06
Oct
08

On This Day, 10-6-2008: Yom Kippur

October 6, 1973

Yom Kippur War begins

Hoping to win back territory lost to Israel during the third Arab-Israeli war, Egyptian and Syrian forces launch a coordinated attack against Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Taking the Israeli Defense Forces by surprise, Egyptian troops swept deep into the Sinai Peninsula, while Syria struggled to throw occupying Israeli troops out of the Golan Heights.

When the fourth Arab-Israeli war began on October 6, 1973, many of Israel’s soldiers were away from their posts observing Yom Kippur, and the Arab armies made impressive advances with their up-to-date Soviet weaponry. Iraqi forces soon joined the war, and Syria received support from Jordan. After several days, Israel was fully mobilized, and the Israel Defense Forces began beating back the Arab gains at a heavy cost to soldiers and equipment. A U.S. airlift of arms aided Israel’s cause, but President Richard Nixon delayed the emergency military aid for seven days as a tacit signal of U.S. sympathy for Egypt. In late October, an Egyptian-Israeli cease-fire was secured by the United Nations.

Although Egypt had again suffered military defeat at the hands of its Jewish neighbor, the initial Egyptian successes greatly enhanced Sadat’s prestige in the Middle East and provided him with an opportunity to seek peace. In 1974, the first of two Egyptian-Israeli disengagement agreements providing for the return of portions of the Sinai to Egypt were signed, and in 1979 Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed the first peace agreement between Israel and one of its Arab neighbors. In 1982, Israel fulfilled the 1979 peace treaty by returning the last segment of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt.

For Syria, the Yom Kippur War was a disaster. The unexpected Egyptian-Israeli cease-fire exposed Syria to military defeat, and Israel seized even more territory in the Golan Heights. In 1979, Syria voted with other Arab states to expel Egypt from the Arab League. On October 6, 1981, Sadat was assassinated by Muslim extremists in Cairo while viewing a military parade commemorating the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War.

“Yom Kippur War begins.” 2008. The History Channel website. 5 Oct 2008, 01:41 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=7042.

 

On This Day

1536 – Anglican priest William Tyndale was captured at Antwerp where he was strangled and burnt. He is credited with making the first English translation of the Bible.

1683 – The first Mennonites arrived in America aboard the Concord. The German and Dutch families settled in an area that is now a neighborhood in Philadelphia, PA.

1866 – The Reno Brothers pulled the first train robbery in America near Seymour, IN. The got away with $10,000.

1890 – Polygamy was outlawed by the Mormon Church.

1928 – War-torn China was reunited under the Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-Shek.

1949 – U.S. president Harry Truman signed the Mutual Defense Assistance Act. The act provided $1.3 billion in the form of military aid to NATO countries.

1961 – U.S. president John F. Kennedy advised American families to build or buy bomb shelters to protect them in the event of a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union.

1979 – Pope John Paul II became the first pontiff to visit the White House.

1992 – Ross Perot appeared in his first paid broadcast on CBS-TV after entering the U.S. presidential race.

 

October 6, 1683

First Mennonites arrive in America

Encouraged by William Penn’s offer of 5,000 acres of land in the colony of Pennsylvania and the freedom to practice their religion, the first Mennonites arrive in America aboard the Concord. They were among the first Germans to settle in the American colonies.

“First Mennonites arrive in America.” 2008. The History Channel website. 5 Oct 2008, 01:38 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=5405.

October 6, 1981

The president of Egypt is assassinated

Islamic extremists assassinate Anwar Sadat, the president of Egypt, as he reviews troops on the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. Led by Khaled el Islambouli, a lieutenant in the Egyptian army with connections to the terrorist group Takfir Wal-Hajira, the terrorists, all wearing army uniforms, stopped in front of the reviewing stand and fired shots and threw grenades into a crowd of Egyptian government officials. Sadat, who was shot four times, died two hours later. Ten other people also died in the attack.

“The president of Egypt is assassinated.” 2008. The History Channel website. 5 Oct 2008, 01:42 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1148.

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