Tag Archives: Allies of World War II

image of the day: D-Day Invasion



D-Day Invasion

On June 6, 1944, Allied forces under the overall command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower–shown here paying an eleventh-hour visit to the men of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division–landed on five beachheads in Normandy, France. In addition, U.S. and British airborne forces landed behind the German lines and U.S. Army Rangers scaled the cliffs at Pointe de Hoc. By the end of the day, the Allies had established a tenuous beachhead that would lead to an offensive that pinned Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich between two pincers–the Western Allies and the already advancing Soviets–accelerating the end of World War II.

Photo: National Archives

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today’s birthday: Frederick Russell Burnham (1861)


Frederick Russell Burnham (1861)

Burnham was an American adventurer whose outdoorsmanship helped inspire the founding of the international scout movement. He was born on an Indian reservation to a missionary family and became a horseback messenger for Western Union Telegraph Company at age 13 and soon after a scout and tracker. After two decades of ranging in the Southwest and Mexico, he moved to Africa to become the British army’s chief of scouts during the Boer War. His tracking skills earned him what nickname in Africa? More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Walpurgis Night


Walpurgis Night

People who lived in the Harz Mountains of Germany believed for many centuries that witches rode across the sky on the eve of St. Walpurga‘s Day to hold a coven on Brocken Mountain. To frighten them off, people rang church bells, banged pots and pans, and lit torches topped with hemlock, rosemary, and juniper. The legend of Walpurgis Night is still celebrated in Germany, Austria, and Scandinavia with bonfires and other festivities designed to welcome spring by warding off demons, disaster, and darkness. St. Walpurga is the patron saint associated with protection against magic. More… Discuss

today’s image: George Armstrong Custer Marries Libbie Bacon




George Armstrong Custer Marries Libbie Bacon

After a courtship that began at a party on Thanksgiving Day 1862, Brevet General George Armstrong Custer and Miss Elizabeth Bacon, both of Monroe, Michigan, married on February 9, 1864. Until Custer died at the Battle of the Little Bighorn a dozen years later, Libbie followed him to postings throughout the West whenever possible. Libbie never remarried, even though she outlived her husband by 50 years, preferring to keep his memory alive by lecturing and writing books about their life together on the Plains. Elizabeth Custer lived comfortably in New York City until her death on April 8, 1933, at the age of 91.

Image: Library of Congress

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Today In History. What Happened This Day In History


Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

January 28

28   The Roman Emperor Nerva names Trajan, an army general, as his successor.
1547   Henry VIII of England dies and is succeeded by his nine-year-old son Edward VI.
1757   Ahmed Shah, the first King of Afghanistan, occupies Delhi and annexes the Punjab.
1792   Rebellious slaves in Santo Domingo launch an attack on the city of Cap.
1871   Surrounded by Prussian troops and suffering from famine, the French army in Paris surrenders. During the siege, balloons were used to keep contact with the outside world.
1915   The U.S. Coast Guard is founded to fight contraband trade and aid distressed vessels at sea.
1915   The German navy attacks the U.S. freighter William P. Frye, loaded with wheat for Britain.
1921   Albert Einstein startles Berlin by suggesting the possibility of measuring the universe.
1932   The Japanese attack Shanghai, China, and declare martial law.
1936   A fellow prison inmate slashes infamous kidnapper, Richard Loeb, to death.
1941   French General Charles DeGaulle‘s Free French forces sack south Libya oasis.
1945   Chiang Kai-shek renames the Ledo-Burma Road the Stilwell Road, in honor of General Joseph Stilwell.
1955   The U.S. Congress passes a bill allowing mobilization of troops if China should attack Taiwan.
1964   The Soviets down a U.S. jet over East Germany killing three.
1970   Israeli fighter jets attack the suburbs of Cairo.
1986   The space shuttle Challenger explodes just after liftoff.
Born on January 28
1693   Anna “Ivanovna”, Tsarina of Russia.
1706   John Baskerville, inventor of the “hot-pressing” method of printing.
1853   Jose Marti, Cuban poet and journalist, known as the “Apostle of the Cuban Revolution.”
1912   Jackson Pollock, influential abstract expressionist painter.

