◆637 Battle of Quadisiya: Arab Muslims annihilate the Persians.
◆1453 Battle of San Romano: The Florentines defeat the Sienese, commemorated in Uccello's famous triptych.
◆1676 Naval Battle of Oland: Dutch defeat the Swedes in the Baltic.
◆1774 The Boston Port Bill, the first bill of the Intolerable Acts (called by the Colonists) became effective. It closed Boston harbor until restitution for the destroyed tea was made (passed Mar. 25, 1774).
◆1779 THE TRIAL OF BENEDICT ARNOLD: The court-martial of Benedict Arnold convenes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After a relatively clean record in the early days of the American Revolution, Arnold was charged with malfeasance, misusing government wagons, illegally buying and selling goods, and favoritism to the British Loyalists. Although his notorious betrayal was still many months away, Arnold's resentment over this order and the perceived mistreatment by the American Army would fuel his traitorous decision. Abruptly interrupted at its outset by a British attack north of New York City, the court-martial did not get underway again until December 23 in Morristown, New Jersey. Although Arnold was cleared of most charges, General George Washington issued a reprimand against him, and Arnold became increasingly angered. While on a trip to the important West Point base to make sure that it could withstand a British attack, Arnold stewed over his slight by Washington and the Americans. He thought that he had never been properly rewarded or acknowledged for his military success on their behalf. He began corresponding with British spies about the possibility of changing sides. Arnold negotiated his defection to the British and the subversion of West Point over several months. The British already held control of New York City and believed that by taking West Point they could effectively cut off the American's New England forces from the rest of the fledgling nation. In August 1780, Sir Henry Clinton offered Arnold £20,000 for delivering West Point and 3,000 troops. Arnold told General Washington that West Point was adequately prepared for an attack even though he was busy making sure that that it really wasn't. He even tried to set up General Washington's capture as a bonus. His plan might have been successful but his message was delivered too late and Washington escaped. The West Point surrender was also foiled when an American Colonel ignored Arnold's order not to fire on an approaching British ship. Arnold's defection was revealed to the Americans when British officer John André, acting as a messenger, was robbed by AWOL Americans working as pirates in the woods north of New York City. The notes revealing Arnold's traitorous agreement were stashed in his boots. Arnold and his wife Peggy, who fooled American officers into believing she had no involvement in the betrayal, escaped to New York City. At the British surrender at Yorktown, Benedict Arnold was burned in effigy and his name has since become synonymous with traitor. The British didn't treat him very well after the war either. After prevailing in a libel action, he was awarded only a nominal amount because his reputation was already so tarnished. He died in 1801 and was buried in England without military honor.
◆1779 British commander Henry Clinton leads 6000 men up the Hudson River to capture the unfinished American forts at Stony Point and Verplank River, but fails to reach his ultimate goal of West Point, New York.
◆1783 Last British troops sailed from New York.
◆1794 Protected by a French fleet, a large convoy of US ships carrying provisions to famine-stricken France is encountered by a British fleet under Admiral Sir Richard Howe. Although Howe defeats the French, the US convoy is able to escape safely during the heat of the battle.
◆1796 In accordance with the Jay Treaty, all British troops were withdrawn from U.S. soil.
◆1812 MADISON ASKS CONGRESS TO DECLARE WAR: By the summer of 1812 President James Madison had grown tired of watching America's merchant ships and sailors take a beating at the hands of the British. The nation's maritime interests had been caught in the crossfire of the Napoleonic Wars since the early 1800s. Though France had long since begged off from interfering with U.S. economic activities, England persisted in its practice of halting U.S. ships and seizing men who were suspected of having deserted the Royal Navy. Reluctant to build up America's military forces, Madison attempted to rebuff the British through fiscally minded measures. However, neither the Embargo Act (1807) nor successive versions of non-intercourse legislation (1809, 1810) did much to dissuade the British from their habit of harassing American ports and ships. And so on this day in 1812, Madison gave the call to Congress to declare war on Great Britain. Just three days later the hawkish House voted 79 to 49 to engage England in armed conflict; by the end of the month the United States was embroiled in the War of 1812.
◆1813 The U.S. Navy gained its motto as the mortally wounded commander of the U.S. frigate "Chesapeake", Captain James Lawrence (b.1871) was heard to say, "Don't give up the ship!", during a losing battle with a British frigate "Shannon"; his ship was captured by the British frigate. Oliver Hazard Perry honored his dead friend Lawrence when he had the motto sewn onto the private battle flag flown during the Battle of Lake Erie, 10 September 1813.
◆1814 Philip Kearney, Union Civil War general, was born. He was killed at the Battle of Chantilly, Virginia.
