Posts Tagged ‘Pancho Villa

19
Mar
09

On This Day, March 19: U.S. Invades Mexico

March 19, 1916

First U.S. air combat mission begins

Eight Curtiss “Jenny” planes of the First Aero Squadron take off from Columbus, New Mexico, in the first combat air mission in U.S. history. The First Aero Squadron, organized in 1914 after the outbreak of World War I, was on a support mission for the 7,000 U.S. troops who invaded Mexico to capture Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa.

On March 9, 1916, Villa, who opposed American support for Mexican President Venustiano Carranza, led a band of several hundred guerrillas across the border on a raid of the town of Columbus, New Mexico, killing 17 Americans. On March 15, under orders from President Woodrow Wilson, U.S. Brigadier General John J. Pershing launched a punitive expedition into Mexico to capture Villa. Four days later, the First Aero Squadron was sent into Mexico to scout and relay messages for General Pershing.

Despite numerous mechanical and navigational problems, the American fliers flew hundreds of missions for Pershing and gained important experience that would later be used by the pilots over the battlefields of Europe. However, during the 11-month mission, U.S. forces failed to capture the elusive revolutionary, and Mexican resentment over U.S. intrusion into their territory led to a diplomatic crisis. In late January 1917, with President Wilson under pressure from the Mexican government and more concerned with the war overseas than with bringing Villa to justice, the Americans were ordered home.

“First U.S. air combat mission begins.” 2009. The History Channel website. 19 Mar 2009, 10:13 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4846.

On This Day

1628 – The Massachusetts colony was founded by Englishmen.

1687 – French explorer La Salle was murdered by his own men while searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River, in the Gulf of Mexico.

1748 – The English Naturalization Act passed granting Jews right to colonize in the U.S.

1903 – The U.S. Senate ratified the Cuban treaty, gaining naval bases in Guantanamo and Bahia Honda.

1918 – The U.S. Congress approved Daylight-Saving Time.

1918 – A German seaplane was shot down for the first time by an American pilot.

1931 – The state of Nevada legalized gambling.

1945 – About 800 people were killed as Japanese kamikaze planes attacked the U.S. carrier Franklin off Japan.

1945 – Adolf Hitler issued his “Nero Decree” which ordered the destruction of German facilities that could fall into Allied hands as German forces were retreating.

1947 – Chiang Kai-Shek’s government forces took control of Yenan, the former headquarters of the Chinese Communist Party.

1949 – The Soviet People’s Council signed the constitution of the German Democratic Republic, and declared that the North Atlantic Treaty was merely a war weapon.

1965 – Indonesia nationalized all foreign oil companies.

1985 – The U.S. Senate voted to authorize production of the MX missile.

2003 – U.S. President George W. Bush announced that U.S. forces had launched a strike against “targets of military opportunity” in Iraq. The attack, using cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs, were aimed at Iraqi leaders thought to be near Baghdad.

March 19, 1865

Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina

Confederate General Joseph Johnston makes a desperate attempt to stop Union General William T. Sherman’s drive through the Carolinas in the war’s last days, but Johnston’s motley army cannot stop the advance of Sherman’s mighty army.

Following his famous March to the Sea in late 1864, Sherman paused for a month at Savannah, Georgia. He then turned north into the Carolinas, destroying all that lay in his path in an effort to demoralize the South and hasten the end of the war. Sherman left Savannah with 60,000 men divided into two wings. He captured Columbia, South Carolina, in February and continued towards Goldsboro, North Carolina, where he planned to meet up with another army coming from the coast. Sherman intended to march to Petersburg, Virginia, where he would join General Ulysses S. Grant and crush the army of Robert E. Lee, the largest remaining Confederate force.

Sherman assumed that Rebel forces in the Carolinas were too widely dispersed to offer any significant resistance, but Johnston assembled 17,000 troops and attacked one of Sherman’s wings at Bentonville on March 19. The Confederates initially surprised the Yankees, driving them back before a Union counterattack halted the advance and darkness halted the fighting. The next day, Johnston established a strong defensive position and hoped for a Yankee assault. More Union troops arrived and gave Sherman a nearly three to one advantage over Johnston. When a Union force threatened to cut off the Rebel’s only line of retreat on March 21, Johnston withdrew his army northward.

The Union lost 194 men killed, 1,112 wounded, and 221 missing, while the Confederates lost 240 killed, 1,700 wounded, and 1,500 missing. About Sherman, Johnston wrote to Lee that, “I can do no more than annoy him.” A month later, Johnston surrendered his army to Sherman.

“Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina.” 2009. The History Channel website. 19 Mar 2009, 10:18 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2140.

14
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-15-08: Et tu Brute

The ides of March: Julius Caesar is murdered

Julius Caesar, the “dictator for life” of the Roman Empire, is murdered by his own senators at a meeting in a hall next to Pompey’s Theatre. The conspiracy against Caesar encompassed as many as sixty noblemen, including Caesar’s own protege, Marcus Brutus.

Caesar was scheduled to leave Rome to fight in a war on March 18 and had appointed loyal members of his army to rule the Empire in his absence. The Republican senators, already chafing at having to abide by Caesar’s decrees, were particularly angry about the prospect of taking orders from Caesar’s underlings. Cassius Longinus started the plot against the dictator, quickly getting his brother-in-law Marcus Brutus to join.

Caesar should have been well aware that many of the senators hated him, but he dismissed his security force not long before his assassination. Reportedly, Caesar was handed a warning note as he entered the senate meeting that day but did not read it. After he entered the hall, Caesar was surrounded by senators holding daggers. Servilius Casca struck the first blow, hitting Caesar in the neck and drawing blood. The other senators all joined in, stabbing him repeatedly about the head.

Marcus Brutus wounded Caesar in the groin and Caesar is said to have remarked in Greek, “You, too, my child?” In the aftermath of the assassination, Antony attempted to carry out Caesar’s legacy. However, Caesar’s will left Octavian in charge as his adopted son. Cassius and Brutus tried to rally a Republican army and Brutus even issued coins celebrating the assassination, known as the Ides of March. Octavian vowed revenge against the assassins, two years later Cassius and Brutus committed suicide after learning that Octavian’s forces had defeated theirs at the Battle of Philippa in Greece.

Antony took his armies east, where he hooked up with Caesar’s old paramour, Cleopatra. Octavian and Antony fought for many years until Octavian prevailed. In 30 B.C., Antony committed suicide. Octavian, later known as Augustus, ruled the Roman Empire for many more years. 

“The ides of March: Julius Caesar is murdered.” 2008. The History Channel website. 15 Mar 2008, 01:07 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=939.

1493 – Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first New World voyage.

1781 – During the American Revolution, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse took place in North Carolina. British General Cornwallis’ 1,900 soldiers defeated an American force of 4,400. http://www.nps.gov/guco/

1820 – Maine was admitted as the 23rd state of the Union.

1862 – General John Hunt Morgan began four days of raids near the city of Gallatin, TN. http://www.equilt.com/morgan.html

1904 – Three hundred Russians were killed as the Japanese shelled Port Arthur in Korea.

1907 – In Finland, woman won their first seats in the Finnish Parliament. They took their seats on May 23.

1916 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson sent 12,000 troops, under General Pershing, over the border of Mexico to pursue bandit Pancho Villa. The mission failed.

1917 – Russian Czar Nicholas II abdicated himself and his son. His brother Grand Duke succeeded as czar.

1937 – In Chicago, IL, the first blood bank to preserve blood for transfusion by refrigeration was established at the Cook County Hospital.

1938 – Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia.

1939 – German forces occupied Bohemia and Moravia, and part of Czechoslovakia.

1944 – Cassino, Italy, was destroyed by Allied bombing.

1955 – The U.S. Air Force unveiled a self-guided missile.

1964 – In Montreal, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were married.

1996 – The aviation firm Fokker NV collapsed.

2002 – U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told the Associated Press that the U.S. would stand by a 24-year pledge not to use nuclear arms against states that don’t have them.

Washington puts an end to the Newburgh Conspiracy

On the morning of March 15, 1783, General George Washington makes a surprise appearance at an assembly of army officers at Newburgh, New York, to calm the growing frustration and distrust they had been openly expressing towards Congress in the previous few weeks. Angry with Congress for failing to honor its promise to pay them and for its failure to settle accounts for repayment of food and clothing, officers began circulating an anonymous letter condemning Congress and calling for a revolt.

“Washington puts an end to the Newburgh Conspiracy.” 2008. The History Channel website. 15 Mar 2008, 01:14 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=311.

Nazis take Czechoslovakia

On this day, Hitler’s forces invade and occupy Czechoslovakia–a nation sacrificed on the altar of the Munich Pact, which was a vain attempt to prevent Germany’s imperial aims.”

Nazis take Czechoslovakia.” 2008. The History Channel website. 15 Mar 2008, 01:13 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6743.

