Posts Tagged ‘Captain Ernest Medina

05
Sep
08

On This Day, 9-5-2008: Black September

Arab terrorists take Israeli hostages at the Olympics

In the early morning hours of September 5, six members of the Arab terrorist group known as Black September dressed in the Olympic sweat suits of Arab nations and jumped the fence surrounding the Olympic village in Munich, Germany, carrying bags filled with guns. Although guards spotted them, they paid little attention because athletes often jumped the fence during the competition to return to their living quarters.

Twenty hours after Black September had begun their attack, a German police official, 5 Palestinian terrorists, and 11 Israeli athletes lay dead. Three of the terrorists who survived were imprisoned but were set free a month later when Arabs hijacked a Lufthansa 727 and demanded their release.

A few days after the tragic event at the Olympics, Israel retaliated with air strikes against Syria and Lebanon, killing 66 people and wounding dozens. In addition, Israel sent out assassination squads to hunt down members of Black September while Israeli troops broke through the Lebanese border, igniting the heaviest fighting since the Six-Day War of 1967.

“Arab terrorists take Israeli hostages at the Olympics.” 2008. The History Channel website. 5 Sep 2008, 06:05 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1117.

On This Day

1698 – Russia’s Peter the Great imposed a tax on beards.

1793 – In France, the “Reign of Terror” began. The National Convention enacted measures to repress the French Revolutionary activities.

1836 – Sam Houston was elected as the first president of the Republic of Texas.

1877 – Sioux chief Crazy Horse was killed by the bayonet of a U.S. soldier. The chief allegedly resisted confinement to a jail cell.

1905 – The Treaty of Portsmouth was signed by Russia and Japan to end the Russo-Japanese War. The settlement was mediated by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt in New Hampshire.

1914 – The Battle of the Marne began. The Germans, British and French fought for six days killing half a million people.

1917 – Federal raids were carried out in 24 cities on International Workers of the World (IWW) headquarters. The raids were prompted by suspected anti-war activities within the labor organization.

1953 – The first privately operated atomic reactor opened in Raleigh, NC.

1957 – Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” was first published.

1975 – A Secret Service agent foiled an assassination attempt against U.S. U.S. President Gerald R. Ford. Lynette A. “Squeaky” Fromme was a follower of Charles Manson, who was incarcerated at the time. 17 days later, Sara Jane Moore attempted to assassinate Ford.

1983 – U.S. President Reagan denounced the Soviet Union for shooting down a Korean Air Lines. Reagan demanded that the Soviet Union pay reparations for the act that killed 269 people.

September 5, 1969

Calley charged for My Lai massacre

Lt. William Calley is charged with six specifications of premeditated murder in the death of 109 Vietnamese civilians at My Lai in March 1968. Calley, a platoon leader in Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, 11th Infantry Brigade (Light) of the 23rd (Americal) Division had led his men in a massacre of Vietnamese civilians, including women and children, at My Lai 4, a cluster of hamlets that made up Son My village in Son Tinh District in Quang Ngai Province in the coastal lowlands of I Corps Tactical Zone on March 16, 1968. The company had been conducting a search and destroy mission as part of the yearlong Operation Wheeler/Wallowa (November 1967 through November 1968). In search of the 48th Viet Cong (VC) Local Force Battalion, the unit entered Son My village but found only women, children, and old men. Frustrated by unanswered losses due to snipers and mines, the soldiers took out their anger on the villagers, indiscriminately shooting people as they ran from their huts and systematically rounding up the survivors, allegedly leading them to nearby ditch where they were executed.

Reportedly, the killing was only stopped when Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, an aero-scout helicopter pilot landed his helicopter between the Americans and the fleeing South Vietnamese, confronting the soldiers and blocking them from further action against the villagers. The incident was subsequently covered up, but eventually came to light a year later. An Army board of inquiry, headed by Lt. Gen. William Peers, investigated the massacre and produced a list of 30 persons who knew of the atrocity, but only 14, including Calley and his company commander, Captain Ernest Medina, were charged with crimes. All eventually had their charges dismissed or were acquitted by courts-martial except Calley, whose platoon allegedly killed 200 innocents. He was found guilty of personally murdering 22 civilians and sentenced to life imprisonment, but his sentence was reduced to 20 years by the Court of Military Appeals and further reduced later to 10 years by the Secretary of the Army. Proclaimed by much of the public as a “scapegoat,” Calley was paroled by President Richard Nixon in 1974 after having served about a third of his 10-year sentence.

“Calley charged for My Lai massacre.” 2008. The History Channel website. 5 Sep 2008, 06:05 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1337.

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