1775 – Congress orders first Navy officers commissions printed.
1775 – The USS Alfred becomes the first vessel to fly the Grand Union Flag (the precursor to the Stars and Stripes); the flag is hoisted by John Paul Jones.
1776 – George Washington’s army began retreating across the Delaware River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania.
1777 – British Gen. Howe plotted his attack on Washington’s army for Dec 4.
1812 – James Madison was re-elected president of US; E. Gerry was vice-pres.
1823 – During his annual address to Congress, President James Monroe proclaims a new U.S. foreign policy initiative that becomes known as the “Monroe Doctrine.” Primarily the work of Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, the Monroe Doctrine forbade European interference in the American hemisphere but also asserted U.S. neutrality in regard to future European conflicts. The origins of the Monroe Doctrine stem from attempts by several European powers to reassert their influence in the Americas in the early 1820s. In North America, Russia had attempted to expand its influence in the Alaska territory, and in Central and South America the U.S. government feared a Spanish colonial resurgence. Britain too was actively seeking a major role in the political and economic future of the Americas, and Adams feared a subservient role for the United States in an Anglo-American alliance. The United States invoked the Monroe Doctrine to defend its increasingly imperialistic role in the Americas in the mid-19th century, but it was not until the Spanish-American War in 1898 that the United States declared war against a European power over its interference in the American hemisphere. The isolationist position of the Monroe Doctrine was also a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy in the 19th century, and it took the two world wars of the 20th century to draw a hesitant America into its new role as a major global power.
1840 – William Henry Harrison was elected president of US. Whig candidate William Henry Harrison, Old Buckeye, and his running mate John Tyler ran and won in a landslide against Democrat Pres. Martin Van Buren. Depression and financial panic had marked Van Buren’s term. Fans of the Harrison Party rolled huge balls of paper, rope and tin through Midwestern towns and into the Pennsylvania convention. “Hard cider” Whigs disrupted the Democratic gathering in Baltimore.
1845 – Making his first annual address to Congress, President James K. Polk belligerently reasserts the 1823 Monroe Doctrine and calls for aggressive American expansion into the West. Polk’s aggressive expansionist program created the outline of the modern American nation. The Monroe Doctrine was the creation of Polk’s predecessor, James Monroe, who argued that all European influence should be removed from the neighborhood of the United States for reasons of national security. As a result, throughout the first half of the 19th century, Americans had worked to undermine European claims on the continent, often by peacefully annexing European territories. Polk’s extension of the Monroe Doctrine, however, carried a far more aggressive agenda, which reflected his willingness to use force to create a nation stretching across the continent. Polk felt that such expansion was part of America’s “manifest destiny.” Polk’s vision of America’s future included the rapid annexation of Texas, the acquisition of California, and an end to sharing control of Oregon territory with the British. Always slightly paranoid about the Europeans, Polk worried that France would insist on maintaining a balance of power in North America and that Great Britain would try to keep the U.S. from acquiring Texas and California. In fact, neither nation was very aggressive about resisting American expansionism, and Great Britain peacefully surrendered its claim to the Oregon territory south of the 49th parallel in 1846. Polk’s ambition to take the Mexican-controlled Texas, California, and the rest of the Southwest away from Mexico proved more difficult to realize. Six months after his speech to Congress, Polk’s decision to annex the Republic of Texas led to war with Mexico. Despite Polk’s fears, neither France nor Great Britain leapt to the aid of the Mexicans in the war, leaving the U.S. free to act as it wished. When the Americans emerged victorious in 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo gave Polk precisely what he wanted: the vast northern provinces of the Mexican empire that would one day become the states of Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah. This land was the final piece of the puzzle needed to create the territory of today’s United States.