◆1821 Governor Andrew Jackson officially receives the Florida territory from the Spanish. As no provisions have yet been made for a territorial government, Jackson will act as a quasi-military commander.
◆1831 John B. Hood, Confederate general is born. Appointed to West Point by his congressman uncle. Hood reported on July 1,1849. He graduated forty-fifth in a class of fifty-five and was sent to the Fourth Infantry Regiment, stationed in California. Assigned to the Second Cavalry Regiment in Texas in 1855 with Lee and George Thomas.
◆1855 William Walker (1824-1860), US adventurer, stormed into Granada, Nicaragua, and declared himself president. He reestablished slavery and planned an 18-mile canal from Lake Nicaragua to the Pacific.
◆1861 The US and the Confederacy simultaneously stopped mail interchange.
◆1861 The first skirmish in the Civil War was at Fairfax Court House, Arlington Mills, Va.
◆1861 British territorial waters & ports were put off-limits during Civil War.
◆1862 General Robert E. Lee assumed command of the Confederate Army outside Richmond after General Joe Johnston was injured at Seven Pines. Robert E. Lee received a field command: the Army of Northern Virginia.
◆1863 The Confederate Navy Department assumed complete control of the Selma, Alabama, Iron Works. Under the command of Commander Catesby ap R. Jones, the iron works became a naval ordnance works where naval guns were cast. Between June 1863 and April 1864, nearly 200 guns were cast there, most of them 6.4-inch and 7-inch Brooke rifles.
◆1864 Confederates attack Union troops at the strategic crossroads of Cold Harbor, less than a dozen miles from Richmond. Since the beginning of May 1864, Ulysses S. Grant had doggedly pursued Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia along an arc around Richmond. The massive offensive was costly to the Army of the Potomac, which racked up 60,000 casualties before reaching the crossroads. After battling along the North Anna River and at Bethesda Church in late May, the armies engaged in a familiar race to the next strategic point. The Union troops arrived at Cold Harbor to find that the Confederates were already there. On May 30, Union troops under Philip Sheridan encountered Confederates led by Fitzhugh Lee around the tavern for which the crossroads was named. The Yankees attacked and took control of the intersection but could not advance toward Richmond any further. Additional troops from each army continued to arrive through the evening of May 31. Determined to retake the crossroads, Lee ordered a Confederate attack shortly after dawn, before more Northern troops arrived. The spirited assault was led by an inexperienced colonel named Lawrence Keitt from South Carolina, who was mortally wounded in the first Yankee volley. Soon after, the 20th South Carolina, a green regiment at the head of the attack, broke into a frantic retreat. The panic spread to other units, and the Confederate attack wilted. Sheridan's troops held the crossroads. Grant attacked the Confederates in the late afternoon, after more Union troops had arrived. But the Yankees could not break through the Rebels' newly constructed fortifications, and so they decided to wait until the bulk of the Army of the Potomac had arrived before launching another attack. This delay proved costly. The Rebels used the time to dig trenches and construct breastworks. When the attack came on June 3, it turned into one of the biggest Union disasters of the war.
◆1864 Shenandoah Valley campaign began.
◆1868 The Texas constitutional convention met in Austin.
◆1868 Fifteenth President of the United States James Buchanan dies.
◆1871 RADM Rodgers lands in Korea with a party of Sailors and Marines and captures 5 forts to secure protection for U.S. citizens after Americans were fired upon and murdered.
◆1877 U.S. troops were authorized to pursue bandits into Mexico.
◆1890 The US census stood at 62,622,250. The US government used the Jean Baptiste Pacard card punch to tabulate the results of the census. Herman Hollerith designed a system that used a machine with a sorter. Hollerith formed a firm that eventually became IBM.
◆1914 General Order 99 prohibits alcohol on board naval vessels, or at navy yards or stations.
◆1915 First contract for lighter-than-air craft for Navy.
◆1916 The National Defense Act increased the strength of the U.S. National Guard by 450,000 men.
◆1918 2nd Division troops dig in along a defensive line just north of the village of Lucy-le-Bocage. Marine Captain Lloyd Williams when advised to withdraw, replies, "Retreat, Hell! We just got here!" Capt. Williams would not survive the ensuing battle. The line was centered on Lucy-le-Bocage. Although the initial disposition of troops was haphazard at first due the emergency, the front settled eventually with the 5th Marines to the west and the 6th Marines to the east. Most of the units deployed without machineguns in support. At Les Mares Farm, members of 2nd Bn, 5th Marines began to show the Germans the effects of long distance marksmanship.