The “Christmas Truce” of World War I (1914): people who sings same carols in different languages, on Christmas, at least, cannot by enemies, even in the most helish circumstances (not of their own making)


The “Christmas Truce” of World War I (1914)

As Christmas approached in the early months of World War I, British and German troops stationed on the Western Front took it upon themselves to stage an unofficial cease-fire. Roughly 100,000 troops participated in this inspiring display of humanity. Over the course of the brief cessation of hostilities, enemy soldiers caroled together, exchanged gifts, played football, and even attended funerals together. What steps did officials later take to prevent such a cease-fire from happening again? More… Discuss

This pressed for your information: Inventor of the Worldwide Web says internet access should be “a basic human right” — Voice of America (@VOA_News)


this day in the yesteryear: First Serving Female British MP Elected (1919)


First Serving Female British MP Elected (1919)

American-born Nancy Witcher Astor, or Viscountess Astor, was the second woman elected to the British Parliament‘s House of Commons and the first to actually serve. She concentrated on women’s issues, temperance, and child welfare and was reelected many times, serving until 1945. Astor attracted a great deal of attention, much of it for her caustic and witty comments. She reportedly once said to Winston Churchill, “If you were my husband, I’d poison your tea!” What was his alleged response? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Scuttling of the French fleet in Toulon (1942)


Scuttling of the French fleet in Toulon (1942)

When Nazi Germany occupied northern and western France in 1940, the coastal city of Toulon fell under Vichy jurisdiction in the so-called unoccupied zone in the south. The center of French naval power since the 19th century, Toulon housed much of the French fleet. When, in 1942, Germany finally occupied all of France and Toulon’s capture appeared imminent, the French scuttled much of the fleet rather than allow the vessels to fall into German hands. What was the German mission in Toulon called? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: First V-2 Rocket Hits London (1944)


First V-2 Rocket Hits London (1944)

Developed by Germany during World War II, the Vergeltungswaffe 2 (V-2) rocket was the world’s first modern ballistic missile and the first known manmade object to enter outer space. Thousands were launched on Allied targets during the last year of the war, causing more than 9,000 deaths. One of the rocket’s first targets was London, which was hit just days after Hitler declared his plans to start V-2 attacks. To what did the British government initially attribute the resulting explosion? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: D-Day: The Allies Land on Normandy Beaches (1944)


D-Day: The Allies Land on Normandy Beaches (1944)

The Battle of Normandy during World War II was fought between the German forces occupying Western Europe and the invading Allied armies. More than 156,000 troops crossed the English Channel during the initial invasion, which remains the largest amphibious landing in history. The campaign continued for more than two months and concluded with the liberation of Paris. Of the Allies’ five landing points, Omaha Beach proved to be the most deadly. How many troops were killed there that day? More… Discuss

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: “RED BARON” SHOT DOWN BY ALLIED FIRE (1918)


“Red Baron” Shot Down by Allied Fire (1918)

Manfred von Richthofen, the “Red Baron,” was the World War I German aviator who commanded the flying squadron that became known as Richthofen’s Flying Circus. He was the war’s most successful flying ace, shooting down 80 aircraft before being killed in action. In April 1918, he was shot in the chest while dogfighting over France. He managed to land his plane but died soon after. The Red Baron has since become a symbol of dexterity, daring, and victory. Who fired the shot that killed him? More… Discuss

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This Day in the Yesteryear: THE ROYAL AIR FORCE SINKS GERMAN BATTLESHIP TIRPITZ (1944)


The Royal Air Force Sinks German Battleship Tirpitz (1944)

The German Tirpitz, sister ship of the similarly ill-fatedBismarck, was the largest battleship ever built in Europe. Though she was sent to waters around German-occupied Norway and never really saw action in World War II, her mere presence threatened Allied convoys and tied up their naval resources. The Allies therefore launched numerous attacks on the Tirpitz in an effort to destroy her. After the Allies succeeded, her armor plates were supposedly repurposed for what use?More… Discuss