Tag Archives: history

It’s Never Too Late To Stand Up For What You Believe In

Some will say it’s too hard or that they have no time.  Others will claim they have done their time or given enough.  A brave few – a tiny remnant of those among us - will still do what they know needs to be done.

Here is to Samuel Whittemore, aged 80.  Alone, he attacked a British relief column and killed three British soldiers on April 19, 1775 near Arlington, Massachusetts.  In the process he was shot in the face, bayoneted 13 times, and left for dead.  When found, he lay in a pool of his own blood; trying to reload his musket.  Out of what I would imagine is a pure stubborn refusal to allow the Redcoats the pleasure of his death, he recovered and lived to the ripe old age of 98.  He is rightly honored as the Official State Hero of Massachusetts.

samuel whittemore

Lost and Found – March 19th Edition

What to remember about March 19th…

  • 1734  Founding Father and President under Articles of Confederation Thomas McKean is born in Pennsylvania (d. 1817)
  • 1863  CSS Georgiana, most powerful ship in Confederate navy is scuttled by crew on maiden voyage after failing to break Union blockade of Charleston
  • 1865  Ragtag collection of Confederate forces make desperate attempt to halt General Sherman’s drive through the Carolinas
  • 1916  U.S. air forces begin 1st combat missions; support for General Pershing’s hunt for Pancho Villa provides valuable training ahead of WWI
  • 1931  Nevada legalizes gambling with hopes of lifting the state out of Great Depression
  • 1945  Adolf Hitler issues “Nero Decree” ordering Nazi forces to destroy industrial, military, and transportation sites to be destroyed to prevent them being captured by advancing Allied forces
  • 1950  American fiction author Edgar Rice Burroughs dies in Encino, California; creator of Tarzan, John Carter, and Pellucidar series (b. 1875)
  • 2003  Allied forces invade as Operation Iraqi Freedom begins
  • 2011  British, French, and American forces begin military intervention on the side of Libyan rebels in Libyan civil war

Lost and Found – March 18th Edition

What to remember about March 18th…

  • 1766  Too late to assuage American resentment, Parliament repeals Stamp Act taxes; protests of Act galvanize revolutionary sentiments
  • 1837  Future 22nd and 24th President of the United States Grover Cleveland is born in Caldwell, New Jersey (d. 1908)
  • 1845  American nurseryman and folk hero John “Johnny Appleseed” Chapman dies near Fort Wayne, Indiana (b. 1774)
  • 1852  Henry Wells and William G. Fargo form their namesake shipping and banking company
  • 1865  Congress of the Confederate States adjourns for the final time
  • 1942  War Relocation Authority is created to manage internment of Japanese, German, and Italian Americans during WWII
  • 1962  After 7 years of Muslim rebellion and over 100,000 casualties, France signs truce agreement with rebels ending 130 years of French rule in Algeria
  • 1965  Soviet Cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov becomes 1st person to take a “spacewalk”
  • 1968  Congress repeals the Gold Standard that had required gold reserves to back U.S. currency
  • 1969  American Air Force B-52 bombers strike at targets inside Cambodia for the 1st time in the Vietnam War
  • 1994  Representatives of warring Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina sign Washington Agreement ending hostilities and forming Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Warbirds – B-45 Tornado

Welcome to the latest edition of Warbirds here at The Clockwork Conservative.  Today we’ll be showcasing (and celebrating the first flight of) America’s first strategic jet bomber – the B-45 Tornado.

Development on this sleek aircraft began when the War Department grew increasingly concerned over long-range, high-speed German bombers like the Arado Ar 234.  The ability to outrun conventional fighter aircraft could give an enemy to strike with impunity within the jet’s range.

The design proposal put forward by North American Aviation won in mid-1944.  In September of that year, construction began on the first 3 prototypes.  To fulfill the imagined bombing, reconnaissance, and nuclear weapon delivery roles, the Tornado featured a pilot, co-pilot, bombardier/navigator, and tail gunner crew configuration.  Four jet engines (sometimes augmented with rocket assisted launch equipment) allowed for a payload of 22,000 lbs.  Her initial 1000 mile range was augmented by the inclusion of in-flight refueling capacity.  The B-45 was the world’s first operational jet bomber to perform an inflight refueling.

