This Weekend in History: Beginning of the Battle of Dak To, the First Woman Elected Governor, and Other Events of the Date
A number of interesting events have taken place on November 3rd and 4th in U.S. history. Here is our take on the most interesting and valuable of them.
November 3, 1967 – Vietnam War: Beginning of the Battle of Dak To
From the cultural point of view, the Vietnam War was beyond any doubt the key conflict the American army was involved in during the Cold War era. The America we know had been built not in the cabinets of Washington D.C., and not even on the squares where numerous civil rights riots took place in the Era of Changes. Vietnam War was the first that the American public witnessed on TV, thus, the America we know was born in the jungles of Vietnam.
One of the key battles of the first stage of the war was fought between November 3 and November 23, 1967 in Kon Tum Province of the Republic of Vietnam—the Battle of Dak To. More accurately, this wasn’t a single battle, but was a series of major clashes between the Americans and their South Vietnamese allies against Vietcong partisans. As it later came out, the post hoc purported objective of the Viet Cong forces was to distract American and South Vietnamese forces away from big cities towards the borders, as a part of the preparation for the upcoming Tet Offensive—the best-known operation of the Vietnam War (that would begin in less than three months, in the end of January 1968).
The Battle of Dak To was one of the bloodiest fought during the whole war, as U.S. forces suffered 331 killed, 1,441 wounded and 15 MIA. The Viet Cong suffered no less than 1,500 soldiers killed and about 2,000 wounded according to the U.S. body count.
November 3, 1969 – President Nixon’s “Silent Majority” speech
"And so tonight to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans—I ask for your support…" said President Nixon in a desperate attempt to encourage the support of the U.S. troops fighting in Vietnam in one of the most crucial periods of the war.
He was mainly referring to those Americans who did not take part in large demonstrations against the Vietnam War at the time, who did not belong to the counterculture, and who did not appear in public discourse. Along with many other presidents, Nixon saw this group of Middle Americans as being overshadowed in the media by the more vocal minority. However, when in less than three years the Watergate scandal broke, the “silent majority” didn’t save him from impeachment.
November 4, 1791 – Northwest Indian War: St Clair’s Defeat
This battle is also known as the Battle of the Wabash, and may also be referred to either as the Battle of Wabash River or the Battle of Thousand Slain. No matter what we call it, we must recognize that this was the largest victory ever won by American Indians throughout the whole history of the Indian Wars in the U.S. In terms of modern borders, the battle was fought near Fort Recovery, Ohio.
The American Indians were led by Little Turtle of the Miami tribe, Blue Jacket of the Shawnees, and Buckongahelas of the Delaware (or Lenape) Indians.
The Americans (about 1,000 soldiers) were led by General Arthur St. Clair. The forces of the American Indian confederacy attacked at dawn and took St. Clair's men by surprise.
As a result, the Americans suffered no less than 632 soldiers killed or captured and 264 soldiers wounded, while Indian confederacy losses were quite low: just 21 killed and 40 wounded.
November 4, 1924 - First woman elected governor
Nellie Ross refused to campaign while competing for the post of the governor of Wyoming, yet she easily won the race on November 4, 1924. In just two months, on January 5, 1925, she officially became the first female governor in the history of the United States. As of 2018 she is still the only woman ever to hold the post of Wyoming governor.
As a governor she implemented tax cuts, helped poor farmers, initiated banking reforms, and signed laws protecting children, women workers, and miners. She also urged the state of Wyoming to ratify a pending federal amendment prohibiting child labor, which was a true revolutionary step for the state’s politics.
Her drawback was the support of controversial prohibition measures that resulted in her narrow defeat when she ran for re-election in 1926.
These are the most notable events in U.S. history that occurred this weekend, at least in our view.