On this day in 1958, The Soviet Union announces plans to cut the size of its standing army by 300,000 troops in the coming year. The reduction was part of a 1956 policy announced by Krushchev in anticipation of “peaceful coexistence” with the West, and an indication that Cold War relations between the United States and the Soviet Union were undergoing a slight thaw in the mid- to late-1950s.
On this day in 1789, America’s first presidential election is held. Voters cast ballots to choose state electors; only white men who owned property were allowed to vote. As expected, George Washington won the election and was sworn into office on April 30, 1789.
On this day in 1815, two weeks after the War of 1812 officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, U.S. General Andrew Jackson achieves the greatest American victory of the war at the Battle of New Orleans.
On this day in 1945, Gen. Douglas MacArthur and the American 6th Army land on the Lingayen Gulf of Luzon, another step in the capture of the Philippine Islands from the Japanese.
On this day in 1941, Franklin Roosevelt introduces the lend-lease program to Congress. The plan was intended to help Britain beat back Hitler’s advance while keeping America only indirectly involved in World War II.
On this day in 1863, Union General John McClernand and Admiral David Porter capture Arkansas Post, a Confederate stronghold on the Arkansas River. The victory secured central Arkansas for the Union and lifted Northern morale just three weeks after the disastrous Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia.
On this day in 1879, The British-Zulu War begins as British troops under Lieutenant General Frederic Augustus invade Zululand from the southern African republic of Natal.