Year
1966

North Vietnam rejects Johnson’s prisoner exchange proposal

The International Red Cross announces in Geneva that North Vietnam has rejected a proposal by President Johnson for a resolution of the prisoner of war situation. He had proposed a joint discussion of fair treatment and possible exchange of war captives held by both sides. The International Red Cross submitted the proposal to North Vietnamese officials in July after Johnson first broached the plan on July 20 at a news conference. No solution was reached on the issue until the Paris Peace Accords were signed in January 1973. By the terms of the accords, all U.S. prisoners were to be released by the following March.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

NAFTA signed into law

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Clinton said he hoped the agreement would encourage other nations to work toward a broader world-trade pact. NAFTA, a trade pact between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, eliminated ...read more

Mary Queen of Scots born

In Linlithgow Palace in Scotland, a daughter is born to James V, the dying king of Scotland. Named Mary, she was the only surviving child of her father and ascended to the Scottish throne when the king died just six days after her birth. Mary’s French-born mother, Mary of Guise, ...read more

John Lennon shot

John Lennon, a former member of the Beatles, the rock group that transformed popular music in the 1960s, is shot and killed by an obsessed fan in New York City. The 40-year-old artist was entering his luxury Manhattan apartment building when Mark David Chapman shot him four times ...read more

The United States declares war on Japan

On this day, as America’s Pacific fleet lay in ruins at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt requests, and receives, a declaration of war against Japan. Leaning heavily on the arm of his son James, a Marine captain, FDR walked haltingly into the House of Representatives at ...read more

Operation Tiger Hound launched

In some of the heaviest raids of the war, 150 U.S. Air Force and Navy planes launch Operation Tiger Hound to interdict the Ho Chi Minh Trail in the lower portion of the Laotian panhandle, from Route 9 west of the Demilitarized Zone, south to the Cambodian border. The purpose of ...read more

Nixon declares Vietnam War is ending

At a news conference, President Richard Nixon says that the Vietnam War is coming to a “conclusion as a result of the plan that we have instituted.” Nixon had announced at a conference in Midway in June that the United States would be following a new program he termed ...read more

Theater fire kills hundreds in Vienna

A fire at the Ring Theater in Vienna, Austria, kills at least 620 people and injures hundreds more on this day in 1881. The luxurious, ornate theater hosted the most popular performances of the day. On December 8, it was featuring the second night of Jacques Offenbach’s opera Les ...read more

John Lennon is murdered

Singer John Lennon is shot and killed by Mark David Chapman outside his apartment building in New York City. After committing the murder, Chapman waited calmly outside, reading a copy of The Catcher in the Rye. Chapman was a troubled individual who was obsessed with Holden ...read more

Chinese Nationalists move capital to Taiwan

As they steadily lose ground to the communist forces of Mao Zedong, Chinese Nationalist leaders depart for the island of Taiwan, where they establish their new capital. Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek left for the island the following day. This action marked the beginning of ...read more