S&Ls closed in Ohio

After watching vast chunks of his state’s savings and loans banks bleed money and shut their doors, Ohio Governor Richard Celeste took action on March 15, 1985. On this day, Celeste temporarily halted business at all of Ohio’s ailing thrifts. After being shut down for a bare three days, the S&Ls were allowed to reopen on March 21, albeit with a $750 cap on withdrawals designed to prevent an all-out assault on deposits. However, Ohio’s actions couldn’t stave off what became one of the largest fiscal crises of the 1980s: plagued by slow-downs in key sectors of the economy, thrifts across the country fell prey to bankruptcy. However, the so-called Savings and Loan Scandal was not simply marked by the mass failure of high-profile financial institutions; it was also steeped in corruption, as scores of S&L chiefs had abused their positions in the name of racking up gaudy fortunes. Following the tidal wave of thrifts closures, a number of the S&L chiefs were sent to jail for fraud and embezzlement.

“S.” 2008. The History Channel website. 15 Mar 2008, 01:12 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5776.

09
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-9-08: Monitor vs Virginia

One of the most famous naval battles in history occurs as the ironclads Monitor and Virginia fight to a draw off Hampton Roads, Virginia. The ships pounded each other all morning but the armor plates easily shed the cannon shots, signaling a new era of steam-powered iron ships.

The C.S.S. Virginia was originally the U.S.S. Merrimack, a forty-gun frigate launched in 1855. The Confederates captured it and covered it in heavy armor plating above the waterline. Outfitted with powerful guns, the Virginia was a formidable vessel when the Confederates launched her in February 1862. On March 8, the Virginia sunk two Union ships and ran one aground off Hampton Roads.

The next day, the U.S.S. Monitor steamed into the bay. Designed by Swedish engineer John Ericsson, the vessel had an unusually low profile, rising from the water only 18 inches. The flat iron deck had a 20-foot cylindrical turret rising from the middle of the ship; the turret housed two 11-inch Dahlgren guns. The shift had a draft of less than 11 feet so it could operate in the shallow harbors and rivers of the South. It was commissioned on February 25, 1862, and arrived at Chesapeake Bay just in time to engage the Virginia.

At 9:00 am, the duel began and continued for four hours. The ships circled one another, jockeying for position as they fired their guns. The cannon balls simply deflected off the iron ships. In the early afternoon, the Virginia pulled back to Norfolk. Neither ship was seriously damaged, but the Monitor effectively ended the short reign of terror that the Confederate ironclad had brought to the Union navy.

Both ships met ignominious ends. When the Yankees invaded the James Peninsula two months after the battle at Hampton Roads, the retreating Confederates scuttled their ironclad. The Monitor went down in bad weather off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, at the end of the year. Though they had short lives, the ships ushered in a new era in naval warfare.  http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2131

1454 – Amerigo Vespucci was born in Florence, Italy. Matthias Ringmann, a German mapmaker, named the American continent in his honor.

1788 – Connecticut became the 5th state to join the United States.

1796 – Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine de Beauharnais were married. They were divorced in 1809.

1832 – Abraham Lincoln announced that he would run for a political office for the first time. He was unsuccessful in his run for a seat in the Illinois state legislature.

1839 – The French Academy of Science announced the Daguerreotype photo process.

1863 – General Ulysses Grant was appointed commander-in-chief of the Union forces.

1905 – In Manchuria, Japanese troops surrounded 200,000 Russian troops that were retreating from Mudken.

1916 – Mexican raiders led by Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, New Mexico. 17 people were killed by the 1,500 horsemen.

1933 – The U.S. Congress began its 100 days of enacting New Deal legislation.

1936 – The German press warned that all Jews who vote in the upcoming elections would be arrested.

1945 – During World War II, U.S. B-29 bombers launched incendiary bomb attacks against Japan.

1961 – Laika becomes the first dog in space when the Russians launch Sputnik 9.

1964 – The first Ford Mustang rolled off of the Ford assembly line.

1967 – Svetlana Alliluyeva, Josef Stalin’s daughter defected to the United States.

1975 – Work began on the Alaskan oil pipeline.

1993 – Rodney King testified at the federal trial of four Los Angeles police officers accused of violating his civil rights.

Firebombing of Tokyo

On this day, U.S. warplanes launch a new bombing offensive against Japan, dropping 2,000 tons of incendiary bombs on Tokyo over the course of the next 48 hours. Almost 16 square miles in and around the Japanese capital were incinerated, and between 80,000 and 130,000 Japanese civilians were killed in the worst single firestorm in recorded history.  http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6736

Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires.

James Madison (Federalist #10)




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