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On this very day in May…
In the year 1876 (a Wednesday): The Rosebud Campaign (part of The Great Sioux War of 1876): One column of mounted troops, scouts and supply wagons under Brigadier General Alfred Terry along with Lt.Col. George Custer & his 7th Cavalry depart from Fort Abraham Lincoln in North Dakota (about 400 miles distant) to pursue and round up the large Sioux and Cheyenne bands to their west; the Terry/Custer column approached the Little Bighorn Valley from the northeast. Two other cavalry columns, one under Gen. George Crook approached the Little Bighorn area from Fort Fetterman from the SSE in Wyoming (about 270 miles distant), and another column under Gen. John Gibbon approached from the west out of Fort Ellis, a bleak outpost just east of Bozeman, in Montana territory (about 185 miles distant). 39 days later (on Sunday, June 25th) 274 troopers of the 7th Cavalry would be lying dead (and 55 more, badly wounded at Reno Hill) on the Little Bighorn battlefield, including 5 male members of the Custer family of Monroe, Michigan: 1) Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, age 37, spectacular hero of the Civil War (esp. with regard to his fearless charge at Gettysburg, where he led his 400 cavalry troopers directly into J.E.B. Stuart’s 4,000-strong cavalry force… and routed them), 2) his brother Capt. Tom Custer (age 31, and two-time Medal-of-Honor recipient of the Civil War); 3) his brother (civilian guide) Boston Custer, 27; 4) his brother-in-law (his sister Margaret’s husband) 1st Lt. James Calhoun, age 30, and 5) his nephew Henry Armstrong (“Autie”) Reed (son of George’s older half-sister Lydia Ann Reed and her husband, David Reed), age 18, who was tagging along for the adventure. George was reinterred at West Point cemetery in 1877. [StrategyPage.com & Wiki]
•Artist’s sketch of The Battle of the Rosebud under General Crook, 17 June, 1876, 8 days before Custer’s debacle at Little Bighorn. Image provides further engagement details.
In the year 1943 (a Monday): Operation Chastise: RAF 617 Squadron (“The Dam Busters”) destroys two of the major Ruhr Valley dams in the wee hours. It’s a triumph for Britain and the RAF, one which seriously reduces Third Reich war production in the Ruhr Valley for the entire summer of 1943. [StrategyPage.com & Wiki]
•Photograph of the breached Möhne (River) Dam shot the very day after the attack, with additional details.
•The official badge of 617 “Dambusters” Squadron, with additional details about the raid.
•Animation of 617 Squadron’s “bouncing bomb” raid on the Ruhr Valley dams Wiki (you must copy/paste this Wikipedia URL): <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Chastise#/media/File:Dambstrajj.gif>
In the year 1883 (a Thursday): Buffalo Bill’s 1st Wild West show opens in Omaha, Nebraska. [OnThisDay.com & Wiki]
•Color poster of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, circa 1899, with additional details.
In the year 2002 (a Friday): 2002 Sharon Sheeley, U.S. songwriter, died aged 62. Hits include “Poor Little Fool,” U.S. No.1 hit for Ricky Nelson in 1958 and the 1959 hit “Somethin’ Else” for Eddie Cochran. Sheeley survived the car crash that killed Eddie Cochran during his ill-fated 1960 UK tour. [ThisDayInMusic.com]
•“Poor Little Fool” #1 hit by Ricky Nelson (1958), YouTube video
In the year 1971 (a Monday): 1971 Tony Orlando and Dawn hit #1 on the UK singles chart with “Knock Three Times.” An American pop music group that was popular in the 1970s. Their signature hits include “Candida,” “Knock Three Times,” “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree,” “Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose,” and “He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You).” Dawn (Joyce Vincent Wilson and Telma Hopkins, with Tony Orlando) were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with “Knock Three Times,” the group’s first of two UK No.1’s. Singer Tony Orlando had retired from singing when he was persuaded to front Dawn for studio recordings… and the result of that chance collaboration became music history. [ThisDayInMusic.com]
•Group portrait from the premiere of their TV program: Joyce Vincent Wilson, Tony Orlando, Telma Hopkins. Click Here. Wiki
•“Knock Three Times” (1970) YouTube video
•“Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose” (1973) YouTube video
•“Tie a Yellow Ribbon” (1973) YouTube video
In the year 1829 (a Sunday): 1829 John Jay died at age 83. Founding Father, signer of the Treaty of Paris, first Chief Justice of the United States (1789–’95). [StrategyPage.com & Wiki]
•Portrait of Chief Justice John Jay by Gilbert Stuart.
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