November 14: the Apalachin Meeting, the beginning of the Battle of Ia Drang, and other events of the date
A number of important events have taken place on November 14th in U.S. history. Here is our take on the most interesting and valuable of them.
1910 – The first airplane take-off from the ship is performed
Today, everything that takes off from an American air carrier brings death from the skies, devastation, and misery to the “enemies of the U.S.,” annihilating those places whose agendas don’t fit that propagated by Washington. Thus, to some extent, Eugene Burton Ely should be blamed for such a weapon, although, of course, he probably never could have imagined what his extraordinary performance in 1910 would lead to.
Back on this day 108 years ago, aviation pioneer and simply a brave man, Eugene Burton Ely took off from a Curtiss pusher from a temporary platform erected over the bow of the light cruiser USS Birmingham. The airplane plunged downward as soon as it cleared the 83-foot platform runway and the aircraft’s wheels dipped into the water before rising. Not everything went as was expected, as Ely's goggles were covered with spray, and the aviator decided to land on a beach rather than circling the harbor and landing at the Norfolk Navy Yard, which was the initial final spot of his flight.
1957 – The Apalachin Meeting
One of the most well-known historic summits of the American Mafia was held at the home of mobster Joseph "Joe the Barber" Barbara, located in Apalachin, New York. The point of the meeting was, allegedly, to discuss various criminal world topics, including loan-sharking, drug trafficking, and gambling. The meeting was attended by around a hundred Mafiosi from the U.S., Italy, and Cuba, and was for many of them a chance to get their place in the sun. For example, Vito Genovese, then head of the renamed Genovese family, initially called the meeting as a way to recognize his new power as “capo dei capi.”
Of course, the police knew everything about the meeting and raided it, with many participants running away. It was a huge success for the police and security forces as more than 60 “underworld bosses” were indicted and later detained as a result of the joint operation.
1965 – Vietnam War: Beginning of the Battle of Ia Drang
The Battle of Ia Drang was the first major battle between the American Army and the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), often referred to as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), as the country got involved in the Vietnamese Civil War that would turn into a wide-scale cultural Civil War in the late 1960’s, and would convert America into the country we know nowadays.
The clash was also a part of the Pleiku Campaign conducted in the early stages of the Vietnam War. It consisted of two main military engagements centered on two previously scouted helicopter landing zones (LZs), known as LZ X-Ray and LZ Albany.
More than 1,000 American soldiers and many more South Vietnamese soldiers fought against at least 2,500 North Vietnamese soldiers. The battle was quite severe, with both sides suffering heavy losses: Americans, along with their South Vietnamese Allies, lost up to 1,700 soldiers (although the most accurate estimate is around 700), while the opposite side lost about the same number in the battle that lasted till November 18, 1965. Interestingly, both sides claimed victory in the Battle of Ia Drang, while the main battle of the war was yet to come.
These are the most notable events in U.S. history that occurred on November 14th, at least in our view.