1859 – In Charles Town, Virginia, militant abolitionist John Brown is executed on charges of treason, murder, and insurrection. Brown, born in Connecticut in 1800, first became militant during the mid-1850s, when as a leader of the Free State forces in Kansas he fought pro-slavery settlers in the sharply divided U.S. territory. Achieving only moderate success in his fight against slavery on the Kansas frontier, and committing atrocities in the process, Brown settled on a more ambitious plan in 1859. With a group of racially mixed followers, Brown set out to Harpers Ferry in present-day West Virginia, intending to seize the Federal arsenal of weapons and retreat to the Appalachian Mountains of Maryland and Virginia, where they would establish an abolitionist republic of liberated slaves and abolitionist whites. Their republic hoped to form a guerrilla army to fight slaveholders and ignite slave insurrections, and its population would grow exponentially with the influx of liberated and fugitive slaves. At Harpers Ferry on October 16, Brown’s well-trained unit was initially successful, capturing key points in the town, but Brown’s plans began to deteriorate after his raiders stopped a Baltimore-bound train and then allowed it to pass through. News of the raid spread quickly, and militia companies from Maryland and Virginia arrived the next day, killing or capturing several raiders. On October 18, U.S. Marines commanded by Colonel Robert E. Lee and Lieutenant J.E.B. Stuart, both of whom were destined to become famous Civil War generals, recaptured the arsenal, taking John Brown and several other raiders alive. On November 2, Brown was sentenced to death by hanging. On the day of his execution, 16 months before the outbreak of the Civil War, John Brown prophetically wrote, “The crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.”
1861 – U.S.S. Sabine, Captain Cadwalader Ringgold, rescued Major John G. Reynolds and a battalion of U.S. Marines under his command from U.S. transport Governor, unit of the Port Royal Sound Expedition, sinking off Georgetown, South Carolina.
1863 – General Braxton Bragg turned over command of the Army of Tennessee to General William Hardee at Dalton, Ga.
1864 – Major General Grenville M. Dodge was named to replace General Rosecrans as Commander of the Department of Missouri.1864 – Skirmish at Rocky Creek Church, Georgia.
1864 – Confederate General Archibald Gracie, Jr., is killed in the trenches at Petersburg, Virginia, when an artillery shell explodes near him. Gracie was born in New York in 1832. He was educated in Germany before he attended West Point, from which he graduated in 1854. Although his family lived in the North, his father owned a business in Mobile, Alabama, and Gracie moved there upon his resignation from the army in 1856. Gracie soon became an ardent supporter of the southern cause, and he was active in the Alabama state militia. In early 1861, before Alabama seceded from the Union, Gracie was ordered by the governor to seize the federal arsenal at Mount Vernon. Gracie joined the 3rd Alabama when hostilities erupted between North and South, and he served in Tennessee and Kentucky during the first part of the war. He was part of General Edmund Kirby Smith’s invasion of Kentucky in 1862, and his service earned him a promotion to brigadier general. He fought at Chickamauga and Chattanooga in 1863, and his brigade joined General James Longstreet for the campaign against Knoxville in November. Gracie was wounded at the Battle of Bean’s Station on December 15, but he continued with Longstreet back to Virginia when Longstreet rejoined Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Gracie’s command protected Richmond in the summer of 1864, and his leadership at Drewry’s Bluff was instrumental in holding Union General Benjamin Butler’s force at bay near the Confederate capital. Gracie fought during the siege of Petersburg for the rest of the year, and he was recommended for promotion to major general. Unfortunately, he was killed before the rank was confirmed. Most of Gracie’s family remained in the North, and his relatives arranged for transfer of his body to Union lines. He was buried in New York City.
1864 – Paddle-wheelers U.S.S. Key West, Acting Lieutenant King, and U.S.S. Tawah, Acting Lieutenant Jason Goudy, patrolling the Tennessee River, encountered Undine and Venus, which the Confederates had captured three days earlier. After a heated running engagement, Venus was retaken, but Undine, though badly damaged, escaped. Carrying Southern troops, Undine outran her pursuers and gained the protection of Confederate batteries at Reynoldsburg Island, near Johnsonville, Tennessee. King wired his district commander, Lieutenant Commander Shirk, “Weather so misty and dark, did not follow her.”
