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Discussion Starter #321
December 30th ~

1702 – During Queen Anne’s War, James Moore, Governor of the Province of Carolina, abandons the Siege of St. Augustine.

1776 – After American success at Trenton on Christmas, General George Washington returned to Trenton, near Assunpink Creek. The victory had changed much of the General’s fortunes but he still had a problem. Many of his troops were free to leave at the end of the year. Washington decided to make a personal appeal to his men.

He offered a bounty to any man who would stay another 6 months. After this first appeal, none stepped forward. But one soldier remembered what Washington said next: “My brave fellows, you have done all I asked you to do, and more than could be reasonably expected, but your country is at stake, your wives, your houses, and all that you hold dear. You have worn yourselves out with fatigues and hardships, but we know not how to spare you. If you will consent to stay one month longer, you will render that service to the cause of liberty, and to your country, which you probably never can do under any other circumstance.” Men began to step forward. Not everyone stayed, but many did. Only a few stepped out at first, then others. Finally only those to injured fight had not stepped out and new men also joined.

1816 – The Treaty of St. Louis between the United States and the united Ottawa, Ojibwa, and Potawatomi Indian tribes is proclaimed. Despite the name, the treaty was conducted at Portage des Sioux, Missouri, located immediately north of St. Louis, Missouri. By signing the treaty, the tribes, their chiefs, and their warriors relinquished all right, claim, and title to land previously ceded to the United States by the Sac and Fox tribes on November 3, 1804, by signing, the united tribes also ceded a 20 mile strip of land to the United States, which connected Chicago and Lake Michigan with the Illinois River. In 1848, the Illinois and Michigan Canal was built on the ceded land and, in 1900, the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. In exchange the tribes were to be paid $1,000 in merchandise over 12 years. The land was surveyed by John C. Sullivan and its land was originally intended as land grant rewards for volunteers in the War of 1812. Many of the streets in the survey run at a diagonal that is counter to the Chicago street grid.

1825 – The Treaty of St. Louis between the United States and the Shawnee Nation is proclaimed. The Treaty of St. Louis was signed on November 7, 1825 between William Clark on behalf of the United States and delegates from the Shawnee Nation. In this treaty, the Shawnee ceded lands to the United States near Cape Geredeau. In return for Cape Geredeau, the United States government gave the Shawnee a sum of 11,000 dollars and leased to them a blacksmith shop for five years providing all tools and 300 pounds of iron annually. Moreover, peace and friendship between the two nations were renewed and perpetuated.

1835 – Cherokees were forced to move across the Mississippi River after gold was discovered in Georgia. A minority faction of Cherokee agreed to the emigration of the whole tribe from their lands by signing the Treaty of New Echota. The Treaty of New Echota resulted in the cession of all Cherokee land to the U.S. and provided for the transportation of the Cherokee Indians to land beyond the Mississippi. The removal of the Cherokee was completed by 1838.

1853 – James Gadsden, the U.S. minister to Mexico, and General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the president of Mexico, sign the Gadsden Purchase in Mexico City. The treaty settled the dispute over the location of the Mexican border west of El Paso, Texas, and established the final boundaries of the southern United States. For the price of $15 million, later reduced to $10 million, the United States acquired approximately 30,000 square miles of land in what is now southern New Mexico and Arizona. Jefferson Davis, the U.S. secretary of war under President Franklin Pierce, had sent Gadsden to negotiate with Santa Anna for the land, which was deemed by a group of political and industrial leaders to be a highly strategic location for the construction of the southern transcontinental railroad. In 1861, the “big four” leaders of western railroad construction–Collis P. Huntington, Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker–established the Southern Pacific branch of the Central Pacific Railroad.

1862 – The draft of the Emancipation Proclamation was finished and circulated around Lincoln’s cabinet for comment.

1862 – The U.S.S. Monitor sinks in a storm off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Just nine months earlier, the ship had been part of a revolution in naval warfare when the ironclad dueled to a standstill with the C.S.S. Virginia (Merrimack) off Hampton Roads, Virginia, in one of the most famous naval battles in history–the first time two ironclads faced each other in a naval engagement. After the famous duel, the Monitor provided gun support on the James River for George B. McClellan’s Peninsular Campaign.

By December 1862, it was clear the Monitor was no longer needed in Virginia, so she was sent to Beaufort, North Carolina, to join a fleet being assembled for an attack on Charleston. The Monitor served well in the sheltered waters of Chesapeake Bay, but the heavy, low-slung ship was a poor craft for the open sea. The U.S.S. Rhode Island towed the ironclad around the rough waters of Cape Hatteras. Since December is a treacherous time for any ship off North Carolina, the decision to move the Monitor seems highly questionable.

As the Monitor pitched and swayed in the rough seas, the caulking around the gun turret loosened and water began to leak into the hull. More leaks developed as the journey continued. High seas tossed the craft, causing the ship’s flat armor bottom to slap the water. Each roll opened more seams, and by nightfall on December 30, the Monitor was in dire straits.

