless devotion to duty, Col. Shoup was largely responsible for the final decisive defeat of the enemy, and his indomitable fighting spirit reflects great credit upon the U.S. Naval Service .
*LORING, CHARLES J., JR.
Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Air Force, 80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing. Place and date: Near Sniper Ridge, North Korea, 22 November 1952. Entered service at: Portland, Maine. Born: 2 October 1918, Portland, Maine. Citation: Maj. Loring distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. While leading a night of 4 F-80 type aircraft on a close support mission, Maj. Loring was briefed by a controller to dive-bomb enemy gun positions which were harassing friendly ground troops. After verifying the location of the target, Maj. Loring rolled into his dive bomb run. Throughout the run, extremely accurate ground fire was directed on his aircraft. Disregarding the accuracy and intensity of the ground fire, Maj. Loring aggressively continued to press the attack until his aircraft was hit. At approximately 4,000 feet, he deliberately altered his course and aimed his diving aircraft at active gun emplacements concentrated on a ridge northwest of the briefed target, turned his aircraft 45 degrees to the left, pulled up in a deliberate, controlled maneuver, and elected to sacrifice his life by diving his aircraft directly into the midst of the enemy emplacements. His selfless and heroic action completely destroyed the enemy gun emplacement and eliminated a dangerous threat to United Nations ground forces. Maj. Loring’s noble spirit, superlative courage, and conspicuous self-sacrifice in inflicting maximum damage on the enemy exemplified valor of the highest degree and his actions were in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Air Force.
STONE, JAMES L.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company E 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. Place and date: Near Sokkogae, Korea, 21 and 22 November 1951. Entered service at: Houston Tex. Born: 27 December 1922, Pine Bluff, Ark. G.O. No.: 82, 20 October 1953. Citation: 1st Lt. Stone, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and indomitable courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. When his platoon, holding a vital outpost position, was attacked by overwhelming Chinese forces, 1st Lt. Stone stood erect and exposed to the terrific enemy fire calmly directed his men in the defense. A defensive flame-thrower failing to function, he personally moved to its location, further exposing himself, and personally repaired the weapon. Throughout a second attack, 1st Lt. Stone; though painfully wounded, personally carried the only remaining light machine gun from place to place in the position in order to bring fire upon the Chinese advancing from 2 directions. Throughout he continued to encourage and direct his depleted platoon in its hopeless defense. Although again wounded, he continued the fight with his carbine, still exposing himself as an example to his men. When this final overwhelming assault swept over the platoon’s position his voice could still be heard faintly urging his men to carry on, until he lost consciousness. Only because of this officer’s driving spirit and heroic action was the platoon emboldened to make its brave but hopeless last ditch stand.