July 4

1821 John Quincy Adams addresses the US House of Representatives:

[America] goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benign sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.

1894 The Republic of Hawaii is proclaimed: Sanford B. Dole, one of the first people who had originally called on the institution of the monarchy to be abolished, becomes President. The Republic of Hawaii is immediately recognized by the United States government as a protectorate. Note: Its legality continues to be questioned because it was a United States Government resolution, not a treaty of cession or conquest, as is required by international law. (Kinzer)

[See: Countdown to Infamy: Timeline to Pearl Harbor.]

1900 William Jennings Bryan speaks to the Democratic National Convention in Indianapolis:

Some argue that American rule in the Philippine Islands will result in the better education of Filipinos. Be not deceived. If we expect to maintain a colonial policy, we shall not find it to our advantage to educate the people. The educated Filipinos are now in revolt against us, and the most ignorant ones have made the least resistance to our domination. If we are to govern them without their consent and give them no voice in determining the taxes which they must pay, we dare not educate them, lest they learn to read the Declaration of Independence and constitution of the United States and mock us for our inconsistency.

1915 World War I: List Regiment: Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment continues 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 lies 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 Various:

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

Birth: Tokyo Rose (Iva Toguri D'Aquino): World War II propagandist:

She was probably the most listened-to disc jockey in history, yet hardly anyone remembers her as such today, in spite of, or perhaps because of, the lingering infamous legend surrounding her. Brought up by her immigrant Methodist parents to think of herself as an American, Iva Ikuko Toguri, a first generation Japanese-American (Nisei) was forced to broadcast propaganda for Japan during World War II, after her native US abandoned her there, mere days before the Pearl Harbor attack, and despite her continual efforts throughout the war to return home.

1917: World War I: Various:

U.S. troops march through Paris to Lafayette's tomb:

Though the first large numbers of U.S. troops arrived in St. Nazaire, France, on June 26, 1916, almost three months after the formal U.S. declaration of war in early April, they were by no means to have an immediate effect on the battlefields of World War I. First, the American troops, many of them new recruits or conscripts, needed to be trained and organized into efficient battalions. They also needed to be reinforced by more of their number before they could have the strength to face Germany on the Western Front.

On July 4, 1917, the day on which the United States celebrates its independence, U.S. troops make their first public display of World War I, marching through the streets of Paris to the grave of the Marquis de Lafayette, a French aristocrat and hero of the American Revolutionary War.

Though the first large numbers of U.S. troops arrived in St. Nazaire, France, on June 26, 1916, almost three months after the formal U.S. declaration of war in early April, they were by no means to have an immediate effect on the battlefields of World War I. First, the American troops, many of them new recruits or conscripts, needed to be trained and organized into efficient battalions. They also needed to be reinforced by more of their number before they could have the strength to face Germany on the Western Front.

The U.S. commander, General John J. Pershing, dedicated himself to the establishment of training facilities and supply operations. Even so, he could only promise a significant American contribution to the fighting beginning some 10 or 12 months from that time, or the summer of 1918. As a result, though the U.S. entrance into the war gave a significant psychological—and financial—boost to the exhausted Allies, on the battlefields of France the Allied soldiers were still waiting, in vain, for the hordes of arriving Americans to relieve them.

On July 4, 1917, immense public enthusiasm greeted the first public display of American troops: a symbolic march through Paris, ending at the grave of Lafayette, who had commanded revolutionary troops against the British Empire and who, by his own request, had been buried in soil brought from America. To the cheers of Parisian onlookers in front of the tomb, the American officer Colonel Charles Stanton famously declared "Lafayette, we are here!"

List Regiment: Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 16th RIR remain deployed for Phase 1 operations in Flanders, Belgium. [For further details, Click here.]

Hitler and his fellow dispatch runners

???1918 World War I (June 17-27): List Regiment: Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 16th RIR endures trench warfare at Passy sur Marne. [For further details, Click here.]

