Category History

Presidents Day 2021

HOW SOME PAST PRESIDENTS SPENT THEIR PRESIDENTS DAY

Presidents keep on working on the national holiday that many U.S. citizens have off.

Navy Captain Bruce McCandless II became the first person ever to fly untethered in outer space. - Space Shuttle Challenger.

CALIFORNIA ASTRONAUT FIRST TO FLY IN SPACE – NO STRINGS ATTACHED – 37 YEARS AGO TODAY

Imagine, being in outer space with no secure connection to the mothership. A bit unnerving, perhaps? Too Hollywood for you? Decades before George Clooney vanished into the galaxy in “Gravity” and Matt Damon took his chances in “The Martian,” Navy Captain Bruce McCandless II became the first person ever to fly untethered in outer space. […]

Shoichi Yokoi survived on an island for 26 years after World War II ended.

WORLD WAR II ENDED 49 YEARS AGO TODAY FOR THE LAST JAPANESE STRAGGLER ON GUAM

To most everyone else on the planet, World War II formally ended on September 2, 1945, when representatives of the Japanese government boarded the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay and signed the papers of surrender. One Japanese soldier on Guam, however, did not get the memo – or apparently any of the leaflets, or heard […]

Treaty of Paris

JANUARY 14, 1784: THE DAY THE UNITED STATES BECAME A SOVEREIGN NATION

On January 14, 1784, the Continental Congress officially declared the sovereignty of the United States of America by ratifying the Paris Treaty.

General John Pershing pins the Distinguished Service Cross medal on 1LT George Abramson in 1922. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

SEVEN ON CALVET’S MEDAL OF HONOR WALL ALSO EARNED DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS

Seven Californians received both the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross. Their names grace the Medal of Honor Hall in California’s Department of Veterans Affairs headquarters in downtown Sacramento.

George Washington delivers the first State of the Union address to Congress

TODAY MARKS 231st ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST STATE OF THE UNION, BY GEORGE

Ratified in 1788, the Constitution of the United States of America contained a specific requirement for the nation’s first president, George Washington, and all others who followed. Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 mandated then, as it does to this day, that the president “shall, from time to time give to the Congress Information on […]

HAPPY NEW YEAR, WITH A LOOK BACK AT HISTORIC EVENTS HAPPENING ON THAT DAY

We tend to think of New Year’s Day as one of parades, college football games, replacing last year’s wall calendar, and for those who reveled too much the night before a day of aspirin and ice packs. However, some very significant events happened on New Year’s day throughout American history. Here is a sampling to […]

JUST DAYS AFTER PEARL HARBOR ATTACK, FALL OF WAKE ISLAND MADE POWS OUT OF CIVILIANS

Just a few hours after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, they also attacked Wake Island, a strategic atoll 2,300 miles west of Honolulu. Aided by civilian contractors there building docks and fortifications, U.S. Marines held Wake for 15 more days before Japanese soldiers overran the island on December 22, 79 years […]

SHINING LIGHT ON CALIFORNIA’S TWO JEWISH MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS AS HANUKKAH BEGINS

With eight days of Hanukkah – the Jewish Festival of Lights – beginning tonight, CalVet would like to salute the memories of the 18 known Jewish Medal of Honor recipients, two of whom were from California.  Their names grace the Medal of Honor Wall at CalVet Headquarters in downtown Sacramento, and their stories are worth […]

JAPAN’S ATTACK ON PEARL HARBOR AWAKENED A “SLEEPING GIANT”

As time takes its toll, only about 2,000 or so remain among the estimated 60,000 American military personnel who survived Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor 79 years ago.  Over the next few years, their remembrances of that horrific and defining moment in history – December 7, 1941 –  will fall to books, newspaper accounts, videos, and movies for the retelling.  The focus will always remain on the attack […]