Chapter 6-5 Historical Events During My Life

The first years of my life were during World War II. The events of that period were complex and many battles were raging – both in Europe and the Pacific. There is no need to discuss the war in this appendix. Further information is readily available in book and on the internet. Each year of my life had many events of historical significance. Since this is my life, not a history book, I have only included detail for the year of my birth, the year I graduated from High School, and the year of my retirement. Other years may contain highlights of interest.

The source for much of the information on this page comes from Wikpedia, an online encyclopedia.


The War in Europe

  • Jan 22 – Tobruk in North Africa falls to the British
  • Feb 14 – German ‘Afrika Korps’ arrive in North Africa.
  • Apr 17 – Yugoslavia surrenders to the Nazis.
  • May 10 – Heavy German bombing-London; British bomb Hamburg.
  • May 24 – Sinking of the British ship Hood by the Bismarck.
  • May 27 – Sinking of the Bismarck by the British Navy. .
  • Jun 22 – Germany attacks Soviet Union-Operation Barbarossa
  • In Jun – Nazi SS Einsatzgruppen begin mass murder.
  • Jul 03 – Stalin calls for a scorched earth policy.
  • Jul 12 – Mutual Assistance agreement-British and Soviets.
  • Jul 31 – Göring instructs Heydrich to prepare for Final Solution.
  • Aug 20 – Nazi siege of Leningrad begins.
  • Sep 01 – Nazis order Jews to wear yellow stars.
  • Sep 03 – First experimental use of gas chambers-Auschwitz.
  • Sep 29 – Nazis murder 33,771 Jews at Kiev.
  • Oct 02 – Operation Typhoon begins (German advance on Moscow).
  • Dec 06 – Soviet Army launches major counter-offensive – Moscow.
  • Dec 11 – Germany declares war on the United States.
  • Dec 19 – Hitler takes complete command of the German Army.

War in Pacific

  • Dec 07 – Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; also attack the Philippines, Wake Island, Guam, Malaya, Thailand, Shanghai and Midway
  • Dec 08 – U.S. and Britain declare war on Japan. Japanese land near Singapore and enter Thailand
  • Dec 09 – China declares war on Japan
  • Dec 10 – Japanese invade the Philippines and also seize Guam
  • Dec 23 – General Douglas MacArthur begins a withdrawal from Manila to Bataan; Japanese take Wake Island.

Other Events of 1941

Jan 06 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivers his Four Freedoms Speech in the State of the Union Address.

Jan 08 – Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell the founder of Scouting died.

Jan 22  Robert Wayne Penry is born

Mar 01 – W47NV begins operations in Nashville, Tennessee becoming the first FM radio station.

Mar 11 – President Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act.

Mar 17 – In Washington, DC, the National Gallery of Art is officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Mar 22 – Washington’s Grand Coulee Dam begins to generate electricity.

May 01 – Breakfast cereal Cheerios is introduced as CheeriOats by General Mills

May 01 – Orson Welles’ film Citizen Kane premieres in New York City

May 01 – The first Defense Bonds and Defense Savings Stamps go on sale in the United States to help fund the greatly increased production of military equipment.

May 05 – Emperor Haile Selassie enters Addis Ababa, which had been liberated from Italian forces; this date has been since commemorated as Liberation Day in Ethiopia.

May 06 – At California’s Mar Field, Bob Hope performs his first USO Show.

May 09 – World War II: The German submarine U-110 is captured by the British Royal Navy. On board is the latest Enigma cryptography machine which Allied cryptographers later use to break coded German messages.

Jun 04 – The ex-kaiser of Germany, Wilhelm II, dies in exile at Doorn, Netherlands.

Jun 14 – All German and Italian assets in the United States are frozen.

Jun 16 – All German and Italian consulates in the United States are ordered closed and their staffs to leave the country by Jul 10th.

Jul 26 – Roosevelt freezes Japanese assets-suspends relations.

Jul 31 – Holocaust: Under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Nazi official Hermann Göring, orders SS general Reinhard Heydrich to “submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question.”

Aug 01 – The first Jeep is produced

Aug 06 – 6-year-old Elaine Esposito goes to an appendix operation in Florida and lapses into a coma. She dies 1978, still in coma.

Aug 09 – Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill meet at Argentia, Newfoundland. The Atlantic Charter is created as a result.

