We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
25 March 1941
Yugoslavia signs the Tripartite Pact
March 4, 1941
It was the 10th Tuesday of 1941. If you were born on this date your birthday numbers 3, 4 and 1941 reveal that your life path number is 22. Your zodiac sign is Pisces with a ruling planet Neptune , your birthstone is the Aquamarine , and your birth flower is the Daffodil . You are 80 years old, and were born in 1940s, in the middle of Silent Generation. The generation you are born into makes an impact on your life. Swipe up to find out what it all means.
→ March 4, 1941 was a Tuesday
→ Zodiac sign for this date is Pisces
→ This date was 29,316 days ago
→ 1941 was the Year of the Serpent
→ In 2022, March 4 is on Saturday
View interesting March 4, 1941 birthday facts that no one tells you about, such as your life path number, birthstone, ruling planet, zodiac sign and birth flower.
People born on this day will turn 81 in exactly .
If you were born on this date:
You have been alive for . You were born in the Year of the Serpent. Your birth sign is Pisces with a ruling planet Neptune. There were precisely 994 full moons after you were born up to this day. Your billionth second was on was on November 10, 1972.
→ You’ve slept 9,772 days or 26.77 years.
→ Your next birthday is away
→ You’ve been alive
→ You were born in the Year of the Serpent
→ You have been alive 703,588 hours
→ You are 42,215,329 minutes old
→ Age on next birthday: 81 years old
25 March 1941 - History
SHOP FOR 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION APPAREL & GIFTS:
The U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Division, nicknamed "Tropic Lightning," is headquartered at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii and is assigned to the Pacific Command. The Division of nearly 17,000 soldiers stationed in Hawaii, at Fort Wainwright and Fort Richardson, Alaska, focuses primarily on training for low intensity conflicts throughout the Pacific region. However, the 25th ID is fully involved in the Global War on Terror and deploys units in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. The Tropical Lightning Division underwent the Army's modular re-organization in 2006. The 25th Infantry Division now has four Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) and an Aviation Brigade. The 1st and 2nd BCTs have fielded the Stryker combat vehicle, and the 4th BCT is Airborne qualified.
The division's shoulder patch, a lightning bolt superimposed on a taro leaf, was formally adopted in 1943. The colors of gold and red were those of the late Hawaiian monarchy. While soldiers over the years have jokingly nicknamed the patch the "Electric Chili Pepper" or the "Electric Strawberry," in 1953, the nickname "Tropic Lightning" was officially adopted.
In 1921, the United States Army formed the Hawaiian Division to protect the islands and our growing interests in the Pacific region. On October 1, 1941, the Hawaiian Division was split to create the 24th and 25th Infantry Divisions. The 25th Infantry Division was stationed at Schofield Barracks, on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The Division was just over two months old when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor thrusting the United States into World War Two. After the attack, the Division moved into beach defensive positions, preparing to defend Honolulu from invasion.
The division continued in its role as protector of Oahu until November 1942, when they were ordered into action against the Japanese in the Solomon Islands. On November 25th the Division moved to Guadalcanal. The 25th Infantry Division took part in some of the bitterest fighting in the Pacific Theater. By February 5, 1943, organized enemy resistance had ended on Guadalcanal. A period of garrison duty followed until July. Due to their superior performance during the operation, the 25th Infantry Division earned its nickname: "Tropic Lightning."
Beginning July 21st the Tropic Lightning participated in the seizure of the islands of New Georgia, Vella LaVella, Sasavele and Kolombangara. The Solomons Campaign ended in August of 1943. The Division was sent to New Zealand for rest and training, with the last elements arriving December 5th. The soldiers of the 25th Infantry Division then moved to New Caledonia on 8 February 1944 to prepare for the invasion of the Philippines.
On 11 January 1945 the 25th Infantry Division landed on Luzon, entering the fight for the liberation of the Philippine Islands. The Division met stiff resistance from the Japanese as it drove across the central plain of Luzon. Beginning on February 21, 1945 the Tropic Lightning attacked Japanese forces in the Caraballo Mountains in order to secure the left flank of the Sixth Army as it drove for Manila. The 25th Infantry Division fought its way from hill to hill until the key Balete Pass fell to the Division on May 13, 1945. The Tropic Lightning Division was relieved on June 30, 1945. The 25th Infantry Division had suffered the most casualties of any division of the Sixth Army in its amazing 165 days of continuous combat. The 25th Infantry Division participated in four campaigns of the Pacific Theater: Central Pacific, Guadalcanal, Northern Solomons and Luzon. Six Tropic Lightning soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor.
The Division was in Tarlac on the island of Luzon in the Philippines when the Japanese surrendered. On September 20, 1945 the Tropic Lightning began moving to Japan to act as occupation forces. The 25th Infantry Division remained on occupation duty for the next five years until called upon again to serve their country. This time the fight would be on the Korean Peninsula.