At 8:00 p.m., the Monitor’s commander, J.P. Bankhead, signaled the Rhode Island that he wished to abandon ship. The wooden side-wheeler pulled as close as safety allowed to the stricken ironclad, and two lifeboats were lowered to retrieve the crew. Many of the sailors were rescued, but some men were terrified to venture onto the deck in such rough seas. The ironclad’s pumps stopped working and the ship sank before 16 crew members could be rescued. Although the Monitor’s service was brief, it signaled a new era in naval combat. The Virginia’s arrival off Hampton Road terrified the U.S. Navy, but the Monitor leveled the playing field. Both sides had ironclads, and the advantage would go to the side that could build more of them. Northern industry would win that battle for the Union.
 

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Discussion Starter #322
December 30th ~ { continued... }

1863 – Expedition under command of Acting Ensign Norman McLeod from U.S.S. Pursuit, destroyed two salt works at the head of St. Joseph’s Bay, Florida.

1905 – Targeted for his role in quelling a miners’ strike in 1899, former Idaho governor Frank Steunenberg is wounded by a powerful bomb that is triggered when he opens the gate to his home in Caldwell, Idaho. He died shortly afterwards in his own bed. A former newspaper editor, Steunenberg entered Idaho politics in 1890, when he was elected to the House of Representatives. In 1896, he won the Idaho Governor’s seat as the head of a coalition of Democrats, Populists, and Republicans who supported the use of silver to back currency. Generally perceived as a friend to labor and the “little man,” Steunenberg won a second term as governor in 1896.

During this term, he was confronted with one of the most divisive and violent western battles between labor and management of the 19th century. Miners in the rich silver districts near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, had been struggling to unionize and gain better pay and working conditions since 1892. Radicalized by their initial defeats, an increasing numbers of miners began supporting the violence-prone Western Federation of Miners (WFM), which advocated aggressive tactics and worker control of industry. Alarmed by the growing influence of the WFM, Coeur d’Alene mine owners attempted to bust the union in 1899, and the WFM responded by blowing up one mining company’s huge and costly concentrators with dynamite.

Disturbed by the miners’ violent tactics, the hitherto pro-labor Steunenberg heeded the demands of the powerful mine owners and turned against the WFM, requesting that the federal government send in troops. The soldiers placed the region under martial law and herded hundreds of miners into makeshift prisons, ignoring their constitutional rights to know the charges and evidence against them. Steunenberg’s actions restored order in the Idaho silver mines, but also earned him the lasting enmity of many radical WFM members.

Six years later, the radicals took their revenge by sending a professional assassin named Harry Orchard to Caldwell. The professional hitman was responsible for planting the bomb that killed the former governor. Orchard was captured, tried, and sentenced to life in prison, and his guilt has never been seriously disputed. However, many were convinced that the plot to kill Steunenberg was supported not just by a radical minority within the WFM, but also by its top leadership.

WFM secretary-treasurer William “Big Bill” Haywood was brought up on charges of criminal conspiracy but was found not guilty largely as a result of famous Chicago lawyer Clarence Darrow’s brilliant defense. Haywood went on to found the even more radical Industrial Workers of the World.

1922 – In post-revolutionary Russia, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is established, comprising a confederation of Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, and the Transcaucasian Federation (divided in 1936 into the Georgian, Azerbaijan, and Armenian republics). Also known as the Soviet Union, the new communist state was the successor to the Russian Empire and the first country in the world to be based on Marxist socialism.

During the Russian Revolution of 1917 and subsequent three-year Russian Civil War, the Bolshevik Party under Vladimir Lenin dominated the soviet forces, a coalition of workers’ and soldiers’ committees that called for the establishment of a socialist state in the former Russian Empire. In the USSR, all levels of government were controlled by the Communist Party, and the party’s politburo, with its increasingly powerful general secretary, effectively ruled the country. Soviet industry was owned and managed by the state, and agricultural land was divided into state-run collective farms.

In the decades after it was established, the Russian-dominated Soviet Union grew into one of the world’s most powerful and influential states and eventually encompassed 15 republics–Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Belorussia, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. In 1991, the Soviet Union was dissolved following the collapse of its communist government.

1941 – Admiral Ernest J. King assumes duty as Commander in Chief, United States Fleet.

1941 – Allied forces fall back to their final line of prepared defense above the Bataan Peninsula.

1943 – On New Britain, the US marine division captures the Japanese airfield at Cape Gloucester.

1944 – The US 8th Corps (part of US 3rd Army) launches attacks northward, against the German 5th Panzer Army, from a line between Bastogne and St. Hubert with Houffalize as the objective. Meanwhile, elements of German 5th Panzer Army launch another unsuccessful attempt at cutting the American corridor into Bastogne and capture the town.

1944 – General Groves, head of the Manhattan Project, reports that the first two atomic bombs should be ready by August 1, 1945.

1944 – Coast Guard-manned USS FS-367 takes survivors from USS Maripopsa at San Jose, Mindoro, Philippine Islands.

1950 – Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia became independent states in a French Union.

1950 – The body of Eighth Army commander Lieutenant General Walton Walker, killed in a jeep accident on Dec. 23, was flown to the United States for burial in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.
 

