On this day in 1944, The U.S. Eighth Air Force launches the first American bombing raid against the German capital.
On this day in 1953, Josef Stalin dies. He had been leader of the Soviet Union since 1924
On this day in 1836, following a 13 day siege, around 190 or so defenders of a run down old Spanish mission, are finally killed when 4,000 Mexicans under the command of General Antonio Lopez De Santa Anna storm the garrison.
On this day in 1862, Union forces under General Samuel Curtis clash with the army of General Earl Van Dorn at the Battle of Pea Ridge (also called the Battle of Elkhorn Tavern),in northwest Arkansas. The following day, the battle ended in defeat for the Confederates.
On this day in 1801, combined British and Ottoman Empire forces successfully establish a foothold in French-occupied Egypt at Abukir Bay. In taking the strategic naval port, some 1,100 British soldiers perished, including Sir Ralph Abercromby, the commander of the amphibious operation.
On this day in 1862, one of the most famous naval battles in American history occurs as two ironclads,the U.S.S.Monitor and the C.S.S. Virginia fought to a draw off Hampton Roads, Virginia. The ships pounded each other all morning but their armor plates easily deflected the cannon shots, signaling a new era of steam powered iron ships.
On this day in 1945, 300 American bombers continue to drop almost 2,000 tons of incendiaries on Tokyo, Japan, in a mission that had begun the previous day. The attack destroyed large portions of the Japanese capital and killed 100,000 civilians.