Posts Tagged ‘Liege

05
Aug
08

On This Day 8-5-08: Damn the Torpedoes…

Battle of Mobile Bay

Union Admiral David Farragut leads his flotilla through the Confederate defenses at Mobile, Alabama, to seal one of the last major Southern ports. The fall of Mobile Bay was a huge blow to the Confederacy, and the victory was the first in a series of successes that secured the reelection of Abraham Lincoln in 1864.

Mobile became the major Confederate port on the Gulf of Mexico after the fall of New Orleans, Louisiana, in April 1862. With blockade runners carrying critical supplies from Havana, Cuba, into Mobile, Union General Ulysses S. Grant made the capture of the port a top priority after assuming command of all Federal forces in early 1864.

Opposing Farragut’s force of 17 warships was a Rebel squadron of only four ships; but it included the C.S.S. Tennessee, said to be the most powerful ironclad afloat. Farragut also had to contend with two powerful Confederate batteries inside of Forts Morgan and Gaines. On the morning of August 5, Farragut’s force steamed into the mouth of Mobile Bay in two columns led by four ironclads and met a devastating fire that immediately sank one of Farragut’s iron-hulled single-turret monitors, the U.S.S. Tecumseh. The rest of the fleet fell into confusion but Farragut rallied them with the words, “Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead!” Although the authenticity of the quote is questionable, it nevertheless became one of the most famous in history.

The Yankee fleet quickly knocked out the smaller Confederate ships, but the Tennessee fought a valiant battle against overwhelming odds before it sustained heavy damage and surrendered. The Union laid siege to Forts Morgan and Gaines, and both were captured within two weeks. Confederate forces remained in control of the city of Mobile, but the port was no longer available to blockade runners.

The Battle of Mobile Bay lifted the morale of the North. With Grant stalled at Petersburg, Virginia, and General William T. Sherman unable to capture Atlanta, the capture of the bay became the first in a series of Union victories that stretched to the fall election.

“Battle of Mobile Bay.” 2008. The History Channel website. 4 Aug 2008, 01:41 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2273.

 

On This Day

1833 – The village of Chicago was incorporated. The population was approximately 250.

1884 – On Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor, the cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty was laid.

1944 – Polish insurgents liberated a German labor camp in Warsaw. 348 Jewish prisoners were freed.

1953 – During the Korean conflict prisoners were exchanged at Panmunjom. The exchange was labeled Operation Big Switch.

1962 – Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her home. The “probable suicide” was caused by an overdose of sleeping pills. Monroe was 36 at the time of her death.

1963 – The Limited Test Ban Treaty was signed by the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union. The treaty banned nuclear tests in space, underwater, and in the atmosphere.

1964 – U.S. aircraft bombed North Vietnam after North Vietnamese boats attacked U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.

1969 – The Mariner 7, a U.S. space probe, passed by Mars. Photographs and scientific data were sent back to Earth.

1974 – U.S. President Nixon said that he expected to be impeached. Nixon had ordered the investigation into the Watergate break-in to halt.

1991 – An investigation was formally launched by Democratic congressional leaders to find out if the release of American hostages was delayed until after the Reagan-Bush presidential election.

2002 – The U.S. closed its consulate in Karachi, Pakistan. The consulate was closed after local authorities removed large concrete blocks and reopened the road in front of the building to normal traffic.

 

Lincoln imposes first federal income tax

On this day in 1861, Lincoln imposes the first federal income tax by signing the Revenue Act. Strapped for cash with which to pursue the Civil War, Lincoln and Congress agreed to impose a 3 percent tax on annual incomes over $800.

“Lincoln imposes first federal income tax .” 2008. The History Channel website. 4 Aug 2008, 01:44 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=50716.

German assault on Liege begins first battle of World War I

On August 5, 1914, the German army launches its assault on the city of Liege in Belgium, violating the latter country’s neutrality and beginning the first battle of World War I.

“German assault on Liege begins first battle of World War I.” 2008. The History Channel website. 4 Aug 2008, 01:44 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=50618

Reagan fires 11,359 air-traffic controllers

On August 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan begins firing 11,359 air-traffic controllers striking in violation of his order for them to return to work. The executive action, regarded as extreme by many, significantly slowed air travel for months.

“Reagan fires 11,359 air-traffic controllers.” 2008. The History Channel website. 4 Aug 2008, 01:45 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5236.

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