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Monday, February 19, 2007

Afghanistan - Home of the Brave?

Hmmmm....could it be that the U.S. might have to share the designation of "Home of the Brave?"

Afghanistan certainly may have earned the moniker, at least in Rambo's little corner of the world.

Visit Psycmeister's Ice Palace to learn why.

HOOAHH, Rambo!

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Presidents' Day - Hail to the Chiefs (repost)

Today is Presidents' Day. Originally set to commemorate George Washington's birthday during the last full year of his Presidency (1796), the holiday was in full swing by the 19th century. When Washington was born, the calendar in use back then put his birthday on the 11th of February, so initially, some people celebrated on the 11th, and others on the 22nd.

Early celebratory events included "Birthnight Balls," speeches, receptions, and local tavern revelry.

Abraham Lincoln's birthday was first observed as a holiday in 1865, one year after his assassination, when Congress held a memorial address. While Washington's birthday was a Federal one, Lincoln's birthday (February 12th) did not become so until much later, although it was a holiday recognized by several states. In 1968, Washington's official birthday celebration was moved to the third Monday in February (rather than always on the 22nd), in order to make celebration of the day easier. This was combined with the shifting of other important dates in order to create a uniform system of Federal holiday Mondays. The law took effect in 1971.

Also in 1971, President Nixon proclaimed the 22nd as "Presidents' Day," a day to honor both Washington and Lincoln, as well as all past Presidents. Officially, though, the day is still known as Washington's Birthday at the Federal level (Nixon's proclamation was not an Executive Order) although the term "Presidents' Day" is the common term. A move to officially change the name stalled in Congressional committee.

Presidents' Day Links / News:
The Presidents of the United States (
History of Presidents' Day (
Presidents' Day - What does it mean? (
Presidents' Day (Wikipedia)
History of the Presidential Seal (FreedomHQ)
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
Washington Monument
George Washington Masonic National Memorial
Life in the White House

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Raptors arrive at Kadena
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNEWS) -- Ten F-22 Raptors arrived here Feb. 17 and 18 for the first overseas deployment of the Air Force's newest air supremacy aircraft. The aircraft, assigned to the 27th Fighter Squadron at Langley Air Force Base, Va., started their deployment to Kadena almost 10 days previously with a stop at Hickam AFB, Hawaii.

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Jockeying Around the War

Salena Zito takes a look at how the Democratic front-runners are all betting on the same strategy for '08 - becoming the anti-war candidate:

Howard Dean is not one of the candidates doing aerobic positioning around the war so he can become the Democrats' presidential nominee. Yet he is the guy who created the space that everyone wants to fill: the anti-war candidate.

Dean staked out that role four years ago. And while the bulk of the electorate was not ready for his anti-war message then, it was even less ready for the way he delivered it.

Who could have predicted then that Dean was at the forefront of a movement that would become the litmus test for those who would seek to be the Democrats' nominee four years later?

Many of the candidates in the mix are jockeying around the war in Iraq. And with that dance comes an exercise in linguistics...
Read the Rest, over at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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An F/A-18C Hornet aircraft from the "Blue Diamonds" of Strike Fighter Squadron 146 performs a fly by over the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, not shown, Feb. 16, 2007. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jon Hyde

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Long Knife Soldiers take a journey back in time

Chaplain (Capt.) Jeremiah Catlin, Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and one of the current caretakers of the site explains the rough-hewn marble window panes at the St. Elijah’s Monastery on Forward Operating Base Marez, Mosul, Iraq, Feb.10. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brian Sipp, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

SR# 021407- 31
Feb. 14, 2007

By Sgt. 1st Class Brian Sipp
4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs

FORWARD OPERATING BASE MAREZ, Iraq – Soldiers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division were able to take a walk into the past without leaving the present when they were allowed to tour the St. Elijah’s Monastery on Forward Operating Base Marez Feb.10.

Sitting nestled in a field across from a Russian tank graveyard, the Christian sanctuary is now protected by a chain-link fence and away from the maneuver of heavy vehicles and patrolling feet. Resembling a medieval castle, its walls and courtyard show the signs of age, as well as more recent damage from combat sustained in the fall of 2003 when an Iraqi armor unit used it as a command post against the Coalition Forces. The inside is a collection of alcoves with four distinct staircases leading to the walls. Parapets ring the outside, presumably for defense against attack, and several second-floor rooms remain in remarkably good shape.

Properly called the Dair Mar Elia Monastery, after Mar Elia, a monk who studied at the great monastery at Ezla Mountain in Turkey, its origins can be dated back to its establishment in 595 A.D., according to Chaplain (Capt.) Jeremiah Catlin, Special Troops Battalion, one of the current caretakers of the site and administrators of the tour.

Soldiers begin the tour like any other military operation, with a rules and safety briefing, before they are allowed to traverse the grounds and enter the buildings. Hazards are explained and safety is stressed due to the structural problems in several areas. The troops are then asked to stay in a group and follow the guided tour before being allowed to break-off from the main group and explore on their own. “All of the Soldiers, whether religiously oriented or not, have always displayed the highest level of respect for this site, and demonstrate a very keen interest in the historical relevance and significance of this monastery,” said Catlin.

Catlin explained why the area has sparked such interest in him, and what he envisions for the future. “I have now visited St. Elijah’s Monastery on more than 25 different occasions. I began as a fellow Soldier attending the tour. I have spent time working on the site to remove unexploded ordinance with our explosive ordinance disposal teams. I spent time researching the site’s history online and visiting with individuals who have extensive knowledge of this building. Now, I am attempting to assist in the preservation of the building as well as furthering the knowledge of the monastery for all Soldiers that will have the opportunity to come through it.”

Walking through the ruins, Catlin explained to the assembled following how history played out directly under their feet. “After many years of service by Mar Elia, the responsibility of caring for the monastery was given to Mar Elia’s nephew, Khnanisho. Many years passed, and a church was built sometime between the 14th and 15th century. During the 17th century, an Alqush native by the name of Hurmizd Alqushnaya renovated the monastery. It remained to be a successful center of Christianity until 1743, when Tahmaz Nadir Shah destroyed it, as well as Dair Mar Oraha, and killed all of its inhabitants.”

Remnants of 1,500-year-old pottery lie scattered in several rooms on the ground level, a testimony to the endurance of the structure and people who lived within it.

“It has really made me think about our value systems and whether our value structure will still be visible in 1,000 years, like it is here,” reflected Sgt. Jessica Muller, a Special Troops Battalion combat medic, and native of El Paso, Texas.

Several Soldiers had similar thoughts after absorbing the sense of timelessness and perseverance that seemingly emanates from the grounds.

“It gave me an incredible insight into Iraq’s past,” said Staff Sgt. George Wrin, a communications noncommissioned officer also with STB, and a native of Philadelphia, Penn. “This is the last place I would expect to find a Christian monastery,” he added, referring to the predominant religion of Islam that currently encompasses the region.

Catlin again expressed his joy at being able to share this area with Soldiers, and explained why he felt it was significant for them to visit. “I have taken both Soldiers whose jobs keep them in offices on the FOB, as well as Soldiers whose duties take them outside the wire every day. For the FOB Soldiers, it allows them to connect and helps them feel they are getting to know some of the culture and rich history of this country. Our off-the-FOB Soldiers seem to find that it allows them an opportunity to relax and forget the stressors of their daily jobs. While Soldiers will not be as likely to exit a vehicle and get pictures of every site in this historically-rich city, they can at least get one comparable picture in a safe environment by visiting this monastery tucked away on FOB Marez.”

The beginning of the 20th century brought much interest in St. Elijahs. The complex saw many renovations and halls and rooms were rebuilt for use during WW I as a refuge, explained Catlin. The last Wednesday in November is dedicated to remembering Mar Elia. Most recently, during the 20th century, thousands of Chaldean Christians would gather at this site to commemorate Mar Elia. Later a military compound, the Muaskar el-Ghazlani, was built around the monastery, which reduced the number of visitors to the location.

As the tour concluded, the Soldiers were forced back into the 21st century reality of a nation and Army at war and their daily duties supporting their country’s effort to bring peace to a tumultuous region. Still, some were thinking of another time and another vision of what could be. “This whole land would look absolutely gorgeous if there was no barbed wire,” said Pfc. Roy Smith, an STB intelligence analyst from Knoxville, Tenn.

“I enjoy the looks of interest and intrigue on our Soldiers’ faces,” Catlin explained. “I enjoy the time spent focusing on something that naturally leads to discussions of faith.”

The alcoves, used as personal quarters for the St. Elijah’s Monastery’s inhabitants and evident from the inner courtyard, stand in contrast to the Russian tank graveyard visible outside the site’s walls on Forward Operating Base Marez, Mosul, Iraq, Feb.10. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brian Sipp, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

The inner courtyard shows the stairwells and upper level of St. Elijah’s Monastery, spotlighting its location as Forward Operating Base Marez can be seen in the background Feb.10. FOB Marez is located in Mosul, Iraq and is the operating base for the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brian Sipp, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

Soldiers from nearby Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul, Iraq, including Sgt. Jessica Muller, a Special Troops Battalion combat medic, and native of El Paso, Texas (foreground), can be seen touring St. Elijah’s Monastery from a second-floor window Feb. 10. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brian Sipp, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

The Dair Mar Elia Monastery, commonly referred to as St. Elijah’s Monastery, sits on Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul, Iraq. Soldiers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, as well as other units on FOB Marez, were offered tours of the area by Chaplain (Capt.) Jeremiah Catlin, Special Troops Battalion, and one of the current caretakers of the site. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brian Sipp, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

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U.S. Army Sgt. John Howe, second from right, from Tactical Psychological Operations Team 1141, jokes with local nationals during a patrol in Baghdad, Iraq, Feb. 13, 2007. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bronco Suzuki

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CBS Shows 'The Other Iraq'

Last night, CBS' 60 Minutes took a look at a very different side of Iraq from the one usually presented in the media, and indeed, different from the one the blogosphere usually shows:

Try to imagine a peaceful and stable Iraq where business is booming and Americans are beloved...
Sounds like some sort of propandist fairy tale, doesn't it?

But it's not a fairy tale - this is Kurdistan.

'The Other Iraq' is a land of friendly faces, booming construction, and peace. You can learn more here at CBS online.

Also be sure to check out the story of Ahmed Gilani, who grew up in Texas, but felt a need to return to Kurdistan, and Bob Simon's Notebook for more on Kurdistan's desire for independence.

Related Link:
The Other Iraq (Kurdistan Development Corporation website)

H/T to Anthony Jivoin

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Local council members cut the ribbon marking the opening of the Al Rasheed market in Baghdad, Iraq, Feb. 17, 2007. Insurgents attacked this market a year ago putting traders out of business and the community without a place to shop but now, with more security around the market, life has returned to this once busy market. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Olanrewaju Akinwunmi

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In Today's News - Monday, February 19, 2007

Quote of the Day
"What is the recipe for successful achievement?
To my mind there are just four essential ingredients:
Choose a career you love...Give it the best there is in you...
Seize your opportunities... And be a member of the team.
In no country but America, I believe,
is it possible to fulfill all four of these requirements."

-- Benjamin F. Fairless

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Car Bombs Rip Through Baghdad, Killing 63 - PHOTOS
Bomb kills four in central Baghdad
Dems Look to Tie Bush's Hands With Legislation (Only it's not really Bush they'll be harming, is it?)
Transcript: Senate Armed Forces Chairman Levin on 'FNS'
Democrats Prepare For Next Clash in Iraq War Debate

Operation Enduring Freedom
8 U.S. GIs Dead in Afghan Chopper Crash (Visit ROFASix for NOTR's take on this)

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
Video: N.Y. Man Allegedly Aided Terrorists
Low expectations ahead of Rice-Olmert-Abbas talks
Australia to press Cheney on Guantanamo trial for Hicks
Thai PM calls security meeting after bombs
FBI defends against 'kitchen sink bombs'

Other Military News
VA Suspends Some Medical Research

Religion of Peace??
Jerusalem Dig Site Center of Controversy
Poll: Muslim-West divide can be bridged

Worldwide Wackos
Iran says will not halt uranium enrichment - Video

Politics / Government
Pol Blasted for Jewish Conspiracy Memo
Bush: fixing health care is "urgent priority"
Bush looks to historic parallels for final legacy
McCain: Roe v. Wade should be overturned

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
4 Florida Teens Arrested in Death of Boy Found in Trash Bin
3 Women Bludgeoned to Death in Chicago
Woman Beaten by Girl Gang at Boston Target Speaks Out
S.C. man convicted in officer slayings

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News / Watching the Web
Man sues IBM over adult chat room firing

Science / Medicine / Technology
Japanese scientists grow teeth from single cells

Mother Nature
Hurricane Andrew Victim Gets Power Back After 15 Years
Daring Rescue Attempt on Mt. Hood
Avalanches Kill 5 Across 3 States
JetBlue Cancels More Flights After Storm
Genetics reveal 15 new N.American bird species

News from My Neck of the Woods
Memorial held for '03 R.I. fire victims

Sex in fast lane halts traffic on road

Other News of Note
India Moves to End Female Infanticide
Plane Runs Off Runway at Cleveland Airport
Suspicious Package Shuts Down Canadian Embassy in Paris

Fox News
Driver Dies When He Hits House, Gas Main
Britain Deals With Pre-Teen Alcoholics
Bahamas Immigration Minister Resigns Over His Relationship With Anna Nicole Smith
At Least 64 Killed in Train Fire in India
PHOTOS: Mardi Gras Mambo - STORY
Kevin Harvick Wins Daytona 500
Bahamas Immigration Minister Resigns Over Anna Nicole Smith Flap
Sylvester Stallone Detained at Australian Airport
'Ghost Rider' Tops Box Office With $44.5 Million

Reuters: Top News
New Jersey gays make midnight dash for civil unions
Israeli police chief quits after scandal
Bangladesh Nobel laureate's political quest sparks debate
Ice threatens to trap stranded Japanese whaler - Video
London widens congestion charge zone
Oscars spark renewed questions of race in Hollywood
Chinese to send 14 billion holiday SMSs
Birdflu study has U.S. students hiding faces
Inca ruins cede to gastro-tourism in Peru
Feeding your brain: new benefits found in chocolate
Study finds drug Avastin helps brain tumors
CPI, retail results to drive stocks
Oil dips, but Nigeria, refinery fires check fall
Jack Daniel's maker could be set to gain: Barron's
Little sizzle seen for GE shares
"Underinvested" Citigroup behind in branches
Major Qantas shareholder objects to takeover: report
DaimlerChrysler has potential bidders for U.S. unit: WSJ
Electronic Arts gains from console demand: Barron's
BAE Systems, Abu Dhabi mull aerospace business
Citigroup to list on Tokyo Stock Exchange: Nikkei

AP World News
Increase in egg donors raises concerns
Ray Liotta arrested, charged with DUI
MVP Bryant helps West stomp East 153-132
Many Playboy Playmates have died young
Chill doesn't deter Carnival crowds
JetBlue hopes cancellations are its last
San Diego Diocese considers bankruptcy
How gov't decided lunch box lead levels
Obituaries in the News
No gas in Pa. house gutted by fire
US Deploys Stealth Fighters
DT: Navy Headed Inland
Advisors: Make Your Viz
Op-ed: Truly Inappropriate
Milbloggie Voting is Open
Kit Up! if You've Got the Gear
Get the Best Deal on Home Loans

CENTCOM: Press Releases

USJFCOM partners with ACT to sponsor NATO urban workshop - podcast
JPADS continues to improve the way it delivers aerial drops to the warfighter - podcast

Officials Accelerate Army Unit's Deployment - Story
Dedication Key to Baghdad Security Plan - Story
Video: Fil Gives Iraq Operational Update
Transcript: Fil Gives Iraq Operational Update
Force Increase Necessary for War on Terror - Story
Corps Reaches Out to Former Marines
Family Program Leaders Define Top Concerns - Story
Officials Present Top Family Readiness Awards

