Year
1964

Navy flies retaliatory strikes against North Vietnam

F-8 Crusaders, A-1 Skyraiders, and A-4 Skyhawks, from the carriers USS Ticonderoga and USS Constellation stationed in the South China Sea, fly 64 sorties against North Vietnamese coastal targets as part of Operation Pierce Arrow in retaliation for the Tonkin Gulf incidents of August 2 and 4. The U.S. warplanes destroyed or damaged 25 North Vietnamese PT boats (claimed by U.S. officials to be about one-half of the North Vietnamese Navy) at bases at Hon Gai, Loc Ghao, Phuc Loi, and Quang Khe; destroyed seven anti-aircraft installations at Vinh; and severely damaged an oil storage depot at Phuc Loi. Two U.S. planes were shot down. One pilot, Lieutenant j.g. (or “junior grade”) Everett Alvarez, parachuted to safety, but broke his back in the process and was taken prisoner by the North Vietnamese. He was the first of some 600 U.S. airmen who would be captured during the war and not released until the cease-fire agreement was signed in 1973.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Divers recover U.S.S. Monitor turret

On this day in 2002, the rusty iron gun turret of the U.S.S. Monitor broke from the water and into the daylight for the first time in 140 years. The ironclad warship was raised from the floor of the Atlantic, where it had rested since it went down in a storm off Cape Hatteras, ...read more

Marilyn Monroe is found dead

On August 5, 1962, movie actress Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her home in Los Angeles. She was discovered lying nude on her bed, face down, with a telephone in one hand. Empty bottles of pills, prescribed to treat her depression, were littered around the room. After a brief ...read more

NBA merges with ABA

On this day in 1976, the National Basketball Association (NBA) merges with its rival, the American Basketball Association (ABA), and takes on the ABA’s four most successful franchises: the Denver Nuggets, the Indiana Pacers, the New York (later New Jersey) Nets and the San ...read more

Lincoln imposes first federal income tax

On this day in 1861, Lincoln imposes the first federal income tax by signing the Revenue Act. Strapped for cash with which to pursue the Civil War, Lincoln and Congress agreed to impose a 3 percent tax on annual incomes over $800. As early as March 1861, Lincoln had begun to take ...read more

Texas Ranger Ira Aten dies

Texas Ranger Ira Aten, one of the last survivors of the days of the Wild West, dies at his home in Burlingame, California. He was 89 years old. Born in 1862, Aten was among the final generation of Americans who had a chance to come of age on a wilderness frontier. Aten was ...read more

Earthquake causes deadly landslides in Ecuador

An earthquake hits Ecuador killing 6,000 people and injuring another 20,000 on this day in 1948. The 6.7-magnitude tremor was particularly deadly for its size. The quake hit high in the Andes Mountains, about 100 miles south of Quito. The worst-affected cities were Ambato, Guano, ...read more

Nuclear Test Ban Treaty signed

Representatives of the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain sign the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which prohibited the testing of nuclear weapons in outer space, underwater, or in the atmosphere. The treaty was hailed as an important first step toward the control of ...read more