The B-45′s development proceeded rapidly and the U.S. Army Air Force issued a preliminary contract with an eye towards fielding 5 light bomb groups and another 3 reconnaissance groups.  With the heating up of the Cold War, pressure to aviation technology was tremendous.  By the time that the initial Tornados were delivered, plans for its use were already being scaled back in favor of even more advanced jets.  Only 143 B-45 variants were ever produced.

http://youtu.be/2egz28WTlgY

With the opening of the Korean War, the B-45 finally got the opportunity to prove her value.  In both bombing and reconnaissance roles, the Tornado performed yeoman’s work.  Daylight bombing runs at altitude were the rule until an RB-45 was nearly lost to MiG-15 fighter jet in 1952.  After that, the remaining deployed aircraft were converted for nighttime operations.

In 1952, with Cold War tensions rising, many of the other B-45′s were forward positioned at bases in the United Kingdom.  However, before the transatlantic flight to Sculthorpe, the Tornados were upgraded to be capable of deploying the new compact generation of nuclear weapon.  The threat of their payloads and proximity to the Soviet bloc countries added a significant deterrent.  Several of the RB-45C reconnaissance variant were seconded to the Royal Air Force so that they could perform clandestine intelligence gathering flights over communist territory when such missions by American forces were prohibited by the President.  This value of this type of successful intelligence gathering mission would lead to the development of the U-2 and later the SR-71 Blackbird.

Unfortunately, with advent of bigger, faster, and more capable jet bombers, the days of the B-45 were numbered.  By 1958, the last U.S.A.F. B-45′s were withdrawn from service and R.A.F. aircraft were soon to follow.  The last few Tornados served as trainers and later test platforms through the early 1970′s.

Lost and Found – March 17th Edition

What to remember about March 17th…

  • 461   Christian missionary and bishop of Ireland Saint Patrick dies after 40 years of ministry, teaching, and building churches (b. 387)
  • 1762  1st ever recorded Saint Patrick’s Day parade occurs in New York City
  • 1776  Surrounded by General Washington’s Patriot forces and artillery, 12,000 British soldiers flee Boston and head for Nova Scotia; 8-year long siege of Boston ends
  • 1780  General Washington grants Continental Army a holiday “as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence”
  • 1905  Future 32nd President of the United States Franklin Delano Roosevelt marries his cousin Eleanor Roosevelt in New York
  • 1942  Nazi forces begin gassing Jews from the Lvov Ghetto at death camp in Belzec, Poland
  • 1947  B-45 Tornado, America’s 1st jet bomber, makes maiden flight
  • 1960  President Eisenhower signs National Security Directive that will lead to the “Bay of Pigs” invasion of Cuba
  • 1985  “Night Stalker” serial killer Richard Ramirez kills 2 and wounds 1 in Los Angeles as his murder rampage begins
  • 1992  Hezbollah-linked Muslim homicide bomber detonates truck bomb outside israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires; 29 killed and 240 wounded
  • 2003  President George Bush gives televised speech declaring that Iraqi dictator Saddam has 2 days to leave the country or American forces will invade

Lost and Found – March 16th Edition

What to remember about March 16th…

  • 1751  Drafter of the Constitution, Founding Father, and 4th President of the United States James Madison is born in Virginia (d. 1836)
  •  1802  Congress authorizes founding of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York; nations 1st military academy
  • 1926  American scientist Robert H. Goddard successfully launches worlds 1st liquid-fueled rocket; founding pioneer of the Space Age
  • 1945  After months of intense fighting, American forces secure island of Iwo Jima
  • 1968  Army troops led by Lt. William Calley massacre villagers in My Lai, Vietnam; rampage ends when helicopter pilot Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson lands his aircraft between soldiers and fleeing villagers
  • 1985  American journalist Terry Anderson is kidnapped by Muslim Hezbollah terrorists in Beirut, Lebanon; they hold him for 2,455 days
  • 1988  Iraqi forces are ordered by Saddam Hussein to use poison gas and nerve agents against Kurdish town; over 5,000 killed and 10,000 injured
  • 1995  Mississippi ratifies 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; amendment formally ratified in 1865 abolished slavery in America

