THE VOICE OF AMERICA:
With the words, "Hello! This is New York calling," the U.S. Voice
of America (VOA) begins its first radio broadcasts to the Soviet
Union. The VOA effort was an important part of America's
propaganda campaign against the Soviet Union during the
Cold War. The VOA began in 1942 as a radio program designed
to explain America's policies during World War II and to bolster
the morale of its allies throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East,
After the war, VOA continued as part of America's Cold War propaganda arsenal and was primarily directed toward the western European audience. In February 1947, VOA began its first Russian-language broadcasts into the Soviet Union. The initial broadcast explained that VOA was going to "give listeners in the USSR a picture of life in America." News stories, human-interest features, and music comprised the bulk of the programming.
The purpose was to give the Russian audience the "pure and unadulterated truth" about life outside the USSR. Voice of America hoped that this would "broaden the bases of understanding and friendship between the Russian and American people." By and large, the first program was a fairly dry affair. Much of it dealt with brief summaries of current events, discussions of how the U.S. budget and political system worked, and a rousing analysis of a "new synthetic chemical substance called pyribenzamine."
Music on the program was eclectic, ranging from "Turkey in the Straw" to Cole Porter's "Night and Day." In addition, due to bad weather and technical difficulties, the sound quality for the Russian audience was generally poor. According to U.S. officials in the Soviet Union, Russians rated the program "fair." VOA broadcasts into Russia did improve somewhat over the years, primarily because music played an increasingly prominent role. U.S. observers had discovered that the Soviet people's appetite for American music, particularly jazz, was nearly insatiable.
How many Russians actually ever heard the broadcasts is uncertain, but reports from behind the Iron Curtain indicated that many VOA programs, specifically the music segments, were eagerly awaited each night. By the 1960s, VOA was broadcasting to every continent in several dozen languages. Today, VOA continues to operate, bringing "Life in America" to the world. And with "Radio Marti," which is aimed at communist Cuba, it continues its Cold War tradition.
Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
HARING, ABRAM P. Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, Company G, 132d New York Infantry. Place and date: At Bachelors Creek, N.C., 1 February 1864. Entered service at: New York, N.Y., Birth: New York, N.Y. Date of issue: 28 June 1890. Citation: With a command of 11 men, on picket, resisted the attack of an overwhelming force of the enemy.
ATKINS, DANIEL Rank and organization: Ship's Cook, First Class, U.S. Navy. Born: 1867, Brunswick, Va. Accredited to: Virginia. G.O. No.: 489, 20 May 1898. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Cushing, 11 February 1898. Showing gallant conduct, Atkins attempted to save the life of the late Ens. Joseph C. Breckenridge, U.S. Navy, who fell overboard at sea from that vessel on this date.
STEWART, JAMES A. Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 1839, Philadelphia, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 180, 10 October 1872. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Plymouth, Stewart jumped overboard in the harbor of Villefranche, France, 1 February 1872 and saved Midshipman Osterhaus from drowning.
