In a letter dated December 3, 1776, General George Washington writes to Congress from his headquarters in Trenton, New Jersey, to report that he had transported much of the Continental Army’s stores and baggage across the Delaware River to Pennsylvania.
On this day in 1917, well-known psychiatrist W.H. Rivers presents his report The Repression of War Experience (shell shock), based on his work at Britain s Craiglockhart War Hospital for Neurasthenic Officers, to the Royal School of Medicine. Craiglockhart, near Edinburgh, was one of the most famous hospitals used to treat soldiers who suffered from psychological traumas as a result of their service on the battlefield.
On this day in 1961, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff authorize combat missions by Operation Farm Gate pilots. With this order, U.S. Air Force pilots were given the go-ahead to undertake combat missions against the Viet Cong as long as at least one Vietnamese national was carried on board the strike aircraft for training purposes. The program had initially been designed to provide advisory support to assist the South Vietnamese Air Force in increasing its capability. The gradual but dramatic expansion of Operation Farm Gate reflected the increasing involvement of the United States in Vietnam.
At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, a Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan on its wings appears out of the clouds above the island of Oahu. A swarm of 360 Japanese warplanes followed, descending on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault. The surprise attack struck a critical blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet and drew the United States irrevocably into World War II.
On this day in 1941, President Roosevelt makes his famous “Day Of Infamy” speech to a special joint session of Congress. In an unanimous vote, war is declared on Japan. Thus beginning a 4 year struggle against a tough and determined enemy.
On this day in 1861, Congress creates the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War in an effort to monitor both military progress and President Abraham Lincoln’s administration.