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Discussion Starter #323
December 30th ~ { continued... }

1950 – In a fiery statement, Secretary of State Dean Acheson declares that the United States will increase its efforts to contain communist aggression and calls upon the American people for support and sacrifice. The statement was issued just weeks after hundreds of thousands of communist Chinese troops entered the Korean War, threatening to expand the conflict into a third world war. Acheson noted that 1950 had been a “dark year,” but also argued that the United States had made great advances in thwarting communist machinations around the world. Nevertheless, he continued, the United States faced a situation of “extreme gravity.” “Our freedom, our way of life, is menaced,” Acheson declared. In some of the harshest language in the statement, the secretary argued, “The present difficulties arise from the lawless and cynical conduct of the communists who would destroy peace and freedom.”

Despite talk of peace from the Soviet Union, said Acheson, its recent actions revealed its talk to be “nothing but camouflage to cloak the naked imperialism of its aims.” The United States and the American people needed to support all efforts to defeat the communist threat. “No sacrifices are too great when the future of this nation is at stake.” Acheson’s heated rhetoric might have been an attempt to make up for his handling of foreign policy during the previous two years, when the secretary fell under near-constant criticism for not taking a tough stand against communism. Attacks by Senator Joseph McCarthy had been particularly loud and damaging. As 1950 drew to a close Acheson took a hard-line, declaring that the United States was willing and able to meet any challenge posed by the communists and that American commitment to Korea would not falter.

1952 – Sinbad, the canine-mascot of the cutter Campbell during World War II, passed away at his last duty station, the Barnegat Lifeboat Station, at the ripe old age of 15. He served on board the cutter throughout the war and earned his way into Coast Guard legend with his shipboard and liberty antics.

1959 – Commissioning of first fleet ballistic missile submarine, USS George Washington (SSB(N)-598), at Groton, CT.

1963 – Congress authorized the Kennedy half dollar.

1970 – The South Vietnamese Navy receives 125 U.S. vessels in a ceremony marking the end of the U.S. Navy’s four-year role in inland waterway combat. This brings the total number of vessels turned over to the South Vietnamese Navy to 650. About 17,000 Americans remained with the South Vietnamese Navy in shore positions and as advisers aboard South Vietnamese vessels. The transfer of inland waterway combat responsibility was part of President Nixon’s Vietnamization program, in which the war effort was transferred to the South Vietnam so U.S. troops could be withdrawn.

1972 – Officials in Washington, D.C., announce that the peace talks in Paris between National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese negotiator Le Duc Tho will resume on January 2. On December 28, Hanoi agreed to return to the negotiations, and President Nixon ordered a halt to Linebacker II, the intensive bombing campaign of North Vietnam.

Nixon initiated the campaign on December 18 when the North Vietnamese, who walked out of the peace negotiations in Paris, refused his ultimatum to return to the talks. During the course of the bombing, 700 B-52 sorties and more than 1,000 fighter-bombers dropped an estimated 20,000 tons of bombs, mostly over the densely populated area between Hanoi and Haiphong. When the communist negotiators returned to Paris, the peace talks moved along quickly. On January 23, 1973, the United States, North Vietnam, the Republic of Vietnam, and the Viet Cong signed a cease-fire agreement that took effect five days later.

1981 – The 14 remaining LORAN-A stations closed down at midnight, ending Loran-A coverage, which began during World War II.

1985 – Vice President George Bush paid an official visit to the officers and crew of the CGC Steadfast while the cutter was in Nassau, Bahamas. Accompanied by RADM Richard P. Cueroni, commander, 7th District and various other U.S. and Bahamian officials, the vice president officiated at an awards and wreath-laying ceremony in honor of the National Narcotics Border Interdiction System and the joint U.S. Bahamian operations.

1988 – President Reagan and President-elect Bush were subpoenaed to testify as defense witnesses in the pending Iran-Contra trial of Oliver North. The subpoenas were subsequently quashed.

1990 – Iraq’s information minister (Latif Nussayif Jassim) said President Bush “must have been drunk” when he suggested Iraq might withdraw from Kuwait, and added: “We will show the world America is a paper tiger.”

1991 – The remains of two American hostages slain in Lebanon, William Buckley and Marine Col. William R. Higgins, arrived in the United States for burial.

1991 – Leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States agreed to establish unified command over nuclear weapons, while allowing member states to form their own armies.

1992 – President Bush embarked on the final foreign trip of his term in office, heading to a Black Sea summit with Russian President Boris Yeltsin, with a stopover in Somalia to visit U.S. troops helping famine victims.

1995 – A US military policeman, Martin John Begosh, became the first American injured in NATO’s fledgling Bosnia peace mission when his Humvee hit an anti-tank mine.

1996 – The United Nations announces that a total of 21 contracts have been approved for the limited Iraqi oil sales under U.N. Security Council Resolution 986. The approved contracts will allow for 43.68 million barrels of oil to be exported in the first 90 days of the sale. At present, exports of 26.37 million barrels have been approved for the second 90-day period of the sale, which allows Iraq to sell up to $1 billion worth of oil every 90 days for an initial 6-month period. In mid-December 1996, Iraq restarted the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, which is expected to carry up to 450,000 b/d of oil under the sales agreements approved so far under U.N. Security Council Resolution 986. Iraq’s remaining oil exports will flow through the Mina al-Bakr terminal.

