Year
1964

North Vietnamese Army begins infiltration

South Vietnamese officials claim that two companies from the North Vietnamese army have invaded South Vietnam. A battle resulted in Quang Tri Province, just south of the Demilitarized Zone, but the North Vietnamese forces were defeated with heavy casualties. Since North Vietnamese main force units had not been seen in South Vietnam before, U.S. military advisers questioned whether these were actually North Vietnamese troops, but in fact Hanoi had ordered its forces to begin infiltrating to the South. This marked a major change in the tempo and scope of the war in South Vietnam and resulted in President Lyndon Johnson committing U.S. combat troops. North Vietnamese forces and U.S. troops clashed for the first time in November 1965, when units from the newly arrived 1st Cavalry Division engaged several North Vietnamese regiments in the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley in the Central Highlands.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Patty Hearst captured

Newspaper heiress and wanted fugitive Patty Hearst is captured in a San Francisco apartment and arrested for armed robbery.On February 4, 1974, Patricia Hearst, the 19-year-old daughter of newspaper publisher Randolph Hearst, was kidnapped from her apartment in Berkeley, ...read more

Hammarskjold dies in plane crash

United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold dies when his plane crashes under mysterious circumstances near Ndola in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). Hammarskjold was on his way to meet with Moise Tshombe, leader of the breakaway Congolese province of Katanga, with the aim ...read more

Capitol cornerstone is laid

On this day in 1793, George Washington lays the cornerstone to the United States Capitol building, the home of the legislative branch of American government. The building would take nearly a century to complete, as architects came and went, the British set fire to it and it was ...read more

MacArthur in Tokyo

On this day in 1945, Gen. Douglas MacArthur moves his command headquarters to Tokyo, as he prepares for his new role as architect of a democratic and capitalist postwar Japan.Japan had had a long history of its foreign policy being dominated by the military, as evidenced by Prime ...read more

Clemens strikes out 20, again

On this day in 1996, Boston Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens strikes out 20 Detroit Tigers, tying his own major league record for most strikeouts in a game.Ten years earlier, on April 20, 1986, Clemens, then just 23 years old, had broken Steve Carlton’s modern (post-1900) record of ...read more

Carter files report on UFO sighting

On this day in 1973, future President Jimmy Carter files a report with the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), claiming he had seen an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) in October 1969.During the presidential campaign of 1976, Democratic challenger ...read more

Aldous Huxley is hired at Eton

On this day in 1917, 23-year-old Aldous Huxley, future author of Brave New World is hired as a schoolmaster at Eton. One of his pupils will be Eric Blair, who will later use the pen name George Orwell.Huxley was born into a prominent family. His grandfather was a famous biologist ...read more

Doris Day wins lawsuit

On September 18, 1974, actress Doris Day wins a $22.8 million malpractice suit against her former lawyer.Day, one of the biggest box office draws of the 1950s and ’60s, had allowed her third husband, Martin Melcher, to handle her finances. After his death in 1968, she discovered ...read more

Accidental poisoning in Brazil

On this day in 1987, cesium-137 is removed from an abandoned cancer-therapy machine in Brazil. Hundreds of people were eventually poisoned by radiation from the substance, highlighting the danger that even relatively small amounts of radiation can pose.In 1985, the Goiania ...read more

A serial killer is executed

Serial killer Harvey Glatman is executed in a California gas chamber for murdering three young women in Los Angeles. Resisting all appeals to save his life, Glatman even wrote to the appeals board to say, “I only want to die.”Glatman had been a smart kid. As a Boy Scout, he ...read more

Castro arrives in New York

Fidel Castro arrives in New York City as the head of the Cuban delegation to the United Nations. Castro’s visit stirred indignation and admiration from various sectors of American society, and was climaxed by his speech to the United Nations on September 26.By the time Castro ...read more

McClellan lets Lee retreat from Antietam

Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s army pulls away from Antietam Creek, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, and heads back to Virginia. The day before, at the Battle of Antietam, Lee’s force had engaged in the bloodiest one-day battle of the Civil War against the army of General George ...read more

Canada mall sets parking-lot record

On this day, the 20,000-car parking lot at Canada’s West Edmonton Mall makes the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest parking lot in the world. The mall has held other records, too: At one time or another it’s been the World’s Largest Shopping Mall (5.2 million square ...read more