1899 – The Battle of Tirad Pass, termed “The Filipino Thermopylae”, is fought. The Battle of Tirad Pass (Filipino: Laban Sa Pasong Tirad), was a battle in the Philippine-American War in northern Luzon in the Philippines, in which a 60-man Filipino rear guard commanded by Brigadier General Gregorio del Pilar succumbed to around 300 Americans of the 33rd Infantry Regiment under Major Peyton C. March, while delaying the American advance to ensure Emilio Aguinaldo’s escape.
1908 – Rear Admiral William S. Cowles submits report, prepared by LT George C. Sweet, recommending purchase of aircraft suitable for operating from naval ships on scouting and observation mission to Secretary of the Navy.
1917 – Russia and the Central Powers sign an armistice at Brest-Litovsk, and peace talks leading to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk begin.
1921 – The first successful helium dirigible, C-7, made a test flight in Portsmouth, Va.
1925 – Alexander Haig, American army general and Secretary of State for President Ronald Reagan (1981-82), was born in Bala-Cynwyd, Pa. Alexander Meigs Haig, Jr. graduated from West Point military academy in 1947, served in Europe and Asia until 1960, worked in Washington until a combat tour in Vietnam in 1966-67, then returned to Washington in 1969 to work in the White House for Henry Kissinger. After President Richard Nixon’s top aides resigned during the Watergate scandal in 1973, Haig served as White House Chief of Staff until after Nixon’s resignation in 1974. Haig also served as NATO commander (1974-79), and in 1981 he became Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state. Haig abruptly resigned in 1982, reportedly over policy disagreements. In 1988 he ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination in the U. S. presidential election.
1930 – In a State of the Union message, U.S. President Herbert Hoover proposes a US$150 million public works program to help generate jobs and stimulate the economy.
1941 – Naval Intelligence ended the bugging of the Japanese consul.
1941 – Yamamoto ordered his fleet to Pearl Harbor. A special code order “Climb Mount Niitaka” is transmitted by Japanese naval headquarters to their carrier force bound for Hawaii. This order confirms that negotiations have broken down and the attack on Pearl Harbor is to proceed.
1941 – First Naval Armed Guard detachment (7 men under a coxswain) of World War II reports to Liberty ship, SS Dunboyne.
1942 – General Eichelberger, sent by General MacArthur to investigate the lack of progress at Buna, New Guinea, decides to relieve General Harding of command of the US forces there.
1942 – Enrico Fermi, the Italian-born Nobel Prize-winning physicist, directs and controls the first nuclear chain reaction in his laboratory beneath the bleachers of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago, ushering in the nuclear age. Upon succesful completion of the experiment, a coded message was transmitted to President Roosevelt: “The Italian navigator has landed in the new world.” Following on England’s Sir James Chadwick’s discovery of the neutron and the Curies’ production of artificial radioactivity, Fermi, a full-time professor of physics at the University of Florence, focused his work on producing radioactivity by manipulating the speed of neutrons derived from radioactive beryllium. Further similar experimentation with other elements, including uranium 92, produced new radioactive substances; Fermi’s colleagues believed he had created a new “transuranic” element with an atomic number of 93, the result of uranium 92 capturing a neuron while under bombardment, thus increasing its atomic weight. Fermi remained skeptical about his discovery, despite the enthusiasm of his fellow physicists. He became a believer in 1938, when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for “his identification of new radioactive elements.” Although travel was restricted for men whose work was deemed vital to national security, Fermi was given permission to leave Italy and go to Sweden to receive his prize. He and his wife, Laura, who was Jewish, never returned; both feared and despised Mussolini’s fascist regime. Fermi immigrated to New York City–Columbia University, specifically, where he recreated many of his experiments with Niels Bohr, the Danish-born physicist, who suggested the possibility of a nuclear chain reaction. Fermi and others saw the possible military applications of such an explosive power, and quickly composed a letter warning President Roosevelt of the perils of a German atomic bomb. The letter was signed and delivered to the president by Albert Einstein on October 11, 1939. The Manhattan Project, the American program to create its own atomic bomb, was the result. It fell to Fermi to produce the first nuclear chain reaction, without which such a bomb was impossible. He created a jury-rigged laboratory with the necessary equipment, which he called an “atomic pile,” in a squash court in the basement of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago. With colleagues and other physicists looking on, Fermi produced the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction and the “new world” of nuclear power was born.
