Today in 1783 after nearly three months the Treaty of Paris was signed, the last British troops evacuated New York City. General George Washington made a triumphant entry shortly afterward. Four months later New York was named the nation’s capital until 1790, when the capital was moved and Philadelphia became the 2nd US capitol.
The British army occupied New York September 1776 and stayed beyond the end of the war to secure a haven for British loyalists in Canada, which in turn changed the demographics of English and French speaking Canadians.
Today in 1963 President John Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. JFK did not leave specific instructions in the event of his death. It was assumed that he would be buried in Massachusetts, his home state.
However, in March 1963 JFK visited Arlington and taking in a view remarked to a friend it was “so magnificent I could stay forever.” JFK’s brother-in-law Sargent Shriver suggested Arlington as the final resting place. On November 24 Jackie Kennedy inspected the site and approved it, remarking “he belongs to the people.”
JFK is the second president buried at Arlington, following William Taft in 1930.
Today in 1876 at dawn, over 1,000 soldiers and 400 Indian scouts commanded by General Ronald Mackenzie opened fire on the sleeping village of Cheyenne living with Chief Dull Knife at the headwaters of the Powder River, central Wyoming, killing many Indians within the first few minutes. Some of the Cheyenne, managed to run into the surrounding hills and watch as the soldiers burned more than 200 lodges containing winter food, clothing and then cut the throats of the ponies.
When the soldiers found souvenirs taken by the Cheyenne from soldiers they had killed at Little Bighorn, the assailants felt justified in their attack. Although Dull Knife himself does not appear to have been involved in the battle at Little Bighorn, there is no question that many of his people were, including one of his sons.
The surviving Cheyenne, many of them half-naked, began an 11-day walk north to the Tongue River where Crazy Horse’s camp of Oglala took them in. However, many of the small children and old people did not survive the frigid journey. The next spring Dull Knife convinced the remaining Cheyenne to surrender. The army sent them south to Indian Territory, where other defeated survivors of the final years of the Plains Indian wars soon joined them.
Today in 1941 Admiral Harold R. Stark, U.S. Chief of Naval Operations conveyed to Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, that FDR and Secretary of State Cordell Hull thought a Japanese surprise attack a real possibility.
Roosevelt told his Cabinet, “We are likely to be attacked next Monday, for the Japs are notorious for attacking without warning,”
An intercepted Japanese diplomatic message gave November 25 as a deadline. If Japanese diplomacy had failed to convince the Americans to revoke the economic sanctions against Japan, “things will automatically begin to happen.” “Things” were becoming obvious, in the form of Japanese troop movements off Formosa (Taiwan) apparently toward Malaya. In fact, the Japanese First Air Fleet had set sail for Pearl Harbor.
Japan refused U.S. demands to withdraw from both the Axis pact and occupied territories in China and Indochina.
Despite the fact that many in positions of command anticipated a Japanese attack, especially given the failure of diplomacy, no one expected Hawaii as the target.
On November 26, 1941, at Hitokappu Bay, Japan, the First Air Fleet under command of Admiral Chuichi Nagumo set sail to Pearl Harbor. There seems to be confusion of some sources.
At 0600 blinker signals ordered all ships of the fleet to lift anchor and set sail. This time would be 1000 November 25 in Hawaii and 1600 November 25 in Washington. The ships remained on Tokyo time and according to their schedule the Pearl Harbor attack occurred on December 8. Not all sources qualify this detail when writing about the fleet activity.
Meanwhile, US intelligence knew the fleet had sailed. They just didn’t know where.
“The man who dies rich dies disgraced.” – Andrew Carnegie
Happy birthday Andrew Carnegie, financier, business magnate and philanthropist, born today 1835 at Dunfermline, Scotland. Carnegie made most of his fortune in the steel industry. In 1901 he sold U.S. Steel to J.P. Morgan for $480 million. He then devoted his wealth to philanthropy. Among his generous gifts are 2,500 liraries, Carnegie Hall, Carnegie Foundation, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Carnegie died August 11, 1919 at age 83. He is buried at North Tarrytown, New York.
In today’s dollars Andrew Carnegie was worth $298.3 billion.
Happy birthday Carrie Nation (also Carry Nation), temperance activist and leader, born today in 1846 at Garrard, Kentucky. Nation is most famous for destroying saloons with a hatchet, which became a trademark of her passion and religious calling to abolish liquor.
Nation died June 9, 1911 at age 64. She is buried at Belton, Missouri.
The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union erected a memorial stone inscribed, “Faithful to the Cause of Prohibition, She Hath Done What She Could.”