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This Week in History | 5/3/2020 – 5/9/2020

Sky Soldier in Vietnam

03 May 1965– Lead elements of the 173rd Airborne Brigade depart for Vietnam. They would be the first ground combat unit committed to the war. They Sky Soldiers would finally be withdrawn from combat in August 1971 after 1,606 were killed and 8,435 were wounded. 12 paratroopers would earn the Medal of Honor for actions during the war.

04 May 1972 – USS Saratoga is ordered to Vietnam, bringing the number of carriers off the coast to six.

05-07 May 1864 – Battle of the Wilderness. The Union Army under General Grant would meet Confederate General Lee in the forests of Virginia. They would fight a grueling battle that would foreshadow the battles of attrition that became the namesake of the final years of the Civil War. Near 5,000 men would be killed in this battle that was tactically inconclusive, as General Grant would continue moving his forces south in the Confederate land. 

09 May 1754 – Founding Father Benjamin Franklin publishes what is considered the first political cartoon in American newspapers. In this days addition of the Pennsylvania Gazette he would publish the  “Join or Die” cartoon, the cartoon showed what was at the time colonial disunity and was used to encourage the British American colonies to unite under British rule. The cartoon over the years has become a symbol of American unity and freedom. 

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