1943 – During the night (December 2-3) German bombers raid Bari, Italy. An ammunition ship in the harbor is hit and explodes, sinking 18 transports of 70,000 tons and 38,000 tons of supplies, including the American SS John Harvey, which is carrying a stockpile of World War I-era mustard gas.
1944 – Elements of the US 3rd Army reach Saarlautern. To the south, the US 7th Army advances to the Rhine river after the Germans have withdrawn across it at Kehl. The three available bridges are all demolished in the retreat.
1944 – Two-day destroyer Battle of Ormoc Bay begins. Vice Admiral James L. Kauffman had just reported as Commander, Philippine Sea Frontier and was under heavy pressure from General MacArthur to do something – anything – to interdict incoming Japanese reinforcements. On 27 November 1944, he did the obvious, ordering first that the Canigao Channel be swept of mines by minesweepers USS Pursuit (AM-108) and USS Revenge (AM-110). That night, the Fletcher-class destroyers USS Waller (DD-466), USS Pringle (DD-477), USS Renshaw (DD-499) and USS Saufley (DD-465) under Captain Robert H. Smith, with a Black Cat PBY Catalina doing the spotting, steamed into the bay at flank speed. The Destroyers raked the Ormoc dock area with main battery fire for about an hour when suddenly the PBY reported a surfaced sub entering the bay. USS Waller opened fire and the spunky sub returned the fire while at the same time fishtailing furiously. As the WALLER got into position to ram, the sub suddenly submerged, but for the last time – stern first. The next night, Kauffman ordered four PT boats (PTs 127, 128, 191 and 331) into Ormoc Bay. Visibility was excellent, and in the light of a full moon they sunk a freighter and a patrol craft. They had caught the enemy by surprise and the mission was “a piece of cake,” in the words of PT skipper J.R. Chassee. The following day Captain Smith again took four cans into Ormoc Bay – USS Waller (DD-466), USS Cony (DD-508), USS Renshaw (DD-499) and USS Conner (DD-582). There was no sign of enemy shipping in the harbor, and curiously enough, no enemy fire, so he withdrew. Two days later, on the night of 1 December, DDs USS Conway (DD-507), USS Cony (DD-508), USS Eaton (DD-510) and USS Sigourney (DD-643) also found no shipping in the bay so they continued northwest around the San Isidro peninsula. At 0224 they made radar contact with an incoming transport, brought it under a withering barrage of shellfire and quickly dispatched it to the bottom. Many days action will follow but will involve no capital ships.
1946 – The U.S. and Britain merged the German occupation zones.
1950 – In the Chosin/Changjin Reservoir Area, 1st Marine Division elements began the fighting withdrawal from Yudam-ni to Hagaru-ri. The subzero weather earned the area the title “Frozen Chosin” from the Marines and soldiers who fought there.
1952 – President-elect Eisenhower began a three-day visit to Korea, fulfilling a promise he had made in the closing days of the election campaign.