More Headline News
Guardsmen Help Storm-Stranded Motorists
Bush Will Protect U.S. Troops, Not Provoke War
President Says Baghdad Security Plan on Track
North Korea Agrees to Nuclear Disarmament

Military News
Military Health System Excels at Mission
Chu: Recruiting, Retention Remain Solid
Officials ID Soldier Missing in Action from Korean War
Marines, Djiboutians Train Side by Side

Pentagon Channel Launches New Web Site on Feb. 19 - Story
Propane Plant Fuels Alternatives
New Program Encourages Savings
U.S., Peruvian Air Forces Train
36th Ops Group Reactivates

War on Terror
Baghdad Security Plan Named - Story
Marine, Two Soldiers Killed in Iraq
Coalition Forces Kill Four Terrorists
Eight Killed in Helicopter Crash
America Supports You
Group Helps Soldier Fly - Story
Operation Jellybeans Launches
Channel Airs Troop Valentine Messages
'VetFran' Helps with Franchises

Face of Defense
Soldier Survives Sniper's Bullet
Spouses Serve in Iraq
Sailor Earns Bronze Star

Baghdad Security Plan Can Work - Story
Stability & Security in Iraq Report (pdf)
For Top News Visit DefenseLink

U.S. Military Helps Build Health Center on Island - Story
Deployed Servicemembers Become U.S. Citizens - Story
Chaplain, Soldiers Escort Fallen Heroes Home - Story
Market Opening Signifies Iraqi Resilience - Story
Air Cavalry Brigade Hits 200th Re-enlistment - Story
Soldiers, Iraqi Citizens Share Goal of Peace - Story
Iraqi Police Train to Lead, Protect Fellow Officers - Story

Comedians Bring Laughter to U.S. Troops
Army Vice Chief of Staff Visits Ironhorse Troops
1st Stinger Battery Begins Iraq Deployment
U.S. Troops, Iraqis Celebrate Bridge Opening
U.S. Marines Help Secure 'Smugglers Town'
Organization Delivers Supplies to Iraqi Families
Aircrew Aids Globemaster Carrying Injured
Iraqis 'Get Answers' from Civil Affairs Marines
Americans Unite with Socotra to Build Schools
Engineers Build High School in Northern Baghdad
Army Engineers Help Build Potable Water Plant

DefendAmerica Week in Review
Sunday - Monday - Tuesday - Wednesday - Thursday - Friday - Saturday


Renewal In Iraq
Iraq: Security, Stability
Fact Sheet: Progress and Work Ahead
Report: Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Iraq Daily Update
This Week in Iraq
Multinational Force Iraq
State Dept. Weekly Iraq Report
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Weekly Reconstruction Report (PDF)
Iraq Reconstruction

Afghanistan Update

Fact Sheet: Budget Request
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar

Ansbach Aschaffenburg Berlin Berlin-Tempelhof Berlin/Schonefeld Bremerhaven
Darmstadt Frankfurt Frankfurt/Main Freiburg/Breisgau Garmisch
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Geilenkirchen Gelnhausen Giessen Kitzingen
Hanau Am Main Heidelberg Mainz Mannheim Nurnberg Stuttgart Trier
Wiesbaden Wurzburg


Agana Agana Heights Agat Andersen AFB Asan Barrigada

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut
An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Kadena Air Base Okinawa Tokyo Yokohama

Baler Radar Site Catanduanes Radar Site Manila

South Korea
Cheju Upper/Radar Chonju Chunchon Inch'on Kunsan Masan Mokp'o
Osan Pusan Seoul Suwon Taegu Taejon Tonghae Radar Site Ulsan Yosu

