Chow on the Battlefield
"Private First Class Clarence Whitmore, voice radio operator, 24th Infantry Regiment, reads the latest news while enjoying chow during lull in battle, near Sangju, Korea., 08/09/1950"
Happy 55th Birthday NASA!
On July 29, 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 which “provided for research into the
problems of flight within and outside the earth’s atmosphere” and
established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
An Agreement Between the Commander-in-Chief United Nations Command and the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army and the Commander of the Chinese People’s Volunteers Concerning a Military Armistice in Korea, 07/27/1953
The Korean War, which began on June 25, 1950, when the North Koreans invaded South Korea, officially ended with this armistice signed on July 27, 1953.
At 10 a.m., in Panmunjom, scarcely acknowledging each other, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. William K. Harrison, Jr., senior delegate, United Nations Command Delegation; North Korean Gen. Nam Il, senior delegate, Delegation of the Korean People’s Army and the Chinese People’s Volunteers, signed 18 official copies of the tri-language Korean Armistice Agreement.
It was the end of the longest negotiated armistice in history: 158 meetings spread over two years and 17 days. That evening at 10 p.m. the truce went into effect. The Korean Armistice Agreement is somewhat exceptional in that it is purely a military document—no nation is a signatory to the agreement. Specifically the Armistice Agreement:
- suspended open hostilities;
- withdrew all military forces and equipment from a 4,000-meter-wide zone, establishing the Demilitarized Zone as a buffer between the forces;
- prevented both sides from entering the air, ground, or sea areas under control of the other;
- arranged release and repatriation of prisoners of war and displaced persons; and
- established the Military Armistice Commission (MAC) and other agencies to discuss any violations and to ensure adherence to the truce terms.
The armistice, while it stopped hostilities, was not a permanent peace treaty between nations.
President Eisenhower, who was keenly aware of the 1.8 million American men and women who had served in Korea and the 36,576 Americans who had died there, played a key role in bringing about a cease-fire. In announcing the agreement to the American people in a television address shortly after the signing, he said, in part,
"Soldiers, sailors and airmen of sixteen different countries have stood as partners beside us throughout these long and bitter months. In this struggle we have seen the United Nations meet the challenge of aggression—not with pathetic words of protest, but with deeds of decisive purpose. And so at long last the carnage of war is to cease and the negotiation of the conference table is to begin… . [We hope that] all nations may come to see the wisdom of composing differences in this fashion before, rather than after, there is resort to brutal and futile battle.
Now as we strive to bring about that wisdom, there is, in this moment of sober satisfaction, one thought that must discipline our emotions and steady our resolution. It is this: We have won an armistice on a single battleground—not peace in the world. We may not now relax our guard nor cease our quest.”
President Eisenhower concluded his announcement by quoting from Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address.
via Our Documents
As we wait for today’s major Supreme Court rulings, take a look at this letter to JFK from Frank Kameny, a US Army astronomer fired over his homosexuality in 1957. Kameny challenged the Supreme Court in 1961, making his the first civil rights case based on sexual orientation. He went on to co-found the Mattachine Society of Washington.
From the White House Central Office Files/JFK Library
Frenchman’s Flat, Nevada - Atomic Cannon Test - History’s first atomic artillery shell fired from the Army’s new 280-mm artillery gun. Hundreds of high ranking Armed Forces officers and members of Congress are present. The fireball ascending, 05/23/1953
(Ed. note - Although the caption provided with the photo states 5/23/1953, most records indicate this test occurred on May 25, 1953.)
Bill to Break the Sound Barrier
If you were the first woman to break the sound barrier, who would you pick to fly the chase plane behind you?
Jacqueline Cochran tapped her friend, Colonel Chuck Yeager for the task for her May 18, 1953 flight. A logical decision, since he was the first pilot to break the barrier in 1947.
Here is his final bill for his expenses, including the replacement of dead chickens that stampeded when her low-flying Sabre jet flew over a ranch.
-from the Eisenhower Library
"I respectfully remind you sir, that we have been the most patient of all people."
-Letter from Jackie Robinson to President Eisenhower of May 13, 1958
After he retired from Major League Baseball, Jackie Robinson went on to champion the cause of civil rights from his position as a prominent executive of the Chock Full o’Nuts Corporation.
Robinson had grown increasingly impatient with what he regarded as President Eisenhower’s failure to act decisively in combating racism. In this letter dated May 13, 1958, he expresses his frustration and calls upon the President to finally guarantee Federal support of black civil rights.
Operation Cue - May 5, 1955
Part of the overall “Operation Teapot” series of nuclear test explosions in Nevada, Operation Cue was a civil defense exercise to intended to observe the effects of nuclear weapons on a civilian infrastructure, including the construction of test houses populated with mannequins.
Photographs of Operation Cue from the Records of the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization, 1947 - 1962
"Clasping his wife tightly in his arms, aboard a Combat Cargo C-124 "Globemaster" just after it landed near Tokyo, Capt. Zach W. Dean of El Dorado, Kan., the third U.S. Air Force repatriate returned by the Communists, finishes the first leg of his long trip back from a Red prison camp. Captain Dean, a former F-51 Mustang pilot with the 35th Fighter-Interceptor Wing, was shot down on April 22, 1951 and captured. He was flown to Japan aboard a 374th Troop Carrier Wing transport plane, Monday, April 27, 1953, where his wife, A Red Cross worker in Tokyo for the past two years, was waiting to meet him. With Captain Dean on the huge plane were 16 other repatriates, six of whom were litter cases and 10 ambulatory patients."