The Korean War began on June 25, 1950 when the North Korean People's Army crossed the 38th Parallel in an unprovoked attack on the Republic of South Korea. Under United Nations orders, the 25th Infantry Division was deployed to Korea from 5-18 July 1950. Upon arrival they successfully completed their first mission of blocking the approaches to the port city of Pusan. After weeks of bitter fighting, the division was able to break out from the Pusan area in September 1950 along with U.S. and United Nations forces to link with U.S. Marines who landed at the city of Inchon. Most of Korea was liberated and North Korean forces were driven to the Yalu River, when Chinese forces joined the fight in November 1950. The 25th Infantry Division and allied forces were driven south once again. A permanent battle line was established south of Osan. The division began retaking lost territory in January 1951. By February 10, 1951 the city of Inchon and Kimpo Air Base were recaptured. The Division next participated in Operation Ripper, which drove the enemy north of the Han River. The spring of 1951 continued with successful Operations Dauntless, Detonate, and Piledriver. These offensive operations enhanced the United Nations position for negotiating an end to the fighting. Peace talks began in the summer of 1951. Unfortunately the Chinese and North Koreans were not ready to settle. A stalemated, trench warfare situation continued with patrolling and defensive actions for the next two years. On occasion, fierce battles were fought as enemy forces tried to break the main line of resistance. From May to July of 1953, a heavy Chinese assault was thrown at the Tropic Lightning's section of the line that guarded the approaches to Seoul. The 25th Infantry Division repulsed this attack and protected the South Korean capital. The 25th was placed in reserve status in July. The Korean War ended on July 27, 1953 when an armistice took effect.
The 25th Infantry Division had spent 37 months in combat during the Korean War. The Division received two South Korean Presidential Unit Citations and was credited with participation in all ten Korean War campaigns. Fourteen Tropic Lightning soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor. By October 1954, the division had returned home to Hawaii after a 12 year absence.
In response to a request from the U.S. Military Assistance Command in Vietnam, the Division sent 100 helicopter door-gunners to the Republic of South Vietnam in early 1963. By August 1965, further Division involvement in the coming Vietnam Conflict included the deployment of Company C, 65th Engineer Battalion, to South Vietnam to assist in the construction of port facilities at Cam Ranh Bay.
In December 1965, the Tropic Lightning Division deployed to South Vietnam in force. In a massive airlift, 3rd Brigade deployed to the central highlands at Pleiku, while the rest of the division was transported by sea. Operation Blue Light was the largest and longest airlift of personnel and cargo into a combat zone in military history before Operation Desert Shield. The Command Group of the division had established their base in Cu Chi district, 20 miles northwest of the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon. By April 1966, the entire division had arrived in country and ready to strike the enemy.
During the period from the summer of 1966 to the spring of 1967 the 25th Division was the largest division in Vietnam with four brigades under its command, the division's 1st and 2nd Brigades as well as the 3rd Brigade, 4th Division and the 196th Light Infantry Brigade. During 1966 and 1967 the division engaged in operations to destroy communist forces within their Area of Responsibility while engaging in humanitarian missions to support the Vietnamese people. In the fall of 1966 the division took part in Operation Attleboro, which was the largest unit operation of the war at that time. The fierce fighting during this operation resulted in the defeat of the 9th Viet Cong Division. The lessons learned were successfully applied by the Tropic Lightning in Operations Cedar Falls and Junction City conducted in War Zone C in early 1967.
From 1966 to 1970, the Division fought the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong north and west of Saigon. In late January 1968, enemy forces began a major offensive during Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. During the 1968 Tet Offensive the 25th Infantry Division stopped the Viet Cong attempts to seize Tan Son Nhut airfield and participated in the defense of Saigon.
The Vietnamization of the war, or the turning over of fighting roles to South Vietnamese forces, and the withdrawals of U.S. forces began in 1969. In April 1970 the division took part in operation Bold Lancer, which took the Vietnam War into neighboring Cambodia to destroy enemy sanctuaries previously immune from attack. In this operation, the division confiscated thousands of tons of supplies and hundreds of weapons. This incursion crippled the Cambodian-based efforts against American units and allowed the South Vietnamese time to prepare to take over the war.
By late December 1970, elements of the 25th Infantry Division were able to begin redeployment to Schofield Barracks. The 2nd Brigade was the last element of the Tropic Lightning Division to depart Vietnam. It arrived at Schofield Barracks in the early days of May 1971. The 25th Infantry Division served for 1,716 days in Vietnam, receiving participation credit for twelve Vietnam campaigns and being twice awarded the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm. Eight Tropic Lightning units were awarded Presidential Unit Citations and eleven received Valorous Unit Awards. Twenty-one Tropic Lightning soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor.
The face of the 25th Infantry Division changed in 1985 when it was selected to change into a light infantry formation. By 1 October 1986, the division had lost its heavy equipment and gained the designation of 25th Infantry Division (Light). The four primary characteristics of this new light infantry division were: mission flexibility, rapid deployment and combat readiness at 100 percent strength with a Pacific Basin orientation.
The 25th Infantry Division would see its first major deployment as a Light Infantry Division in January 1995 when the 2nd and 3rd Brigades were sent to Haiti as part of Operation Uphold Democracy. The division became a critical element in the stabilization and reconstitution of Haiti, providing security and rebuilding the infrastructure. The division's mission was officially completed in March 1995 however, the final contingent of Tropic Lightning soldiers stayed until June. From April to September 2002, the 25th Infantry Division (Light) continued its peacekeeping mission into the 21st Century as 1,000 Tropic Lightning soldiers took part in operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina. As part of Stabilization Force XI, division troops took part in mine-clearing operations, reconstruction, and the destruction of weapons turned in by civilians.
The 25th Infantry Division did not participate as a whole in Operation Desert Storm due to the division being earmarked for Pacific contingencies. However, during the Gulf War, one platoon each from Companies A, B and C, 4th Battalion, 27th Infantry, "Wolfhounds" deployed to Saudi Arabia in January 1991. These Tropic Lightning soldiers were scheduled to be replacement squads in the ground campaign however, after observing their thoroughly outstanding performance in desert warfare training, the Assistant Commander of Third U.S. Army asked for them to become the security force for the Army's Forward Headquarters. In that role, the Wolfhound platoons were alerted and attacked with Third Army (Forward) into Kuwait City on February 26. Company A's platoon was separated from the other Wolfhounds following that battle to accompany General H. Norman Schwarzkopf into Iraq on March 1, 1991 and provided security at the truce signing. The three platoons returned to Schofield Barracks without casualties on March 20, 1991.