1954 – The U.S. Senate votes 65 to 22 to condemn Senator Joseph R. McCarthy for conduct unbecoming of a senator. The condemnation, which was equivalent to a censure, related to McCarthy’s controversial investigation of suspected communists in the U.S. government, military, and civilian society. What is known as “McCarthyism” began on February 9, 1950, when McCarthy, a relatively obscure Republican senator from Wisconsin, announced during a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, that he had in his possession a list of 205 communists who had infiltrated the U.S. State Department. The unsubstantiated declaration, which was little more than a publicity stunt, thrust Senator McCarthy into the national spotlight. Asked to reveal the names on the list, the opportunistic senator named just one official who he determined guilty by association: Owen Lattimore, an expert on Chinese culture and affairs who had advised the State Department. McCarthy described Lattimore as the “top Russian spy” in America. These and other equally shocking accusations prompted the Senate to form a special committee, headed by Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland, to investigate the matter. The committee found little to substantiate McCarthy’s charges, but McCarthy nevertheless touched a nerve in the American public, and during the next two years he made increasingly sensational charges, even attacking President Harry S. Truman’s respected former secretary of state, George C. Marshall. In 1953, a newly Republican Congress appointed McCarthy chairman of the Committee on Government Operations and its Subcommittee on Investigations, and McCarthyism reached a fever pitch. In widely publicized hearings, McCarthy bullied defendants under cross-examination with unlawful and damaging accusations, destroying the reputations of hundreds of innocent officials and citizens. In the early months of 1954, McCarthy, who had already lost the support of much of his party because of his controversial tactics, finally overreached himself when he accused several U.S. Army officers of communist subversion. Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower pushed for an investigation of McCarthy’s charges, and the televised hearings exposed the senator as a reckless and excessive tyrant who never produced proper documentation for any of his claims. A climax of the hearings came on June 9, when Joseph N. Welch, special attorney for the army, responded to a McCarthy attack on a member of his law firm by facing the senator and tearfully declaring, “Until this moment, senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you no sense of decency?” The crowded hearing room burst into spontaneous applause. On December 2, after a heated debate, the Senate voted to condemn McCarthy for conduct “contrary to senatorial traditions.” By the time of his death from alcoholism in 1957, the influence of Senator Joseph McCarthy in Congress was negligible.
1954 – The Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, between the United States and Taiwan, is signed in Washington, D.C. Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, formally Mutual Defense Treaty between the United States of America and the Republic of China, essentially prevented People’s Republic of China from taking over Taiwan during 1955-1979. Some of its content was carried over to the Taiwan Relations Act.
1956 – Fidel Castro landed on coast of Cuba. Castro landed with a small armed force to overthrow dictator Fulgencio Batista. Che Guevara was one of the few who survived the disastrous landing of the rebels’ boat, the Granma.
1961 – Following a year of severely strained relations between the United States and Cuba, Cuban leader Fidel Castro openly declares that he is a Marxist-Leninist. The announcement sealed the bitter Cold War animosity between the two nations. Castro came to power in 1959 after leading a successful revolution against the dictatorial regime of Fulgencio Batista. Almost from the start, the United States worried that Castro was too leftist in his politics. He implemented agrarian reform, expropriated foreign oil company holdings, and eventually seized all foreign-owned property in Cuba. He also established close diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, and the Russians were soon providing economic and military aid. By January 1961, the United States had severed diplomatic relations with Cuba. In April, the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion took place, wherein hundreds of rebels, armed and trained by the United States, attempted a landing in Cuba with the intent of overthrowing the Castro government. The attack ended in a dismal military defeat for the rebels and an embarrassing diplomatic setback for the United States. In December 1961, Castro made clear what most U.S. officials already believed. In a televised address on December 2, Castro declared, “I am a Marxist-Leninist and shall be one until the end of my life.” He went on to state that, “Marxism or scientific socialism has become the revolutionary movement of the working class.” He also noted that communism would be the dominant force in Cuban politics: “There cannot be three or four movements.” Some questioned Castro’s dedication to the communist cause, believing that his announcement was simply a stunt to get more Soviet assistance. Castro, however, has never deviated from his declared principles.
1962 – After a trip to Vietnam at the request of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield becomes the first American official to comment adversely on the war’s progress.
