June 12, 1944
JFK WINS NAVY & MARINE CORPS MEDAL
U.S. Navy Lieutenant j.g. John F. Kennedy was awarded the Navy & Marine Corps Medal today as well as the Purple Heart.
The award was given in honor of his courage & leadership after his patrol boat, the PT109, was rammed & set on fire by a Japanese destroyer near the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific.
2 of the 13 man crew were killed instantly and many of the survivors injured.
Despite suffering an injury to his back, JFK directed his sailors back aboard the crippled boat & then engineered a swim to a nearby island.
One of his crew, Pappy McMahon was so badly burned, JFK had to personally tow him using the strap of a life preserver in his teeth.
For 6 days & nights the crew waited to be rescued. Finally, JFK was able to carve a message on a coconut, give it to some natives who by way of coastwatchers got it back to the Navy.
The medal reads for: “courage, endurance & excellent leadership…in keeping with the highest traditions of the US Naval Service.”
US Navy & Marine Corps Medal
June 12, 1963
MEDGAR EVERS SHOT & KILLED IN MISSISSIPPI
Medgar Evers, President of the NAACP Mississippi State Conference, was shot & killed today in his driveway.
Evers had also done investigative work in the murder case of Emmett Till.
He was shot in the back with a rifle & died less than an hour afterwards.*
*Medgar Evers was buried in the Arlington National Cemetery.
Grave of Medgar Evers
Arlington National Cemetery
Photo by Willjay (2008)
June 12, 1898
PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE DECLARED
Filipino rebels led by Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the independence of the Philippine Islands today after 30 years of Spanish rule.*
*By mid-August 1898, the rebels had driven Spain out but their hope for independence ended with the annexation of the islands by the United States.
June 12, 1776
VIRGINIA ADOPTS “DECLARATION OF RIGHTS”
The Virginia Convention meeting in Williamsburg today adopted George Mason’s “Declaration of Rights” by a unanimous vote.
The declaration promises “the equal right to life, liberty & property” to Virginians & their posterity.”
The Declaration of Rights has 16 enumerated items. #15 reads:
“That no free government or the blessings of liberty can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality & virtue.”
Virginia’s Declaration of Rights (1776)