Tag Archives: history

Lost and Found – May 31st Edition

What to remember about May 31st…

  • 1859  Big Ben clock tower rings out over British Houses of Parliament for the 1st time
  • 1879  In New York city Gilmore’s Garden is renamed Madison Square Garden and opened to the public as an entertainment venue
  • 1913  17th Amendment to the United States Constitution goes into effect; requires popular election of Senators eliminating check on federal power
  • 1916  British and German navies begin Battle of Jutland; over 100,000 men and 250 ships will see combat in WWI’s greatest sea battle
  • 1929  Ford Motor Company signs agreement to oversee production of factories and manufacture automobiles in the Soviet Union
  • 1930 Oscar-winning American actor and filmmaker Clint Eastwood is born in San Francisco, California
  • 1962  In Tel Aviv, Israel, Adolf Eichmann, Nazi organizer of Adolf Hitler’s “final solution of the Jewish question,” is hanged
  • 1997  Ila Borders becomes 1st woman to pitch in a minor league baseball game; she enters as relief for the St. Paul Saints
  • 2003  Fugitive bomber of 1996 Atlanta Olympics and several abortion clinics captured; Eric Robert Rudolph found dumpster diving behind a Save-A-Lot store in Murphy, North Carolina
  • 2005  Identity of Watergate scandal source “Deep Throat” is revealed to be formed FBI assistant director W. Mark Felt

Lost and Found – May 30th Edition

What to remember about May 30th…

  • 1806  Future President Andrew Jackson kills Charles Dickenson in a duel; the men fought over libelous statements made about Jackson’s wife
  • 1868  Decoration Day is declared to honor Civil War dead; this is the 1st observance of what will become Memorial Day
  • 1909  American musician, songwriter, and band leader Benjamin David “Benny” Goodman is born in Chicago (d. 1986)
  • 1911  Indianapolis 500 race is held for 1st time; Ray Harroun wins out of a field of 40 cars with an average speed of 74.59 miles per hour
  • 1922  Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and former President William Howard Taft dedicates Lincoln Memorial on the Washington Mall
  • 1966  NASA successfully launches Surveyor 1 spacecraft; 1st soft landing of an american probe on an extraterrestrial body
  • 1989  Pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square erect 33-foot high “Goddess of Democracy” statue

Warbirds – F4U Corsair

Considered by many to be the best carrier based fighter-bomber of World War II, today we honor the May 29, 1940  first flight of the F4U Corsair on Warbirds.

Despite early issues with getting Corsair squadrons qualified for carrier landings, the Marine Corps had no reservations about using her as a land-based fighter beginning in 1942.  The navy restricted the planes from carrier landings until early 1944.  Despite the Corsair’s superior performance in almost all categories, veteran Navy pilots preferred the F-6 Hellcat as it was easier to land having less tendency to bounce.  Many naval aviators disparagingly called the F4U “hog”, hognose”, or even “bent-wing widow maker”.

The F-4 Corsair’s combat debut in 1943  was as part of the fiasco near Kahili known as the “Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre”.  4 P-38s, 2 P-40s, 2 B-24s, and 2 F4Us were lost with no more than 4 Zeros downed.  Despite this rocky first encounter, Marine pilots soon learned to take advantage of the Corsair’s superior capabilities and six .50 caliber machineguns versus Japanese fighters.  These ground based squadrons would operate in some of the Pacific theater’s hottest zones like Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, Philippines, Marshall Islands, Palaus, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

The F4U has had a star-studded cast of pilots.  Charles Lindbergh served as a test pilot and evaluator while Hall of Fame baseball player Ted Williams was a flight instructor for the F4U at Pensacola.  Among Marine Corps Corsair pilots there were 15 confirmed aces and 4 Medal of Honor recipients.  The first Corsair Ace was Second Lieutenant Kenneth A. Walsh while the most famous was probably Major Gregory “Pappy” Boyington f the Blacksheep Squadron (VMF-214).

Having seen service with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Royal New Zealand Airforce, and the U.K. Royal Navy Fleet Arm, the end of WWII did not spell the end of the Corsair’s career.  The F4U would serve with Argentinian, El Salvadoran, French, and Honduran militaries.  Combat roles would include the First Indochina War, the Suez Crisis, the Algerian War, and War of Tunisian Independence.  But, the Corsair would truly shine as close support aircraft and night fighter during the Korean War.  Ensign Jesse L. Brown, the U.S. Navy’s 1st African-American naval aviator, flew Corsairs on combat missions from the USS Leyte (CV-32). He was shot down on December 4, 1950 and became the first U.S. Navy officer killed during the Korean War.

F4U Corsairs feature prominently in media.  John Wayne starred in a film about Marine Corps aviators called Flying Leathernecks.  The made for television movie and follow-up series Baa Baa Black Sheep fictionally portrays the actions of Greg “Pappy” Boyington and the Black Sheep Squadron (VMF-214)

You can view a very thorough history of the Vought F4U Corsair on YouTube in this 5-part series.