1922 Death: Lothar von Richthofen: German First World War fighter ace credited with 40 victories during the war. He was younger brother of top-scoring ace Manfred von Richthofen (the Red Baron) and a cousin of the Luftwaffe field marshal Wolfram von Richthofen. Considering the amount of time that he spent on the front and in hospitals, he was one of the most combat efficient flying aces, possibly even more efficient than his famous brother, Manfred.

1933 The Pact of Definition of Aggression is signed in London, between Soviet Russia, her neighbors, and several other nations.

1934 Holocaust: Theodor Eicke commences duties as Inspector of Concentration Camps:

Theodor Eicke was born in Hudingen Alsace- Lorraine on 17 October 1892, the son of a station-master. He was discharged from the Imperial army after reaching the rank of sub-paymaster and being decorated with the Iron Cross (Second Class).

Eicke joined the police administration in Thuringia after qualifying as an inspector in 1920, he was briefly employed by the security police and the criminal police and by the police administration in Ludwigshafen on the Rhine. He lost various jobs because of his anti-republican political activities, but in 1923 he was hired as a commercial executive by I.G. Farben (Ludwigshafen), also looking after their anti-espionage service.

Eicke joined the Nazi Party and the SA on 1 December 1928 and was transferred to the SS on 20 August 1930 where he was quickly promoted. Appointed SS-Standartenfuehrer on 15 November 1931, he was put in charge of the SS regiment in the Rhine-Palatinate. Sentenced to two years’ penal servitude in March 1932 for political bomb attacks, he fled to Italy on Himmler's instructions, returning to Germany in mid-February 1933.

The aggressive, restless Eicke soon clashed, however, with the Gauleiter of the Rhine-Palatinate, Josef Burckel, who declared him a-dangerous lunatic,-ordering his detention at the Psychiatric Clinic in Wurzburg on 21 March 1933. Eicke was struck off the SS rolls, but reconfirmed in his old rank on 26 June 1933 and promptly appointed by Himmler as the new commandant of the Dachau concentration camp.

Eicke's radical antisemitism and anti-bolshevism as well as his insistence on blind and unconditional obedience towards him as the camp's commander as well as the SS and Adolf Hitler made an impression on Himmler. And in May 1934, he was appointed "inspector of concentration camps", a position which he began working in on July 4, 1934. Although technically responsible to the SS-Hauptamt, Eicke in fact reported directly to Heinrich Himmler.

1939 Various:

Holocaust: The tenth ordinance of the Reich Citizenship Act creates the Reich Association of Jews in Germany (Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland), replacing all other Jewish organizations. All German Jews are forced to become members of the new association. (THP)

1939 Julius Streicher gives a speech two months before the outbreak of World War II:

If those who wished me ill had had their way, I would not be here. It was not easy for me to lie still in bed for eight weeks and follow the doctor's orders. My longing for Nuremberg, and for you, kept growing. I wanted to return and look into your honest faces. Passing through the row of torches held by your youth moved me deeply. Whenever one thinks of the reward that we old fighters want and hope to receive for our work, for our loyalty to the Fuehrer, I can only say this: "Our reward is not in material things, but rather in the love of the people for whom we have fought."

1940 World War II: Various:

Romania: A new Cabinet is formed with Gigurtu as prime minister and Manoilescu as foreign minister.

Vichy: In direct response to the devastating British attack on the French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir, the Vichy French government of Marshal Petain breaks off diplomatic relations with Britain. In the House of Commons, Prime Minister Churchill declares, 'I leave the judgment of our actions with confidence to Parliament. I leave it to the nation and I leave it to the United States. I leave it to the world and to history.'

War at Sea: British convoy attacked by German Stukas and MTBs south of Portland Bill. Five merchant ships are sunk.

Mediterranean: Italian bombers raid Malta and Alexandria.

