A number of very significant things happened in late Sept. The Battle of Yorktown, the deciding battle of the Revolutionary War was fought and won by Gen. Washington. The Corps of Discovery returned from reaching the West Coast. Our first combat division arrived in Europe during WWI. WWII had begun in Europe; we weren’t involved, but we began a military draft. Gen MacArthur moved to Tokyo to take over the Japanese government and make it a democracy. The National Security Act was passed, among other things it created the position of Secretary of Defense and made the Army Air Corps into the US Air Force. While visiting the US, Soviet leader Kruschev was told that for security reasons he couldn’t go to Disneyland; he was very upset.
Here are some of the more interesting events:
On 16 Sep 1918, during WWI, US troops overthrew Archangel (Russia). Most Americans didn’t know we had sent forces into Russia.
On Sep 16, 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Selective Service and Training Act, which required all male citizens between the ages of 26 and 35 to register for the military draft, beginning on Oct 16. The act had been passed by Congress 10 days earlier.
On 16 Sep 1945, at the end of WWII, Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, (captured by the Japanese on the island of Corregidor, in the Philippines), was freed by Russian forces from a POW camp in Manchuria, China. When President Franklin Roosevelt transferred Gen. Douglas MacArthur from his command in the Philippines to Australia in March 1942, Gen. Wainwright was given command of all Philippine forces. His first major strategic decision was to move his troops to the fortified garrison at Corregidor. When Bataan was taken by the Japanese, and the infamous Bataan “Death March” of captured Allies was underway, Corregidor became the next battle. Wainwright and his 13,000 troops held out for a month. Finally, totally exhausted, they surrendered. Wainwright spent the next three and a half years as a POW. The man who had been nicknamed “Skinny” was now emaciated. He was also depressed, believing he would be blamed for the loss of the Philippines. When Wainwright arrived in Yokohama, Japan, to attend the formal surrender ceremony, Gen. MacArthur was stunned. Wainwright was given a hero’s welcome upon returning to America, promoted to full general, and awarded the Medal of Honor.
On Sep 17, 1787, the Constitution of the USA was signed by 38 of 41 delegates present at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Supporters of the document waged a hard-won battle to win ratification by the necessary nine out of 13 US states.
On Sep 17, 1862, Confederate General Robert Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and Union General George McClellan’s Army of the Potomac fought to a standstill along a Maryland creek on the bloodiest day in American history. Although the battle was a tactical draw, it forced Lee to end his invasion of the North and retreat back to Virginia.
18 Sep 1945, Gen. Douglas MacArthur moved his command headquarters to Tokyo, as he prepared for his new role as architect of a democratic and capitalist postwar Japan. Japan had had a long history of its foreign policy being dominated by the military. MacArthur was given the task of overseeing the regeneration of a Japan shorn of its imperial past. As humiliating as it would be for the defeated Japanese, the supreme allied commander in the South Pacific would lay the groundwork for Japan’s rebirth as an economic global superpower. On March 3, 1945, MacArthur handed control of the Philippine capital back to its president. On September 2, 1945, MacArthur signed the instrument of surrender on behalf of the victorious Allies, aboard the USS Missouri, docked in Tokyo Bay. But the man who oversaw Japan’s defeat was about to put it on the road to its own kind of victory.
On 18 Sep 1947, the National Security Act went into effect. It created a Cabinet secretary of defense and unified the Army, Navy and newly formed Air Force into a National Military Establishment. The act established the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The US Air Force was formed as a separate military service out of the Army Air Corps. At the same time the Air National Guard was created as a separate reserve component under control of the National Guard Bureau.
On 19 Sep 1959, in one of the more surreal moments in the history of the Cold War, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev exploded with anger when he learned that, for security reasons, he could not visit Disneyland. The incident marked the climax of Khrushchev’s day in Los Angeles, one that was marked by both frivolity and tension.
On 20 Sep 1797, the US frigate Constitution (Old Ironsides) was launched in Boston.