(If you have suggestions of other aircraft to cover in upcoming Warbirds posts, please put them in the comments.  Thanks.)

Lost and Found – May 29th Edition

What to remember about May 29th…

  • 1780  Patriots defeated at Battle of Waxhaws in South Carolina; troops surrendering to Colonel Tarelton’s cavalry are murdered on his orders
  • 1790  Rhode Island is the last of original 13 colonies to ratify U.S. Constitution; becomes 13th state in the Union
  • 1848  Wisconsin enters the Union as 30th state
  • 1917  Future 35th President of the United States John Fitzgerald Kennedy is born in Brookline, Massachusetts
  • 1922  Supreme court rules unanimously in Federal Baseball Club v. National League that Major League Baseball did not violate anti-trust laws and that baseball was not “interstate commerce”; games are state affairs
  • 1932  Over 1000 World War I veterans arrive in Washington, D.C. as part of “Bonus Expeditionary Force”; protesting to receive payments promised for their service in the war
  • 1942  Adolf Hitler orders that all Jews in occupied Paris must wear a yellow Star of David on the left side of their coats
  • 1953  Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Nepalese Shepra Tenzing Norgay become 1st to reach summit of Mount Everest
  • 1954  In the Netherlands, 1st annual meeting of the influential members of the Bilderberg Group is held
  • 1998  U.S. Senator (R-AZ) and presidential candidate Barry Goldwater dies (b. 1909); responsible for rise of modern conservative movement
  • 1999 NASA Space Shuttle Discovery completes the 1st successful docking at the International Space Station (ISS)
  • 2003 English-born American actor, comedian, and USO icon Bob Hope celebrates his 100th birthday in Hollywood revelry
  • 2004  President George W. Bush dedicates U.S. National World War II Memorial; critics from Boston Herald call it “vainglorious”
  • 2005  Danica Patrick becomes 1st woman driver to lead a lap at Indianapolis 500; 4th female to participate in that race and highest finish at 4th

Lost and Found – May 28th Edition

What to remember about May 28th…

  • 1754  Virginia militia led by 22-year-old Lieutenant Colonel George Washington defeats French and Indian patrol at Battle of Jumonville Glen; attempt to claim Pennsylvania territory begins French and Indian War
  • 1830  President Andrew Jackson signs Indian Removal Act; allows for relocation of Indian tribes to territory west of the Mississippi
  • 1863  Led by Colonel Robert Shaw, African-American 54th Massachusetts Infantry departs Boston to join the war
  • 1892  Naturalist and author John Muir organizes the Sierra Club in San Francisco; early environmental group aims to preserve wilderness
  • 1908  English author, Naval Intelligence Officer and creator of fictional spy character James Bond,  Ian Flemming is born (d. 1964)
  • 1918  U.S. troops under General Pershing capture village of Cantigny in France in 1st American assault; Germans retaliate with poison gas
  • 1937  State-owned German car company Volkswagen is formed
  • 1964  Charter is issued creating the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorist group; renounced violence in 1993
  • 1969  After searching the captured tunnel complex, 101st Airborne troops abandon recently captured “Hamburger Hill” in the A Shau valley
  • 1982  British forces attack Argentinians at Battle of Goose Green winning 1st major ground combat of the Falklands War
  • 1987  19-year-old West German amateur pilot violates 400 miles of Soviet airspace and lands his Cessna outside the Kremlin in Moscow
  • 2002  NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft discovers large deposits of ice on the surface of the planet

Lost and Found – May 27th Edition

What to remember about May 27th…

  • 1813  U.S. Army and Navy forces conduct amphibious assault to capture fort and British troops in Battle of Fort George
  • 1863  Maryland Chief Justice Roger Taney issues Ex parte Merryman challenging authority of President Lincoln and the military to suspend the writ of habeas corpus
  • 1935  Supreme Court declares National Industrial Recovery Act to be unconstitutional in A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States
  • 1937  After 4 years of construction and the deaths of 11 workers, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco finally opens to the public
  • 1941  3-days after sinking the  HMS Hood and HMS Prince of Wales, German battleship Bismarck is sunk by Royal Navy off the coast of France
  • 1941  President Franklin D. Roosevelt announces a state of unlimited national emergency in response to military aggression of Nazi Germany
  • 1965  U.S. Navy warships begin bombardment of Viet Cong targets in central South Vietnam
  • 1967  Aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy is launched by widow Jacqueline Kennedy and her daughter Caroline
  • 1972  President Nixon and Soviet President Brezhnev meet in Moscow to sign the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT)agreements
  • 1998  Michael Fortier is sentenced to 12 years $200,000 fine for failing to warn authorities about Oklahoma City Bombing terrorist plot
  • 2005  Thousands of demonstrators gather in Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and the Middle East to protest reported “Quran abuse” by the U.S. military

