Category History

The WAC and her U.S. Army Hubby.

FINDING ROMANCE IN ARMY BOOTS AND A MESS HALL

By Les Goldberg / Special to CalVet Connect After a few less-than-memorable dates in high school and college, the last place Les Goldberg expected to find his future bride was in the Army – especially right at the start of the Vietnam War. But, believe it or not, that is exactly what happened. Just a […]

FINALLY AND OFFICIALLY, ‘STAR-SPANGLED BANNER’ BECAME AMERICA’S NATIONAL ANTHEM 90 YEARS AGO TODAY

The overwhelming majority of living Americans cannot remember a time when the Star-Spangled Banner” was not our national anthem.  Francis Scott Key watched the British pound Maryland’s Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 and then wrote about that moment in history in a poem originally titled “The Defence of Fort McHenry.” A newspaper in Baltimore published the work on September 14, 1814, and he later changed the name to […]

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 […]