The Army's evaluation of Desert Storm recognized the need for a rapidly deployable organization that could fill the operational gap between initially deployed light forces, which lack staying power, and the slower deploying heavy armored forces. Originally known as the Interim Brigade Combat Team it is now known as the Stryker Brigade Combat Team. It is an infantry brigade mounted on some three hundred Stryker, 19-ton wheeled armored vehicles in ten different configurations with significant upgrades in firepower and capable of being transported in C-130 aircraft.
The transformation began in 1999 with the conversion of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Lewis to a Stryker Brigade. In the spring of 2002 the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division began to reorganize from a light infantry brigade to the Stryker configuration. The conversion of the 2nd Brigade to a Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) began in 2005. By late 2007 the brigade had received its full complement of Stryker vehicles and became combat certified.
In July 2005, a 4th Brigade was added to the 25th Infantry Division as an airborne brigade stationed in Fort Richardson, Alaska. It deployed in October 2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In January, 2006 the 25th Infantry Division (light) was redesignated as the 25th Infantry Division. The "light" segment of the name was dropped to reflect the changes the force underwent during the Stryker and modular force transformations.
The 25th Infantry Division was called on to support of the Global War on Terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan in July 2003 to prepare for deployment in 2004. This deployment would mark the first time the division deployed as a whole outside the Pacific region.
The 2nd Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq in January 2004. The brigade was stationed outside the city of Kirkuk where they engaged in peacekeeping operations and nation building projects. The "Warrior" Brigade fought and destroyed insurgent forces in various cities and towns including Najaf, Huwijah, Samarra, and Kirkuk. The high point of the 2nd Brigade deployment was their support of the first free elections held in Iraq in over 50 years. After over a year away from home, the 2nd BCT had returned to Schofield Barracks by March 2005.
Tropic Lightning deployed an impressive force to assist in the stabilization of Afghanistan. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, Division Artillery and units of the Division's Aviation Brigade deployed in March 2004. Soldiers of the "Bronco" brigade, "Tropic Thunder", and "Wings of Lightning" engaged in combat operations against Al-Qaida and remnants of the former Taliban regime while helping to rebuild a country ravaged by decades of war. During operations Lightning Resolve and Lightning Freedom, Tropic Lightning units supported the first ever democratic elections in Afghanistan. All units of Tropic Lightning deployed to Afghanistan returned home to Hawaii by June 2005.
In September 2005, the 25th Infantry Division was ordered to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08. The Division Headquarters, with 3rd IBCT, and 25th CAB deployed to Multinational Division-North in Iraq for a 15 month tour. During the months of July and August, the Division moved its personnel and equipment through Kuwait into Iraq. The Mission Assumption Day ceremony was held on September 13, 2006. The Division was already deep into the war as Task Force Lightning. Task Force Lightning included units from the 1st Cavalry Division, 2nd and 4th Infantry Divisions, the 82nd Airborne Division, 25th CAB, 3rd IBCT, National Guard and Reserve units, with a strength of a 23,000 Soldiers. The size of Task Force Lightning's Area of Operations was roughly the size of Pennsylvania and included over 10 million people spread through six provinces.
The efforts of Task Force Lightning during Operation Iraqi Freedom VI brought incredible results: a dramatic reduction in attacks, tribal groups working with the government, better trained and capable Iraqi Security Forces, and a once emboldened enemy beaten back. The Division returned to Hawaii in October 2007.
The high standards set by the 25th Infantry Division in its conduct of combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq effectively demonstrates the division motto "Ready to Strike, Anytime Anywhere" and such traditional high standards set by the Tropic Lightning in four wars will continue in its current and future deployments in the Global War On Terror.
25th Infantry Division Gift Shop:
Shop for Tropic Lightning Tees, Sweatshirts, and Gift Items in our store »
Visit Military Vet Shop on Facebook Want to be our friend? Join us on Facebook for links to articles and news items about Veteran issues, the latest sales and coupon codes, new product announcements and sneak-peeks of upcoming products and designs.
25 March 1941 - History
0421 - The city of Venice was founded.
1306 - Robert the Bruce was crowned king of Scotland.
1409 - The Council of Pisa opened.
1609 - Henry Hudson left on an exploration for Dutch East India Co.
1634 - Lord Baltimore founded the Catholic colony of Maryland.
1655 - Puritans jailed Governor Stone after a military victory over Catholic forces in the colony of Maryland.
1655 - Christian Huygens discovered Titan. Titan is Saturn's largest satellite.
1669 - Mount Etna in Sicily erupted destroying Nicolosi. 20,000 people were killed.
1700 - England, France and Netherlands ratify the 2nd Extermination Treaty.
1753 - Voltaire left the court of Frederik II of Prussia.
1774 - English Parliament passed the Boston Port Bill.
1776 - The Continental Congress authorized a medal for General George Washington.
1802 - France, Netherlands, Spain and England signed the Peace of Amiens.
1807 - The first railway passenger service began in England.
1807 - British Parliament abolished the slave trade.
1813 - The frigate USS Essex flew the first U.S. flag in battle in the Pacific.
1814 - The Netherlands Bank was established.
1820 - Greece freedom revolt against anti Ottoman attack
1821 - Greece gained independence from Turkey.
