Category History

Picture of the US Capitol building with the words "take the quiz" written in a blue circle.

IN UNIFORM, IN OFFICE: TEST YOURSELF ON PRESIDENTS WHO SERVED IN MILITARY

With Presidents Day upon us, how well do you know your American presidents? Of the 46 U.S. presidents thus far, 31 performed some form of military service, from militias to decorated career. Of those 31, one was born in California. Three served during the Revolutionary War, four in the War of 1812, six in the […]

Resident veterans at the Ventura Veterans Home wearing their gold pins on red shirts.

‘RUPTURED DUCK’ HONORABLE DISCHARGE PINS FINDING LAPELS IN CALVET’S VETERANS HOMES

A few weeks ago, the Veterans Home of California-Ventura received a phone call from Lou Zayas, junior commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart chapter in Georgia. Zayas wanted to know the number of World War II veterans living at the Ventura Home. He wanted to send each one a “Ruptured Duck” lapel […]

Black and white photo close up of soldiers faces during a USO show during the Korea War

USO CELEBRATES 81 YEARS OF ENTERTAINING TROOPS, BRINGING HOPE, AND BOOSTING MORALE

Eighty-one years ago today, at the behest of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, six social service organizations joined forces to create the United Service Organizations, or USO. With America’s entry into World War II still 10 months away. Those organizations—the Salvation Army, Young Men’s Christian Association, Young Women’s Christian Association, National Catholic Community Services, National Travelers […]

Headshot of Pvt. 1st Class James Anderson Jr.

CALVET HONORS STATE’S ONLY BLACK MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT FROM VIETNAM WAR

As we enter Black History Month, CalVet pays homage to Pvt. 1st Class James Anderson Jr., California’s only Black Medal of Honor recipient from the Vietnam War. His memory graces the Medal of Honor Wall at CalVet headquarters in Sacramento. Born January 22, 1947, in Los Angeles, Anderson graduated from Compton’s Centennial High School in […]

Screen shot of the LA Times front page from Jan. 28, 1973. Story headline is "Vietnam Foes Sign a Fragile Peace."

SIGNED 49 YEARS AGO TODAY, PARIS PEACE ACCORDS BEGAN THE AMERICAN EXIT FROM VIETNAM

On January 27, 1973, representatives from the United States, South Vietnam, and North Vietnam signed the documents known as the Paris Peace Accords, which spelled out the U.S.’s exit from South Vietnam to end the war. By that time, the U.S. had been involved in Vietnam for 18 years, beginning with military advisers in 1955. […]

The face of Martin Luther King during the March on Washington.

KING’S CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT INVOLVED MANY TRIPS TO CALIFORNIA

As we commemorate what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 93rd birthday (albeit January 15), his image forever remains etched in American history. From his “I have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, to leading the civil rights protest march to Selma, Alabama, in 1965, to his voice resonating in […]

Santa flying on his sleigh with the world small like a blue marble in the background.

HOW A MISTAKEN HOTLINE CALL IN THE COLD WAR ERA PUT SANTA CLAUS ON GOVERNMENT’S RADAR

Throughout today, tonight, and into early Christmas morning, children will want to know just how close the Jolly Old Red delivery guy – Santa Claus – really is to landing his sleigh and eight tiny reindeer on their rooftops. With visions of Star Wars Grogu Mandalorian plush toys and Marvel Avengers Action Figure sets dancing […]

Feature art for the two Millers story, head shots of the two Navy sailors by the name of Miller at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7.

80 YEARS AGO TODAY: THE UNIQUE STORIES OF TWO MEN NAMED MILLER AT PEARL HARBOR

Eighty years ago today, 360 Japanese warplanes attacked the United States’ Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, killing more than 2,400 Americans and wounding over 1,100 others in the most horrific assault on American soil to that point in the nation’s history. So many stories told and untold, among them the tale of two sailors moored […]

Iconic photo of an Army guy with a tin cup waiting for coffee. There is a sign in the background that says "coffee."

NATIONAL COFFEE DAY: TIME FOR A GOOD STIFF … ‘CUPPA JOE’ 

Today is National Coffee Day, and no one appreciates a good cup of coffee more than members of the United States military. Why, you might ask?  Because they rarely get a really good cup of coffee. In galleys and mess halls, it’s brewed for the masses – thick, industrial and served from urns. No talls, ventis, grandes or trentas here, folks.  […]

A B-29 bomber flying over the central valley of California.

B-29 BOMBER’S MAIDEN FLIGHT 79 YEARS AGO, WITH HISTORY TO FOLLOW

On this day in 1942, the first B-29 Superfortress bomber made its maiden flight in Seattle. Built by Boeing and the brainchild of General Henry H. “Hap’ Arnold, this plane was a modern marvel. (Incidentally, Arnold learned to fly at the hands of the Wright brothers, but that’s another story.) It was the first U.S. […]