On this day in 1777, John Burgoyne, poet, playwright and British general, submits an ill-fated plan to the British government to isolate New England from the other colonies.
On January 29, 1915, in the Argonne region of France, German lieutenant Erwin Rommel leads his company in the daring capture of four French block-houses, the structures used on the front to house artillery positions.
At dawn on this day in 1968, on the first day of the Tet holiday truce, Viet Cong forces–supported by large numbers of North Vietnamese troops–launch the largest and best coordinated offensive of the war, driving into the center of South Vietnam’s seven largest cities and attacking 30 provincial capitals from the Delta to the DMZ.
On this day in 1945, On this day, Pvt. Eddie Slovik becomes the first American soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion-and the only one who suffered such a fate during War II.
On this day in 1861, Texas becomes the seventh state to secede from the Union when a state convention votes 166 to 8 in favor of the measure.
On this day in 1943, the last of the German forces fighting at Stalingrad surrender, despite Hitler’s earlier declaration that “Surrender is out of the question. The troops will defend themselves to the last!”