On 20 Sep 1806, after nearly 2 ½ years spent exploring the western wilderness, the Corps of Discovery arrived at the frontier village of La Charette, in what is now Missouri, the first white settlement they had seen since leaving behind the outposts of eastern civilization in 1804. Entirely out of provisions and trade goods and subsisting on wild plums, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and their men were understandably eager to reach home. Upon arriving at La Charette, the men fired a three-round salute to alert the inhabitants of their approach and were answered by three rounds from the trading boats moored at the riverbank. The people of La Charette rushed to the banks of the Missouri to greet the returning heroes. The Lewis and Clark mission had been a spectacular success. With the aid of friendly Native American tribes, the explorers had charted the upper reaches of the Missouri, proved there was no easy water passage across the Continental Divide, reached the shores of the Pacific Ocean, and made the first major step to opening of the trans-Mississippi West to the American settlement. After spending the evening celebrating with the people of La Charette, the next day they continued rapidly down the river and after two more days reached St. Louis, the city where their long journey had begun.
On 20 Sep 1917, during WWI, the 26th “Yankee” Division (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT) became the first American division to arrive in Europe. More than one million American soldiers and Marines joined them by war’s end in November 1918.
On 20 Sep 1951, in Operation Summit, the first combat helicopter landing in history, US Marines were landed in Korea.
On Sep 21, 1942, during WWII, the US B-29 Superfortress makes its debut flight in Seattle, Washington. It was the largest bomber used in the war by any nation.
On 23 Sep 1779, during the American Revolution, the US ship Bonhomme Richard, commanded by John Paul Jones, won a hard-fought engagement against the British ships of war Serapis and Countess of Scarborough, off the eastern coast of England.
On Sep 24, 1941, the Japanese consul in Hawaii was instructed to divide Pearl Harbor into five zones and calculate the number of battleships in each zone–and report the findings back to Japan. Relations between the US and Japan had been deteriorating quickly since Japan’s occupation of Indo-China and the implicit menacing of the Philippines, an American protectorate. American retaliation included the seizing of all Japanese assets in the States and the closing of the Panama Canal to Japanese shipping. In September 1941, Roosevelt issued a statement that threatened war between the US and Japan should the Japanese encroach any farther on territory in Southeast Asia or the South Pacific.
On 27 Sept 1940, the Axis powers are formed as Germany, Italy, and Japan became allies with the signing of the Tripartite Pact in Berlin. The Pact provided for mutual assistance should any of the signatories suffer attack by any nation not already involved in the war. This formalizing of the alliance was aimed directly at “neutral” America–designed to force the US to think twice before venturing in on the side of the Allies.
On 28 Sep 1781, General George Washington, commanding a force of 17,000 French and Continental troops, began the siege known as the Battle of Yorktown against British General Lord Charles Cornwallis and a contingent of 9,000 British troops at Yorktown, Virginia, in the most important battle of the Revolutionary War.
On 28 Sept 1918, in an incident that would go down in the lore of WWI history—although the details of the event are still unclear—Private Henry Tandey, a British soldier serving near the French village of Marcoing, reportedly encountered a wounded German soldier and declined to shoot him, sparing the life of 29-year-old Lance Corporal Adolf Hitler.
On 29 Sept 1965, Hanoi published the text of a letter it had written to the Red Cross claiming that since there is no formal state of war, US pilots shot down over the North will not receive the rights of prisoners of war (POWs) and would be treated as war criminals.
On 30 Sep 1954, the USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear submarine, was commissioned by our Navy.
*An invisible man married an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.
*I didn’t think the chiropractor would improve my posture. But I stand corrected.
*I took my new girlfriend out on our first date to the ice rink, and entry was half price. She called me a cheap skate.
*Studies show cows produce more milk when the farmer talks to them. It’s a case of in one ear and out the udder.
*My cross-eyed wife and I just got a divorce. I found out she was seeing someone on the side.
*My wife claims I’m the cheapest person she’s ever met. I’m not buying it.
*Did you know that a raven has 17 rigid feathers called pinions, while a crow only has 16. The difference between a raven and a crow is just a matter of a pinion.
*I told my carpenter I didn’t want carpeted steps. He gave me a blank stair.
*What did the surgeon say to the patient who insisted on closing up his own incision? Suture self.