*ANDERSON, RICHARD BEATTY Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 26 June 1921, Tacoma, Wash. Accredited to: Washington. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 4th Marine Division during action against enemy Japanese forces on Roi Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, 1 February 1944. Entering a shell crater occupied by 3 other marines, Pfc. Anderson was preparing to throw a grenade at an enemy position when it slipped from his hands and rolled toward the men at the bottom of the hole. With insufficient time to retrieve the armed weapon and throw it, Pfc. Anderson fearlessly chose to sacrifice himself and save his companions by hurling his body upon the grenade and taking the full impact of the explosion. His personal valor and exceptional spirit of loyalty in the face of almost certain death were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
KNAPPENBERGER, ALTON W. Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Cisterna di Littoria, Italy, 1 February 1944. Entered service at: Spring Mount, Pa. Birth: Cooperstown, Pa. G.O. No.: 41, 26 May 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action involving actual conflict with the enemy, on 1 February 1944 near Cisterna di Littoria, Italy. When a heavy German counterattack was launched against his battalion, Pfc. Knappenberger crawled to an exposed knoll and went into position with his automatic rifle. An enemy machinegun 85 yards away opened fire, and bullets struck within 6 inches of him. Rising to a kneeling position, Pfc. Knappenberger opened fire on the hostile crew, knocked out the gun, killed 2 members of the crew, and wounded the third. While he fired at this hostile position, 2 Germans crawled to a point within 20 yards of the knoll and threw potato-masher grenades at him, but Pfc. Knappenberger killed them both with 1 burst from his automatic rifle. Later, a second machinegun opened fire upon his exposed position from a distance of 100 yards, and this weapon also was silenced by his well-aimed shots. Shortly thereafter, an enemy 20mm. antiaircraft gun directed fire at him, and again Pfc. Knappenberger returned fire to wound 1 member of the hostile crew. Under tank and artillery shellfire, with shells bursting within 15 yards of him, he held his precarious position and fired at all enemy infantrymen armed with machine pistols and machineguns which he could locate. When his ammunition supply became exhausted, he crawled 15 yards forward through steady machinegun fire, removed rifle clips from the belt of a casualty, returned to his position and resumed firing to repel an assaulting German platoon armed with automatic weapons. Finally, his ammunition supply being completely exhausted, he rejoined his company. Pfc. Knappenberger's intrepid action disrupted the enemy attack for over 2 hours.
*POWER, JOHN VINCENT Rank and organization. First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 20 November 1918, Worcester, Mass. Appointed from: Massachusetts. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as platoon leader, attached to the 4th Marine Division, during the landing and battle of Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, 1 February 1944. Severely wounded in the stomach while setting a demolition charge on a Japanese pillbox, 1st Lt. Power was steadfast in his determination to remain in action. Protecting his wound with his left hand and firing with his right, he courageously advanced as another hostile position was taken under attack, fiercely charging the opening made by the explosion and emptying his carbine into the pillbox. While attempting to reload and continue the attack, 1st Lt. Power was shot again in the stomach and head and collapsed in the doorway. His exceptional valor, fortitude and indomitable fighting spirit in the face of withering enemy fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
DIX, DREW DENNIS Rank and Organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, U.S. Senior Advisor Group, IV Corps, Military Assistance Command. Place and date: Chau Doc Province, Republic of Vietnam, 31 January and 1 February 1968. Entered service at: Denver, Colo. Born: 14 December 1944, West Point, N.Y. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Dix distinguished himself by exceptional heroism while serving as a unit adviser. Two heavily armed Viet Cong battalions attacked the Province capital city of Chau Phu resulting in the complete breakdown and fragmentation of the defenses of the city. S/Sgt. Dix, with a patrol of Vietnamese soldiers, was recalled to assist in the defense of Chau Phu. Learning that a nurse was trapped in a house near the center of the city, S/Sgt. Dix organized a relief force, successfully rescued the nurse, and returned her to the safety of the Tactical Operations Center. Being informed of other trapped civilians within the city, S/Sgt. Dix voluntarily led another force to rescue 8 civilian employees located in a building which was under heavy mortar and small-arms fire. S/Sgt. Dix then returned to the center of the city. Upon approaching a building, he was subjected to intense automatic rifle and machine gun fire from an unknown number of Viet Cong. He personally assaulted the building, killing 6 Viet Cong, and rescuing 2 Filipinos. The following day S/Sgt. Dix, still on his own volition, assembled a 20-man force and though under intense enemy fire cleared the Viet Cong out of the hotel, theater, and other adjacent buildings within the city. During this portion of the attack, Army Republic of Vietnam soldiers inspired by the heroism and success of S/Sgt. Dix, rallied and commenced firing upon the Viet Cong. S/Sgt. Dix captured 20 prisoners, including a high ranking Viet Cong official. He then attacked enemy troops who had entered the residence of the Deputy Province Chief and was successful in rescuing the official's wife and children. S/Sgt. Dix's personal heroic actions resulted in 14 confirmed Viet Cong killed in action and possibly 25 more, the capture of 20 prisoners, 15 weapons, and the rescue of the 14 United States and free world civilians. The heroism of S/Sgt. Dix was in the highest tradition and reflects great credit upon the U.S. Army.
