A Historical Day

(1862) World’s first iron-clad naval battle
1862 Steam-powered, iron-clad warships in the American Civil War, the Union’s USS Monitor and the Confederate’s CSS Virginia, fire on each other for four hours off Hampton Roads, Virginia. The engagement of iron-fortified battleships ends in a draw..
(1916) Mexico’s rebel leader Pancho Villa launches raid on US
Revolutionary Pancho Villa, seeking arms to fight his guerilla war against Mexico’s President Carranza, leads some 500 horsemen over the US border in an attack on the town of Columbus, New Mexico. . 1916
(1945) Operation Meetinghouse firebombs Tokyo
1945 US warplanes in World War II begin dropping over 1,600 tons of bombs on Japan’s largest city. The most destructive single firestorm in history begins, and will kill up to 130,000 and leave 1 million homeless. .
(1977) The Hanafi Siege begins in Washington, DC
More than 150 hostages are taken as 12 armed Hanafi Muslims storm three buildings, starting a siege that will last 39 hours and end, in part, due to Muslim ambassadors negotiating with the hostage-takers. . 1977

A Historical Day

(1911) First pilot license for a woman
1911 A plumber’s daughter from Paris, having convinced an aviator friend, Charles Voisin, to instruct her in how to fly an airplane, demonstrates her flying skills to the Aero-Club of France which awards her a pilot’s license, the first ever issued to a woman. .
(1917) Russia’s February Revolution roils
Petrograd (St. Petersburg) sees 50,000 striking workers join others celebrating International Women’s Day and together they battle police over food shortages and government corruption in the beginnings of what will be known, in reference to the date in the nation’s Julian calendar, as the February Revolution. . 1917
(1920) First modern-day Arab state is founded
1920 With British and French colonial powers angling for control of the Middle East, the Arab Kingdom of Syria establishes itself as an Arab-led state. It will last four months before falling to French forces. .
(1965) US ground combat troops land in Vietnam
After Viet Cong attacks on US Air Force bases in Da Nang, 3,500 Marines arrive for defense, the first US land combat deployment in Vietnam. Nine months later, they’ll be joined by almost 200,000 additional US combat troops.. 1965

A Historical Day

(1876) Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone
1876 Following the development of his prototype ‘harmonic telegraph’ device, Scotland-born Alexander Graham Bell receives a US patent on a revolutionary new form of instantaneous communication, the telephone. .
(1945) US forces capture Ludendorff Bridge on German Rhine
Nine years to the day after Hitler broke the Treaty of Versailles and reoccupied the Rhineland, the US Army’s 9th Armored Division secures one of the last still-standing bridges over the Rhine River. Allied forces will now be able to cross into the German interior and bring the war to a swifter conclusion.. 1945
(1951) Ridgway launches Korean War’s Operation Ripper
1951 Spearheaded by US General Matthew Ridgway, a UN force launches a huge offensive against enemy combatants around Seoul. A week later the South Korean capital will be liberated from Communist control. .
(1965) Selma civil rights march becomes ‘Bloody Sunday’
Marching for civil rights for African Americans, hundreds of unarmed and peaceful protesters cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, and are set upon by state troopers wielding billy clubs and tear gas. Public disgust at the incident will help galvanize support for passage of the Voting Rights Act.. 1965

A Historical Day

(1857) US Supreme Court decides on Dred Scott case
1857 Slave Dred Scott’s appeal that he be considered free if his owner takes him to a non-slave-holding state falls in his owner’s favor. The Court holds that slaves are property, not persons, a decision that will be strongly opposed by antislavery Northerners and serve as a catalyst for the Civil War..
(1902) Madrid Football Club founded
The Madrid Football Club is officially founded in the Spanish capital. It will be renamed Real Madrid, and go on to be the top professional football (soccer) club of the 20th century and the most valuable sports team in the world. . 1902
(1951) Julius and Ethel Rosenberg go on trial for espionage
1951 Julius Rosenberg and his wife Ethel stand trial on the charge of spying for the Soviet Union. The couple will eventually be executed, their fate resting mainly on the testimony of Julius’ brother-in-law. .
(1990) The SR-71 ‘Blackbird’ flies into the history books
Pilots Ed Yielding and Joseph Vida make a transcontinental flight from Los Angeles, California, to Washington, DC, in a blistering 64 minutes and with an average speed of 2,144.8 mph, a record. Their plane is the Lockheed SR-71 ‘Blackbird,’ a long-range reconnaissance aircraft. . 1990