1963 – The military junta, which took control of the South Vietnamese government following the November coup that resulted in the death of President Ngo Dinh Diem, orders a temporary halt to the strategic hamlet program. This program had been initiated in March 1962 by Diem to gather the peasants residing in areas threatened by guerrilla attack into centralized locations. These locations were to be turned into defensive fortified hamlets. The strategic hamlet program was extremely unpopular because the farmers were forcibly removed from their land and the physical security of the new hamlets was inadequate. In addition, the program was a drain on the assets of the Saigon government. The junta leaders hoped to win the support of the people by relaxing the rules governing the strategic hamlets. Under the new edict, peasants were not to be coerced into moving into or contributing to the financial upkeep of the hamlets. This tactic did not have any real impact, because the program had already fallen into such disrepair–the senior U.S. representative in Long An Province reported that three-quarters of the strategic hamlets in that area had already been destroyed by the Viet Cong, the peasants, or a combination of both. Ultimately, the South Vietnamese government completely abandoned the program in 1964.
1965 – USS Enterprise (CVAN-65) and USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25) become first nuclear-powered task unit used in combat operations with launch of air strikes near Bien Hoa, Vietnam.
1979 – Some 2,000 Libyans ransacked the US embassy at Tripoli, Libya, chanting support for the radical Islamic regime that took power in Iran earlier in the year.
1980 – Three American nuns and a lay worker were abducted, raped and shot in San Salvador. Peasants discovered their bodies the next day and buried them. Nuns Dorothy Kazel, Ita Ford, Maura Clark, and lay worker Jean Donovan were raped and shot by guardsmen. The murders occurred as the US began a 10-year $7 billion aid effort to prevent left-wing guerrillas from coming to power. Five national guardsmen were later convicted in the killings, and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
1988 – The space shuttle Atlantis was launched on a secret four-day mission. STS-27 deployed Lacrosse 1, a radar reconnaissance satellite. It was also reported that the satellite failed after release from the Shuttle. The Atlantis reapproached the payload and the crew repaired it. This implies that some of the crew members performed a spacewalk (Ross?, Shepherd?). Lacrosse was then released and performed a successful mission. It was the 27th Space Shuttle mission. Launch was originally scheduled Dec. 1, but was postponed one day because of cloud cover and strong wind conditions.
1991 – American hostage Joseph Cicippio, held captive in Lebanon for more than five years, was released.
1992 – The space shuttle Discovery blasted off with five astronauts and a spy satellite aboard. Classified United States Department of Defense primary payload (possibly a Satellite Data System relay), plus two unclassified secondary payloads and nine unclassified middeck experiments. Some later reports say the primary payload was a U.S. Navy ELINT / Sigint satellite in the Advanced Jumpseat series. Secondary payloads contained in or attached to Get Away Special (GAS) hardware in the cargo bay included the Orbital Debris Radar Calibration Spheres (ODERACS) the combined Shuttle Glow Experiment/Cryogenic Heat Pipe Experiment (GCP).
1993 – The space shuttle Endeavour blasted off on a mission to fix the Hubble Space Telescope. With its very heavy workload, the STS-61 mission was one of the most sophisticated in the Shuttle’s history. It lasted almost 11 days, and crew members made five EVA sorties, an all-time record. Even the spectacular Intelsat IV retrieval of STS-49 in May 1992 required only four. To be on the safe side, the flight plan allowed for two additional sorties which could have raised the total number to seven EVA’s but the final two contingency EVA’s turned out not be be necessary. In order to bring off this exploit without too much fatigue, the five extravehicular working sessions were shared between two alternating shifts of two astronauts.
1995 – In Baumholder, Germany, President Clinton told four-thousand American troops who were on their way to Bosnia-Herzegovina for peacekeeping duty to strike “immediately and with decisive force” if threatened.
1995 – NASA launched a US-European observatory on a one billion-dollar mission to study the sun. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, SOHO, later detected rivers of charged particles flowing over the surface of the sun and sunquakes. In 2003 a motor failure crippled a high-gain antenna.
1998 – In Bosnia US troops arrested Bosnian Serb Gen’l. Radislav Krstic for genocide in the 1995 takeover of Srebrenica.
