BIRTH OF A NATION
February 8, 1962
MACV IS SET UP IN SAIGON
The Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) was officially established in South Vietnam today.
The MACV, headed by General Paul D. Harkins, replaces the United States Military Assistance & Advisory Group which had been created in 1955 to provide US military aid to South Vietnam.
The MACV both enlarges & reorganizes the advisory capacity of the US military presence in Southeast Asia.
February 8, 1922
PRESIDENT HARDING GETS A RADIO
President Warren G. Harding became today the 1st President of the United States to have a radio receiver in the White House.*
*In 1924, Calvin Coolidge will be the 1st President to make a radio broadcast. It will come on Washington’s birthday & will be broadcast on 42 stations in the United States. Coolidge also will be the 1st President to have his inaugural oath of office broadcast on the radio.
February 8, 1915
“BIRTH OF A NATION” PREMIERS TODAY
D.W. Griffith’s film, “Birth of a Nation”, premiers today in Los Angeles. The film, based on Thomas Dixon’s novel, The Clansman, is the 1st feature-length motion picture.
*The 3 hour movie’s racial “overtones” will make it both controversial & offensive to many. The NAACP launched a campaign to have the film banned & was successful in doing so in many cases.
Despite the controversy, D.W. Griffith is widely regarded as the “father of cinema”.
February 8, 1904
THE BATTLE OF PORT ARTHUR
The Japanese navy attacked the Russian naval base at Port Arthur today & destroyed the Russian fleet in the process.*
*In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt will negotiate the end of the Russo-Japanese War & will be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
February 8, 1887
PRESIDENT CLEVELAND SIGNS THE DAWES ACT
The Dawes Severalty Act, sponsored by Senator Henry Laurens Dawes of Massachusetts, was signed into law today by President Grover Cleveland.
The Dawes Act intends to assimilate Native Americans by ending tribal control of reservation lands & by dividing these lands into plots.
The act provides males with families 160 acres, single males with 80 acres & boys with 40 acres.*
*The Dawes Act will open up for sale the”bulk” of Indian reservation land to whites. 86 million acres of reservation lands will be purchased.
The act’s provisions ended with the Wheeler-Howard Act of 1934 which allowed Native Americans to once again own land communally.
February 8, 1587
MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS IS BEHEADED
Fotheringhay Castle was the scene of the execution of Mary Queen of Scots today. The 44 year old monarch had been imprisoned for 19 years. She was implicated in the “Babington Plot” to take the life of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.
The Earl of Kent said:
“Your life would be the death of our religion, your death would be its life.”*
*Mary’s son, King James VI of Scotland, accepted his mother’s fate & became King of England, Scotland & Ireland in 1603 upon the death of Queen Elizabeth I.