1998 – Iraq again fired at US warplanes the missile site was destroyed in response.

2000 – 5 bomb blasts hit Manila and at least 22 people were killed. Muslim rebels were blamed. One of bombs was on a train and killed at least 13. Police arrested 17 men on Jan 4. 7 Muslim guerrillas were indicted including Salamat Hashim, chairman of the Moro Liberation Front. The Jemaah Islamiyah, an militant group linked to al Qaeda, was involved in the train bombing.

2002 – British and US warplanes flying multiple missions attacked Iraq air defense facilities after an Iraqi fighter jet penetrated the southern no-fly zone.

2002 – The UN passed a resolution by a 13-0 vote with Russia and Syria abstaining that put new limits on Iraq for purchases of certain communications equipment and antibiotics.

2002 – In Yemen a suspected Muslim extremist, hiding his gun cradled like a baby, slipped into the Jibla Baptist Hospital and opened fire, killing three American missionaries: Dr. Martha Myers (57), William Koehn (60), and Kathleen Gariety (53). A 4th was seriously wounding. Abed Abdul Razak Kamel was sentenced to death in May for killing the missionaries.

2003 – The Pentagon said it will end an arrangement with Halliburton to import fuel into Iraq due to recent government audits.

2006 – Former Iraqi Dictator Saddam Hussein is hanged in Iraq.

2006 – Former U.S. President Gerald Ford’s funeral is held at the United States Capitol.
 

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Today in
American Revolutionary War History


1803*- Francis Lewis died. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.*




Revolutionary War Quotes
"When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: Liberty, sir, was the primary object."
Patrick Henry
 

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Discussion Starter #325
December 31st ~

1775 – George Washington ordered recruiting officers to accept free blacks into the army.

1775 – During the American Revolution, Patriot forces under generals Benedict Arnold and Richard Montgomery are defeated by the British defenders of the city of Quebec in Canada. On December 2, Arnold and Montgomery met on the outskirts of Quebec and demanded the surrender of the city. Governor Sir Guy Carleton rejected their demand, and on December 9 the Patriots commenced a bombardment of Quebec, which was met by a counterbattery by the British defenders that disabled several of the Patriots’ guns.

At approximately 4 a.m. on December 31, the Patriot forces advanced on the city under the cover of a blizzard. The British defenders were ready, however, and when Montgomery’s forces came within 50 yards of the fortified city they opened fire with a barrage of artillery and musket fire. Montgomery was killed in the first assault, and, after several more attempts at penetrating Quebec’s defenses, his men were forced into retreat. Meanwhile, Arnold’s division suffered a similar fate during their attack of the northern wall of the city. A two-gun battery opened fire on the advancing Americans, killing a number of Americans and wounding Benedict Arnold in the leg. Patriot Daniel Morgan assumed command, made progress against the defenders, but halted at the second wall of fortifications to wait for reinforcements.

By the time the rest of Arnold’s army finally arrived, the British had reorganized and the attack was called off. Of the 900 Americans who participated in the siege, 60 were killed and wounded and more than 400 were captured. The remaining Patriot forces then retreated from the invasion of Canada. As the Americans crossed the St. Lawrence River to safety, Benedict Arnold remained in Canadian territory until the last of his soldiers had escaped. With the pursuing British forces almost in firing range, Arnold checked one last time to make sure all his men had escaped. He then shot his horse and fled down the St. Lawrence in a canoe.

Less than five years later, Benedict Arnold, as commander of West Point, famously became a traitor when he agreed to surrender the important Hudson River fort to the British for a bribe of ý20,000. The plot was uncovered after British spy John Andrý was captured with incriminating papers, forcing Arnold to flee to British protection and join in their fight against the country that he once so valiantly served.

1783 – Import of African slaves was banned by all of the Northern American states.

1796 – The Baltimore is incorporated as a city in Maryland.

1815 – George Gordon Meade (d.1872), Union general, was born. He defeated Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg.

1861 – Biloxi, Mississippi, surrendered to a landing party of seamen and Marines covered by U.S.S. Water Witch, New London, and Henry Lewis; a small Confederate battery was destroyed, two guns and schooner Captain Spedden captured.

1861 – Naval squadron under Commander C. R. P. Rodgers, including gunboats Ottawa, Pembina, and Seneca and four armed boats carrying howitzers, joined General Stevens’ troops in successful am­phibious attack on Confederate positions at Port Royal Ferry and on Coosaw River. Gunboat fire covered the troop advance, and guns and naval gunners were landed as artillery support. Army signal officers acted as gunfire observers and coordinators on board the ships.

The action disrupted Confederate plans to erect batteries and build troop strength in the area intending to close Coosaw River and iso­late Federal troops on Port Royal Island. General Stevens wrote: “I would do great injustice to my own feelings did I fail to express my satisfaction and delight with the recent cooperation of the command of Captain Rodgers in our celebration of New Year’s Day. Whether regard be had to his beau­tiful working of the gunboats in the narrow channel of Port Royal, the thorough concert of action established through the signal officers, or the masterly handling of the guns against the enemy, noth­ing remained to be desired. Such a cooperation . . . augurs everything, propitious for the welfare of our cause in this quarter of the country.”

