June 14

1777 Congress adopts the Stars and Stripes:

During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress adopts a resolution stating that "the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white" and that "the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation." The national flag, which became known as the "Stars and Stripes," was based on the "Grand Union" flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes. [For further details, Click here]

1900 The Hawaiian Organic Act—making Hawaiian natives United States Citizens—goes into effect. (Kinzer, Niiya) [See: Countdown to Infamy: Timeline to Pearl Harbor.]

1905 Battleship Potemkin uprising:

Sailors start a mutiny aboard the Battleship Potemkin, denouncing the crimes of autocracy, demanding liberty and an end to war.

Thus do we, the crew of the battleship Prince Potemkin-Tavrichesky, resolutely and unanimously take the first great step. May all those peasants and workers, our brothers, who have fallen in the fields of our fatherland by the bullets and bayonets of the soldiers, release us from their curse now! We are not their murderers. We are not the butchers of our own people. We are their defenders, and our common cry is: "Death or Liberty to the People!" We demand the immediate end to bloodshed in faraway Manchuria. We demand the immediate convocation of a constituent assembly through direct elections. For these demands we are all prepared to fight, and to perish with our ship, or to attain victory.

1908 Fourth German Navy Bill is passed: authorizing the financing the building of another four major warships.

1915 World War I: List Regiment: Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment continue to occupy a position at Fromelles—pictured above in a drawing by Hitler—which is on a level field with water channels, willow trees and willow stalks, in the distance towards the enemy lines lie an insignificant wood with barbed wire entanglements. Under the direction of their defense-minded commander, Lieutenant General Gustav Scanzoni von Lichtenfels, the regiment works ceaselessly day and night to further fortify their position at Fromelles while fighting off repeated assaults by the enemy. [For further details, Click here.]

1916 World War I: Various:

President Wilson leads a 'preparedness' parade in Washington, DC.

List Regiment: Gefreiter Adolf Hitler continues to endure trench warfare in Flanders (Artois) with 3 Company, 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment. [For further details, Click here.]

1917 World War I: Various:

List Regiment: Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 16th RIR remain east of Douai for a period of rest which will extend until June 24. [For further details, Click here.]

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson gives Flag Day address:

On June 14, 1917, as the soldiers of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) travel to join the Allies on the battlefields of World War I in France, United States President Woodrow Wilson addresses the nation's public on the annual celebration of Flag Day.

Just the year before, on May 30, 1916, Wilson had officially proclaimed June 14 "Flag Day" as a commemoration of the "Stars and Stripes," adopted as the national flag on June 14, 1777, when the design featured just 13 stars representing the original 13 states.

In his Flag Day address on June 14, 1917, barely two months after the American entry into World War I, Wilson spoke strongly of the need to confront an enemy—Germany—that had, as he had said in his April 2 war message to Congress, violated the principles of international democracy and led the world into "the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance." In the June 14 speech, after repeating the distinction he had made in earlier speeches between the German people and their leaders, Wilson absolved the former of guilt and listed the numerous transgressions of the latter–U-boat warfare, espionage, the attempt to build an alliance with Mexico against the U.S. "that had provoked the U.S. into declaring war".

The "military masters of Germany," Wilson declared, were a "sinister power that has at last stretched its ugly talons out and drawn blood from us." He also asserted that Germany, at the head of the Central Powers, had started the war to create "a broad belt of?power across the very center of Europe and beyond the Mediterranean into the heart of Asia." Most disturbingly for pacifist listeners and critics of the speech, Wilson dismissed all previous peace proposals, given the fact that they had all been based on terms favorable to Germany. As journalist Philip Snowden wrote in the Labour Leader, "Six months ago President Wilson was the greatest hope for peace. Today he is probably the greatest obstacle to it."

