02
Mar
09

On This Day, March 2: Rolling Thunder

March 2, 1965

First Rolling Thunder raid conducted

Operation Rolling Thunder begins with more than 100 United States Air Force jet bombers striking an ammunition depot at Xom Bang, 10 miles inside North Vietnam. Simultaneously, 60 South Vietnamese Air Force propeller planes bombed the Quang Khe naval base, 65 miles north of the 17th parallel.

Six U.S. planes were downed, but only one U.S. pilot was lost. Capt. Hayden J. Lockhart, flying an F-100, was shot down and became the first Air Force pilot to be taken prisoner by the North Vietnamese. Lockhart was released in 1973 when U.S. POWs were returned under provisions of the Paris Peace Accords.

The raid was the result of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s decision in February to undertake the sustained bombing of North Vietnam that he and his advisers had been considering for more than a year. The goal of Rolling Thunder was to interdict North Vietnamese transportation routes in the southern part of North Vietnam and the slow infiltration of personnel and supplies into South Vietnam. In July 1966, Rolling Thunder was expanded to include North Vietnamese ammunition dumps and oil storage facilities as targets and in the spring of 1967 it was further expanded to include power plants, factories, and airfields in the Hanoi-Haiphong area.

The White House closely controlled Operation Rolling Thunder and President Johnson occasionally selected the targets himself. From 1965 to 1968, about 643,000 tons of bombs were dropped on North Vietnam. A total of nearly 900 U.S. aircraft were lost during Operation Rolling Thunder. The operation continued, with occasional suspensions, until President Johnson halted it on October 31, 1968, under increasing domestic political pressure.

“First Rolling Thunder raid conducted.” 2009. The History Channel website. 2 Mar 2009, 11:21 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1704.

 

On This Day

1807 – The U.S. Congress passed an act to “prohibit the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States… from any foreign kingdom, place, or country.”

1836 – Texas declared its independence from Mexico and an ad interim government was formed.

1877 – In the U.S., Rutherford B. Hayes was declared the winner of the 1876 presidential election by the U.S. Congress. Samuel J. Tilden, however, had won the popular vote on November 7, 1876.

1899 – Mount Rainier National Park in Washington was established by the U.S. Congress.

1901 – The U.S. Congress passed the Platt amendment, which limited Cuban autonomy as a condition for withdrawal of U.S. troops.

1908 – In Paris, Gabriel Lippmann introduced three-dimensional color photography at the Academy of Sciences.

1917 – The Russian Revolution began with Czar Nicholas II abdicating.

1917 – Citizens of Puerto Rico were granted U.S. citizenship with the enactment of the Jones Act.

1946 – Ho Chi Minh was elected President of Vietnam.

1949 – The B-50 Superfortress Lucky Lady II landed in Fort Worth, TX. The American plane had completed the first non-stop around-the-world flight.

1969 – In Toulouse, France, the supersonic transport Concorde made its first test flight.

2004 – NASA announced that the Mars rover Opportunity had discovered evidence that water had existed on Mars in the past.

March 2, 1969

Soviet Union and Chinese armed forces clash

In a dramatic confirmation of the growing rift between the two most powerful communist nations in the world, troops from the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China fire on each other at a border outpost on the Ussuri River in the eastern region of the USSR, north of Vladivostok. In the years following this incident, the United States used the Soviet-Chinese schism to its advantage in its Cold War diplomacy.

The cause of the firefight between Soviet and Chinese troops was a matter of dispute. The Soviets charged that Chinese soldiers crossed the border between the two nations and attacked a Soviet outpost, killing and wounding a number of Russian guards. The intruders were then driven back with heavy casualties. The Chinese report indicated that it was the Soviets who crossed the border and were repulsed. Either way, it was the first time that either side openly admitted to a clash of arms along the border, though it had been rumored for years that similar run-ins were occurring. Ever since the early-1960s, relations between the two communist superpowers had deteriorated. China charged that the Soviet leadership was deviating from the pure path of Marxism, and by the mid-1960s, Chinese leaders were openly declaring that the United States and the Soviet Union were conspiring against the Chinese Revolution.

For the United States, the breakdown of relations between the Soviet Union and China was a diplomatic opportunity. By the early 1970s, the United States began to initiate diplomatic contacts with China. (Relations between the two nations had been severed in 1949 following the successful communist revolution in China.) In 1972, President Richard Nixon surprised the world by announcing that he would visit China. The strongest impetus for this new cordiality toward communist China was the U.S. desire to use the new relationship as leverage in its diplomacy with the Soviet Union, making the Russians more malleable on issues such as arms control and their support of North Vietnam in the on-going Vietnam War. Pitting these two communist giants against one another became a mainstay of U.S. diplomacy in the later Cold War era.

“Soviet Union and Chinese armed forces clash.” 2009. The History Channel website. 2 Mar 2009, 11:22 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2594.

Advertisements

3 Responses to “On This Day, March 2: Rolling Thunder”


  1. March 2, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    March 3, 1877 – On this day in History – America Swore in the Wrong President

    http://www.samueltilden.com/LifeofTildenPressRelease.html
    President Rutherford B. Hayes was secretly sworn into office on March 3, 1877 in the Red Room of the White House during President Grant’s farewell dinner. New York Governor Samuel Tilden never conceded his Presidency but Hayes wrote in his diary the night of election November 7, 1876 that he accepted Tilden win. Rutherford B. Hayes who earned the nicknames, “Rutherfraud”and “Old 7 to 8” after a Special Commission was signed into law that anointed Hayes the Presidency. On March 5, 1877 Hayes was sworn into office a second time and announced he would not seek a second term.

    http://www.samueltilden.com/LifeofTildenPressRelease.html

  2. 2 Randy Roberts
    March 2, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Thanks for commenting Nikki. Oddly enough the “special commission” appointed to determine the outcome of that election voted along party lines. Eight Republicans voted for Hayes, and seven Democrats voted for Tilden. What was it that Washington said about political parties? Something about a fire that will consume…

  3. March 4, 2009 at 3:15 am

    I was wondering if you would ever consider contributing to the Vietnam War Timeline. It is an interactive chronological timeline of the conflict and is always looking for good pieces (on a voluntary basis of course :))


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 279 other followers


%d bloggers like this: