Publish date:
Updated on
Year
1966

U.S. and South Vietnamese troops attack Viet Cong stronghold

A United States and South Vietnamese joint-service operation takes place against one of the best-fortified Viet Cong strongholds, located in the U Minh Forest in the Mekong Delta, 125 miles southwest of Saigon.

U.S. warplanes dropped bombs and napalm on the forest in preparation for the assault. Then, 6,000 South Vietnamese troops attacked Viet Cong positions in the forest. The U.S. Navy also participated in the operation–on December 29, the U.S. destroyer Herbert J. Thomas shelled suspected Viet Cong positions in the same area for seven hours. The operation ended on December 31, with 104 Viet Cong reported killed and 18 captured. The operation was considered a success in weakening the communist strength in the U Minh Forest.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Spanish king ratifies democratic constitution

Following its approval in a national referendum, King Juan Carlos ratifies Spain’s first democratic constitution in nearly five decades. Juan Carlos’ grandfather was Alfonso XIII, the last ruling monarch of Spain, who was forced into exile in 1931 after Spain was declared a ...read more

HMS Beagle departs England

British naturalist Charles Darwin sets out from Plymouth, England, aboard the HMS Beagle on a five-year surveying expedition of the southern Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Visiting such diverse places as the Galapagos Islands and New Zealand, Darwin acquired an intimate knowledge ...read more

Apollo 8 returns to Earth

Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon, returns safely to Earth after an historic six-day journey. On December 21, Apollo 8 was launched by a three-stage Saturn 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, Jr., and William Anders ...read more

FDR seizes control of Montgomery Ward

On this day in 1944, as World War II dragged on, President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders his secretary of war to seize properties belonging to the Montgomery Ward company because the company refused to comply with a labor agreement. In an effort to avert strikes in critical ...read more

Doniphan’s Thousand takes El Paso

The rag-tag army of volunteers known as Doniphan’s Thousand, led by Colonel Alexander W. Doniphan, wins a major victory in the war with Mexico with the occupation of El Paso. Born in Kentucky in 1808, Doniphan moved to Missouri in 1830 to practice law. But the tall redheaded man ...read more

Carry Nation smashes bar

Prohibitionist Carry Nation smashes up the bar at the Carey Hotel in Wichita, Kansas, causing several thousand dollars in damage and landing in jail. Nation, who was released shortly after the incident, became famous for carrying a hatchet and wrecking saloons as part of her ...read more

Soviets take over in Afghanistan

In an attempt to stabilize the turbulent political situation in Afghanistan, the Soviet Union sends 75,000 troops to enforce the installation of Babrak Karmal as the new leader of the nation. The new government and the imposing Soviet presence, however, had little success in ...read more

Hood’s army crosses the Tennessee River

On this day in 1864, the broken and defeated Confederate Army of Tennessee finishes crossing the Tennessee River as General John Bell Hood’s force retreats into Mississippi. The last half of 1864 was a disaster for the army. In May, Union General William T. Sherman began his ...read more

Americans raid Hammonds Store

On this day in 1780, American Brigadier General Daniel Morgan detaches a force of approximately 275 troops commanded by Colonel William Washington to destroy a force of 250 British Loyalists under the command of Colonel Thomas Waters, who had been terrorizing Patriots in the ...read more