On a less rhetorical and more practical note, Wilson also declared in his Flag Day speech that the initial transport of AEF troops would be followed, as quickly as possible, by the departure of more soldiers for Europe. In fact, the first U.S. troops arrived in France just 12 days later, on June 26. Though it would be more than a year before they could be trained and organized enough to play a significant role on the battlefields alongside the French and British soldiers, the eventual impact of the American entrance into World War I—both in terms of manpower, resources and economic assistance to the Allies—would be significant. (History.com)

1918 World War I: Various:

Conrad von Hotzendorf's Official Address on the Battle of the Piave River:

Soldiers! For months and months, resisting victoriously amidst the glaciers and the snows, accomplishing faithfully your duty in the tempests of winter, you have looked down upon the sunny plain of Italy. The time to go down into it has come. Like a whirlwind, you will overthrow the false and perjured ally of the past, as well as the friends she has called to her help. You will prove to the world that nobody can resist your heroism. Your fathers, your grandfathers, and your ancestors, have fought and conquered the same enemy with the same spirit. I am sure you will not fall below them, and even that you will rise above them. Heart and soul with you, I shall follow your movements, which will be an irresistible rush towards victory. Confiding firmly in you, I cry to you: "Overthrow everything before you."

List Regiment: (June 17-27): Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 16th RIR is relieved and given a ten day rest, during which time they will pick up 329 reinforcements and an influx of lightly wounded and mildly sick men from field hospitals. [For further details, Click here.]

1920 Death: Max Weber: German political economist and sociologist who is considered one of the founders of the modern study of sociology and public administration. His major works deal with rationalisation in sociology of religion and government, but he also wrote much in the field of economics. His most popular work is his essay The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, which began his work in the sociology of religion. In 1918 Weber became a consultant to the German Armistice Commission at the Treaty of Versailles and to the commission charged with drafting the Weimar Constitution. He argued in favour of inserting Article 48 into the Weimar Constitution. This article was later used by Adolf Hitler to institute rule by decree, thereby allowing his government to suppress opposition and obtain dictatorial powers.

1922 USA: Harding becomes first president to be heard on the radio:

President Warren G. Harding, while addressing a crowd at the dedication of a memorial site for the composer of the "Star Spangled Banner," Francis Scott Key, becomes the first president to have his voice transmitted by radio. The broadcast heralded a revolutionary shift in how presidents addressed the American public. It was not until three years later, however, that a president would deliver a radio-specific address. That honor went to President Calvin Coolidge. [For further details, Click here]

1932 Weimar: The ban on the SA and SS lifted. (See April 14)

1938 Holocaust: The German ministry of the interior requires registration of all Jewish-owned enterprises. Pressure is put on Jews to sell their business holdings to certain favored individuals or firms (I.G. Farben, the Flick Group, major banks etc.) at prices far below their actual market value. (THP)

1939 World War II: From a directive by Commander-in-Chief of the Army Von Brauchitsch:

The object of the operation is to destroy the Polish Armed Forces. High policy demands that the war should be begun by heavy surprise blows in order to achieve quick results. The intention of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army is to prevent a regular mobilization and concentration of the Polish Army by a surprise invasion of Polish territory and to destroy . . . the mass of the Polish Army which is to be expected to be west of the Vistula-Narev Line.

The army group commands and the army commands will make their preparations on the basis of surprise of the enemy. There will be alterations necessary if surprise should have to be abandoned. These will have to be developed simply and quickly on the same basis; they are to be prepared mentally to such an extent that in case of an order from the Commander-in-Chief of the Army they can be carried out quickly.

1940 World War II: Various:

France: Germans enter Paris:

Parisians awaken to the sound of a German-accented voice announcing via loudspeakers that a curfew was being imposed for 8 p.m. that evening-as German troops enter and occupy Paris.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had tried for days to convince the French government to hang on, not to sue for peace, that America would enter the war and come to its aid. French premier Paul Reynaud telegrammed President Franklin Roosevelt, asking for just such aid-a declaration of war, and if not that, any and all help possible. Roosevelt replied that the United States was prepared to send material aid—and was willing to have that promise published—but Secretary of State Cordell Hull opposed such a publication, knowing that Hitler, as well as the Allies, would take such a public declaration of help as but a prelude to a formal declaration of war. While the material aid would be forthcoming, no such commitment would be made formal and public.

By the time German tanks rolled into Paris, 2 million Parisians had already fled, with good reason. In short order, the German Gestapo went to work: arrests, interrogations, and spying were the order of the day, as a gigantic swastika flew beneath the Arc de Triomphe.