1998 – Macedonia agreed to provide a base for NATO to get to Kosovo it the need should arise.
1998 – New Zealand agreed to lease a number of F-16 fighter jets from the US that were originally intended for Pakistan. Some $105 million was to be paid over 10 years.
2001 – US bombers hit Taliban defenses around Kandahar.
2002 – A statement attributed to al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the Nov 28 car-bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel in Kenya and the attempted shoot-down of an Israeli airliner.
2003 – In northern Afghanistan, Abdul Rashid Dostum and Atta Mohammed, 2 main feuding warlords, handed over tanks and cannons to the fledgling national army.
2003 – US troops have captured or killed a “big fish” in a large military operation in Kirkuk. American soldiers arrested dozens of people there in an overnight raid.
2004 – Pres. Bush picked Bernard Kerik (49), a former NYC police commissioner, to take over the Dept. of Homeland Security. Kerik recently made millions from the sale of stock options granted when he joined the board of stun-gun maker Taser Int’l. in 2002. On Dec 10 Kerik requested that his name be removed from consideration saying he had not paid taxes for a recent nanny who may have been an illegal immigrant.
2004 – The European Union began its biggest-ever military operation, formally taking over NATO’s peacekeeping mission in Bosnia with 7,000 troops (EUFOR).
2004 – In Iraq a mortar barrage hammered the heavily fortified Green Zone and elsewhere in central Baghdad, killing at least one person.
2014 – The FBI launches a probe into a massive hacking attack on Sony Pictures, believing the leadership of North Korea to be responsible.
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
BRUNER, LOUIS J.
Rank and organization: Private, Company H, 5th Indiana Cavalry. Place and date: At Walkers Ford, Tenn., 2 December 1863. Entered service at: Clifty Brumer, Ind. Birth: Monroe County, Ind. Date of issue: 9 March 1896. Citation: Voluntarily passed through the enemy’s lines under fire and conveyed to a battalion, then in a perilous position and liable to capture, information which enabled it to reach a point of safety.
Rank and organization: Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1833, New York, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Agawam as one of a volunteer crew of a powder boat which was exploded near Fort Fisher, 2 December 1864. The powder boat, towed in by the Wilderness to prevent detection by the enemy, cast off and slowly steamed to within 300 yards of the beach. After fuses and fires had been lit and a second anchor with short scope let go to assure the boat’s tailing inshore, the crew boarded the Wilderness and proceeded a distance of 12 miles from shore. Less than 2 hours later the explosion took place, and the following day fires were observed still burning at the forts.
Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company I, 6th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Gageby Creek, Indian Territory, 2 December 1874. Entered service at:——. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 23 April 1875. Citation: Courage while in command of a detachment.
BARBER, WILLIAM E.
Rank and organization: Captain U.S. Marine Corps, commanding officer, Company F, 2d Battalion 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Chosin Reservoir area, Korea, 28 November to 2 December 1950. Entered service at: West Liberty, Ky. Born: 30 November 1919, Dehart, Ky. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of Company F in action against enemy aggressor forces. Assigned to defend a 3-mile mountain pass along the division’s main supply line and commanding the only route of approach in the march from Yudam-ni to Hagaru-ri, Capt. Barber took position with his battle-weary troops and, before nightfall, had dug in and set up a defense along the frozen, snow-covered hillside. When a force of estimated regimental strength savagely attacked during the night, inflicting heavy casualties and finally surrounding his position following a bitterly fought 7-hour conflict, Capt. Barber, after repulsing the enemy gave assurance that he could hold if supplied by airdrops and requested permission to stand fast when orders were received by radio to fight his way back to a relieving force after 2 reinforcing units had been driven back under fierce resistance in their attempts to reach the isolated troops. Aware that leaving the position would sever contact with the 8,000 marines trapped at Yudam-ni and jeopardize their chances of joining the 3,000 more awaiting their arrival in Hagaru-ri for the continued drive to the sea, he chose to risk loss of his command rather than sacrifice more men if the enemy seized control and forced a renewed battle to regain the position, or abandon his many wounded who were unable to walk. Although severely wounded in the leg in the early morning of the 29th, Capt. Barber continued to maintain personal control, often moving up and down the lines on a stretcher to direct the defense and consistently encouraging and inspiring his men to supreme efforts despite the staggering opposition. Waging desperate battle throughout 5 days and 6 nights of repeated onslaughts launched by the fanatical aggressors, he and his heroic command accounted for approximately 1,000 enemy dead in this epic stand in bitter subzero weather, and when the company was relieved only 82 of his original 220 men were able to walk away from the position so valiantly defended against insuperable odds. His profound faith and courage, great personal valor, and unwavering fortitude were decisive factors in the successful withdrawal of the division from the deathtrap in the Chosin Reservoir sector and reflect the highest credit upon Capt. Barber, his intrepid officers and men, and the U.S. Naval Service.