1856 - A. E. Burnside patented Burnside carbine.
1857 - Frederick Laggenheim took the first photo of a solar eclipse.
1865 - The SS General Lyon at Cape Hatteras caught fire and sank. 400 people were killed.
1865 - During the American Civil War, Confederate forces captured Fort Stedman in Virginia.
1879 - Japan invaded the kingdom of Liuqiu (Ryukyu) Islands, formerly a vassal of China.
1895 - Italian troops invaded Abyssinia (Ethiopia).
1898 - The Intercollegiate Trapshooting Association was formed in New York City.
1900 - The U.S. Socialist Party was formed in Indianapolis.
1901 - 55 people died when a Rock Island train derailed near Marshalltown, IA.
1901 - The Mercedes was introduced by Daimler at the five-day "Week of Nice" in Nice, France.
1901 - It was reported in Washington, DC, that Cubans were beginning to fear annexation.
1902 - Irving W. Colburn patented the sheet glass drawing machine.
1902 - In Russia, 567 students were found guilty of "political disaffection." 95 students were exiled to Siberia.
1904 - E.D. Morel and Roger Casement formed the Congo Reform Association in Liverpool.
1905 - Rebel battle flags that were captured during the American Civil War were returned to the South.
1905 - Russia received Japan's terms for peace.
1907 - Nicaraguan troops took Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras.
1908 - Wilhelm II paid an official visit to Italy's king in Venice.
1909 - In Russia, revolutionary Popova was arrested on 300 murder charges.
1911 - In New York City, 146 women were killed in fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York City. The owners of the company were indicted on manslaughter charges because some of the employees had been behind locked doors in the factory. The owners were later acquitted and in 1914 they were ordered to pay damages to each of the twenty-three families that had sued.
1913 - The Palace Theatre opened in New York City.
1915 - 21 people died when a U.S. F-4 submarine sank off the Hawaiian coast.
1919 - The Paris Peace Commission adopted a plan to protect nations from the influx of foreign labor.
1923 - The British government granted Trans-Jordan autonomy.
1931 - Fifty people were killed in riots that broke out in India. Gandhi was one of many people assaulted.
1931 - The Scottsboro Boys were arrested in Alabama.
1936 - The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Montreal Maroons in the longest hockey game to date. The game lasted for 2 hours and 56 minutes.
1940 - The U.S. agreed to give Britain and France access to all American warplanes.
1941 - Yugoslavia joined the Axis powers.
1941 - The first paprika mill was incorporated in Dollon, SC.
1947 - A coalmine explosion in Centralia, IL, killed 111 people.
1947 - John D. Rockefeller III presented a check for $8.5 million to the United Nations for the purchase of land for the site of the U.N. center.
1953 - The USS Missouri fired on targets at Kojo, North Korea.
1954 - RCA manufactured its first color TV set and began mass production.
1957 - The European Economic Community was established with the signing of the Treaty of Rome.
1960 - A guided missile was launched from a nuclear powered submarine for the first time.
1965 - Martin Luther King Jr. led a group of 25,000 to the state capital in Montgomery, AL.
1966 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the "poll tax" was unconstitutional.
1970 - The Concorde made its first supersonic flight.
1971 - The Boston Patriots became the New England Patriots.
1972 - Bobby Hull joined Gordie Howe to become only the second National Hockey League player to score 600 career goals.
1975 - King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was shot to death by a nephew. The nephew, with a history of mental illness, was beheaded the following June.
1981 - The U.S. Embassy in San Salvador was damaged when gunmen attacked using rocket propelled grenades and machine guns.
1981 - The Down Jones industrial avarage of selected stocks on the New York Stock Exchanged closed at its highest level in more than eight years.
1982 - Wayne Gretzky became the first player in the NHL to score 200 points in a season.
1983 - The U.S. Congress passed legislation to rescue the U.S. social security system from bankruptcy.
1985 - It was reported that a U.S. Army Major stationed in East Germany had been shot and killed by a Soviet Border Guard.
1986 - U.S. President Ronald Reagan ordered emergency aid for the Honduran army. U.S. helicopters took Honduran troops to the Nicaraguan border.
1988 - Robert E. Chambers Jr. pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the death of 18-year-old Jennifer Levin. The case was known as New York City's "preppie murder case."
1989 - In Paris, the Louvre reopened with I.M. Pei's new courtyard pyramid.
1990 - A fire in Happy Land, an illegal New York City social club, killed 87 people.
1990 - Estonia voted for independence from the Soviet Union.
1991 - Iraqi President Saddam Hussein launched a major counter-offensive to recapture key towns from Kurds in northern Iraq.
1992 - Soviet cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev returned to Earth after spending 10 months aboard the orbiting Mir space station.
1993 - President de Klerk admitted that South Africa had built six nuclear bombs, but said that they had since been dismantled.
1994 - United States troops completed their withdrawal from Somalia.
1995 - Boxer Mike Tyson was released from jail after serving 3 years.
1996 - An 81-day standoff by the antigovernment Freemen began at a ranch near Jordan, MT.
1996 - The U.S. issued a newly redesigned $100 bill for circulation.
1998 - A cancer patient was the first known to die under Oregon's doctor-assisted suicide law.
1998 - The FCC nets $578.6 million at auction for licenses for new wireless technology.
1998 - Quinn Pletcher was found guilty on charges of extortion. He had threatened to kill Bill Gates unless he was paid $5 million.
2002 - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) dismissed complaints against Walt Disney Co.'s ABC network broadcast of a Victoria's Secret fashion show in November 2001.