◆1924 Congress establishes the Border Patrol, under the jurisdiction of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Previously, border duty was done sporadically by the Army or the militia of the border states.
◆1939 Director of the Naval Research Laboratory, Captain Hollis M. Cooley, proposes research in atomic energy for future use in nuclear powered submarine.
◆1940 DUNKIRK EVACUATION: Despite increased Luftwaffe attacks a total of 64,429 men are evacuated from Dunkirk. However, German planes sink four destroyers and damage five more as well as several of the Channel ferries and other ships, which form the backbone of the evacuation fleet. The RAF sends eight large patrols to give cover but most of the damage is done in the intervals between them. On the ground the Germans increase their efforts, breaking the defensive perimeter along the canals at Bergues and forcing retreats in other sectors as well. During the night the British authorities decide that the air attacks have made the evacuation too dangerous to continue by day.
◆1942 America began sending Lend-Lease materials to the Soviet Union.
◆1942 The aircraft carrier USS Saratoga sails after repairs from torpedo damage. It will be too late to take part in the coming battle at Midway.
◆1942 Twenty-five American submarines from various forces assume stations around Midway.
◆1943 More than 500,000 coal miners go on strike after protracted wage negotiations break down. Most return to work by June 7th when talks resume.
◆1944 The British Broadcasting Corp. broadcasted a line of poetry by the 19th century French poet Paul Verlaine. It was a coded message intended to warn the French resistance that the D-Day invasion was imminent, "The long sobs of the violins of autumn."
◆1944 Gen'ls. Montgomery, Patton, Bradley, Dempsey and Crerar met in Portsmouth.
◆1944 ZP-14 Airships complete first crossing of Atlantic by non-rigid lighter-than-air aircraft.
◆1944 Forces of the US 5th Army advance toward Rome. The US 2nd and 6th Corps, exploiting the capture of Velletri, attack through the Alban Hills toward Albano and Valmonte. With the breach of the Caesar Line, German Army Group C (Kesselring) orders a withdrawal north of Rome. Rearguards delay the American advance.
◆1944 In the evening, the BBC broadcasts the first code message intended as a warning to the French resistance that a invasion is imminent. The Germans appreciate the significance of the message and alert some units in occupied France.
◆1944 On Biak Island, American forces resume their offensive and the infantry gain some ground with armored support. On the mainland, Japanese forces continue their attacks around the Aitape beachhead and the American defenders continue to fall back.
◆1945 On Okinawa, after the fall of Shuri, General Mushijima orders the Japanese troops to withdraw southward, towards the Oroku peninsula and the hills of Yaeju, Yuza and Mezado in the extreme south of the island. There are reports of discontent among the Japanese troops, something previously unheard of in the Imperial Army. Elements of the US 1st Marine Division cross the Koruba river, south of Naha. The forces of the US 24th Corps pursue the retreating Japanese while elements mop up around Shuri.
◆1945 On Luzon, the US 37th Division (US 1st Corps) advances rapidly in the Cagayan valley. Japanese resistance is reduced to rearguard actions. On Mindanao, American forces are engaged north of Davao.1945 During a thunderstorm, 27 P-51 fighters collide en route to Osaka. American aircraft drop over 3000 tons of incendiary bombs on Osaka.
◆1951 Operation PILEDRIVER began as elements of the I and IX Corps advanced towards the Wyoming Line, some 30 kilometers north in the "Iron Triangle." Eighth Army had pushed north of the 38th parallel in most sectors. It was during PILEDRIVER the last major U.N. offensive before the commencement of truce talks, that the U.N. forces reached the limit of their advance and the war of movement came to a close.
◆1951 One flight of F-86s from the 336th FIS escorting B-29s engaged eighteen MiG-15s, destroying two. A flight of B-29s, 343th BS, defended itself against twenty-two MiG-15s in the vicinity of Sonchon. The MiGs destroyed one B-29 and damaged another, while the defenders destroyed two enemy jets. FEAF Special Air Mission C-47s dropped fifteen Koreans into enemy held territory to retrieve parts from a crashed MiG-15. Unfortunately, communist forces captured all fifteen Koreans. Maj. Gen. Frank F. Everest, USAF, assumed command of Fifth Air Force, replacing General Timberlake.
◆1953 Air battles raging over "MiG Alley" produced five F-86 Sabre jet aces during this month, more than any other month of the war.
◆1954 First test of steam catapult from USS Hancock.
◆1961 FM multiplex stereo broadcasting was first heard.
◆1962 USAF Maj. Robert M White took the X-15 to 40,420 m.
◆2000 At Los Alamos hard drives with classified nuclear secrets were discovered missing. They were found June 16 behind a photocopier.