Lost and Found – March 15th Edition

What to remember about March 15th…

  • 44 B.C.  Roman dictator Gaius Julius Caesar is assassinated by 60 conspirators on the Ides of March
  • 1767  Future 7th President Andrew Jackson is born in South Carolina (d. 1845)
  • 1781  British General Cornwallis’ troops defeat much larger Patriot army under Nathanael Greene at Battle of Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina
  • 1783  General Washington makes surprise appearance before secret gathering of army officers in New York; ends this “Newburgh Conspiracy” and prevents potential rebellion over Congress’ failure to pay them
  • 1820  Maine is admitted as the 23rd state in the Union
  • 1916  President Woodrow Wilson orders General Pershing and 12,000 troops into Mexico in pursuit of the bandit Pancho Villa
  • 1965  Just days after violent clashes in Selma, Alabama, President Lyndon Johnson proposes a “voting rights act” before joint session of Congress
  • 1972  Epic American crime film The Godfather opens in theaters
  • 1989  United States Department of Veterans Affairs becomes 14th department in the President’s Cabinet
  • 2005  Leaders from over 40 countries attend dedication of Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem

Lost and Found – March 14th Edition

What to remember about March 13th…

Pi Day – 3.14

  • 1794  Eli Whitney is granted a patent for the cotton gin; machinery makes cotton production with slave labor economically profitable
  • 1879  Mathematician and physicist Albert Einstein is born in Ulm, Germany (d. 1955)
  • 1914  Naval F6F aviator and Medal of Honor recipient Lieutenant Commander Edward Henry “Butch” O’Hare is born in St. Louis, MO(d. 1943); Chicago-area airport and US destroyer both renamed in his honor
  • 1943  Nazis complete “liquidation” Krakow Ghetto in Poland; 8,000 able-bodied shipped to concentration camps; remaining 2,000 killed in the streets
  • 1950  United States Federal Bureau of Investigation institutes the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List”
  • 1964  Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby is sentenced to death for slaying of Lee Harvey Oswald – assassin of President John F. Kennedy
  • 1990  Mikhail Gorbachev is elected 1st and only President of the Soviet Union; reform attempt fails to maintain union and country collapses next year
  • 1995  NASA scientist and astronaut Norman Earl Thagard becomes 1st American to ride into orbit aboard another nations spacecraft – Soyuz TM-21

Lost and Found – March 13th Edition

What to remember about March 13th…

  • 1836  Texas General Sam Houston begins series of strategic retreats to buy his growing army time to train and equip before confronting Santa Anna
  • 1862  Federal troops are ordered not to return runaway slaves; counters the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and sets stage for emancipation
  • 1865  In desperate measure to bolster their shrinking combat forces, Confederacy authorizes use of black slaves as troops in the army
  • 1868  Impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson begins; 1st time a sitting president tried
  • 1933  Banks begin to reopen after President Franklin Roosevelt’s declared “bank holiday”
  • 1942  Army Quartermaster Corps begins training dogs for use in the newly created War Dogs Program, formal beginning of the “K-9 Corps”
  • 1954  40,000 Viet Minh troops surround 15,000-strong French garrison at Dien Bien Phu; siege ends with defenders loss 2 months later
  • 1964  Reports say that Kitty Genovese was murdered near her home and that 38 witnesses neither tried to help or call the police
  • 1991  Department of Justice announces that Exxon will pay $1 billion for clean up of 1989 Exxon-Valdez oil spill in Alaska
  • 2013  Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope and takes the name Francis; he is the 1st Pope to come from the Americas

Lost and Found – March 12th Edition

What to remember about March 12th…

  • 1864  Ill-fated Union Red River Campaign begins; infantry embarked on riverboats hope to reclaim territory in Louisiana
  • 1903  Baseball team owners give New York Highlanders permission to join the American League; in 1913 they will be renamed “Yankees”
  • 1915  Medal of Honor recipient, Philippine Scout, and U.S. First Lieutenant Willibald C. Bianchi is born in Minnesota (d. 1945)
  • 1930  Mohandas Gandhi begins a defiant march to the sea in protest of the British monopoly on salt and to promote independence movement
  • 1933  To bolster morale of people suffering through Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt addresses the nation in “fireside chat”
  • 1993  Appointed by President Clinton, Janet Reno is sworn in this day as 1st female Attorney General of the United States
  • 2003  15-year-old Elizabeth Smart is found alive nine months after she was kidnapped from her home; both abductors captured
  • 2011  Reactor explodes and releases radiation at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant after earthquake and tsunami strike the day before

fdr fireside chats