Today in History
0197 - Lucius Septimius Severus' army beats Clodius Albinus at Lyon
0356 - Emperor Constantius II shuts all heathen temples
0607 - Boniface III begins his reign as Catholic Pope
1512 - French troops under Gaston de Foix occupy Brescia
1539 - Jews of Tyrnau Hungary (then Trnava Czechoslovakia), expelled
1574 - Spanish troops plunder Krommenie, Wormerveer & Jisp Netherlands
1582 - Francis of Valois becomes Duke of Brabant
1634 - Battle at Smolensk -- Polish king Wladyslaw IV beats Russians
1674 - Netherlands & England sign Peace of Westminster (NYC becomes English)
1797 - 1/3 of papal domain ceded to France
1803 - Congress accepts Ohio's constitution, statehood not ratified till 1953
1807 - British squadron under Admiral Duckworth forces passage of Dardanelles; Vice President Aaron Burr arrested in Alabama for treason; later found innocent
1831 - 1st practical US coal-burning locomotive makes 1st trial run, Pennsylvania
1846 - Texas state government formally installed in Austin
1856 - Tin-type camera patented by Hamilton Smith, Gambier, OH
1859 - Dan Sickles is acquitted of murder on grounds of temporary insanity -- 1st time this defense is successfully used
1861 - Russian Tsar Alexander II abolishes serfdom
1864 - Knights of Pythias form 1st lodge in Washington DC (12 members)
1869 - US Assay Office in Boise, ID authorized
1878 - Thomas Alva Edison patents the gramophone (phonograph)
1881 - Kansas becomes 1st state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages
1884 - Tornadoes in Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky & Indiana kill 800 people
1900 - British troops occupy Hlangwane, Natal
1906 - W.K. Kellogg & Charles D. Bolin incorporate the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company, in Battle Creek, MI
1913 - 1st prize inserted into a Cracker Jack box; Mexican General V Huerta takes power with US support
1915 - British fleet fires on Dardanellen coast
1919 - Pan-African Congress, organized by W.E.B. Du Bois (Paris)
1920 - Netherlands joins League of Nations
1922 - Ed Wynn becomes 1st talent to sign as a radio entertainer
1927 - General strike against British occupiers in Shanghai
1928 - 2nd Winter Olympics games close at St. Moritz, Switzerland
1929 - Medical diathermy machine 1st used, Schenectady NY
1933 - Prussian minister Göring bans all Catholic newspapers
1934 - US contract air mail service canceled, replaced by US Army for 6 months
1936 - Manuel Azaña becomes Spanish premier
1938 - Soviet arctic ice research station North Pole 1 evacuated
1941 - Nazis raid Koco Amsterdam & round up 429 young Jews for deportation
1942 - FDR orders detention & internment of all west-coast Japanese-Americans; New York Yankees announce 5,000 uniformed soldiers will be admitted free at each of their upcoming home games; About 150 Japanese warplanes attacked the Australian city of Darwin; Japanese troops land on Timor
1943 - German tanks under Brigadier General Buelowius attack Kasserine Pass, Tunesia
1944 - 823 British bombers attack Berlin; U-264 sinks off Ireland
1945 - 900 Japanese soldiers reportedly killed by crocodiles in 2 days; US 5th Fleet (30,000 US Marines) launches invasion of Iwo Jima against the Japanese
1949 - Mass arrests of communists in India
1952 - French offensive at Hanoi
1953 - Georgia approves US 1st literature censorship board; Ted Williams safely crash-lands his damaged Panther jet
1955 - South East Asia Collective Defense Treaty goes into effect
1959 - Gabon adopts its constitution; USAF rocket-powered rail sled attains Mach 4.1 (4970 kph), New Mexico; Britain, Turkey & Greece sign agreement granting Cyprus independence
1960 - Bil Keane's "Family Circus" cartoon strip debuts
1961 - Albania disavows Chinese "Revisionism"
1963 - USSR informs JFK it's withdrawing several thousand troops from Cuba
1969 - 1st Test flight of Boeing 747 jumbo jet
1970 - USSR launches Sputnik 52 & Molniya 1-13 communications satellite
1976 - Frente Polisario forms Democratic Republic of Sahara
1977 - Shuttle Enterprise makes 1st test flight atop a 747 jetliner
1980 - Eric Heiden skates Olympics record 1000 meter in 1 15.18
1981 - George Harrison is ordered to pay ABKCO Music $587,000 for "subconscious plagiarism" "My Sweet Lord" with "He's So Fine"
1982 - Hanneke Jelgersma (Jagersma?) installed as Netherlands' 1st Communist mayor
1984 - 1st brother combo to win Gold & Silver in same event at the Olympics (Phil & Steve Mahre-Slalom); 14th winter Olympics games close at Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
1985 - 150 killed when a Spanish jetliner crashed approaching Bilbao, Spain; Canned & bottled Cherry Coke introduced by Coca-Cola; Mickey Mouse welcomed in China
1986 - US Senate ratifies UN's anti-genocide convention, 37 years later; USSR launches Mir space station into Earth orbit; Jordanian King Hussein severs ties with PLO
1987 - Minnesota sheriff office arrest FBI most wanted, Thomas G. Harrelson; Reagan lifts trade boycott against Poland
1990 - Police kill 8 demonstrators for multi party system in Nepal; Soyuz TM-9 lands
1997 - FCC makes available 311 for non-emergency calls & 711 for hearing or speech-impaired emergency calls
1998 - Soyuz TM-26 lands; US hockey team destroys their rooms at Olympics village in Japan