1862 – President Abraham Lincoln signs an act that admits West Virginia to the Union, thus dividing Virginia in two. West Virginia is a U.S. state located in the Appalachian region of the Southern United States. It is bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the north (and, slightly, east), and Maryland to the northeast. West Virginia became a state following the Wheeling Conventions of 1861, in which 50 northwestern counties of Virginia decided to break away from Virginia during the American Civil War. The new state was admitted to the Union as a key Civil War border state. West Virginia was the only state to form by seceding from a Confederate state and was one of two states formed during the American Civil War (the other being Nevada, which separated from Utah Territory).

1862 – Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest narrowly escapes capture during a raid in western Tennessee. Despite the close call, the raid was instrumental in forcing Union General Ulysses S. Grant to abandon his first attempt to capture Vicksburg, Mississippi. Forrest set out from Columbus, Tennessee, on December 11 to raid Union supply lines. He defeated a Union force at Lexington, Tennessee, on December 18 and spent the week of Christmas destroying Federal rail lines north of Jackson, Tennessee. By the end of December, several Union forces were bearing down on Forrest’s cavalry.

As the Confederates approached Parker’s Crossroads, they detected a Yankee force ahead and Forrest decided to attack. Forrest approached the Union troops and sent part of his force around their flank. His dismounted cavalry were enjoying great success when firing suddenly sounded behind Forrest’s troops. Another Yankee detachment had surprised the Confederates. The men assigned to hold the horses of the attacking Confederates were now fleeing in panic right past Forrest. At one point, Forrest himself came upon Union troops, who demanded that he surrender. He agreed and rode off to gather his force. The Rebel commander then calmly surveyed the situation and reportedly said, “Charge them both ways.” He diverted part of his men from the initial attack to turn against the Federals coming from behind. Though 300 of Forrest’s men were captured, the bulk of his forces escaped. The close call only served to enhance Forrest’s reputation as a brilliant battlefield commander. Despite the loses, the raid–combined with General Earl Van Dorn’s raid on Union supply lines further to the west–convinced Grant to abort his attempt on Vicksburg.
 

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Discussion Starter #326
December 31st ~ { continued... }

1862 – The Battle of Stones River (Murfeesboro) begins in central Tennessee begins. The armies struggled in the bitter cold for three days before the Union army, commanded by General William Rosecrans, defeated the Confederates under Braxton Bragg. The Battle of Stones River or Second Battle of Murfreesboro (in the South, simply the Battle of Murfreesboro), was fought until January 2, 1863, in Middle Tennessee, as the culmination of the Stones River Campaign in the Western Theater of the American Civil War.

Of the major battles of the Civil War, Stones River had the highest percentage of casualties on both sides. Although the battle itself was inconclusive, the Union Army’s repulse of two Confederate attacks and the subsequent Confederate withdrawal were a much-needed boost to Union morale after the defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg, and it dashed Confederate aspirations for control of Middle Tennessee. Union Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans’s Army of the Cumberland marched from Nashville, Tennessee, on December 26, 1862, to challenge General Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee at Murfreesboro. Each army commander planned to attack his opponent’s right flank, but Bragg struck first. A massive assault by the corps of Maj. Gen. William J. Hardee, followed by that of Leonidas Polk, overran the wing commanded by Maj. Gen. Alexander M. McCook. A stout defense by the division of Brig. Gen. Philip Sheridan in the right center of the line prevented a total collapse and the Union assumed a tight defensive position backing up to the Nashville Turnpike.

Repeated Confederate attacks were repulsed from this concentrated line, most notably in the cedar “Round Forest” salient against the brigade of Col. William B. Hazen. Bragg attempted to continue the assault with the corps of Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge, but the troops were slow in arriving and their multiple piecemeal attacks failed. Fighting resumed on January 2, 1863, when Bragg ordered Breckinridge to assault the well-fortified Union position on a hill to the east of the Stones River. Faced with overwhelming artillery, the Confederates were repulsed with heavy losses. Aware that Rosecrans was receiving reinforcements, Bragg chose to withdraw his army on January 3 to Tullahoma, Tennessee.

1879 – In the first public demonstration of his incandescent lightbulb, American inventor Thomas Alva Edison lights up a street in Menlo Park, New Jersey. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company ran special trains to Menlo Park on the day of the demonstration in response to public enthusiasm over the event. Although the first incandescent lamp had been produced 40 years earlier, no inventor had been able to come up with a practical design until Edison embraced the challenge in the late 1870s. After countless tests, he developed a high-resistance carbon-thread filament that burned steadily for hours and an electric generator sophisticated enough to power a large lighting system.