2004 - The U.S. Senate voted (61-38) on the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (H.R. 1997) to make it a separate crime to harm a fetus during the commission of a violent federal crime.
2017 - In Innisfail, Australia, a banana split was created that that exceeded 26,377 feet long. It used 40,000 bananas and more than 650 gallons of ice cream.
III. The Arms Buildup, the Space Race, and Technological Advancement
The world was never the same after the United States leveled Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 with atomic bombs. Not only had perhaps 180,000 civilians been killed, the nature of warfare was forever changed. The Soviets accelerated their nuclear research, expedited in no small part by “atom spies” such as Klaus Fuchs, who had stolen nuclear secrets from the Americans’ secret Manhattan Project. Soviet scientists successfully tested an atomic bomb on August 29, 1949, years before American officials had estimated they would. This unexpectedly quick Russian success not only caught the United States off guard but alarmed the Western world and propelled a nuclear arms race between the United States and the USSR.
The United States detonated the first thermonuclear weapon, or hydrogen bomb (using fusion explosives of theoretically limitless power) on November 1, 1952. The blast measured over ten megatons and generated an inferno five miles wide with a mushroom cloud twenty-five miles high and a hundred miles across. The irradiated debris—fallout—from the blast circled the earth, occasioning international alarm about the effects of nuclear testing on human health and the environment. It only hastened the arms race, with each side developing increasingly advanced warheads and delivery systems. The USSR successfully tested a hydrogen bomb in 1953, and soon thereafter Eisenhower announced a policy of “massive retaliation.” The United States would henceforth respond to threats or acts of aggression with perhaps its entire nuclear might. Both sides, then, would theoretically be deterred from starting a war, through the logic of mutually assured destruction (MAD). J. Robert Oppenheimer, director of Los Alamos nucelear laboratory that developed the first nuclear bomb, likened the state of “nuclear deterrence” between the United States and the USSR to “two scorpions in a bottle, each capable of killing the other,” but only by risking their own lives. 21
In response to the Soviet Union’s test of a pseudo-hydrogen bomb in 1953, the United States began Castle Bravo — the first U.S. test of a dry fuel, hydrogen bomb. Detonated on March 1, 1954, it was the most powerful nuclear device ever tested by the U.S. But the effects were more gruesome than expected, causing nuclear fall-out and radiation poisoning in nearby Pacific islands. Wikimedia.
Fears of nuclear war produced a veritable atomic culture. Films such as Godzilla, On the Beach, Fail-Safe, and Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb plumbed the depths of American anxieties with plots featuring radioactive monsters, nuclear accidents, and doomsday scenarios. Antinuclear protests in the United States and abroad warned against the perils of nuclear testing and highlighted the likelihood that a thermonuclear war would unleash a global environmental catastrophe. Yet at the same time, peaceful nuclear technologies, such as fission- and fusion-based energy, seemed to herald a utopia of power that would be clean, safe, and “too cheap to meter.” In 1953, Eisenhower proclaimed at the UN that the United States would share the knowledge and means for other countries to use atomic power. Henceforth, “the miraculous inventiveness of man shall not be dedicated to his death, but consecrated to his life.” The “Atoms for Peace” speech brought about the establishment of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), along with worldwide investment in this new economic sector. 22
As Germany fell at the close of World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union each sought to acquire elements of the Nazi’s V-2 superweapon program. A devastating rocket that had terrorized England, the V-2 was capable of delivering its explosive payload up to a distance of nearly six hundred miles, and both nations sought to capture the scientists, designs, and manufacturing equipment to make it work. A former top German rocket scientist, Wernher von Braun, became the leader of the American space program the Soviet Union’s program was secretly managed by former prisoner Sergei Korolev. After the end of the war, American and Soviet rocket engineering teams worked to adapt German technology in order to create an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The Soviets achieved success first. They even used the same launch vehicle on October 4, 1957, to send Sputnik 1, the world’s first human-made satellite, into orbit. It was a decisive Soviet propaganda victory. 23
In response, the U.S. government rushed to perfect its own ICBM technology and launch its own satellites and astronauts into space. In 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was created as a successor to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). Initial American attempts to launch a satellite into orbit using the Vanguard rocket suffered spectacular failures, heightening fears of Soviet domination in space. While the American space program floundered, on September 13, 1959, the Soviet Union’s Luna 2 capsule became the first human-made object to touch the moon. The “race for survival,” as it was called by the New York Times, reached a new level. 24 The Soviet Union successfully launched a pair of dogs (Belka and Strelka) into orbit and returned them to Earth while the American Mercury program languished behind schedule. Despite countless failures and one massive accident that killed nearly one hundred Soviet military and rocket engineers, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was launched into orbit on April 12, 1961. American astronaut Alan Shepard accomplished a suborbital flight in the Freedom 7 capsule on May 5. The United States had lagged behind, and John Kennedy would use America’s losses in the “space race” to bolster funding for a moon landing.
While outer space captivated the world’s imagination, the Cold War still captured its anxieties. The ever-escalating arms race continued to foster panic. In the early 1950s, the Federal Civil Defense Administration (FCDA) began preparing citizens for the worst. Schoolchildren were instructed, via a film featuring Bert the Turtle, to “duck and cover” beneath their desks in the event of a thermonuclear war. 25
Although it took a backseat to space travel and nuclear weapons, the advent of modern computing was yet another major Cold War scientific innovation, the effects of which were only just beginning to be understood. In 1958, following the humiliation of the Sputnik launches, Eisenhower authorized the creation of an Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) housed within the Department of Defense (later changed to DARPA). As a secretive military research and development operation, ARPA was tasked with funding and otherwise overseeing the production of sensitive new technologies. Soon, in cooperation with university-based computer engineers, ARPA would develop the world’s first system of “network packing switches,” and computer networks would begin connecting to one another.
