Today in History: Marines land in South Vietnam 1965


The White House confirms reports that, at the request of South Vietnam, the United States is sending two battalions of U.S. Marines for security work at the Da Nang air base, which will hopefully free South Vietnamese troops for combat. On March 1, Ambassador Maxwell Taylor informed South Vietnamese Premier Phan Huy Quat that the United States was preparing to send 3,500 U.S. Marines to Vietnam. Three days later, a formal request was submitted by the U.S. Embassy, asking the South Vietnamese government to “invite” the United States to send the Marines. Premier Quat, a mere figurehead, had to obtain approval from the real power, Gen. Nguyen Van Thieu, chief of the Armed Forces Council. Thieu approved, but asked that the Marines be “brought ashore in the most inconspicuous way feasible.” The Marines began landing near Da Nang on March 8.
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Image of the Day: 30 December


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“A wiry, stooped U. S. Infantryman smoking an old pipe carries a heavy container filled with supplies up over the hills to the front on Guadalcanal.” 1943 #WWII #History @U.S. Army
 life.time.com

A new exhibit celebrates the work of John Florea, a LIFE photographer whose shock at the horrors of World War II translated into some of the most haunting images ever made of war.

Image found at time.com

Today Day in HIstory: British capture and burn Washington 1814


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War of 1812

During the War of 1812, British forces under General Robert Ross overwhelm American militiamen at the Battle of Bladensburg, Maryland, and march unopposed into Washington, D.C. Most congressmen and officials fled the nation’s capital as soon as word came of the American defeat, but President James Madison and his wife, Dolley, escaped just before the invaders arrived. Earlier in the day, President Madison had been present at the Battle of Bladensburg and had at one point actually taken command of one of the few remaining American batteries, thus becoming the first and only president to exercise in actual battle his authority as commander in chief.
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Truman sacks McArthur


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Today in History

In perhaps the most famous civilian-military confrontation in the history of the United States, President Harry S. Truman relieves General Douglas MacArthur of command of the U.S. forces in Korea. The firing of MacArthur set off a brief uproar among the American public, but Truman remained committed to keeping the conflict in Korea a “limited war.”
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U.S. informs South Vietnam of intent to send Marines: 1965


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US Marines, 1965
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Today in History

Ambassador Maxwell Taylor informs South Vietnamese Premier Phan Huy Quat that the United States is preparing to send 3,500 U.S. Marines to Vietnam to protect the U.S. airbase at Da Nang.

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First Groundhog Day: 1887


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This Day in History

On this day in 1887, Groundhog Day, featuring a rodent meteorologist, is celebrated for the first time at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. According to tradition, if a groundhog comes out of its hole on this day and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather; no shadow means an early spring. Read more

President Johnson requests additional funds: 1968


This Day in History

In his annual budget message, President Lyndon B. Johnson asks for $26.3 billion to continue the war in Vietnam, and announces an increase in taxes. The war was becoming very expensive, both in terms of lives and national treasure. Johnson had been given a glowing report on progress in the war from Gen. William Westmoreland, senior U.S. commander in South Vietnam. Westmoreland stated in a speech before the National Press Club that, “We have reached an important point when the end begins to come into view. I am absolutely certain that, whereas in 1965 the enemy was winning, today he is certainly losing. The enemy’s hopes are bankrupt.” Read more

Soviets liberate Auschwitz: 1945


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This Day in History

On this day, Soviet troops enter Auschwitz, Poland, freeing the survivors of the network of concentration camps—and finally revealing to the world the depth of the horrors perpetrated there. Read more

President Carter pardons draft dodgers: 1977


Today in History: 

On this day in 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter grants an unconditional pardon to hundreds of thousands of men who evaded the draft during the Vietnam War. Read more

Eisenhower warns of the “military-industrial complex”: 1961


U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower makes his farewell address, Jan. 17, 1961. (AP)

Today in History:

In his farewell address to the nation, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warns the American people to keep a careful eye on what he calls the “military-industrial complex” that has developed in the post-World War II years.

A fiscal conservative, Eisenhower had been concerned about the growing size and cost of the American defense establishment since he became president in 1953. In his last presidential address to the American people, he expressed those concerns in terms that frankly shocked some of his listeners. Read more

Nixon halts military action against North Vietnam: 1973


Today in History

Citing “progress” in the Paris peace negotiations between National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho of North Vietnam, President Richard Nixon halts the most concentrated bombing of the war, as well as mining, shelling, and all other offensive action against North Vietnam. The cessation of direct attacks against North Vietnam did not extend to South Vietnam, where the fighting continued as both sides jockeyed for control of territory before the anticipated cease-fire. Read more

Roosevelt (re)creates the National War Labor Board: 1942


This Day in History

On this day in 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt reinstates Woodrow Wilson’s National War Labor Board (NWLB) in an attempt to forestall labor-management conflict during World War II. Read more

America’s first Labor Day: 1869


The Knights of Labor, a labor union of tailors in Philadelphia, hold the first Labor Day ceremonies in American history. The Knights of Labor was established as a secret society of Pennsylvanian tailors earlier in the year and later grew into a national body that played an important role in the labor movement of the late 19th century.

The first annual observance of Labor Day was organized by the American Federation of Labor in 1884, which resolved in a convention in Chicago that “the first Monday in September be set aside as a laborer’s national holiday.” In 1887, Oregon became the first state to designate Labor Day a holiday, and in 1894 Congress designated the first Monday in September a legal holiday for all federal employees and the residents of the District of Columbia.

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via America’s first Labor Day — History.com This Day in History — 12/28/1869.

Pan Am Flight 103 explodes over Scotland: 1988


On this day in 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York explodes in midair over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew members aboard, as well as 11 Lockerbie residents on the ground. A bomb hidden inside an audio cassette player detonated in the cargo area when the plane was at an altitude of 31,000 feet. The disaster, which became the subject of Britain’s largest criminal investigation, was believed to be an attack against the United States. One hundred eighty nine of the victims were American. Read more

Germany declares war on the United States: 1941


Adolf Hitler addresses the Reichstag on the 11th December 1941 after declaring war on the United States.
Adolf Hitler addresses the Reichstag on the 11th December 1941 after declaring war on the United States.

This Day in History

On this day, Adolf Hitler declares war on the United States, bringing America, which had been neutral, into the European conflict.

The bombing of Pearl Harbor surprised even Germany. Although Hitler had made an oral agreement with his Axis partner Japan that Germany would join a war against the United States, he was uncertain as to how the war would be engaged. Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor answered that question. On December 8, Japanese Ambassador Oshima went to German Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop to nail the Germans down on a formal declaration of war against America. Von Ribbentrop stalled for time; he knew that Germany was under no obligation to do this under the terms of the Tripartite Pact, which promised help if Japan was attacked, but not if Japan was the aggressor. Von Ribbentrop feared that the addition of another antagonist, the United States, would overwhelm the German war effort. Read more