While Parisians who remained trapped in their capital despaired, French men and women in the west cheered-as Canadian troops rolled through their region, offering hope for a free France yet.

The United States did not remain completely idle, though. On this day, President Roosevelt froze the American assets of the Axis powers, Germany and Italy. (History.com)

Church and Reich: The Vatican's semiofficial newspaper L'Osservatore Romano announces it will no longer publish military reports. From this time on it will adhere to a strictly neutral line. (THP)

US Navy: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Naval Expansion Act into law which aims to increase the United States Navy's tonnage by 11%.

Poland: Auschwitz is set up as a punishment camp for Polish political prisoners. 300 Jewish forced laborers are brought in to prepare the old barracks. (THP)

Weizsaecker (Berlin) to Schulenburg (German Ambassador in Moscow):

For the Chief of Mission or his representative personally. Strictly secret. To be deciphered personally. To be treated as confidential.

From a strictly secret source with which you are acquainted it has come to our knowledge that the Soviet Minister in Stockholm, Frau Kollontay, recently stated to the Belgian Minister there that it was to the common interest of the European powers to place themselves in opposition to German imperialism. It had become evident that the German danger was far greater than had been believed. The Reich Foreign Minister requests you, if opportunity arises, and without revealing the source, to discuss tactfully with Molotov the hostile attitude of Minister Kollontay toward Germany.

1941 World War II: Various:

North Africa:

In Libya, the British Eighth Army begins Operation Battleaxe to lift the siege of Tobruk, but the Afrikakorps counterattacks three days later and the operation is abandoned.

[See: Mediterranean Strategy.]

World War II: Hitler meets with his top generals to discuss matters concerning the upcoming campaign against the Soviet Union.

World War II: Croatia joins the Tripartite Pact of Germany, Italy, and Japan.

USA: President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the freezing of all German and Italian assets in the United States.

Poland: Gulag: Fourth of four mass deportations of Poles to Siberia. Taken are 300,000 of those who avoided previous deportations, and children from summer camps and orphanages. Soviet mass deportations and murder of Estonians, Lithuanians, and Latvians begin.

1942 World War II: Various:

Joseph Goebbels speaks on the British night bombing of Germany:

The war has reached a stage at which the enemy seems willing to use any means to change the currently unfavorable, even desperate, situation, and to bring about at least an acceptable conclusion. Seldom in the history of human warfare has there been a struggle for existence between peoples that was so unbalanced as this one. The Axis powers can look back on a long, almost unbroken, even breathtaking series, of proud victories, while the enemy can look back on misfortune after misfortune and defeat after defeat.

Note: The speech is entitled "The Air War and the War of Nerves." Hitler had promised that there would never again be a war of nerves, therefore it was brave of Goebbels to use the phrase.

USA: Two German U-boats land teams of saboteurs on Long Island and near Jacksonville, Florida; within days, they are all captured, and six are executed after trial.

[See: The Day Hitler Invaded the US.]

War in the Air: Shortly after the first 1000-bomber Allied raids on Cologne and Essen, Goebbels publishes an editorial in Das Reich declaring that Germany would repay England "blow for blow" for the attacks on German cities. He goes on to blame the "Jewish press" of London and New York for instigating Britain's "blood-thirsty malice" against Germany. These Jews, Goebbels says, "will pay for it (the bombings) with the extermination of their race in all Europe and perhaps even beyond." (THP)

Bazooka:The first bazooka-rocket gun is produced, in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

1943 Various:

Saluting the flag: The US Supreme Court rules that schoolchildren cannot be compelled to salute the US flag if it conflicts with their religious beliefs.

World War II: War in the Air: RAF Coastal Command begins daily patrols over the Bay of Biscay by aircraft equipped with new detection devices to locate and destroy German U-boats leaving and entering their bases on the French coast.

1944 World War II: Various:

War in the Air: The RAF launches heavy attacks (600 bombers) against Le Havre and Boulogne.

