Category History

A family photo of the Archduke of Austria.

WORLD WAR I BEGAN ON JUNE 28 107 YEARS AGO AND ENDED, OFFICIALLY, EXACTLY FIVE YEARS LATER

Without question, November 11, 1918, became the single most recognized date associated with World War I. On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour that year, the armistice took effect and the fighting ended. Armistice Day ultimately became Veterans Day in the United States, and is among our most cherished holidays. […]

Young Lee in Korea wearing combat fatigues. Picture of a Navy Cross, which was awarded to him.

KOREAN WAR BEGAN 71 YEARS AGO TODAY: FIVE MONTHS LATER, CALIFORNIA’S KURT CHEW-EEN LEE PROVIDED UNIMAGINABLE HEROICS

On a hilltop in Placerville, the El Dorado County Veterans Monument offers a beautiful and fitting tribute to those who served to defend this nation and its Constitution. Some are manifested by name and rank. Others, including Korean War hero and Marine Major Kurt Chew-Een Lee, are honored with plaques that can only begin to […]

A photo of the Juneteenth flag and a copy of the General Order #3.

JUNETEENTH CELEBRATIONS FOCUS ON PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE WITH LIVE EVENTS AS STATE REOPENS

The state of California has reopened, and just in time for Juneteenth events that bring a great opportunity for celebration, education, and unity. Juneteenth – combining June and the nineteenth – represents June 19, 1865, the day when 250,000 enslaved people in Texas were told by Major General Gordon Granger that they were now free. […]

CalVet logo and American soldiers jumping out of a helicopter in Vietnam.

JUNE 16: A MAGNETIC DAY FOR EVENTS BUILDING UP TO AND THROUGHOUT THE VIETNAM WAR

Some days can be hugely important and memorable: December 7 (the Pearl Harbor attack, 1941), June 6 (D-Day, 1944), and September 11 (the terrorists attacks in New York and the Pentagon, 2001). Others might be lesser known but important components of a much larger event, and that brings us to today, June 16. While numerous […]

ARMY LAWYER ENDED MCCARTHY’S REIGN OF FEAR, POWER IN 1954 WITH THESE WORDS: ‘HAVE YOU NO SENSE OF DECENCY, SIR?’

In the late 1940s and into the mid-1950s, Senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin ran an unsubstantiated and divisive campaign of deceit and distrust that shook the nation to its core. It came to a head 67 years ago this month, when McCarthy accused the United States Army of being infiltrated by communists, and ran […]

Paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne.

D-DAY INVASION PRODUCED 13 MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS, INCLUDING A CALIFORNIAN

The invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, began the final Allied forces’ push across Europe to destroy the Nazi regime and end the war in Europe. That battle alone led to 13 Americans ultimately receiving the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest tribute to bravery in the face of the enemy. Army paratrooper Private […]

Photo of the USS Yorktown after it was hit by enemy fire.

BATTLE OF MIDWAY BEGAN 79 YEARS AGO TODAY, WITH USS YORKTOWN AMONG ITS MOST HALLOWED CASUALTIES

The USS Yorktown (CV5) rests beneath 16,650 feet of water in the Pacific Ocean, its name still, but barely, visible on the stern when famed oceanographer Robert Ballard located the wreckage in 1998. The carrier remains undisturbed as it has — and as it should — since sinking to the ocean floor three days after […]

PUTTING MEMORIAL DAY INTO FOCUS AMID THE BLUR OF A 3-DAY WEEKEND

When Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968, it ultimately transformed three holidays and one day of remembrance – the latter being Memorial Day – into three-day weekends. The underlying reason? Travel, barbecues, picnics, and such all benefit the national, regional, and local economies. It became the unofficial start of the summer tourism […]

Fireworks

HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY TO CALVET’S HOME LOAN PROGRAM!

As birthdays go, this is a big one: the 100th of the California Department of Veterans Affairs’ Home Loan Program. On May 30, 1921, the California Veterans Farm and Home Loan program was signed into law by Governor William Stephens to assist and reward the state’s military veterans. Beginning with the first loan that closed […]

A HALL OF FAME CAREER WITH TWO WARS IN BETWEEN: TED WILLIAMS ENLISTED IN THE NAVY 79 YEARS AGO TODAY

Boston Red Sox great Ted Williams, arguably baseball’s greatest hitter of all time, enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve 79 years ago today. Williams, born and raised in San Diego, eventually became one of 37 Baseball Hall of Famers to serve during World War II, while 27 others fought in World War I. Eleven […]