Year
1970

POW spends 2,000th day in captivity

U.S. Navy Lt. Everett Alvarez Jr. spends his 2,000th day in captivity in Southeast Asia. First taken prisoner when his plane was shot down on August 5, 1964, he became the longest-held POW in U.S. history. Alvarez was downed over Hon Gai during the first bombing raids against North Vietnam in retaliation for the disputed attack on U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin in August 1964.

Alvarez was released in 1973 after spending over eight years in captivity, the first six months as the only American prisoner in North Vietnam. From the first day of his captivity, he was shackled, isolated, nearly starved, and brutally tortured. Although he was among the more junior-rank prisoners of war, his courageous conduct under horrendous conditions and treatment helped establish the model emulated by the many other POWs that later joined him. After retirement from the Navy, he served as deputy director of the Peace Corps and deputy administrator of the Veterans Administration during the Reagan administration, before founding his own military consulting firm.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Republic of India born

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Pinzon discovers Brazil

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Franco captures Barcelona

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Australia Day

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North Vietnam rejects U.S. peace proposal

Radio Hanoi announces North Vietnam’s rejection of the latest U.S. peace proposal. Revealing more details of the secret Paris peace talks, Henry Kissinger responds publicly, condemning the North Vietnamese announcement and criticizing Hanoi’s nine-point counter-proposal, which ...read more

Bears beat Patriots in Super Bowl XX

On January 26, 1986, in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Chicago Bears score a Super Bowl record number of points to defeat the New England Patriots, 46-10, and win their first championship since 1963. Led by Coach Mike Ditka, a tight end for the Bears during their last Super Bowl ...read more

Bush appoints Rice as secretary of state

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Cyclone Wanda causes flooding in Australia

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So-called Mad Butcher terrorizes Cleveland

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First Australian penal colony established

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