◆1621 At the Plymouth settlement in present-day Massachusetts, the leaders of the Plymouth colonists, acting on behalf of King James I, make a defensive alliance with Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoags.★
◆1823 Simon Bolivar Buckner (d.1914), Lt. Gen. (Confederate Army), was born.
◆1862 Shenandoah Valley campaign, Jackson’s Battle of Woodstock, VA.
◆1863 First wartime conscription law went into effect in the U.S.
◆1865 Battle of Five Forks; Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s supply line into Petersburg, Virginia, is closed when Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant collapse the end of Lee’s lines around Petersburg.
◆1865 Battle at Blakely, Alabama.
◆1884 Florence Blanchfield, an American nurse who was the first woman to become a fully ranked officer of the U.S. Army, was born.★
◆1893 Navy General Order 409 of 25 February 1893 establishes the rate of Chief Petty Officer as of this date.
◆1899 A landing party of 60 men from USS Philadelphia landed in Samoa.
◆1917 In Baltimore some 4,000 pro-war demonstrators stormed a meeting of the American League Against Militarism and threatened to hang the participants that included Stanford Univ. Chancellor David Starr Jordan.
◆1924 Adolf Hitler was sentenced to five years in prison for “Beer Hall Putsch.” Gen Ludendorff was acquitted for leading the botched Nazi’s “Beer Hall Putsch” in the German state of Bavaria.
◆1935 General Electric Co. announces the first radio tube made of metal. Metal tubes were smaller and lighter than the glass vacuum tubes used in earlier radios and they improved short-wave radio reception. Radio had started to catch on as an entertainment medium in the 1920s, and its popularity grew until the rise of television in the early 1940s.
◆1941 US Navy took over Treasure Island in SF Bay.
◆1942 First Naval Air Transportation Service (NATS) squadron for Pacific operations commissioned.
◆1942 Japanese troops capture Jessami, Netherlands East Indies.
◆1942 The Japanese resume major attack on the Bataan Peninsula. The American and Philippine troops have 24,000 of their men ill due to short rations (1/4 of normal ration size) and tropical diseases.
◆1943 The Italian blockade-runner Pietro Orseolo is attacked off the coast of Spain by British Beaufort and Beaufighter torpedo bombers. Escorting German destroyers shoot down 5 of the aircraft. After dark, the US submarine Shad hits the ship with a torpedo, causing substantial damage.1943 Japanese aircraft attack the Russell Islands.
◆1944 US aircraft from Task Force 58 (Admiral Spruance) attack Woleai Island. In three days of attacks about 130,000 tons of Japanese shipping has been sunk as well as 7 small warships. American forces have lost 26 planes and claim 150 Japanese airplanes shot down.
◆1944 US forces occupy Ndrilo and Koniniat in the Admiralties.
◆1945 On Okinawa, American forces launch Operation Iceberg, the invasion of Okinawa. Two corps of the US 10th Army (General Buckner) land in the area of Hagushi, in the southwest of the island.★
◆1945 The US 1st and 9th Armies link up at Lippstadt, cutting off the German forces in the Ruhr which consist of 325,000 men mostly from German 15th Army and 5th Panzer Army of German Army Group B (Field Marshal Model). Other elements of US 1st Army capture Paderborn while US 9th Army units take Hamm. To the north, forces of British 2nd Army have crossed the Mitteland Canal near Munster and are advancing to Osnabruck.
◆1945 The US 158th Regiment (General MacNider) lands at Legaspi in the southeast of Luzon and takes the town and nearby airfield. Elsewhere on Luzon American forces are beginning to advance toward the southeast of Manila after much hard fighting against the Japanese forces of the Shimbu Group (General Yokoyama). Forces of the Japanese 14th Army (General Yamashita), in the north of the island, have also engaged by American and Filipino forces.
◆1948 Soviet troops stop U.S. and British military trains traveling through the Russian zone of occupation in Germany and demand that they be allowed to search the trains. British and U.S. officials refused the Soviet demand, and the problems associated with the Soviet, British, and U.S. occupation of Germany grew steadily more serious in the following months. Soviet and U.S. differences over the post-World War II fate of Germany began even before the war ended in 1945. The Soviets were determined that Germany would never again pose a military threat to Russia and they also demanded huge postwar reparations. The United States shared the Soviet concern about German rearmament, but as the Cold War began to develop, American officials realized that a revitalized Germany might act as a bulwark against possible Soviet expansion into Western Europe. When Germany surrendered in 1945, it was divided into British, American, Russian (and, eventually, French) zones of occupation. Berlin was located within the Russian sector, but the city itself was also divided into occupation zones. As it became clear during 1946 and 1947 that the United States, acting with the British and French, were determined to economically revitalize and militarily rearm Western Germany, tensions with the Soviet Union began to mount. On April 1, 1948, Soviet troops began stopping U.S. and British military trains traveling through the Russian sector to and from Berlin. Both the British and American governments responded with indignant letters of reproach to the Soviet Union. Eventually, the stoppages ceased, but in June 1948 the Soviets began a full-scale blockade of all ground travel to and from the U.S.-British-French sectors of Berlin. Thus began the Berlin Blockade, which was only broken when U.S. aircraft carried out the amazing task of flying and dropping supplies into Berlin. Germany remained a major Cold War battlefield throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
◆1951 U.N. forces again crossed the 38th Parallel in Korea.
◆1952 Air Force Colonel Francis S. Gabreski, flying his F-86 Sabre “Gabby” out of the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, became the eighth ace of the Korean War and the third ranking U.S. ace of all time. Colonel Gabreski achieved a total of 37.5 aerial victories, including five in Korea. Air Force F-86 Sabres scored their second greatest victory of the war, shooting down 10 MiGs confirmed with two others probable.
◆1954 U.S. Air Force Academy was founded in Colorado. President Dwight Eisenhower signed a bill authorizing the establishment of an Air Force Academy, similar to West Point and Annapolis. On July 11, 1955, the first class was sworn in at Lowry Air Force Base. The academy moved to a permanent site near Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1958.
◆1960 The first weather satellite, TIROS 1, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
◆1960 France exploded 2 atom bombs in the Sahara Desert.
◆1966 The command, US Naval Forces Vietnam established
◆1967 Helicopter squadron HAL 3 activated at Vung Tau.
◆1968 The U.S. Army launched Operation Pegasus to reopen a land route to the besieged Khe Sanh Marine base.
◆1970 The US Army charged Captain Ernest Medina in the Vietnam My Lai massacre.
◆1971 The Poseidon (C-3) missile becomes operational when USS James Madison began her 3rd patrol carrying 16 tactical Poseidon missiles.
◆1972 Easter Offensive: Following three days of the heaviest artillery and rocket bombardment of the war, between 12,000 and 15,000 soldiers of Hanoi’s 304th Division–supported by tanks, artillery, and antiaircraft units equipped with surface-to-air missiles–sweep across the Demilitarized Zone.★
◆1979 Iran proclaimed to be an Islamic Republic after the fall of the Shah.
◆1982 The U.S. transferred the Canal Zone to Panama.
◆1992 Battleship USS Missouri (on which, Japan surrendered) was decommissioned.
◆2003 In the 14th day of Operation Iraqi Freedom American soldiers on the road to Baghdad fought bloody street-to-street battles with militants loyal to Saddam Hussein. The US opened the assault on Karbala.