Troops of the 173rd Airborne Brigade prepare to evacuate wounded during Operation Greeley. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army

NOVEMBER 3-22, 1967

Battle of Dak To Begins

The Battle of Dak To was a series of major engagements of the Vietnam War from November 3 – 23, 1967, in Kon Tum Province, in the Central Highlands of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). The Central Highlands were crucial for the North Vietnamese (NVA) and the Viet Cong (VC) to support their cross-border infiltrations from Cambodia. Sixteen thousand soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division and the 173rd Airborne Brigade fought four NVA regiments and VC. The U.S. forces’ decisive victory came at a high price with 376 killed or listed as missing-presumed dead and another 1,441 wounded. For its combined actions during operations around Dak To, the 173rd Airborne Brigade was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.

Public Domain | Encyclopedia Britannica
People from East and West Berlin gathering at the Berlin Wall on November 10, 1989, one day after the wall opened.

NOVEMBER 9, 1989

The fall of the Berlin Wall

The fall of the Berlin Wall marked the collapse of the Iron Curtain and the beginning of the end of communism in Eastern and Central Europe. An end to the Cold War was declared at the Malta Summit three weeks later, and the reunification of East and West Germany took place on October 3, 1990. To this day, the Berlin Wall remains one of the most powerful symbols of the Cold War.

Continental Marines landing at New Providence in March 1776 during the Battle of Nassau, the first amphibious landing of the Marine Corps, during the American Revolutionary War. Photo courtesy of U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

NOVEMBER 10, 1775

U.S. Marine Corps celebrates 246 years

The Marine Corps began when two battalions of Continental Marines were formed on November 10, 1775 in Philadelphia as a service branch of infantry troops capable of fighting both at sea and on shore. Marines have participated in all wars of the United States and have executed more than 300 landings on foreign shores and served in every major U.S. naval action since 1775. Today there are more than 180,000 active duty members and some 38,500 personnel in reserve.

An American sailor, an American Red Cross nurse and two British soldiers celebrating the signing of the armistice in Paris. Photo by U.S. Signal Corps, 11 November 1918. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

NOVEMBER 11, 1918

Armistice Day marks the end of World War I

Armistice Day is commemorated annually on November 11 marking the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiegne, France, for cessation of hostilities on the Western Front. This took effect at eleven in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918. Congress established Armistice Day as a federal holiday in 1938. In 1954, the holiday was renamed “Veterans Day,” expanding its scope to include Veterans of all U.S. wars.

John Gallina and Dale Beatty, Purple Heart Homes, 2016.

NOVEMBER 15, 2004

Veterans Dale Beatty and John Gallina form Purple Heart Homes

On November 15, 2004, Dale Beatty and John Gallina were severely injured in Iraq when their Humvee exploded. Gallina suffered severe brain and spine injuries, and Beatty became a double amputee. Their National Guard service created a strong sense of community and drive to give back and make a difference. Together they formed Purple Heart Homes, a Veteran-owned and operated nonprofit that provides safe and accessible barrier-free environments in homes for disabled Veterans.

United States Army General Colin Powell,
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1989

NOVEMBER 16, 1968

Major Colin L. Powell earns the Soldiers Medal

During the Vietnam War, Major (at the time) Colin L. Powell served as the assistant chief of staff to the commander of the U.S. Army’s 23rd Infantry Division. On November 16, 1968, while traveling by helicopter with his commanding officer, Maj. General Charles M. Gettys, their chopper clipped a tree during landing and crashed. With a broken ankle, Powell bravely rushed into the wreckage to save the lives of Gettys, his chief of staff and one of the pilots. For these actions, Powell received the Soldiers Medal for bravery.

Alexander Gardner. [Dedication ceremonies at the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania], November 19, 1863. Scans from stereograph negatives. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. 

NOVEMBER 19, 1863

President Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address

President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address during the Soldiers’ National Cemetery dedication in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This was four and a half months after the Union Army of the Potomac defeated Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at the Battle of Gettysburg. It is one of the best-known speeches in American history including the famous line, “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Maj. Charles Joseph Loring Jr., United States Air Force, Korean War Medal of Honor recipient.

NOVEMBER 22, 1952

U.S. Air Force Major Charles Loring, Jr. earns the Medal of Honor

On the morning of November 22, 1952, U.S. Air Force Major Charles Loring, Jr. led a flight of F-80 Shooting Stars of the 80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron in an attack on a Chinese artillery position. During this mission, he was struck by anti-aircraft fire, but continued his run despite his disabled aircraft. Loring dove his damaged aircraft into the battery position, killing himself in the process. He bravely sacrificed his own life to destroy the enemy gun emplacements and eliminated the threat to the United Nations forces on the ground. His remains were never found. On May 5, 1954, his wife received his Medal of Honor from President Dwight Eisenhower.

The main entrance sign to Carlisle Barracks and the U.S. Army War College. Photo by Scott Finger. Courtesy of DVIDS.

NOVEMBER 27, 1901

U.S. Army War College is established

Founded by Secretary of War Elihu Root and U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, the U.S. Army War College was established as a solution to military failings uncovered during the Spanish-American War. The first class of six captains and three majors of the Army and Marine Corp convened on November 1, 1904, providing the first opportunity for professional education beyond West Point. Today, it provides graduate-level instruction to senior military officers and civilians.

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