Year
1962

Farm Gate aircraft crashes

Nine U.S. and South Vietnamese crewmen are killed in a SC-47 crash about 70 miles north of Saigon.

The aircraft was part of Operation Farm Gate, a mission that had initially been designed to provide advisory support in assisting the South Vietnamese Air Force to increase its capability. In December, President John F. Kennedy expanded the Farm Gate mission to include limited combat missions by the U.S. Air Force pilots in support of South Vietnamese ground forces–the downed aircraft was part of this expanded effort.

By late 1962, communist activity and combat intensity had increased so much that President Kennedy ordered a further expansion of Farm Gate. In early 1963, additional aircraft arrived and new detachments were established at Pleiku and Soc Trang. Farm Gate was upgraded in early 1964 and then again in October 1965 when Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara approved the replacement of South Vietnamese markings on Farm Gate aircraft with regular U.S. Air Force markings. By this point in the war, the Farm Gate squadrons were flying 80 percent of all missions in support of the South Vietnamese army. With the build up of U.S. combat forces in South Vietnam and the increase in an U.S. Air Force presence there, the role of the Farm Gate program gradually decreased in significance. The Farm Gate squadrons were moved to Thailand in 1967, and from there they launched missions against the North Vietnamese in Laos.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Pop superstar Whitney Houston dies at age 48

On this day in 2012, Whitney Houston, one of the world’s top-selling singers from the mid-1980s to late 1990s, is found dead in the bathtub of her suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Houston’s death was the result of accidental drowning; heart disease ...read more

The world’s fourth space power

From the Kagoshima Space Center on the east coast of Japan’s Ohsumi Peninsula, Ohsumi, Japan’s first satellite, is successfully launched into an orbit around Earth. The achievement made Japan the world’s fourth space power, after the Soviet Union in 1957, the United States in ...read more

Virgin Mary appears to St. Bernadette

In southern France, Marie-Bernarde Soubirous, a 14-year-old French peasant girl, first claims to have seen the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ and a central figure in the Roman Catholic religion. The apparitions, which totaled 18 before the end of the year, occurred in a ...read more

Nelson Mandela released from prison

Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, is released from prison after 27 years on February 11, 1990.In 1944, Mandela, a lawyer, joined the African National Congress (ANC), the oldest black political organization in South Africa, where he became a ...read more

Yalta Conference ends

On February 11, 1945, a week of intensive bargaining by the leaders of the three major Allied powers ends in Yalta, a Soviet resort town on the Black Sea. It was the second conference of the “Big Three” Allied leaders–U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister ...read more

The “Channel Dash”

On this day, the German battleships Gneisenau and Scharnhorst, as well as the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, escape from the French port of Brest and make a mad dash up the English Channel to safety in German waters.The Gneisenau and Scharnhorst had been anchored at Brest since March ...read more

Russia’s General Kaledin commits suicide

Russian General Alexei Maximovitch Kaledin, a commander of Russian forces during World War I and a staunch opponent of the Bolsheviks, commits suicide on this day in 1918. Kaledin, born in 1861, was the son of a Don Cossack officer who early on began a military career of his own. ...read more

Underdog Buster Douglas knocks out Mike Tyson

In a major upset, Buster Douglas defeats Mike Tyson, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, in 10 rounds at a boxing match in Tokyo, Japan.James “Buster” Douglas began boxing professionally in the 1980s and was considered a talented fighter, but it was believed he ...read more

Sacagawea gives birth to Pompey

Sacagawea, the Shoshone Indian interpreter and guide to the Lewis and Clark expedition, gives birth to her first child, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau.Meriwether Lewis and William Clark first met the young Sacagawea while spending the winter among the Mandan Indians along the Upper ...read more

Voltaire is welcomed home

On this day in 1778, some 300 people visit Voltaire following his return to Paris. Voltaire had been in exile for 28 years.Born Francois-Marie Arouet to middle-class parents in Paris in 1694, Voltaire began to study law as a young man but quit to become a playwright. He made a ...read more

The Payola scandal heats up

The Payola scandal reaches a new level of public prominence and legal gravity on this day in 1960, when President Eisenhower called it an issue of public morality and the FCC proposed a new law making involvement in Payola a criminal act.What exactly was Payola? During the ...read more

Tolkien heirs file Lord of the Rings lawsuit

In the latest of a series of legal battles involving J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved trilogy The Lord of the Rings and film adaptations made of the books, several of Tolkien’s heirs join a group of publishers in filing a $150 million lawsuit against New Line Cinema on February 11, 2008, ...read more

Avalanches plague central Europe

On this day in 1952, a series of deadly avalanches begins across central Europe.A storm stalled over the middle of Europe the first week of February 1952, dumping a couple of feet of snow in parts of France, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. In many places, activity came to a ...read more

Birth control pioneer arrested

Emma Goldman, a crusader for women’s rights and social justice, is arrested in New York City for lecturing and distributing materials about birth control. She was accused of violating the Comstock Act of 1873, which made it a federal offense to disseminate contraceptive devices ...read more

Burgess and Maclean resurface

Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess, former members of the British Foreign Office who had disappeared from England in 1951, resurface in Moscow. Their surprise appearance and formal statement to the press put an end to one of the most intriguing mysteries of the early Cold ...read more

Lincoln leaves Springfield

On this day in 1861, President-elect Abraham Lincoln leaves home in Springfield, Illinois, and embarks on his journey to Washington, D.C.On a cold, rainy morning, Lincoln boarded a two-car private train loaded with his family’s belongings, which he himself had packed and bound. ...read more

GM signs first autoworkers contract

After a six-week sit-down strike by General Motors (GM) autoworkers at the Fisher Body Plant No. 2 in Flint, Michigan, GM president Alfred P. Sloan signs the first union contract in the history of the American auto industry. The strike was organized by the United Auto Workers ...read more