Born in Milan, Ohio, in 1847, Edison received little formal schooling, which was customary for most Americans at the time. He developed serious hearing problems at an early age, and this disability provided the motivation for many of his inventions. At age 16, he found work as a telegraph operator and soon was devoting much of his energy and natural ingenuity toward improving the telegraph system itself. By 1869, he was pursuing invention full-time and in 1876 moved into a laboratory and machine shop in Menlo Park, New Jersey. Edison’s experiments were guided by his remarkable intuition, but he also took care to employ assistants who provided the mathematical and technical expertise he lacked. At Menlo Park, Edison continued his work on the telegraph, and in 1877 he stumbled on one of his great inventions–the phonograph–while working on a way to record telephone communication. Public demonstrations of the phonograph made the Yankee inventor world famous, and he was dubbed the “Wizard of Menlo Park.”

Although the discovery of a way to record and play back sound ensured him a place in the annals of history, the phonograph was only the first of several Edison creations that would transform late 19th-century life. Among other notable inventions, Edison and his assistants developed the first practical incandescent lightbulb in 1879 and a forerunner of the movie camera and projector in the late 1880s. In 1887, he opened the world’s first industrial research laboratory at West Orange, where he employed dozens of workers to investigate systematically a given subject.
Perhaps his greatest contribution to the modern industrial world came from his work in electricity. He developed a complete electrical distribution system for light and power, set up the world’s first power plant in New York City, and invented the alkaline battery, the first electric railroad, and a host of other inventions that laid the basis for the modern electrical world. One of the most prolific inventors in history, he continued to work into his 80s and acquired 1,093 patents in his lifetime. He died in 1931 at the age of 84.

1880 – George Catlett Marshall, Chief of Staff who led the U.S. Army to victory in World War II and later became Secretary of State for President Harry Truman, was born. He won Nobel Peace Prize in 1953 for the Marshall Plan.

1887 – The French have formed the Indochinese Union, administered by a governor general under the ministry of colonies in Paris. The Union consists of Tonkin, Annam, Cochin China, and Cambodia. Laos is added in 1893.

1919 – During the Versailles Peace Conference, a few Vietnamese residing in Paris draw up an eight-point program for their homeland’s independence. They have their program printed and send it to the conference secretariat, and one of the initiators, Nguyen Ai Quoc (‘Nguyen the Patriot’) who will later be better known as Ho Chi Minh, tries to meet with President Woodrow Wilson, who has inspired them with his 14-point program calling for independence for all peoples. But Nguyen is turned away and the eight points are never officially acknowledged.
 

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Discussion Starter #327
December 31st ~ { continued... }

1941 – American and Filipino forces form a new defense line north of the Bataan Peninsula, on Luzon.

1941 – General Brett takes command of US forces in Australia.

1941 – Admiral Chester W. Nimitz assumes command of U.S. Pacific Fleet.

1941 – America’s last automobiles with chrome-plated trim were manufactured on this day. Starting in 1942, chrome plating became illegal. It was part of an effort to conserve resources for the American war effort.
(The chrome wasn’t missed too much. Virtually no automobiles were produced in the U.S. from 1942 through the end of World War II.)

1942 – Commissioning of USS Essex (CV-9), first of new class of aircraft carriers, at Norfolk, VA.

1942 – After five months of battle, Emperor Hirohito allowed the Japanese commanders at Guadalcanal to retreat.

1943 – Both the US 5th Army and the British 8th Army continue their offensive operation in Italy without significant success.

1944 – Operation Nordwind, the last major German offensive on the Western Front begins. The goal of the offensive was to break through the lines of the U.S. 7th Army and French 1st Army in the Upper Vosges mountains and the Alsatian Plain, and destroy them. This would leave the way open for Operation Dentist (Unternehmen Zahnarzt), a planned major thrust into the rear of the U.S. 3rd Army which would lead to the destruction of that army. Operation Nordwind, although costly for both sides, was ultimately unsuccessful, and the failure of the offensive allowed the U.S. 7th Army to contain the German push towards Strasbourg. Any gains attained by the offensive were negated by the later Operation Undertone.

1944 – On Leyte, various Japanese counterattacks in the northwest are repulsed by American forces. Up to this point, the Japanese have suffered about 70,000 casualties, almost all killed, in the battles on Leyte. American casualties number 15,500 dead and wounded. The US 6th Army is being withdrawn from the island, in preparation for the invasion of Luzon, and the US 8th Army is replacing it.

1944 – The British 30th Corps (part of US 1st Army) captures Rochefort on the western tip of the German-held Ardennes salient.

1945 – The ratification of the UN Charter was completed.

1946 – President Truman officially proclaimed the end of hostilities in World War II.

1948 – Last annual report by a Secretary of the Navy to Congress and the President filed by SECNAV John L. Sullivan. Thereafter the Secretary of Defense would report annually to Congress.

1950 – The Chinese began their Third-Phase Offensive.

1950 – The 726th Transportation Truck Company, the first Army National Guard unit in Korea, arrived at Pusan.

1951 – The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Marshall fired over 5,600 five-inch shells at enemy positions in eastern Korea during the month of December. This was more than she had fired against the enemy during all of her service in World War II.

1951 – The Marshall Plan expires after distributing more than US$13.3 billion in foreign aid to rebuild Europe.

1957 – The Diem government is able to announce that at least 300,000 refugees from the North have been settled in 300 new villages in the South. Local leadership, notably organized by refugee Catholic priests, plays an important role, along with US assistance and the natural wealth of one million acres of abandoned rice land, in achieving the most universally acknowledged success of the Diem regime.

