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Today in History.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by limbkiller, Dec 7, 2017 at 5:05 AM.

  1. limbkiller

    limbkiller Pulling my hair. Supporting Addict

    Aug 18, 2011
    1941
    A date which will live in infamy

    On this day, in an early-morning sneak attack, Japanese warplanes bomb the U.S. naval base at Oahu Island’s Pearl Harbor—and the United States enters World War II.

    President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull knew a Japanese attack was imminent. Having received intelligence reports of intercepted coded messages from Tokyo to the Japanese ambassador in the United States, the president anticipated Japanese reprisals for his government’s refusal to reverse economic sanctions and embargoes against Japan. The Roosevelt administration had remained firm in its demand that the Japanese first withdraw from China and French Indochina, which it had invaded in 1937 and July 1941, respectively, and renounce its alliance with fascist Germany and Italy.

    But Japan refused, demanding that the United States first end the embargo on oil shipments vital for Tokyo’s war machine. Although negotiations between the two nations continued up to the very last minute, Roosevelt was aware of a secret November 25 deadline, established by Tokyo, that confirmed military action on the part of the Japanese should they not received satisfaction from the negotiations. While forewarned, Washington could not pinpoint the time or place of an attack.

    Despite initially objecting to war with America, Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto believed that if Prime Minister Hideki Tojo was determined to go to war, it was Japan who had to make a preemptive strike. Yamamoto studied the devastating November 1940 British attack against the Italian fleet at Taranto, and planned and led the sneak attack against the United States. Approximately 360 Japanese warplanes were launched from six aircraft carriers, reinforced by battleships, cruisers, and destroyers. The first dive-bomber was spotted over Pearl Harbor at 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time. It was followed by 200 aircraft, which decimated the American ships anchored there, most of which were only lightly manned because it was Sunday morning. Among the 18 U.S. ships destroyed, sunk, or capsized were the Arizona, Virginia, California, Nevada, and West Virginia. More than 180 planes were destroyed on the ground and another 150 were damaged (leaving but 43 operational). American casualties totaled more than 3,400, with more than 2,400 killed (1,000 on the Arizona alone). The Japanese lost fewer than 100 men.

    In the short term, the Japanese goal of crippling U.S. naval strength in the Pacific, and thereby giving Tokyo free reign to gobble up more of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific in its dream of imperial expansion, was successful. But the war had only just begun.


    1805
    Lewis and Clark temporarily settle in Fort Clatsop

    Having spied the Pacific Ocean for the first time a few weeks earlier, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark cross to the south shore of the Columbia River (near modern-day Portland) and begin building the small fort that would be their winter home.

    Lewis, Clark, and their men deserved a rest. During the past year, they had made the difficult trip from the upper Missouri River across the rugged Rockies, and down the Columbia River to the ocean. Though they planned to return home by retracing their steps in the spring, the Corps of Discovery settled in the relatively mild climate of the Pacific Coast while winter raged in the mountain highlands.

    For their fort, Lewis and Clark picked a site three miles up Netul Creek (now Lewis and Clark River), because it had a ready supply of elk and deer and convenient access to the ocean, which the men used to make salt. The men finished building a small log fortress by Christmas Eve; they named their new home Fort Clatsop, in honor of the local Indian tribe.

    During the three months they spent at Fort Clatsop, Lewis and Clark reworked their journals and began preparing the scientific information they had gathered. Clark labored long hours drawing meticulous maps that proved to be among the most valuable fruits of the expedition. After talking with local Indians, the two men determined that they had taken an unnecessarily difficult path through the Rockies, and planned alternate routes for the return journey. Meanwhile, the enlisted men and fellow travelers hunted and trapped-they killed and ate more than 100 elk and 20 deer during their stay.

    While the stay at Fort Clatsop was peaceful, it was not entirely pleasant. The Clatsop Indian tribe was friendly, but Clark noted that the Indians were hard bargainers, which caused the expedition party to rapidly deplete its supply of gifts and trading goods, and eventually caused some resentment on both sides. Most vexing, though, was the damp coastal weather–rain fell all but twelve days of the expedition’s three-month stay. The men found it impossible to keep dry, and their damp furs and hides rotted and became infested with vermin. Nearly everyone suffered from persistent colds and rheumatism.

    The expedition departed for home from soggy Fort Clatsop on March 23, 1806. The region they explored later became the state of Oregon–Lewis and Clark’s journey strengthened the American claim to the northwest and blazed a trail that was followed by thousands of trappers and settlers.
     
    RazorBurn, EXFI, nmbuzz and 10 others like this.
  2. Oldag

    Oldag Well-Known Member

    Aug 27, 2014
    And it is still raining in Portland...
     
    limbkiller, ChuckC and tac45 like this.

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