1941 World War II: Various:

Barbarossa:Units of Heeresgruppe Mitte (von Bock) capture Ostrov south of Pskovsk.

Poland: German AB-Aktion operation: After capturing Lwow, the Germans execute approximately 45 professors of the University of Lwow.

1942 World War II: Various:

The Crimea: The German 11th Armee (von Manstein) completes the occupation, taking 97,000 Soviet prisoners.

Convoy PQ-17: Off the northern coast of Norway, German U-boats and Luftwaffe torpedo planes attack the convoy bound for Murmansk. Over a period of 6 days, they sink 24 ships out of a total of 37.

In no other convoy to North Russia were American losses so high. We lost more than three fourths of all our merchant ships in this convoy and our losses on this voyage alone were more than one fourth of our total losses in all voyages to North Russia. The reason for these losses is to be found in the fact that merchant ships dispersed on July 4 and were left to shift for themselves. The escorts went west to meet heavy units of the German navy which were reported to be steaming toward the convoy.

War in the Air: Joint US 8th Air Force and RAF bomber formation join in raids on German airfields in Holland for the first time.

1942 Church and Reich: In a conversation recorded by Martin Bormann, Hitler declares, "Once the war is over we will put a swift end to the Concordat. The financial subsidies will be eliminated at once and all old accounts settled. Until then all provocative steps have to be avoided."

USA: The Irving Berlin musical, "This is the Army", opens at New York's Broadway Theatre.

1943 World War II: Death of General Wladyslaw Sikorski:

Born May 20, 1888, in Austrian Poland (that part of Poland co-opted by the Austro-Hungarian Empire), Sikorski served in the Austrian army. He went on to serve in the Polish Legion, attached to the Austrian army, during World War I, and fought in the Polish-Soviet War of 1920-21. He became prime minister of Poland for a brief period (1922-23).

When Germany invaded and occupied Poland in 1939, Sikorski became leader of a Polish government-in-exile in Paris. He developed a good working relationship with the Allies-until April 1943, when Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin broke off Polish-Soviet diplomatic relations after Sikorski requested that the Red Cross investigate the alleged Soviet slaughter of Polish officers in the Katyn forest of eastern Poland in 1942.

After Germany and the USSR divided up Poland in 1939, thousands of Polish military personnel were sent to prison camps by the Soviets. When Germany invaded Russia in 1941, Stalin created a pact with the Polish government-in-exile to cooperate in the battle against the Axis. Given the new relationship, the Poles requested the return of the imprisoned military men, but the Soviets claimed they had escaped and could not be found. But when Germany overran eastern Poland, the part that had previously been under Soviet control, mass graves in the Katyn forest were discovered, containing the corpses of over 4,000 Polish officers, all shot in the back. The Soviets, apparently, had massacred them. But despite the evidence, the Soviet government insisted it was the Germans who were responsible.

Once news of the massacre spread, a formal Declaration of War Crimes was signed in London on January 13, 1943. Among the signatories were General Sikorski and General Charles de Gaulle. But Sikorksi did not want to wait until after the war for the punishment of those responsible for the Katyn massacre. He wanted the International Red Cross to investigate immediately.

It is believed that Britain considered this request a threat to Allied solidarity and some believe that in order to silence Sikorski on this issue, the British went so far as to shoot down his plane. There is no solid evidence of this.

1944 World War II: Various:

Baltics: In the East, the Soviet 1st Baltic Front begins an offensive toward Riga, capturing Potolsk and threatening to isolate Heeresgruppe Nord in its fighting retreat from Estonia.

Holocaust: Hungary: More than 2,800 Jews from the Papa region are deported to Auschwitz. (THP)

1946 Various:

Nuremberg Tribunal: Defense summations begin in the Major War Criminals Trial. One point in common with nearly all of the arguments of the various Defense Counsel is that there is a major absence among the Defendants; Adolf Hitler himself.