Aug 12 – By one vote (203-202), the U.S. House of Representatives passes legislation extending the draft period for selectees and the National Guard from one year to 30 months.

Aug 14  Roosevelt and Churchill announce Atlantic Charter

Joe DiMaggio achieves 56 consecutive game hitting streak

Oct 30 – World War II: Franklin Delano Roosevelt approves US$1 billion in Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union.

Oct 31 – After 14 years of work, drilling is completed on Mount Rushmore.

Nov 26 – US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs a bill establishing the fourth Thursday in Nov as Thanksgiving Day in the United States (this partly reversed a 1939 action by Roosevelt that changed the celebration of Thanksgiving to the third

Dec 01 – Former mayor of New York City, Fiorello LaGuardia, and the director of the Office of Civilian Defense, sign an order creating the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) as the civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force

Dec 07 – Japan bombs Pearl Harbor


The War:


  • Jan 13 1942 – Germans begin a U-boat offensive along east coast of USA.
  • Jan 26 1942 – First American forces arrive in Great Britain.
  • In Jun – Mass murder of Jews by gassing begins at Auschwitz.
  • Feb 23 1942 – First Japanese attack on the U.S. mainland as a submarine shells an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California.
  • Apr 10 1942 – Bataan Death Mar begins as 76,000 Allied POWs including 12,000 Americans are forced to walk 60 miles under a blazing sun without food or water toward a new POW camp, resulting in over 5,000 American deaths.


  • May 7-8 1942 – Japan suffers its first defeat of the war during the Battle of the Coral Sea off New Guinea – the first time in history that two opposing carrier forces fought only using aircraft without the opposing ships ever sighting each other.
  • May 20 1942 – Japanese Jun 4-5 1942 – Turning point in the war occurs with a decisive victory for the U.S. against Japan – Battle of Midway
  • Sepember 9/10 – A Japanese floatplane flies two missions dropping incendiary bombs on U.S. forests in the state of Oregon – the only bombing of the continental U.S. during the war. Newspapers in the U.S. voluntarily withhold this information.

Other Events of 1942

Feb 09 – Daylight-saving time goes into effect in the United States.

Feb 24 – Propaganda: The Voice of America begins broadcasting.

In Apr – Japanese-Americans sent to relocation centers.

May 20 – First African-American seamen taken into US Navy

Jul 09 – Holocaust: Anne Frank’s family goes into hiding in an attic above her father’s office in an Amsterdam warehouse.

Dec 02 – Manhattan Project: Below the bleachers of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago, a team led by Enrico Fermi initiate the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction


The War


  • Jan 14-24 – Casablanca conference between Churchill and Roosevelt. During the conference, Roosevelt announces the war can end only with an unconditional German surrender.
  • Jan 27 1943 – First bombing raid by Americans on Germany (at Wilhelmshaven).
  • Nov 28 1943 – Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin meet at Teheran.


  • Jun 01 1943 – U.S. begins submarine warfare against Japanese shipping.
  • Aug 01/02 – A group of 15 U.S. PT-boats attempt to block Japanese convoys south of Kolombangra Island in the Solomon Islands. PT-109 commanded by Lt. John F. Kennedy, is rammed and sunk by the Japanese Cruiser AMAGIRI, killing two and badly injuring others. The crew survives as Kennedy aids one badly injured man by towing him to a nearby atoll.

Other Events of 1943:

Jan 15 – The world’s largest office building, The Pentagon, is dedicated (Arlington, Virginia

Mar 31 – Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! opens on Broadway, heralds a new era in “integrated” stage musicals, becomes an instantaneous stage classic, and goes on to be Broadway’s longest-running musical up to that time (1948).

Apr 25 – Easter occurs on the latest possible date. Last time 1886 next time 2038.

Oct 25 – Ruth Ellen Penry born in Marion, Ohio

Dec 04 – Great Depression ends in the United States: With unemployment figures falling fast due to World War II-related employment,


The War


  • Jun 06 – D-Day landings.
  • Jun 13 – First German V-1 rocket attack on Britain.
  • Jul 03 – ‘Battle of the Hedgerows’ in Normandy
  • Aug 25 – Liberation of Paris.
  • Dec 16-27 – Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes.