In Petrograd the revolutionary parties finally realised what was happening. They formed a Soviet (Council). This had the loyalty of the army, navy and industrial workers.
The Provisional Government (a small group of Liberal and Socialist politicians led by Prince George Lvov) declared themselves in control. From the beginning they ruled only because the Soviet allowed them.
Problems of the Provisional Government
The economy was in crisis
Inflation, a goods shortage and food famine, the breakdown in transport and huge mounting public debt meant a loan had to be negotiated from the Russia’s Western allies. This would only be given if Russia stayed in the war.
The Provisional Government did not represent the people
It wanted success in the war. Most of the country wanted peace. Members were Liberals with some Social Revolutionaries. They were unrepresentative of the country but they promised elections.
Dual power with the Petrograd Soviet
This could only continue if the Provisional Government kept to its agreement. This weakened its control over the army, police and political control in Petrograd. The city became a mix of conflicting political groups.
Why Was Pearl Harbor Important?
The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, was important because it sparked the United States' entrance into World War II. The day after the Japanese attacked Honolulu's Pearl Harbor, the United States declared war on Japan.
When the events at Pearl Harbor took place, World War II had already been going on for two years. Three days after President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan, Japan's allies, Germany and Italy, declared war on the United States. Following this, Congress reciprocated, declaring war on both Germany and Italy. In the end, Japan's decision to attack Pearl Harbor left the United States with no choice but to enter the international conflict.
In the aftermath of the 2-hour attack on Pearl Harbor, 21 ships in the U.S. Pacific fleet had been sunk or severely damaged. United States air crafts also took a hit, as 188 were destroyed and 159 were damaged, most were hit before they could even leave the ground. In total, 2,403 people were killed, the majority of which were soldiers and sailors.
The surprise Pearl Harbor attack was also responsible for uniting the nation, which was split about whether or not to even enter the conflict that was World War II.
The Bloody Attempt to Kidnap a British Princess
There were seven men in total who tried to stop Ian Ball, an unemployed laborer from north London, from kidnapping Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth’s only daughter. A tabloid journalist, a former boxer, two chauffeurs and three policemen all faced off against Ball, but it was the princess herself, a force to be reckoned with in her own right, who kept Ball distracted from his goal,
Around 8 p.m. on a March 20, 1974, Princess Anne and her husband of four months were heading towards Buckingham Palace after attending a charity film screening. Anne’s lady-in-waiting sat across from the couple in the back of a maroon Rolls-Royce limousine marked with the royal insignia, and in the passenger seat rode her bodyguard: Inspector James Wallace Beaton, a member of SO14, Scotland Yard’s special operations branch charged with royalty protection. As the chauffeur drove down the Mall, a road that runs between London’s Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace, a white Ford Escort overtook and forced him to stop about 200 yards away from the palace. A bearded man with light red hair exited the car and, holding two handguns, charged towards the rear of the limo. Inspector Beaton, 31, assumed that the man was a disgruntled driver and stepped out to meet him. From six feet away, the assailant shot the officer in his right shoulder.
In aiming to kidnap Anne, Ian Ball was targeting the celebrity royal of Britain’s day. The previous November, the 23-year-old princess had married a commoner – Mark Phillips, a Captain in the British army. The two had met through equestrian circles: the talented horseman had won a team gold medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics, and in 1971, the BBC had named Anne, later an Olympian equestrian along with Phillips in the 1976 games, as its Sports Personality of the year. Their nuptials attracted 2,000 guests, and The New York Times said the televised audience of 500 million was “the most ever” for a wedding. In a piece that indicates that the media’s fascination with celebrity hasn’t changed all that much, NYT journalist John J. O’Connor wrote that “network television’s coverage blitz” was “lacking much substance” and “could only leave the average viewer puzzled and blinking.”
On the night of the kidnapping attempt, SO14 had only assigned one man to protect the princess, but then again only one bodyguard accompanied Queen Elizabeth on unofficial trips to and from her residence at the time. Although Ball would not have known the route that the limousine would take that night, the palace had publicized Princess Anne’s appearance at the event, potentially making it easy for someone to follow the maroon Rolls-Royce as it escorted her from the theater that evening.
A 26-year-old victim of mental illness, Ball had rented a car under the name of John Williams, in which police would later find two pairs of handcuffs, Valium tranquilizers, and a ransom letter addressed to the Queen. He had typed a rambling note that criticized the royal family and demanded a ٠ million ransom to be delivered in ٣ sterling notes. Ball asked that the Queen have the money stored in 20 unlocked suitcases and put on a plane destined for Switzerland. Queen Elizabeth II herself, wrote Ball, need to appear on the plane to confirm the authenticity of her signatures on needed paperwork.
Although few of London’s Metropolitan police carried guns, those assigned to protect the royal family carried automatic weapons. Inspector Beaton tried to shoot Ian Ball, but his wounded shoulder hurt his aim. After firing once, his gun jammed.
Ball turned to the rear door behind the driver’s seat and started shaking it. Anne sat on the other side.
“Open, or I’ll shoot!” he yelled.
