Year
1965

More troops to be sent to Vietnam

Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announces that 21,000 more U.S. troops are to be sent to Vietnam. He also claimed that it was now known that North Vietnamese regular troops had begun to infiltrate South Vietnam. The new U.S. troops were to join the U.S. Marines and paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade that had arrived earlier to secure U.S. airbases and facilities. These forces would soon transition from defensive missions to direct combat operations. As the war escalated, more and more U.S. combat troops were sent to South Vietnam. By 1969, there were over 540,000 American troops in Vietnam.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Bob Dylan records “Like A Rolling Stone”

By the spring of 1965, Bob Dylan’s presence in the world of music was beginning to be felt well outside the boundaries of his nominal genre. Within the world of folk music, he had been hailed as a hero for several years already, but now his music was capturing the attention and ...read more

Leader of Hungarian uprising executed

Imre Nagy, a former Hungarian premier and symbol of the nation’s 1956 uprising against Soviet rule, is hanged for treason by his country’s communist authorities. After becoming premier of communist Hungary in 1953, Nagy enacted a series of liberal reforms and opposed Soviet ...read more

First woman in space

On June 16, 1963, aboard Vostok 6, Soviet Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman to travel into space. After 48 orbits and 71 hours, she returned to earth, having spent more time in space than all U.S. astronauts combined to that date. Valentina Vladimirovna ...read more

Brezhnev is Soviet president

Leonid Ilich Brezhnev, first secretary of the Soviet Communist Party since 1964, is elected president of the Supreme Soviet, thereby becoming both head of party and head of state. A member of the Soviet Communist Party since 1931, Brezhnev was Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s ...read more

First roller coaster in America opens

On this day in 1884, the first roller coaster in America opens at Coney Island, in Brooklyn, New York. Known as a switchback railway, it was the brainchild of LaMarcus Thompson, traveled approximately six miles per hour and cost a nickel to ride. The new entertainment was an ...read more

Communists isolate Phnom Penh

North Vietnamese and Viet Cong attacks almost completely isolate Phnom Penh. The principal fighting raged in and around Kompong Thom, about 90 miles north of the capital. On June 17, Cambodia’s last working railway line, which ran to the border of Thailand, was severed when ...read more

Lee Trevino wins his first U.S. Open

On June 16, 1968, golfer Lee Trevino wins the U.S. Open at the Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. His score of 275 for 72 holes tied a U.S. Open record. Lee Trevino was born in Dallas, Texas, on December 1, 1939, and raised along with two sisters by his mother and ...read more

Alaskan explorer Fred Fickett leaves Army

Because of ailments he contracted during an arduous exploration of the Alaskan frontier, Fred Fickett retires from the military to become a civilian lawyer. A native of Maine, Fickett enlisted as a private in the Army Signal Corps in 1882. By chance, he was assigned to duty in ...read more

James Joyce meets his future wife, Nora

Aspiring writer James Joyce meets his future wife, Nora, a lively, uneducated woman with little interest in literature, on this day in 1904. Joyce will immortalize this day in his masterpiece Ulysses, whose narrative unfolds entirely on June 16, 1904. James Joyce was born in ...read more

Charlie Chaplin marries Oona O’Neill

Oona O’Neill, the daughter of the famed playwright Eugene O’Neill, is an 18-year-old freshly minted high-school graduate and fledgling actress when she marries 54-year-old Charles Chaplin, the internationally renowned actor, filmmaker and Hollywood legend, on this day in 1943, in ...read more

Tsunami ravages Japanese coast

As daylight breaks, survivors of a tsunami in Japan find that more than 20,000 of their friends and family have perished overnight. The tsunami resulted from a disturbance in the Japan Trench, 120 miles east of Japan’s main island of Honshu. This deep underwater gorge is ...read more

SLA member captured after more than 20 years

On this day in 1999, Kathleen Ann Soliah, a former member of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), is arrested near her home in St. Paul, Minnesota. Soliah, who now calls herself Sara Jane Olsen, had been evading authorities for more than 20 years. In the mid-1970s, the SLA, a ...read more

Russian ballet star Nureyev defects

Rudolf Nureyev, the young star of the Soviet Union’s Kirov Opera Ballet Company, defects during a stopover in Paris. The high-profile defection was a blow to Soviet prestige and generated international interest. Nureyev became a star of Russian ballet in 1958 when, at barely 20 ...read more

Ford Motor Company incorporated

At 9:30 in the morning on this day in 1903, Henry Ford and other prospective stockholders in the Ford Motor Company meet in Detroit to sign the official paperwork required to create a new corporation. Twelve stockholders were listed on the forms, which were signed, notarized and ...read more