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Thread: This day in history

  1. #461
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    May 06 1942
    All American forces in the Philippines surrender unconditionally

    And the Japanese brutalized them. They deserved our two nuclear bombs- even more of them.

    On this day in 1942, U.S. Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright surrenders all U.S. troops in the Philippines to the Japanese.

    The island of Corregidor remained the last Allied stronghold in the Philippines after the Japanese victory at Bataan (from which General Wainwright had managed to flee, to Corregidor). Constant artillery shelling and aerial bombardment attacks ate away at the American and Filipino defenders. Although still managing to sink many Japanese barges as they approached the northern shores of the island, the Allied troops could hold the invader off no longer. General Wainwright, only recently promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and commander of the U.S. armed forces in the Philippines, offered to surrender Corregidor to Japanese General Homma, but Homma wanted the complete, unconditional capitulation of all American forces throughout the Philippines. Wainwright had little choice given the odds against him and the poor physical condition of his troops (he had already lost 800 men). He surrendered at midnight. All 11,500 surviving Allied troops were evacuated to a prison stockade in Manila.


    General Wainwright remained a POW until 1945. As a sort of consolation for the massive defeat he suffered, he was present on the USS Missouri for the formal Japanese surrender ceremony on September 2, 1945. He would also be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Harry Truman. Wainwright died in 1953-exactly eight years to the day of the Japanese surrender ceremony.
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    Chinese Exclusion Act barred Chinese laborers from US

    On May 6, 1882, President Chester A. Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, barring Chinese laborers from entering the United States and prohibiting courts from bestowing US citizenship on Chinese.

    Connecticut Senator Joseph Hawley spoke out against the Act in these words:

    Let the proposed statue be read 100 years hence, dug out of the dust of ages and forgotten as it will be except for a line of sneer by some historian, and ask the young man not well read in the history of this country what was the reason for excluding these men and he would not be able to find it in the law.

    The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and its successors were abolished in 1943 at the insistence of President Franklin Roosevelt.
    Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect. -- Woody Hayes​

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    Quote Originally Posted by DGUtley View Post
    Chinese Exclusion Act barred Chinese laborers from US

    On May 6, 1882, President Chester A. Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, barring Chinese laborers from entering the United States and prohibiting courts from bestowing US citizenship on Chinese.

    Connecticut Senator Joseph Hawley spoke out against the Act in these words:

    Let the proposed statue be read 100 years hence, dug out of the dust of ages and forgotten as it will be except for a line of sneer by some historian, and ask the young man not well read in the history of this country what was the reason for excluding these men and he would not be able to find it in the law.

    The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and its successors were abolished in 1943 at the insistence of President Franklin Roosevelt.
    We used them to build the railroads west. Then discarded them.
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  5. #464
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    May 9, 1887
    Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show opens

    Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show opens in London, giving Queen Victoria and her subjects their first look at real cowboys and Indians.

    A well-known scout for the army and a buffalo hunter for the railroads (which earned him his nickname), Cody had gained national prominence 15 years earlier thanks to a fanciful novel written by Edward Zane Carroll Judson. Writing under the pen name Ned Buntline, Judson made Cody the hero of his highly sensationalized dime novel The Scouts of the Plains; or, Red Deviltry As It Is.” In 1872, Judson also convinced Cody to travel to Chicago to star in a stage version of the book. Cody broke with Judson after a year, but he enjoyed the life of a performer and stayed on the stage for 11 seasons.
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  6. #465
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    May 11, 1934:

    Dust storm sweeps from Great Plains across Eastern states

    The dust bowl was caused by poor farming
    techniques.

    On this day in 1934, a massive storm sends millions of tons of topsoil flying from across the parched Great Plains region of the United States as far east as New York, Boston and Atlanta.

    At the time the Great Plains were settled in the mid-1800s, the land was covered by prairie grass, which held moisture in the earth and kept most of the soil from blowing away even during dry spells. By the early 20th century, however, farmers had plowed under much of the grass to create fields. The U.S. entry into World War I in 1917 caused a great need for wheat, and farms began to push their fields to the limit, plowing under more and more grassland with the newly invented tractor. The plowing continued after the war, when the introduction of even more powerful gasoline tractors sped up the process. During the 1920s, wheat production increased by 300 percent, causing a glut in the market by 1931.


    That year, a severe drought spread across the region. As crops died, wind began to carry dust from the over-plowed and over-grazed lands. The number of dust storms reported jumped from 14 in 1932 to 28 in 1933. The following year, the storms decreased in frequency but increased in intensity, culminating in the most severe storm yet in May 1934. Over a period of two days, high-level winds caught and carried some 350 million tons of silt all the way from the northern Great Plains to the eastern seaboard. According to The New York Times, dust “lodged itself in the eyes and throats of weeping and coughing New Yorkers,” and even ships some 300 miles offshore saw dust collect on their decks.



    The dust storms forced thousands of families from Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico to uproot and migrate to California, where they were derisively known as “Okies”–no matter which state they were from. These transplants found life out West not much easier than what they had left, as work was scarce and pay meager during the worst years of the Great Depression.
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    Allied Headquarters in North Africa, May 12, 1943 --

    The war in Africa is over, it was officially announced tonight.

    Col. Gen. Dietloff von Arnim, the Prussian Commander in Chief of the Axis forces in North Africa, has been captured by the British, apparently on Cap Bon. In all, 150,000 prisoners are believed to have been taken since May 5, when the final assaults on Tunis and Bizerte began. Twelve generals have been captured.

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  9. #467
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    May 18, 1980

    Mount St. Helens erupts

    Mount St. Helens in Washington erupts, causing a massive avalanche and killing 57 people on this day in 1980. Ash from the volcanic eruption fell as far away as Minnesota.

    Seismic activity at Mount St. Helens, which is 96 miles south of Seattle, began on March 16. A 4.2-magnitude tremor was recorded four days later and then, on March 23-24, there were 174 different recorded tremors. The first eruption occurred on March 27, when a 250-foot wide vent opened up on top of the mountain. Ash was blasted 10,000 feet in the air, some of which came down nearly 300 miles away in Spokane. The ash caused static electricity and lightning bolts.


    Authorities issued a hazard watch for a 50-mile radius around the mountain. The National Guard set up road blocks to prevent access to the area, but these were easily avoided by using the region’s unguarded logging roads. Many residents of the area evacuated, but a substantial number refused. Harry Truman, 84—no relation to the former president—was one resident who refused to move and, after receiving a great deal of positive media coverage for his decision, became a national icon as well as, later, the subject of a local memorial.
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