April 18, 1961
JFK & KHRUSHCHEV EXCHANGE HEATED WORDS ON BAY OF PIGS INVASION
As the invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs continues into its second day, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev has sent a message to President Kennedy warning that his “little war” against Cuba may result in an “incomparable conflagration between the US & Soviet Union.”
JFK, who continues to deny any direct involvement by US forces in the invasion, responded by saying:
“I trust that this does not mean the Soviet government, using the situation in Cuba as a pretext, is planning to inflame other areas of the world.”
President Kennedy went on in his reply to say that while the US is not involved directly in the invasion:
“the people of the United States do not conceal their admiration for Cuban patriots who wish to see a democratic system in an independent Cuba. The United States government can take no action to stifle the spirit of liberty.”
In the 1st 24 hours of the invasion, Castro ordered 20,000 Cuban troops to the beach as his air force took control of the sky.*
*When the fighting ends, more than a hundred exiles were dead & the rest captured. The Bay of Pigs “fiasco” has been listed as one of the “Top 10 Presidential Mistakes”. JFK publicly accepted responsibility a few days later & said to friends privately: “How could I have been so stupid (to authorize the invasion on the advice of the CIA)?”
JFK Accepts Brigade’s Flag in Miami
Photo by Cecil Stoughton
April 18, 1956
GRACE KELLY WEDS PRINCE RAINIER
Broadway & Hollywood actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco today.
The 40 minute civil ceremony took place in the Palace Throne Room & was broadcast across Europe.
Miss Kelly made her Broadway debut in 1949 & got her “big break” in Hollywood playing Gary Cooper’s wife in “High Noon”.
She won an “Oscar” in 1954 for her role in “The Country Girl”.
The prince & princess left Monaco this evening for a seven week Mediterranean honeymoon on Rainier’s yacht.
Grace Kelly (1956)
Academy Awards Presentations
April 18, 1945
ERNIE PYLE KILLED IN PACIFIC WAR
The most popular war correspondent of World War II was killed today by Japanese machine gun fire on the island of Shima, off the coast of Okinawa.
Pyle had covered the North African campaign as well as the invasions of Sicily & Italy.
He arrived in Nomandy on June 7, 1944 following the D-Day invasion.
Pyle, famous for his coverage of the experiences of the enlisted men, won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished correspondence in 1944.
President Truman said that Pyle “told the story of the American fighting man as the American fighting men want it told.”
Ernie Pyle will be buried in the National Memorial Cemetery in Hawaii.
Ernie Pyle at Anzio (1944)
2nd from right (front)
April 18, 1942
DOLITTLE LEADS FIRST AIR RAID ON TOKYO
Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle today successfully led an American air raid on mainland Japan.
16 B-25 bombers were launched 650 miles East of Japan from the aircraft carrier, USS Hornet.
Early reports indicate minor damage has resulted from the air raid, but nonetheless this attack will be a boost for American morale in the war in the Pacific.
Lt. Col. James (Jimmy) Dolittle
2nd from left
April 18, 1942
April 18, 1906
SAN FRANCISCO HIT BY MAJOR EARTHQUAKE
The “City by the Bay” was hit by two tremors, back to back, this morning beginning at 5:12 a.m.
Reports indicate that thousands of buildings in the city have collapsed as a result.
Also, fires caused in the aftermath of the earthquake, have spread throughout the city.*
*The fires burn for 4 days. By the time they die out, 700 people were dead, 250,000 were homeless, 28,000 buildings had been destroyed & $500 million in damage had been done. Author & SF resident Jack London wrote: “Surrender was complete”.
The estimated magnitude of the SF earthquake ranges from 7.7 to 8.25.
Damage to San Francisco from 1906 Earthquake
April 18, 1775
PAUL REVERE MAKES A “MIDNIGHT RIDE”
British troops under General Thomas Gage began a march late this evening to the towns of Lexington & Concord to confiscate powder & shot collected by American rebels.
General Gage has also expressed the hope that his troops will be able to capture rebel leaders Samuel Adams & John Hancock.
Rebel circuit riders, Paul Revere & William Dawes, were signaled from 2 lanterns hung in the tower of the Old North Church that the British troops were moving out of the city by the Charles River.
Revere, Dawes & others rode out ahead of the British to warn the countryside “to be up & to arms”.
There seems to be a very good chance that there will be a confrontation between the rebels & Her Majesty’s forces either in Lexington, Concord or both tomorrow morning.