Today in history
- Battle of Khe Sanh Begins (1968)
Located near the demilitarized zone that marked the border between North and South Vietnam, Khe Sanh was the site of a protracted battle during the Vietnam War. It involved months of near-constant artillery attacks on the local US Marine base, matched by a bombing barrage of surrounding areas by US planes. The US forces retained the base but gained no advantage, and both sides suffered heavy casualties. Why do some historians believe the North Vietnamese never intended to capture the base? Discuss
- Nazi Officials Decide on "The Final Solution" (1942)
In early 1942, Nazi officials held a conference at Lake Wannsee in Berlin to discuss what "final solution" would be used to eliminate the Jewish population of Europe. On paper, the plan called for gathering Jews into camps for deportation to work details in the East. The official record of the meeting does not mention killing but notes that the "evacuation" was to happen as soon as possible. Who later admitted that the actual conversation at the meeting differed significantly from the record?
- British Parliament Expels John Wilkes for Libelous, Racy Writings (1764)
Despite his notoriously dissolute reputation, Wilkes became a champion of the freedom of the press as a journalist and politician. While a member of the British Parliament, he repeatedly published criticisms of King George III, riling the monarch. During the 1760s, he was variously arrested, prosecuted, shot in the stomach, and expelled from Parliament multiple times, ostensibly for his racy writings. When a constituent told Wilkes that he would rather vote for the devil, how did Wilkes respond?