Year
1964

Rusk warns North Vietnamese

In a major speech before the American Law Institute in Washington, D.C., Secretary of State Dean Rusk explicitly accuses North Vietnam of initiating and directing the aggression in South Vietnam. U.S. withdrawal, said Rusk, “would mean not only grievous losses to the free world in Southeast and Southern Asia but a drastic loss of confidence in the will and capacity of the free world.” He concluded: “There is a simple prescription for peace–leave your neighbors alone.” In the fall, there was incontrovertible evidence that North Vietnamese regular troops were moviing down the Ho Chi Minh Trail to join the Viet Cong in their war against the Saigon government and its forces.

Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, Thailand mobilized its border provinces against incursions by the communist Pathet Lao forces from Laos and agreed to the use of bases by the U.S. Air Force for reconnaissance, search and rescue, and even attacks against the Pathet Lao. By the end of the year, some 75 U.S. aircraft would be based in Thailand to assist in operations against the Pathet Lao. Eventually, Thailand permitted the United States to use its air bases for operations against the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese in South Vietnam, and ultimately to launch bombing raids against North Vietnam. In addition, Thailand sent combat troops to South Vietnam, numbering 11,000 at the height of the Thai commitment.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

The War of the Roses

In the opening battle of England’s War of the Roses, the Yorkists defeat King Henry VI’s Lancastrian forces at St. Albans, 20 miles northwest of London. Many Lancastrian nobles perished, including Edmund Beaufort, the duke of Somerset, and the king was forced to submit to the ...read more

Yemen united

After 150 years apart, Marxist South Yemen and conservative North Yemen are unified as the Republic of Yemen. Ali Abdullah, president of North Yemen, became the new country’s president, and Ali Salem Al-Baidh, leader of the South Yemeni Socialist Party, vice president. The first ...read more

President Nixon in Moscow

On this day, President Richard Nixon arrives in Moscow for a summit with Soviet leaders.Although it was Nixon’s first visit to the Soviet Union as president, he had visited Moscow once before–as U.S. vice president. As Eisenhower’s vice president, Nixon made frequent official ...read more

Great Emigration departs for Oregon

A massive wagon train, made up of 1,000 settlers and 1,000 head of cattle, sets off down the Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri. Known as the “Great Emigration,” the expedition came two years after the first modest party of settlers made the long, overland journey to ...read more

Crisis in Austria-Hungary

With hunger and discontent spreading among the civilian and military populations of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a crisis mounts within its government, as Hungarian Prime Minister Istvan Tisza resigns at the request of the Austrian emperor, Karl I, on May 22, 1917.A great power ...read more

Negotiators differ on diplomatic exchange

Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, at the 18th plenary session of the Paris peace talks, says he finds common ground for discussion in the proposals of President Richard Nixon and the National Liberation Front. In reply, Nguyen Thanh Le, spokesman for the North Vietnamese, said the ...read more

Sorenstam makes history

On May 22, 2003, golfer Annika Sorenstam becomes the first woman to play in a PGA tour event since Babe Didrikson 58 years earlier, after receiving a sponsor’s exemption to compete in the Bank of America Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas.Annika Sorenstam was born October 9, 1970, in ...read more

Martha Washington dies

President George Washington’s devoted widow and the nation’s first first lady, Martha Dandridge Custis Washington, dies at her Mt. Vernon home on this day in 1802. She was 70 years old. Like her husband, Martha Washington was born in the American colonies as a British subject ...read more

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is born

It’s the birthday of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of master sleuth Sherlock Holmes.Doyle was born in Scotland and studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, where he met Dr. Joseph Bell, a teacher with extraordinary deductive reasoning power. Bell partly inspired ...read more

Jerry Lee Lewis drops a bombshell in London

The arrival in the United Kingdom of one of the biggest figures in rock and roll was looked forward to with great anticipation in May of 1958. Nowhere in the world were the teenage fans of the raucous music coming out of America more enthusiastic than they were in England, and ...read more

Belgian department store burns

A fire at the L’Innovation department store in Brussels, Belgium, kills 322 people on this day in 1967. Poor preparation and safety features were responsible for the high death toll. At L’Innovation, it was the first day of a heavily promoted American fortnight exhibition, a ...read more

Chandra Levy’s remains found

The remains of former Federal Bureau of Prisons intern Chandra Levy are found on this day in 2002, over a year after the 24-year-old was last seen at a health club. The bone remains, discovered by a man walking through Washington D.C.’s Rock Creek Park, were identified through ...read more

Atlanta child murderer is questioned

Police staking out a bridge over the Chattahoochee River near Atlanta, Georgia, hear a loud splash, and begin chasing Wayne Williams as he attempts to drive away in a station wagon. After questioning him about his involvement in the unprecedented string of child murders in ...read more