Jun 27 2011

On This Day In History June 27

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

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June 27 is the 178th day of the year (179th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 187 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1950, Truman orders U.S. forces to Korea.

On June 27, 1950, President Harry S. Truman announces that he is ordering U.S. air and naval forces to South Korea to aid the democratic nation in repulsing an invasion by communist North Korea. The United States was undertaking the major military operation, he explained, to enforce a United Nations resolution calling for an end to hostilities, and to stem the spread of communism in Asia. In addition to ordering U.S. forces to Korea, Truman also deployed the U.S. 7th Fleet to Formosa (Taiwan) to guard against invasion by communist China and ordered an acceleration of military aid to French forces fighting communist guerrillas in Vietnam.

Factors in US intervention

The Truman Administration was caught at a crossroads. Before the invasion, Korea was not included in the strategic Asian Defense Perimeter outlined by Secretary of State Acheson. Military strategists were more concerned with the security of Europe against the Soviet Union than East Asia. At the same time, the Administration was worried that a war in Korea could quickly widen into another world war should the Chinese or Soviets decide to get involved as well.

One facet of the changing attitude toward Korea and whether to get involved was Japan. Especially after the fall of China to the Communists, “…Japan itself increasingly appeared as the major East Asian prize to be protected”. US East Asian experts saw Japan as the critical counterweight to the Soviet Union and China in the region. While there was no United States policy that dealt with South Korea directly as a national interest, its proximity to Japan pushed South Korea to the fore. “The recognition that the security of Japan required a non-hostile Korea led directly to President Truman’s decision to intervene… The essential point… is that the American response to the North Korean attack stemmed from considerations of US policy toward Japan.” The United States wanted to shore up Japan to make it a viable counterweight against the Soviet Union and China, and Korea was seen as integral to that end.

The other important part of committing to intervention lay in speculation about Soviet action in the event that the United States intervene. The Truman administration was fretful that a war in Korea was a diversionary assault that would escalate to a general war in Europe once the US committed in Korea. At the same time, “[t]here was no suggestion from anyone that the United Nations or the United States could back away from (the conflict)”. In Truman’s mind, this aggression, if left unchecked, would start a chain reaction that would destroy the United Nations and give the go ahead to further Communist aggression elsewhere. Korea was where a stand had to be made, the difficult part was how. The UN Security council approved the use of force to help the South Koreans and the US immediately began using air and naval forces in the area to that end. The Administration still refrained from committing on the ground because some advisors believed the North Koreans could be stopped by air and naval power alone. Also, it was still uncertain if this was a clever ploy by the Soviet Union to catch the US unawares or just a test of US resolve. The decision to commit ground troops and to intervene eventually became viable when a communiquĂ© was received on June 27 from the Soviet Union that alluded it would not move against US forces in Korea. “This opened the way for the sending of American ground forces, for it now seemed less likely that a general war-with Korea as a preliminary diversion-was imminent”. With the Soviet Union’s tacit agreement that this would not cause an escalation, the United States now could intervene with confidence that other commitments would not be jeopardized.

 1743 – War of the Austrian Succession: Battle of Dettingen: On the battlefield in Bavaria, George II personally leads troops into battle. The last time that a British monarch would command troops in the field.

1759 – General James Wolfe begins the siege of Quebec.

1806 – British forces take Buenos Aires during the first British invasions of the Rio de la Plata.

1844 – Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, and his brother Hyrum Smith, are murdered by a mob at the Carthage, Illinois jail.

1895 – The inaugural run of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s Royal Blue from Washington, D.C., to New York, New York, the first U.S. passenger train to use electric locomotives.

1898 – The first solo circumnavigation of the globe is completed by Joshua Slocum from Briar Island, Nova Scotia.

1899 – A. E. J. Collins scores 628 runs not out, the highest-ever recorded score in cricket.

1905 – Battleship Potemkin uprising: sailors start a mutiny aboard the Battleship Potemkin, denouncing the crimes of autocracy, demanding liberty and an end to war.

1923 – Capt. Lowell H. Smith and Lt. John P. Richter perform the first ever aerial refueling in a DH-4B biplane

1927 – Prime Minister of Japan Tanaka Giichi leads a conference to discuss Japan’s plans for China; later, a document detailing these plans, the “Tanaka Memorial” is leaked, although it is now considered a forgery.

1941 – Romanian governmental forces, allies of Nazi Germany, launch one of the most violent pogroms in Jewish history in the city of Iasi, (Romania), resulting in the murder of at least 13,266 Jews.

1941 – German troops capture the city of Bialystok during Operation Barbarossa.

1946 – In the Canadian Citizenship Act, the Parliament of Canada establishes the definition of Canadian citizenship.

1950 – The United States decides to send troops to fight in the Korean War.

1954 – The world’s first nuclear power station opens in Obninsk, near Moscow.

1954 – The 1954 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal match between Hungary and Brazil, highly anticipated to be exciting, instead turns violent, with three players ejected and further fighting continuing after the game.

1967 – The world’s first ATM is installed in Enfield Town, England, United Kingdom.

1971 – After only three years in business, rock promoter Bill Graham closes the Fillmore East in New York, New York, the “Church of Rock and Roll”.

1973 – The President of Uruguay Juan Maria Bordaberry dissolves Parliament and establishes a dictatorship.

1974 – U.S. president Richard Nixon visits the Soviet Union.

1976 – Air France Flight 139 (Tel Aviv-Athens-Paris) is hijacked en route to Paris by the PLO and redirected to Entebbe, Uganda.

1977 – France grants independence to Djibouti.

1981 – The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China issues its “Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our Party Since the Founding of the People’s Republic of China”, laying the blame for the Cultural Revolution on Mao Zedong.

1982 – Space Shuttle Columbia launched from the Kennedy Space Center on the final research and development flight mission, STS-4.

1989 – The current international treaty defending indigenous peoples, ILO 169 convention, is adopted.

1991 – Slovenia, after declaring independence two days before is invaded by Yugoslav troops, tanks, and aircraft starting the Ten-Day War.

2007 – The Brazilian Military Police invades the favelas of Complexo do Alemao in an episode which is remembered as the Complexo do Alemao massacre.

2008 – In a highly-scrutizined election President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe is re-elected in a landslide after his opponent Morgan Tsvangirai had withdrawn a week earlier, citing violence against his party’s supporters.

Holidays and observances

   *Armed Forces Day, formerly Veterans’ Day (United Kingdom)

   *Canadian Multiculturalism Day (Canada)

   *Christian Feast Day:

       * Crescens, one of the Seventy Disciples

       * Cyril of Alexandria (Coptic Church, Roman Catholic Church, and Lutheran Church)

       * Ladislaus I of Hungary

       * Our Lady of Perpetual Help

       * June 27 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

   * Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Djibouti from France in 1977

   * Mixed Race Day (Brazil)

   * National HIV Testing Day (United States)

   * Seven Sleepers Day or Siebenschläfertag (Germany)