0003 - Sadiq Hidajat, Persian writer (Blind Person Owl)
1473 - Nicolaus Copernicus Torún, astronomer (heliocentrism)
1588 - Pieter de Carpentier, Flemish Governor-General of Dutch East-Indies
1611 - Andries de Graeff, mayor of Amsterdam (1657-71)
1683 - King Philip V of Spain (1700-24, 24-46)
1755 - Pieter G. van Overstraten Governor-General of Netherlands-Indies
1817 - Willem III, last male King of Netherlands (1849-90)
1821 - Francis Preston Blair, Jr., (Representative-Missouri)
1827 - Charles Robert Woods, Union Brevet Major General
1859 - Svante August Arhenius, Swedish physicist/chemist (Nobel 1903)
1863 - Augusto Bernardino Leguía y Salcedo, President of Perú (1908, 1919)
1916 - Eddie Arcaro, jockey (1958 Racing Hall of Fame, 2 triple crowns)
1932 - Joseph P. Kerwin, Captain, Med Corps, USN/astronaut (Skylab 2)
1942 - Kenneth R. Kramer (Representative-CO)
1943 - "Mama" Cass Elliot, singer (Mamas & Papas-Monday Monday)
1948 - Byron K. Lichtenburg, astronaut (STS 9, STS 45)
1952 - Rudolfo Neri-Vela, PhD/astronaut (STS 23)
1956 - George David Low, astronaut (STS 32, STS 43)
1960 - Prince Andrew Albert Christian Edward, of Britain/Duke of York
1989 - Baby orangutan at Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle WA

0197 - D. Clodius Septimus Albinus, Roman bequest in England, dies in battle
1260 - Boniface of Lausanne, Belgian bishop/saint, dies
1401 - William Sawtree, 1st English religious martyr, burned in London
1414 - Thomas Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury/chancellor of England, dies
1864 - William Edwin Baldwin, US Confederate Brigadier-General
1965 - Gheorge Gheorghiu Dej, Romanian President , dies at 63
1967 - Wilmer King, 1st casuality on Tappan Zee Bridge in New York
1970 - Ralph Edward Flanders (Senator-VT), dies at 89
1986 - James O. Eastland (Senator-MS), dies at 81
1993 - Gerhard Gesell, judge (Pentagon Papers), dies of liver cancer at 82
1994 - Georges Watin, Algerian/French officer (OAS), dies at 71
1996 - Grant Sawyer, US politician, dies at 76
1997 - Deng Xiaoping head of the Chinese Communist Party, dies at 92

Reported Missing in Action
The following US Army and US Army SF personnel reported MIA when their UH1H was shot down:
Dye, Melvin C. (MI); engineer

Glover, Douglas J., SF (NY); passenger

Griffith, Robert S., (GA); door gunner

Also reported MIA this day in 1968:
Uplinger, Barton John, USMC (CA); CH53A shot down - remains returned February, 1968

Sweeney, Jon M., USMC; released in Hanoi August, 1970

Hull, James Larry, USAF (TX); O2A shot down, KIA, body not recovered

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