Churchill to Stalin:

Two days ago, the number of prisoners was 13,000, which is more than all the killed and wounded we had lost up to that time. Therefore it may be said that the enemy have lost nearly double what we have, although we have been continuously on the offensive. During yesterday the advances were quite good, though the enemy resistance is stiffening as his strategic reserves are thrown into the battle. I should think it quite likely that we should work up to a battle of about a million a side, lasting through June and July. We plan to have about two million there by mid-August.

Churchill to FDR:

I am deeply grateful to you for your telegram. I have asked the foreign Secretary to convey the information to Molotov and to make it clear that the reason for the three months limit is in order that we should not prejudge the question of establishing postwar spheres of influence . . . . 

I had a jolly day on Monday on the beaches (Normandy) and inland . . . . After doing much laborious duty we went and had a plug at the Hun from our destroyer, but although the range was 6000 yards he did not honor us with a reply . . . . 

A great deal more has to be done, and I think more troops are needed. We are working up to a battle which may well be a million a side. The Chiefs of Staff are searching about for the best solution of these problems as between the Mediterranean and 'Overlord.' How I wish you were here!

Holocaust: Corfu: All 1,800 Jews on the island are deported for "resettlement" in Poland. (THP)

1946 Nuremberg War Crimes Trials: Franz von Papen testifies:

At the end of 1913, at the command of His Imperial Majesty, I was appointed military attache in Washington and Mexico. In this capacity, in the summer of 1914, I accompanied the USA Expeditionary Corps, which was dispatched to Vera Cruz as a result of the incident at Tampico. In Mexico, I was surprised by the outbreak of the First World War. Until the end of 1915 I remained at my post in Washington. This period is of decisive significance for my political life. Our strife, carried on with legal methods, against the unilateral supplying of our enemies with war materials, led to heated polemics and propaganda. This propaganda, which was fostered by the enemy, tried by all means to cast suspicion upon the military attaches of Germany, accusing them of illegal acts and especially of having organized acts of sabotage.

At the end of 1915 I left the United States. I regret to say that I never tried to rectify and correct this false propaganda; but this propaganda followed me until the thirties and even until today, and has impressed its stamp upon me. In order to cite just one example, even after 1931, the Lehigh Valley Company stated before the Mixed Claims Commission that their claim of 50,000,000 against the German Reich was justified, since I, the German military attache, had caused an explosion which had taken place in the year 1917, 2 years after I had left the United States. I am just mentioning this fact, Mr. President, since this propaganda honored me with titles such as "master spy," "chief plotter," and other pretty names. [For the full text of today's proceedings, Click here.]

1951 Wunderwaffen: From the FBI Files on Wernher von Braun, Hitler's former chief rocket scientist, who is now working for the US:

The interview with the subject should be conducted by an experienced agent in a discreet and tactful manner . . . . In reporting the information received during this interview, the interviewing agent should include his comments and evaluation concerning the attitude, cooperation, and sincerity of subject ... as to his intention of obtaining United States Citizenship. (HAL)

[See: Wunderwaffen: Hitler's Deception and the History of Rocketry.]

1952 Spandau Prison: From Spandau: The Secret Diaries, by Albert Speer:

I suspect Schirach, Funk, and Raeder, Inc., of playing a cunning game. On the one hand they are supporting Hess in his obstinacy, on the other hand inciting the guards against "the malingerer" and disturber of their night's sleep. But when Hess is harshly treated, Funk writes reports to the outside in which he exaggerates Hess's suffering. This morning when I told him that by adroit questioning I had more or less established that Hess was pretending, Funk replied tersely that it was too late now, that he had already communicated the whole story to his liaison man. (Speer II)

1954 USA: Cold War: First nationwide civil defense drill held:

Over 12 million Americans "die" in a mock nuclear attack, as the United States goes through its first nationwide civil defense drill. Though American officials were satisfied with the results of the drill, the event stood as a stark reminder that the United States—and the world—was now living under a nuclear shadow. [For further details, Click here]

1985 Europe: The Schengen Agreement, a treaty to abolish systematic border controls between participating European countries, was signed between five of the ten member states of the European Economic Community. [For further details, Click here.]

Edited by Levi Bookin (Copy editor)

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