1958 – The CIA has come into possession of a directive from Hanoi to its headquarters for the Central Highlands stating that the Lao Dong (Communist) Party Central Committee has decided to ‘open a new stage of the struggle’ and move into overt insurgency.

1958 – Cuba’s dictator Juan Batista fled as Rebels under Fidel Castro marched into Havana.

1960 – An estimated 4,500 former South Vietnamese living in the North have infiltrated back to the South during the year. US forces in Vietnam now number 900.

1961 – According to the Military Advisory Assistance Group, US military forces in South Vietnam have reached 3,200. the number of US servicemen in November was 948. Total insurgent forces are estimated at 26,700. Fourteen Americans have been killed or wounded in combat.
To Army helicopter units are flying combat missions. ‘Jungle Jim’ air commandos are instructing the South Vietnamese Air Force. US Navy Mine Division 73, a tender and five sweepers, is sailing from Thailand and Seventh Fleet carriers are flying surveillance and reconnaissance missions over Vietnam. Six C-123 aircraft have received ‘diplomatic clearance’ to enter South Vietnam. $65 million in US military equipment and $136 million in economic aid have been delivered to South Vietnam during 1961.

1961 – The Marshall Plan expired after distributing more than $12 billion in foreign aid.

1964 – Syrian-based al-Fatah guerrillas of Yasser Arafat launched their 1st raid on Israel with the aim of provoking a retaliation and sparking an Arab war against Israel. Fatah, a Palestinian movement for independence, made the first terror attack on Israel and initiated the armed struggle for a state.
 

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December 31st ~ { continued... }

1968 – The bloodiest year of the war comes to an end. At year’s end, 536,040 American servicemen were stationed in Vietnam, an increase of over 50,000 from 1967. Estimates from Headquarters U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam indicated that 181,150 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese were killed during the year.

However, Allied losses were also up: 27,915 South Vietnamese, 14,584 Americans (a 56 percent increase over 1967), and 979 South Koreans, Australians, New Zealanders, and Thais were reported killed during 1968. Since January 1961, more than 31,000 U.S. servicemen had been killed in Vietnam and over 200,000 U.S. personnel had been wounded.

Contributing to the high casualty number was the Tet Offensive launched by the communists. Conducted in the early weeks of the year, it was a crushing military defeat for the communists, but the size and scope of the attacks caught the American and South Vietnamese allies completely by surprise. The early reporting of a smashing communist victory went largely uncorrected in the media and this led to a psychological victory for the communists.

The heavy U.S. casualties incurred during the offensive coupled with the disillusionment over the earlier overly optimistic reports of progress in the war accelerated the growing disenchantment with President Johnson’s conduct of the war. Johnson, frustrated with his inability to reach a solution in Vietnam, announced on March 31, 1968, that he would neither seek nor accept the Democratic nomination for president. Johnson’s announcement did not dampen the wave of antiwar protests that climaxed with the bloody confrontation between protesters and police outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August.

1970 – Congress authorized the Eisenhower dollar coin.

1971 – The gradual U.S. withdrawal from the conflict in Southeast Asia is reflected in reduced annual casualty figures. The number of Americans killed in action dropped to 1,386 from the previous year total of 4,204. South Vietnam losses for the year totalled 21,500 men, while the combined Viet Cong and North Vietnamese total was estimated at 97,000 killed in action. After 10 years of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, a total of 45,627 American soldiers had been killed. The U.S. troop levels, which started the year at 280,000, were down to 159,000. This troop reduction was a direct result of the shifting American goal for the Vietnam War-no longer attempting a military victory, the U.S. was trying to gracefully extricate itself from the situation by transferring responsibility for the war to the South Vietnamese.

1972 – With the end of Linebacker II, the most intense U.S. bombing operation of the Vietnam War, U.S. and communist negotiators prepare to return to the secret Paris peace talks scheduled to reconvene on January 2. In a statement issued in Paris, the Hanoi delegation to the public peace talks asserted that the U.S. bombing did not succeed in “subjugating the Vietnamese people,” and called attention to the losses of U.S. planes and the unfavorable world reaction to the raids. Despite the public denial that the Linebacker II raids forced them back, the communists returned to the negotiating table. When the negotiators met in January, the talks moved along quickly and on January 23, 1973, the United States, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam), the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), and the Viet Cong signed a cease-fire agreement that took effect five days later. In 1972, the American troop level in South Vietnam was reduced from 159,000 to only 24,000. Under the terms of the Paris Peace Accords, all of the personnel would be withdrawn by March 1973.

1974 – Private U.S. citizens were allowed to buy and own gold for the first time in more than 40 years.

1978 – Flags at both the American embassy in Taipei and the Taiwanese embassy in the United States are lowered for the last time as U.S. relations with Taiwan officially come to an end. On January 1, 1979 the United States officially recognized the government of the People’s Republic of China in Beijing. The American decision to sever relations with Taiwan and grant recognition to the People’s Republic of China was hotly resented by representatives of the Chinese Nationalist government.