*STEINDAM, RUSSELL A. Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Troop B, 3d Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 25th Infantry, Division. Place and date: Tay Ninh Province, Republic of Vietnam, 1 February 1970. Entered service at: Austin, Tex. Born: 27 August 1946, Austin, Tex. Citation: for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. 1st Lt. Steindam, Troop B, while serving as a platoon leader, led members of his platoon on a night ambush operation. On the way to the ambush site, suspected enemy movement was detected on 1 flank and the platoon's temporary position was subjected to intense small arms and automatic weapons fire as well as a fusillade of hand and rocket-propelled grenades. After the initial barrage, 1st Lt. Steindam ordered fire placed on the enemy position and the wounded men to be moved to a shallow bomb crater. As he directed the return fire against the enemy from his exposed position, a fragmentation grenade was thrown into the site occupied by his command group. Instantly realizing the extreme gravity of the situation, 1st Lt. Steindam shouted a warning to alert his fellow soldiers in the immediate vicinity. Then, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his safety, 1st Lt. Steindam deliberately threw himself on the grenade, absorbing the full and fatal force of the explosion as it detonated. By his gallant action and self-sacrifice, he was able to save the lives of the nearby members of his command group. The extraordinary courage and selflessness displayed by 1st Lt. Steindam were an inspiration to his comrades and are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.
“The Battle Hymn of the Republic” was first published in “Atlantic Monthly” as an anonymous poem. The lyric was the work of Julia Ward Howe and was based on chapter 63 of the Old Testament’s Book of Isaiah. “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” soon became the most popular Union marching song of the Civil War and is still being sung and to the tune of a song titled, “John Brown’s Body”.
Julia Ward Howe (b.1819-1908) was an influential social reformer and wife of fellow reformer and educator Samuel Gridley Howe. She was prominent in the anti-slavery movement, woman‘s suffrage, prison reform and the international peace movements. Julia Ward Howe was the first woman elected to the American Academy of Fine Arts and Letters in 1908. Ralph Waldo Emerson, said: "I honor the author of 'The Battle Hymn' ... she was born in the city of New York. I could well wish she were a native of Massachusetts. We have no such poetess in New England."
◆280 BCE Triumph of Tiberius Cornucanius for the defeat of the Etruscans.
◆266 BCE Triumph of D. Iunius Pera for the defeat of the Calabrians.
◆1587 Establishment of the Roanoke Colony.
◆1780 The British fleet carrying General Clinton’s 8,000-man army arrives from New York off Charleston, South Carolina.
◆1793 France declares war on Britain and the Netherlands.
◆1799 Battle of Assuan: French defeat the Mamlukes.
◆1800 In the undeclared naval war with France, the USS Constellation engages in a decisive battle with the French vessel La Vengeance.
◆1862 “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” was first published in “Atlantic Monthly” as an anonymous poem.★
◆1893 The US Minister to Hawaii, at the request of Pres. Dole, placed the Provisional Government under formal US protection and raised the US flag over Hawaii.
◆1906 1st federal penitentiary building completed in Leavenworth, Kansas.
◆1909 U.S. troops left Cuba after installing Jose Miguel Gomez as president.
◆1917 Admiral Tirpitz (1849-1930) announced that Germany would attack all shipping in the North Atlantic with its feared U-Boats.
◆1923 Fascists Voluntary Militia formed in Italy under Mussolini.
◆1940 The Chinese Communist Mao Tse-tung calls for the US to stand firm against Japan.
◆1941 There is a major reorganization of the US Navy. It is now to be formed in three fleets, the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Asiatic. Admiral King is appointed to command the new Atlantic Fleet. There is to be a significant strengthening of the forces in the Atlantic.