As the princess and Captain Phillips did their best to hold the door shut, Princess Anne’s lady-in-waiting crawled out of the door on the passenger side. Beaton took the opportunity to jump back in the limo. He placed himself between the couple and their assailant, who shot into the car. Beaton’s hand deflected the bullet. Ball then shot him a third time, causing a wound that forced Beaton out of the car and onto the ground. Chauffeur Alexander Callendar, one of the Queen’s drivers, stepped out to confront the gunman. Ball shot him in the chest and Callender fell back into the car. Pulling the back door open, Ball grabbed Anne’s forearm as Phillip held onto her waist.
“Please, come out,” said Ball to Anne. “You’ve got to come.”
As the two men struggled over Anne, her dress ripped, splitting down the back. Instead of panicking, she had what she later called “a very irritating conversation” with her potential kidnapper.
“I kept saying I didn’t want to get out of the car, and I was not going to get out of the car,” she told police.
In response to one of Ball’s pleas, Princess Anne retorted, “Bloody likely.”
“I was frightened, I won’t mind admitting it,” Captain Phillips later said. The scariest part, he remembered, was feeling like a caged animal when police officers started arriving. Then “the rescue was so near, but so far” as constables hesitated to advance on an armed man so near the princess.
Police Constable Michael Hills, 22, was first on the scene. Patrolling nearby when he heard the sounds of a struggle, he assumed the conflict was over a car accident. He approached Ball and touched his shoulder. The gunman turned and shot Hills in the stomach. Before collapsing, Hills maintained enough strength to radio his station.
Ronald Russell, a company cleaning executive, was driving home from work when he saw the scene on the side of the road. He approached on foot after seeing Ian Ball confront Officer Hills.
“He needs sorting,” Russell later remembered thinking. A 6” former boxer, Russell advanced to punish the shooter for hurting a policeman.
Another motorist, a chauffeur named Glenmore Martin, had parked his car in front of the white Ford to keep Ball from escaping. He also tried to distract Ball, but when the gunman aimed at him, Martin turned to help Officer Hills on the side of the road. Meanwhile, Daily Mail journalist John Brian McConnell came onto the scene. Recognizing the insignia on the limo, he knew a member of the royal family was in danger.
“Don’t be silly, old boy,” he said to Ball. “Put the gun down.” Ball shot him. McConnell fell to the road, now the third man bleeding onto the pavement.
After McConnell fell, Ball turned back to his struggle for Princess Anne. Ronald Russell approached from behind and punched Ball in the back of the head. While the former boxer distracted the gunman, Anne reached for the door handle on the opposite side of the backseat. She opened it and pushed her body backwards out of the car.
“I thought that if I was out of the car that he might move,” she said. She was right. As Ball ran around the car towards the princess, she jumped back in with Phillips, shutting the door. Ronald Russell then punched Ball in the face. More police officers were now witnessing the action.
Princess Anne noticed their presence made Ian Ball nervous. “Go on,” she said. “Now’s your chance.”
Peter Edmonds, a temporary detective constable, had heard Officer Hills’ call regarding the attack. As he pulled up to the scene in his own car, he saw a man take off with a gun through St. James Park. Edmonds chased Ball, threw his coat over Ball’s head, tackled him and made an arrest. Authorities found over 𧷤 in 㾶 notes on his person. Later, they learned that earlier that month, Ball had rented a home on a dead-end road in Hampshire, five miles away from Sandhurst Military Academy, also the home of Princess Anne and Captain Phillips.
The next day, headlines around America reviewed the night’s events: “Princess Anne Escapes Assassin” “Lone Gunman Charged in Royal Kidnap Plot” “Security Increases Around Prince Charles” “Witnesses Describe Panic on the Mall” “Queen is Horrified at Attack on Princess.”
“If someone had tried to kidnap Julie Eisenhower Nixon on Park Avenue,” wrote The New York Times, the press would create “within a day or two” a “lavish portrait of that someone.” Because of British laws that limited pre-trial publicity, “just about all that Brits are likely to know for the next month or two they know already.”
Home Secretary Roy Jenkins ordered an investigative report for the Prime Minister and told the press that the investigation needed to remain “broadly confidential” both Scotland Yard and Buckingham Palace refused to comment on specific details.
Journalists scrambled to pull together theories on how a mentally ill, unemployed man could have masterminded a well-funded kidnapping attempt on his own. An office clerk told a reporter that the police had traced a typewriter that Ball had rented to write the ransom letter. Papers reported that one line of the letter read “Anne will be shot dead.” Days after the kidnapping attempt, a group calling themselves the Marxist-Leninist Activist Revolutionary Movement sent a letter claiming responsibility to The Times of London. Scotland Yard dismissed any connection between that group and Ian Ball. Others recognized a familiar theme in the reported content of the ransom letter, in which Ball had allegedly stated that he would donate the Queen’s ransom to the National Health Services. One month before, a group identifying as the Symbionese Liberation Army had kidnapped Patricia Hearst. In its communication with the Hearst family, the SLA said that they would return the young woman if her family donated what would amount to millions of dollars of food to hungry Californians.
“There is no present indication that this was other than an isolated act by an individual,” Jenkins told the House of Commons. It agreed with his request that the findings of the investigation remain confidential.
Secretary Jenkins told the papers that he ordered an increase in royal protection but refused to comment on the details. Buckingham Palace released a statement saying that the royal family “had no intention of living in bullet-proof cages.” Chief among them was Princess Anne, who valued her privacy even after recognizing fortune in escaping un-scathed.
“There was only one man,” she later said. “If there had been more than one it might have been a different story.” The princess recognized in an interview that one’s “greatest danger” is perhaps “the lone nutcases” that “have just got enough” resources to put a crime together. “If anybody was serious on wiping one out, it would be very easy to do.”
