Posts Tagged ‘Platt Amendment

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.

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02
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-2-08: Ussuri River Incident

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.

1897 – U.S. President Cleveland vetoed legislation that would have required a literacy test for immigrants entering the country.

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.

1919 – In the Soviet Union, the first Communist International (Comintern) meets in Moscow.

1933 – The motion picture King Kong had its world premiere in New York.

1946 – Ho Chi Minh was elected President of Vietnam.

1969 – Russian and Chinese forces exchange fire at a border outpost on the Ussuri River in eastern Russia.

1974 – Postage stamps jumped from 8 to 10 cents for first-class mail.

1995 – Russian anti-corruption journalist Vladislav Listyev was killed by a gunman in Moscow.

2000 – In Great Britain, Chile’s former President Augusto Pinochet Ugarte was freed from house arrest and allowed to return to Chile. Britain’s Home Secretary Jack Straw had concluded that Pinochet was mentally and physically unable to stand trial. Belgium, France, Spain and Switzerland had sought the former Chilean leader on human-rights violations.

Ussuri River Incident

At a time in world history when it seemed Communism was on the verge of realizing the Marxist dream of global revolution, the two principle Communist nations, China and the Soviet Union, squabbled over an island in the Ussuri River.  A squabble which allowed the United States to make inroads into Communist China and eventually led to diplomatic relations between the United States and China.

The first incident as reported by CNN’s Bruce Kennedy in an online article, Chinese-Soviet border clashes:  Centuries-old dispute became open combat during Cold War, occurred on March 2, 1969. 

Christian Ostermann, of the Cold War International History Project, recently uncovered a report, sent to East Germany’s leadership, in which the Soviet Union describes its version of the first deadly border clash, which took place on Damansky, or Zhen Bao, Island on March 2, 1969:

“Our observation posts noted the advance of 30 armed Chinese military men on the island of Damansky. Consequently, a group of Soviet border guards was dispatched to the location where the Chinese had violated the border. The officer in charge of the unit and a small contingent approached the border violators with the intention of registering protests and demanding (without using force) that they leave Soviet territory, as had been done repeatedly in the past. But within the first minutes of the exchange, our border guards came under crossfire and were insidiously shot without any warning. At the same time, fire on the remaining parts of our force was opened from an ambush on the island and from the Chinese shore.” http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/episodes/15/spotlight/

Colonel David M Marks in his report about the Ussuri River Incident wrote, “The Chinese claimed that from 23 January 1967 until 2 March 1969 Soviet troops intruded into Damansky sixteen times, using “helicopters, armored cars and vehicles.” The Chinese further assert that the Soviets were guilty of  “ramming Chinese fishing boats, robbing Chinese fishermen, turning high-pressure hoses on fishermen, assaulting and wounding Chinese frontier guards, seizing arms and ammunition, and even violating Chinese air space by overflights.” Finally, the Chinese charged that the Soviets provoked a total of 4189 border incidents from the breakdown of border negotiations on 15 October 1964 to the March 1969 incident. Thus, there was an increasing degree of border tension and dispute beginning with the January phase of the Cultural Revolution and extending to the end of that period of Chinese history, 1966-68.” http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/aureview/1971/jul-aug/marks.html

At first glance it would appear that at a time in history when Communist Revolution seemed poised to spread throughout the world, the truth was something less clear and it may actually be stated that global Communism controlled by the Kremlin was in fact waning.

A Chinese saying goes: ” Whoever understands the times is a great man.”  http://au.china-embassy.org/eng/zt/zgxz/t46100.htm




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