◆1942 USS Enterprise and Yorktown make first WW II air strike, Japanese Marshall Islands.
◆1942 Enlistees after this date were restricted to enlistment in the USCG Reserve. This was done to prevent having too many enlistees in the service at war’s end.
◆1943 One of America's most decorated military units of World War II, the 442d Regimental Combat Team, made up almost entirely of Japanese-Americans, was authorized.
◆1943 Japanese forces on Guadalcanal Island, defeated by Marines, start to withdraw after the Japanese emperor finally gives them permission.
◆1944 American operations against the Kwajalein Atoll continue. On Roi US forces are mopping up. There is heavy fighting on Namur. US Task Force 52 (Admiral Turner) provides naval support for the landing of the 7th Infantry Division (General Corlett) on Kwajalein. Here, the Americans overrun a third of island, despite heavy Japanese resistance.
◆1944 The forces of US 5th Army continue operations against the German defenses of the Gustav Line. The 34th Division gains some ground north of Cassino, around Monte Maiola.
◆1945 The US 6th Corps from 7th Army crosses the river Moder and advances to Oberhofen.
◆1945 The American advance on all fronts is slowed by fierce Japanese resistance. US 1st Corps is heavily engaged near Rosario and San Jose while US 11th Corps is struggling to make more ground across the neck of the Bataan Peninsula.
◆1945 American USAAF B-24 and B-29 bombers raid Iwo Jima in preparation for the landings later in the month. They drop a daily average of 450 tons of bombs over the course of 15 days (6800 tons).
◆1951 The third A-bomb tests were telecast for the 1st time and completed in the desert of Nevada.
◆1951 Alfred Krupp & 28 other German war criminals were freed.
◆1951 By a vote of 44 to 7, the United Nations General Assembly passes a resolution condemning the communist government of the People's Republic of China for acts of aggression in Korea.
◆1951 The 23rd Regimental Combat Team, of the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division, engaged the Chinese Communist Forces in the Battle of the Twin Tunnels, killing an estimated 1,300 Chinese. U.S. casualties included 45 killed, four missing and 207 wounded in action.
◆1955 Operation Deep Freeze, a research task force, established in Antarctic.
◆1957 Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus died, at 66.
◆1959 Texas Instruments requested a patent for the IC (Integrated Circuit).
◆1958 Elvis Presley records his last single, "Wear My Ring Around Your Neck," before joining the army. Elvis had topped the charts eight times since April 1956, when "Heartbreak Hotel" hit No. 1. Drafted in 1958, Elvis enlisted in the army in March that year and served until 1960. When he joined the army, his monthly salary dropped from $100,000 to $78. Fortunately, his manager had already recorded enough material to keep Elvis singles on the charts during most of The King's army service.
◆1964 U.S. and South Vietnamese naval forces initiate Operation Plan (Oplan) 34A, which calls for raids by South Vietnamese commandos, operating under American orders, against North Vietnamese coastal and island installations.
◆1967 Operation Prairie II was begun in Quang Tri province by elements of the 3d Marine Division. During the 46-day search-and-destroy operation which terminated 18 March, 93 Marines and 693 of the enemy were killed.
◆1968 U.S. troops drove the North Vietnamese out of Tan Son Nhut airport in Saigon.
◆1968 South Vietnam President Nguyen Van Thieu declared martial law.
◆1968 During the Vietnam War, Saigon's police chief Nguyen Ngoc Loan executed a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head in a scene captured in a famous news photograph. ★
◆1971 The three astronauts aboard the Apollo XIV overcame a difficult docking problem but faced a critical test to determine whether they could land on the moon.
◆1984 President Reagan orders the withdrawal of US Marines from Beirut. They will be fully withdrawn by 26 February.
◆1999 The Morse code SOS was officially retired and replaced by the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System.
◆2003 Space shuttle Columbia broke apart in flames over Texas, killing all 7 astronauts just 16 minutes before they were supposed to glide to ground in Florida.