Year
1675
Month Day
June 24

King Philip’s War begins

In colonial New England, King Philip’s War begins when a band of Wampanoag warriors raid the border settlement of Swansea, Massachusetts, and massacre the English colonists there.

In the early 1670s, 50 years of peace between the Plymouth colony and the local Wampanoag Indians began to deteriorate when the rapidly expanding settlement forced land sales on the tribe. Reacting to increasing Native American hostility, the English met with King Philip, chief of the Wampanoag, and demanded that his forces surrender their arms. The Wampanoag did so, but in 1675 a Christian Native American who had been acting as an informer to the English was murdered, and three Wampanoag were tried and executed for the crime.

King Philip responded by ordering the attack on Swansea on June 24, which set off a series of Wampanoag raids in which several settlements were destroyed and scores of colonists massacred. The colonists retaliated by destroying a number of Indian villages. The destruction of a Narragansett village by the English brought the Narragansett into the conflict on the side of King Philip, and within a few months several other tribes and all the New England colonies were involved. In early 1676, the Narragansett were defeated and their chief killed, while the Wampanoag and their other allies were gradually subdued. King Philip’s wife and son were captured, and on August 12, 1676, after his secret headquarters in Mount Hope, Rhode Island, was discovered, Philip was assassinated by a Native American in the service of the English. The English drew and quartered Philip’s body and publicly displayed his head on a stake in Plymouth.

King Philip’s War, which was extremely costly to the colonists of southern New England, ended the Native American presence in the region and inaugurated a period of unimpeded colonial expansion.

READ MORE: American-Indian Wars: Timeline, Battles & Summary

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Mail bomb injures Yale professor

On June 24, 1993, Yale University computer science professor David Gelernter is seriously injured while opening his mail when a padded envelope explodes in his hands. The attack just came two days after a University of California geneticist was injured by a similar bomb and was ...read more

Napoleon’s Grande Armee invades Russia

Following the rejection of his Continental System by Czar Alexander I, French Emperor Napoleon orders his Grande Armee, the largest European military force ever assembled to that date, into Russia. The enormous army, featuring some 500,000 soldiers and staff, included troops ...read more

U.S. Air Force reports on Roswell

On June 24, 1997, U.S. Air Force officials release a 231-page report dismissing long-standing claims of an alien spacecraft crash in Roswell, New Mexico, almost exactly 50 years earlier. READ MORE:What Really Happened at Roswell?  Public interest in Unidentified Flying Objects, ...read more

Senate repeals Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

On an amendment offered by Senator Robert Dole (R-Kansas) to the Foreign Military Sales Act, the Senate votes 81 to 10 to repeal the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. In August 1964, after North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked U.S. destroyers (in what became known as the Tonkin Gulf ...read more

Jacqueline Bouvier and Senator John F. Kennedy announce engagement

On June 24, 1953, Jacqueline Bouvier and Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy publicly announce their engagement. Kennedy went on to become the 35th president and Jackie, as she was known, became one of the most popular first ladies ever to grace the White House. Jacqueline ...read more

Colorado governor orders Native Americans to Sand Creek reservation

Colorado Governor John Evans warns that all peaceful Native Americans in the region must report to the Sand Creek reservation or risk being attacked, creating the conditions that will lead to the infamous Sand Creek Massacre. Evans’ offer of sanctuary was at best halfhearted. ...read more

Disney pulls Insane Clown Posse album on release day

On June 24, 1997, the Walt Disney Corporation orders one of its subsidiary record labels to recall 100,000 already shipped copies of an album by a recently signed artist—Insane Clown Posse—on the day of its planned release. The issue at hand: the graphic nature of the Detroit ...read more

Tom Cruise raises eyebrows in “Today” show interview

The actor Tom Cruise has an infamous interview with Matt Lauer, host of NBC’s morning talk show Today, on June 24, 2005. During the interview, Lauer challenged Cruise about critical comments the actor had made regarding the actress Brooke Shields’ use of anti-depressant ...read more

Soviets blockade West Berlin

One of the most dramatic standoffs in the history of the Cold War begins as the Soviet Union blocks all road and rail traffic to and from West Berlin. The blockade turned out to be a terrible diplomatic move by the Soviets, while the United States emerged from the confrontation ...read more