The Prosecution is based upon the conception of a conspiracy to conquer the world on the part of a few dozen criminals. The German State, if one looks upon things in this way, becomes a mere shadow or tool. But this State had long been in existence; no one could set aside the enormous weight of its history. A number of facts in its history, domestic and especially foreign, accounted for Hitler's rise to power or facilitated it for him, while there were other things in this history that guided, urged, limited, or restrained Hitler in his choice of aims and means, and helped to decide the success or failure of his measures and undertakings. [For the full text of today's proceedings, Click here.]

Paperclip: Georg Rickhey, former general director of the Mittelwerk factory, arrives in the US as an Operation Paperclip specialist, in the employ of the Army Air Force.

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

Independence: The Philippines become independent.

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

Today Raeder rebukes me with unexpected vehemence for an innocently intended remark about Hitler's contempt for other human beings. Schirach joins in the rebuke; Doenitz and strangely, Funk also look on with obvious satisfaction. (Speer II)

1976 Entebbe raid: Israeli commandos raid Entebbe airport in Uganda, rescuing almost all of the passengers and crew of an Air France jetliner seized by PFLP terrorists.

1987 Cold War: Cracks in the wall:

A rock concert in Moscow, jointly organized by American promoters and the Soviet government, plays to a crowd of approximately 25,000. The venture was intended to serve as symbol of peace and understanding between the people of the United States and the Soviet Union.

1987 Holocaust: Klaus Barbie—the former Gestapo chief known as the "Butcher of Lyon"—is convicted by a French court of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life in prison. Click here for detailed article.

1999 Death: Benjamin Nathaniel Smith: a spree killer who targeted members of racial and ethnic minorities in random drive-by shootings in Illinois and Indiana, USA during the weekend of July 4, 1999.

Smith was a follower of the white supremacist organization now known as the Creativity Movement, and was a devoted disciple of the group's leader Matthew Hale. Two days after Hale was denied a license to practice law in Illinois, Smith loaded his light blue Ford Taurus with guns and ammunition and ventured on a three-day, two-state shooting spree that killed two people and wounded nine others.

Beginning on the evening of Friday, July 2, Smith wounded six Orthodox Jews in drive-by shootings in the West Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. Smith then shot and killed former Northwestern University basketball coach Ricky Byrdsong, an African-American, in front of two of his three children while they were walking outside Byrdsong's Skokie, Illinois home. On Saturday, Smith traveled to Urbana, Springfield and later Decatur, where he shot and wounded an African-American minister. On Sunday, July 4, Smith traveled to Bloomington, Indiana, where he killed Won-Joon Yoon, a 26-year-old Korean doctoral student in computer science at Indiana University, who was on his way to the Korean United Methodist Church.

Smith also shot at but missed another nine people. On Sunday, July 4, while fleeing the police in a high-speed chase on a southern Illinois highway, Smith shot himself twice in the head and crashed his automobile into a metal post. He then shot himself again, in the heart, this time fatally. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

It is widely believed that Smith's crimes were related to his affiliation with the World Church of the Creator, which views him as a martyr. The group argued that Smith believed himself to be a soldier of the Racial Holy War movement.

2002 Death: Benjamin O. Davis Jr.:American air force general, b. Washington, D.C.; son of Benjamin Oliver Davis:

After studying at Western Reserve and Chicago universities, he attended West Point, graduating in 1936. At the academy, Davis was the only African American in a white student body and was ostracized by the majority of the cadets, who would speak to him only in the line of duty. Following graduation he served as an infantry officer, entered the U.S. air force, and completed his flight training in 1942. During World War II he distinguished himself as a combat pilot, leading the Tuskegee Airmen. In 1954, Davis became the first African-American general in the U.S. air force; from 1965 to 1970 he served as lieutenant general. In 1971 he became an assistant secretary for the department of transportation, leaving the department in 1975.

Edited by Levi Bookin (Copy editor)

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