In a brief ceremony accompanying the lowering of the Taiwanese flag, a Chinese Nationalist official declared that the action “did not mean that we are giving up our fight against communism.” He strongly criticized American President Jimmy Carter for cutting off ties with “a loyal friend and ally of the United States” in exchange for normalizing relations with “our enemy, the Chinese Communist regime.” American officials had little comment, except to assure those seeking visas and other services in Taiwan that the U.S. embassy would continue to help them until March 1, 1979. At that time, a “nongovernmental” office would take over those duties.

It was a rather quiet end to nearly 30 years of American refusal to grant official recognition to the communist government of mainland China. The U.S. decision to maintain strong relations with the Nationalist government on Taiwan had been the main roadblock to diplomatic relations between America and the People’s Republic of China. By the late 1970s, the desire for closer economic relations with communist China and the belief that diplomatic relations with the PRC might act as a buffer against Soviet aggression led U.S. officials to view continued relations with Taiwan as counterproductive.

President Carter’s decision to sever relations with Taiwan removed that obstacle. One of the oldest and most antagonistic relationships of the Cold War seemed to be thawing.

1991 – This was the last day of existence for the USSR.

1992 – President Bush visited Somalia, where he saw firsthand the famine racking the east African nation. He praised U.S. troops that provided relief to the starving population.

1994 – Bosnian government officials and Bosnian Serb leaders signed a U.N.-brokered cease-fire agreement.

1995 – The first US tanks crossed a pontoon bridge over the Sava River from Croatia to Bosnia to start the deployment of 20,000 US troops under IFOR, the Implementation Force under NATO command.

1995 – Bosnian government officials and Bosnian Serb leaders signed a UN-brokered cease-fire agreement.

1997 – The US State Dept. reported that Iraq had ordered the summary execution of “hundreds if not thousands” of political detainees in recent weeks. The exiled Iraqi Communist party in London said 1,500 prisoners were killed on Nov 21st. The exiled Iraqi National Congress said 800 prisoners were recently executed. A former Dutch foreign minister and UN Human Rights investigator said about 200 were reportedly executed. Iraq denied the charges.

1999 – The United States Government hands control of the Panama Canal (as well all the adjacent land to the canal known as the Panama Canal Zone) to Panama.

2000 – The US signed a treaty for the creation of the 1st permanent international court despite objections by conservatives and the Pentagon.

2001 – The US designated 6 more entities as suspected terrorist organizations. 5 groups were active in the UK, the 6th was active in Spain.

2001 – The US planned to deploy elements of the 101st Airborne Division to replace Marines near Kandahar. US troops moved by helicopter to Helmand province, the region where Mohammed Omar was suspected to be.

2002 – President Bush told reporters an attack by Saddam Hussein or a terrorist ally “would cripple our economy.”

2002 – Two U.N. nuclear inspectors expelled by North Korea arrived in China, leaving the communist nation’s nuclear program isolated from international scrutiny.

2003 – In Iraq gunfire erupted in Kirkuk as hundreds of Arabs and Turkmen marched in protest over fears of Kurdish domination in the oil-rich northern city.

2003 – The U.S. Department of Defense says that the task of importing gasoline for civilian use in Iraq will be handled by the Defense Energy Support Center, a Department of Defense agency that supplies fuel to the military, instead of a subsidiary of Halliburton Company. Halliburton had been criticized for allegedly overcharging the government under its no-bid contract. Almost a year later those allegations will be found groundless.

2011 – NASA succeeds in putting the first of two Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory satellites in orbit around the Moon.

2011 – President Barack Obama signs a law providing for new sanctions against Iran.
 

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January 1st ~ New Years Day


....................................................HAPPY NEW YEAR...!!........................................................



===============================================
 

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On this day in 1777, Brigadier General Philemon Dickinson leads 400 raw men from the New Jersey militia and 50 Pennsylvania riflemen under Captain Robert Durkee in an attack against a group of 500 British soldiers foraging for food led by Lieutenant Colonel Robert Abercromby near Van Nest’s Mills in Millstone, New Jersey.
The mills lay at a strategic point between New Brunswick and Princeton, New Jersey, where General George Washington had defeated the British on January 3. After that victory, Washington had decided to divide his forces in order to harass British installments in the New Jersey towns of New Brunswick and Amboy.
The British, who were stealing flour and supplies from Van Nest’s Mills with which to supply their troops in New Brunswick, had set up small cannon defenses at a bridge crossing the Millstone River. The Patriots caught the British forces by surprise when they, avoiding the cannons, forded the deep and icy water.
In the ensuing 20-minute battle, Dickinson reported that the Patriots captured 107 horses, 49 wagons, 115 cattle, 70 sheep, 40 barrels of flour—106 bags and many other things. They also took 49 prisoners. General Washington reported to John Hancock that the British removed a good many dead and wounded in light Waggons, estimated to be 24 or 25 in total compared to the 4 or 5 losses sustained by the Patriots.
 

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Voodoo Tactical is a leading online store for army clothing, military clothing, tactical clothing. We also supply high quality tactical equipment, military equipment, army equipment in Australia, much of it developed and field-tested by military and law enforcement professionals. I think this will be helpful for Army.
You could move this to our vender section
 

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as you requested
 
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