Year
1973

Nixon vetoes War Powers Resolution

President Nixon vetoes the War Powers Resolution, which would limit presidential power to commit armed forces abroad without Congressional approval.

The bill, introduced by Senator Jacob K. Javits of New York, required the president to report to Congress within 48 hours after commitment of armed forces to foreign combat and limited to 60 days the time they could stay there without Congressional approval. The legislation was an attempt by Congress to regain control of the power to make war. Nixon claimed that the bill imposed “unconstitutional and dangerous restrictions” on presidential authority. Nevertheless, Congress passed the law over Nixon’s veto on November 7, 1973.

Also on this day: U.S. intelligence officials report that since the cease-fire, North Vietnamese military presence in South Vietnam had been built up by 70,000 troops, 400 tanks, at least 200 artillery pieces, 15 anti-aircraft artillery, and 12 airfields. Intelligence reports also indicated that an all-weather road from North Vietnam to Tay Ninh province to the north of Saigon had been almost completed. The cease-fire had gone into effect on January 27 at midnight as part of the Paris Peace Accords. The provisions of the cease-fire left over 100,000 Communist troops in South Vietnam. The build-up of these forces did not bode well for the South Vietnamese because the fighting had continued after only a momentary lull when the cease-fire was instituted. Congress was cutting U.S. military aid to South Vietnam while the North Vietnamese forces in the south grew stronger.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Battle of Agincourt

During the Hundred Years’ War between England and France, Henry V, the young king of England, leads his forces to victory at the Battle of Agincourt in northern France. Two months before, Henry had crossed the English Channel with 11,000 men and laid siege to Harfleur in ...read more

Charge of the Light Brigade

In an event alternately described as one of the most heroic or disastrous episodes in British military history, Lord James Cardigan leads a charge of the Light Brigade cavalry against well-defended Russian artillery during the Crimean War. The British were winning the Battle of ...read more

Pablo Picasso born

Pablo Picasso, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, is born in Malaga, Spain. Picasso’s father was a professor of drawing, and he bred his son for a career in academic art. Picasso had his first exhibit at age 13 and later quit art school so he ...read more

First kamikaze attack of the war begins

On this day in 1944, during the Battle of the Leyte Gulf, the Japanese deploy kamikaze (“divine wind”) suicide bombers against American warships for the first time. It will prove costly–to both sides. This decision to employ suicide bombers against the American fleet at Leyte, an ...read more

Nixon suspends bombing of North Vietnam

The White House orders a suspension of bombing above the 20th parallel as a signal of U.S. approval of recent North Vietnamese concessions at the secret peace talks in Paris. According to Nixon administration officials, the principal obstacle to a cease-fire was in Saigon. South ...read more

Wrestling legend Dan Gable is born

On October 25, 1948, wrestling legend Don Gable is born in the tiny town of Waterloo, Iowa. His father was a real-estate salesman and former high-school wrestling star; his mother was a homemaker. In high school, Gable ran track, swam and played football and baseball. He didn’t ...read more

John Adams marries Abigail Smith

On this day in 1764, future President John Adams marries Abigail Smith. This devoted couple’s prolific correspondence during their married life has provided entertainment and a glimpse of early American life for generations of history buffs. Future first lady Abigail Adams was ...read more

Russian military plane crashes into mountain

On this day in 2000, a Russian military plane crashes into a mountain in Georgia, killing all 83 people on board. Poor visibility and pilot error caused the horrific crash. The Ilyushin-18 jet was built in 1968 and was used to transport military personnel. On October 25, a crew ...read more

United States invades Grenada

President Ronald Reagan, citing the threat posed to American nationals on the Caribbean nation of Grenada by that nation’s Marxist regime, orders the Marines to invade and secure their safety. There were nearly 1,000 Americans in Grenada at the time, many of them students at the ...read more

Keel of the Monitor laid

On this day in 1861, signaling an important shift in the history of naval warfare, the keel of the Union ironclad Monitor is laid at Greenpoint, New York. Union Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles appointed an Ironclad Board when he heard rumors that the Confederates were trying ...read more