Lost and Found – May 25th Edition

What to remember about May 25th…

  • 1521  Holy Roman Emperor Charles V issues Edict of Worms declaring Martin Luther an outlaw
  • 1803  American author and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson is born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1882)
  • 1865  Ordnance depot in Mobile, Alabama explodes killing 300, sinking 2 ships, and destroying most of the northern reaches of the city
  • 1925  John T. Scopes indicted for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution in Tennessee school
  • 1953  Shot from “Atomic Annie” gun, US conducts its only nuclear artillery test; shell is 4.5 feet long, weighed 800 lbs., and yielded 15 kilotons
  • 1961  President Kennedy announces to special joint session of the Congress his goal to initiate a project to put a “man on the Moon” before end of the decade
  • 1977  20th Century Fox releases the George Lucas film Star Wars to theaters
  • 1982  HMS Coventry is sunk in the Falklands; 3 Argentine planes lost in the attack
  • 2011  Last episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show airs; ends 25 year run

Upshot-Knothole nuclear artillery test

Lost and Found – May 24th Edition

What to remember about May 24th…

  • 1543  Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus dies after a stroke (b. 1473); discovered Earth revolved around the sun despite “facts” to the contrary
  • 1775  John Hancock is elected president of Second Continental Congress
  • 1844  Samuel Morse demonstrates his telegraph for Congress; message “What Hath God Wrought?” is sent to Baltimore and back
  • 1883  Brooklyn Bridge is dedicated by President Arthur and future President Cleveland while thousands of New Yorkers turn out to watch
  • 1935  Major League Baseball holds its 1st night game at recently lighted Crosley Field in Cincinnati; Reds beat Phillies 2-1
  • 1941  German battleship Bismarcksinks pride of the Royal Navy HMS Hood
  • 1943  Josef Mengele becomes doctor of Auschwitz concentration camp; “Angel of Death” will torture and murder thousands of Jews
  • 1961  In Jackson, Mississippi, activist Freedom Riders are arrested for disturbing the peace as they disembark from their vehicle
  • 1964  Presidential candidate and Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) mentions possible use of atomic weapons in conflict in Vietnam
  • 1976  Concorde supersonic passenger service from London to Washington, D.C. begins
  • 1991  Israel begins Operation Solomon to evacuate by air more than 14,000 Ethiopian Jews threatened by civil war
  • 1994  4 Islamic terrorists are sentenced to life in prison for 1993 bombing of the north tower of the World Trade Center

Lost and Found – May 23rd Edition

What to remember about May 23rd…

  • 1701  Scottish privateer Captain William Kidd is hanged for piracy and murder
  • 1777  170 patriot raiders begin Meigs Expedition that will capture British fort at Sag Harbor, Long Island, burn 24 ships, destroy tons of supplies, and capture 90 Redcoats before returning to Connecticut
  • 1788  South Carolina becomes 8th state to ratify the Constitution
  • 1873  Canadian parliament creates North-West Mounted Police; they will later become Royal Canadian Mounted Police or “Mounties”
  • 1900  Sergeant William Harvey Carney of the 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry is awarded Medal of Honor for his bravery on July 18, 1863 at James Island, South Carolina; 1st African-American to receive this award
  • 1934  Notorious criminal couple Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are shot to death by Texas and Louisiana state police near Sailes, Louisiana
  • 1967  Congressman sparks controversy over frequency of malfunctions in M-16 rifle recently made the standard U.S. infantry rifle
  • 1995  Damaged in the attack on April 19, remains of the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City are imploded

Lost and Found – May 22nd Edition

What to remember about May 22nd…

  • 1802  America’s First Lady Martha Washington dies at her Mount Vernon home (b. 1731)
  • 1807  Former Vice President Aaron Burr is indicted for treason in plot to form his own country should war with Spain break out; he is acquitted
  • 1819  American packet ship SS Savannah begins 1st Atlantic crossing by a steam-powered vessel
  • 1856  Southern Congressman brutally beats Northern Senator in the Senate chambers over scathing abolitionist speech that vilified his cousin
  • 1859  Scottish author , physician, and creator of Sherlock Holmes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is born (d. 1930)
  • 1939  Germany and Italy agree to “Pact of Steel”; Axis is born
  • 1942  Boston Red Sox left fielder Ted Williams leaves baseball to enlist as a Marine Corps pilot and flight instructor
  • 1972  President Richard Nixon arrives in Moscow for arms control and research summit with Soviet leadership
  • 1980  Namco’s influential video game Pac-Man is first released
  • 1992  Television host Johnny Carson ends his 30-year run as host of The Tonight Show;
  • 2002  Klu Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry is convicted in 1963 bombing of Birmingham church and death of 4 girls age 11 to 14