*JOHNSON, JAMES E.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, Company J, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Yudam-ni, Korea, 2 December 1950 (declared missing in action on 2 December 1950, and killed in action as of 2 November 1953). Entered service at: Washington, D.C. Born: 1 January 1926, Pocatello, Idaho. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a squad leader in a provisional rifle platoon composed of artillerymen and attached to Company J, in action against enemy aggressor forces. Vastly outnumbered by a well-entrenched and cleverly concealed enemy force wearing the uniforms of friendly troops and attacking his platoon’s open and unconcealed positions, Sgt. Johnson unhesitatingly took charge of his platoon in the absence of the leader and, exhibiting great personal valor in the face of a heavy barrage of hostile fire, coolly proceeded to move about among his men, shouting words of encouragement and inspiration and skillfully directing their fire. Ordered to displace his platoon during the fire fight, he immediately placed himself in an extremely hazardous position from which he could provide covering fire for his men. Fully aware that his voluntary action meant either certain death or capture to himself, he courageously continued to provide effective cover for his men and was last observed in a wounded condition single-handedly engaging enemy troops in close hand grenade and hand-to-hand fighting. By his valiant and inspiring leadership, Sgt. Johnson was directly responsible for the successful completion of the platoon’s displacement and the saving of many lives. His dauntless fighting spirit and unfaltering devotion to duty in the face of terrific odds reflect the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service.
*LEISY, ROBERT RONALD
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Infantry, Company B, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. place and date: Phuoc Long province, Republic of Vietnam, 2 December 1969. Entered service at: Seattle, Wash. Born: 1 March 1945, Stockton, Calif. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. 2d Lt. Leisy, Infantry, Company B, distinguished himself while serving as platoon leader during a reconnaissance mission. One of his patrols became heavily engaged by fire from a numerically superior enemy force located in a well-entrenched bunker complex. As 2d Lt. Leisy deployed the remainder of his platoon to rescue the beleaguered patrol, the platoon also came under intense enemy fire from the front and both flanks. In complete disregard for his safety, 2d Lt. Leisy moved from position to position deploying his men to effectively engage the enemy. Accompanied by his radio operator he moved to the front and spotted an enemy sniper in a tree in the act of firing a rocket-propelled grenade at them. Realizing there was neither time to escape the grenade nor shout a warning, 2d Lt. Leisy unhesitatingly, and with full knowledge of the consequences, shielded the radio operator with his body and absorbed the full impact of the explosion. This valorous act saved the life of the radio operator and protected other men of his platoon who were nearby from serious injury. Despite his mortal wounds, 2d Lt. Leisy calmly and confidently continued to direct the platoon’s fire. When medical aid arrived, 2d Lt. Leisy valiantly refused attention until the other seriously wounded were treated. His display of extraordinary courage and exemplary devotion to duty provided the inspiration and leadership that enabled his platoon to successfully withdraw without further casualties. 2d Lt. Leisy’s gallantry at the cost of his life are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.