OAK HARBOR AREA COUNCIL
Monday 31 August 2015
On this date in . . .
1887 Thomas A Edison patents Kinetoscope, (produces moving pictures)
Dates in American Military History: 31 August
from the website: thisdayinusmilhist.wordpress.com/about/
1777 – Samuel Mason, a captain in command of Fort Henry on the Ohio frontier, survives a devastating Indian attack only to become one of the young nation’s first western desperados. The son of a distinguished Virginia family, Samuel Mason became a militia officer and was assigned to the western frontier post of Fort Henry in present-day West Virginia. In the summer of 1777, with the colonies fighting a war for independence, Mason feared attacks by the Indian allies of the British. On this day in 1777, a band of Native Americans from several eastern tribes did attack the fort. The Indians initially fired only on several men who were outside the fort rounding up horses. Hearing the shots, Mason gathered 14 men and rode to their rescue. This was exactly what the warriors hoped he would do. They lay in wait and ambushed the party, killing all but Mason. Badly wounded, Mason escaped death by hiding behind a log. A second party that attempted to come to his rescue suffered the same fate as the first. All told, Mason lost 15 men compared to only one fatality among the attackers. Mason recovered from his wounds and continued to command Fort Henry for several years. Following the end of the war, though, he seems to have fallen on hard times. Repeatedly accused of being a thief, he moved farther west into the lawless frontier of the young American nation. By 1797, he had become a pirate on the Mississippi River, preying on boatmen who moved valuable goods up and down the river. He also reportedly took to robbing travelers along the Natchez Trace (or trail) in Tennessee, often with the assistance of his four sons and several other vicious men. By the early 1800s, Mason had become one of the most notorious desperados on the American frontier, a precursor to Jesse James, Cole Younger, and later outlaws of the Wild West. In January 1803, Spanish authorities arrested Mason and his four sons and decided to turn them over to the Americans. En route to Natchez, Tennessee, Mason and his sons killed the commander of the boat and escaped. Determined to apprehend Mason, the Americans upped the reward for his capture, dead or alive. The reward money soon proved too tempting for two members of Mason’s gang. In July 1803 they killed Mason, cut off his head, and brought it into the Mississippi territorial offices to prove that they had earned the reward. The men were soon identified as members of Mason’s gang, however, and they were arrested and hanged.
1803 – Captain Meriwether Lewis left Pittsburgh to meet up with Captain William Clark and begin their trek to the Pacific Ocean.
1819 – The cutters Alabama and Louisiana captured the privateer Bravo in the Gulf of Mexico. The master, Jean Le Farges — a lieutenant of Jean Lafitte — was later hanged from the Louisiana’s yardarm on the Mississippi River. The cutters then sailed for Patterson’s Town on Breton Island to destroy the notorious pirates’ den there.
1842 – US Naval Observatory was authorized by an act of Congress.
1842 – Congress replaces the Board of Navy Commissioners, a group of senior officer who oversaw naval technical affairs, with the five technical Bureaus, ancestors of the Systems Commands. One of the 1842 Bureau, the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, continues to serve under its original name.
1852 – The Lighthouse Board was created and charged with administering the Lighthouse Service, as the Revenue Cutter Service was again decentralized. The board was comprised of Army and Navy officers, and civilian scientists. Channel marking and light operation acquired scientific precision and engineering. Classical lenses and lateral buoy systems were introduced. The Life-Saving Service separated from the Revenue Cutter Service in 1852 also.
1942 – 3rd Marines leave San Diego bound for American Samoa.
1943 – American carrier based aircraft strike Marcus island. The Independence, Essex and Yorktown are involved. These ships are part of the newly formed Fast Carrier Task Force.
1943 – Commissioning of USS Harmon (DE-678), first Navy ship named for an African American Sailor.
1961 – A concrete wall replaced the barbed wire fence that separated East and West Germany, it would be called the Berlin wall.
1962 – Last flight of Navy airship made at NAS Lakehurst, NJ.
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No meetings in July and August
1 Sep 2015
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
A Navy League Salute
The Late Don Boyer
Chaplain David G. Lura,