When Ian Ball appeared in court on April 4, his lawyer spoke about his history of mental illness, but Ball also gave a statement on what motivated his crime: “I would like to say that I did it because I wished to draw attention to the lack of facilities for treating mental illness under the National Health Service.”
Ian Ball pleaded guilty to attempted murder and kidnapping charges. Sentenced to a life term in a mental health facility, he has spent at least part of his internment at Broadmoor, a high-security psychiatric hospital. Even after Ian Ball’s sentencing, the public would know little else about him except for his birth date and birthplace, and eyewitness accounts of his appearance and actions. In 1983, Ball penned a letter to a member of Parliament in which he claimed that the attempted kidnapping was a hoax, and that he was framed.
(Scotland Yard’s investigation remained closed until January 1, 2005. The British National Archives released them in honor of “the thirty year rule,” which requires the release of cabinet papers 30 years after their filing.)
Less than ten years after the botched kidnapping, the press criticized Scotland Yard again for failing to protect the royal family when in July of 1982 an unemployed man scaled the palace walls and snuck into Queen Elizabeth’s bedroom. The two talked for ten minutes before the queen could summon help. The following year, Scotland Yard reorganized the Royalty Protection Branch and placed James Wallace Beaton as its superintendent.
The day after the attack, Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips returned to routine at their home on the grounds of Sandhurst: he instructed cadets on the rifle range, and she tended to her horses. That September, Queen Elizabeth II awarded the George Cross, Britain’s highest civilian award for courage, to Inspector Beaton. She presented the George Medal, the second-highest civilian honor for bravery, to Police Constable Hills and Ronald Russell, and Queen’s Gallantry medals (the third-highest) to Police Constable Edmonds, John Brian McConnell and Alexander Callender. Glenmore Martin received the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct.
While Scotland Yard refuses to release specifics on SO14, an internal police budget in 2010 revealed that it spent approximately 113.5 million pounds on royal security. By 2012, this number reportedly decreased to 㿞 million. As part of the revised budget, Scotland Yard slashed monies dedicated to protecting “non-working royals,” such as Prince Andrew’s daughters (and Anne’s nieces), Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, except for when they are at official family events. Prince Andrew privately hired security to accompany his daughters, fearing for their safety as his mother feared for Anne’s 40 years ago.
In a 2006 interview, Ronald Russell recalled what Queen Elizabeth said as she presented his George Cross medal: “The medal is from the Queen of England, the thank you is from Anne’s mother.”
About Carrie Hagen
Carrie Hagen is a writer based in Philadelphia. She is the author of We Is Got Him: The Kidnapping that Changed America, and is currently writing a book about the Vigilance Committee.
Legacy and Impact of the March
“That day, for a moment, it almost seemed that we stood on a height, and could see our inheritance perhaps we could make the kingdom real perhaps the beloved community would not forever remain the dream one dreamed in agony.”
James Baldwin, novelist and poet
A Day of Hope
With the words and music still ringing in their ears, the demonstrators boarded buses and trains for their journeys home. Many would return to the same hardships, discrimination, and violence that had prompted them to join the March on Washington. But the legacy of that day endured and increased popular support for the civil rights movement. In the months and years that followed, the march helped sustain and strengthen the work of those who continued to commit themselves to the ongoing struggle for social justice.
Two demonstrators linger at the Reflecting Pool at the end of the day’s events.
Responses to the March
In the months after the March on Washington, ongoing demonstrations and violence continued to pressure political leaders to act. Following President Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963, President Lyndon Johnson broke through the legislative stalemate in Congress.
The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were turning points in the struggle for civil rights. Together the two bills outlawed segregated public facilities and prohibited discriminatory practices in employment and voting.
Murder on 16 th Street
Just two weeks after the march, on September 15, 1963, white supremacists planted a bomb under the steps of the 16 th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The explosion killed four young girls attending Sunday school. This terrorist act was a brutal reminder that the success of the march and the changes it represented would not go unchallenged. In the face of such violence, the determination to continue organizing intensified. These glass shards are from the church’s stained-glass window. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift from the Trumpauer-Mulholland Collection.
Equality for All
The success of the March on Washington and the achievements of the modern black freedom struggle reverberated throughout society and provided a model for social change. The power of mass nonviolent demonstrations inspired Americans fighting for equal rights and access to opportunities regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, or disabilities.
Gay and Lesbian Rights Protest Sign
Poster advertising the October 14, 1979 March on Washington for gay and lesbian rights.
National Museum of American History, gift of Ann B. Zill
25 March 1941 - History
The Great Train Robbery, 1903 part 2
The big shootout and conclusion.
Assembling the Ford Model T, 1916
The car and the manufacturing process that changed America.
Induction Parade, 1917
American volunteers march off to war.
U-boat Attack, 1917
Captured German footage of one of its submarines in action during World War I.
Escape from an Observation Balloon, 1918
An airborne observer narrowly escapes an attack by a German attacker.
Flying Ace, 1918
American air ace, Eddie Rickenbacker in his Spad airplane.
American troops go "over the top" and enter battle.
Bond Rally, 1918
Film stars Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks lead the crowd to kick off a campaign to raise money for the war effort.
American soldiers celebrate the end of fighting on the Western Front.
The Dust Bowl, 1936
Wind and dust ravage Middle America during the Great Depression.
The Hindenburg Arrives Over New York City, 1937
The German airship tours above Manhattan before traveling to its landing site and disaster in New Jersey.
The Hindenburg Explodes, 1937
The explosion and destruction of the German airship.
The Japanese Attack Pearl Harbor, 1941
The view from a Japanese aircraft during the attack.