  • Jun 16 – The first bombing raid on Japan since the Doolittle raid of Apr 1942 as 47 B-29s based in Bengel, India, target the steel works at Yawata.
  • Oct 25 – The first suicide air (Kamikaze) attacks occur against U.S. warships in Leyte Gulf. By the end of the war, Japan will have sent an estimated 2,257 aircraft. “The only weapon I feared in the war,” Adm. Halsey will say later.
  • Dec 17 – The U.S. Army Air Force begins preparations for dropping the Atomic Bomb by establishing the 509th Composite Group to operate the B-29s that will deliver

Other Events of 1944:

Apr 25 – The United Negro College Fund is incorporated.

Aug 04– Anne Frank and family arrested by the Gestapo in Amsterdam, Holland.

Aug 7 – IBM dedicates the first program-controlled calculator, the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (known best as the Harvard Mark I).

Aug 12 – World’s first undersea oil pipeline laid, between England and France in Operation Pluto

Oct 09 – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Union Premier Joseph Stalin begin a nine-day conference in Moscow to discuss the future of Europe.

Nov 07 – U.S. presidential election, 1944: Franklin D. Roosevelt wins reelection over Republican challenger Thomas E. Dewey to become the only U.S. president to be elected to a fourth term.


The War


  • Jan 26 – Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz.
  • Feb 04-11 – Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin meet at Yalta.
  • Apr 28 – Mussolini is captured and hanged by Italian partisans; Allies take Venice.
  • Apr 30 – Adolf Hitler commits suicide.
  • May 07 – Unconditional surrender of all German forces to Allies.
  • May 08 – V-E (Victory in Europe) Day.
  • Jun 05 – Allies divide up Germany and Berlin and take over the government.


  • Feb 19 – U.S. Marines invade Iwo Jima.
  • Apr 01 – The final amphibious landing of the war occurs as the U.S. Tenth Army invades Okinawa.
  • Jun 09 – Japanese Premier Suzuki announces Japan will fight to the very end rather than accept unconditional surrender.
  • Jul 10 – 1,000 bomber raids against Japan begin.
  • Aug 06 – First Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima from a B-29 flown by Col. Paul Tibbets.
  • Aug 09 – Second Atomic Bomb is dropped on Nagasaki from a B-29 flown by Maj. Charles Sweeney — Emperor Hirohito and Japanese Prime Minister Suzuki then decide to seek an immediate peace with the Allies.
  • Aug 14 – Japanese accept unconditional surrender; Gen. MacArthur is appointed to head the occupation forces in Japan.
  • Sep 02 – Formal Japanese surrender ceremony on board the MISSOURI in Tokyo Bay as 1,000 carrier-based planes fly overhead; President Truman declares VJ Day.

Other Events of 1945:

Apr 12 –United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945) dies suddenly at Warm Springs, Georgia; Vice President Harry S. Truman (1945-1953) takes the Oath of Office

Apr 28 – Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, are executed by Italian partisans as they attempt to flee the country. Their bodies are then hung by their heels in the public square of Milan.

Apr 30 – Adolf Hitler and his wife of one day, Eva Braun, commit suicide as Red Army approaches Führerbunker in Berlin.

May 08 – Victory in Europe Day.

Sep 28 – Mary Ann Smith born in Chattanooga, Tennesee

Oct 24 – United Nations is officially born.

Nov 20 – Nuremberg war crimes trials begin.


Jan 10 – Project Diana bounces Radar waves off the moon, measuring the exact distance between the earth and the effectively opening the space age.

Jan 17 . The UN Security Council holds its first session

Feb 14 – ENIAC (for “Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer”), the first general-purpose electronic computer, is unveiled at the University of Pennsylvania

May 07 – Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering (later renamed Sony) is founded with about 20 employees.

Jul 05 – Bikinis go on sale in Paris

Jul 07 – Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini becomes the first American saint to be canonized.

Jul 25 – At Club 500 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis stage their first show as a comedy team.

Oct 15 – Nuremberg Trials: Founder of the Gestapo and recently convicted Nazi war criminal, Hermann Göring, poisons himself hours before his scheduled execution.

Oct 23 – United Nations’ first meeting in Long Island.

Nov 12 – A branch of the Exchange National Bank in Chicago, Illinois opens the first ten drive-up teller windows.

Dec 11 – UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) founded.

Unknown Dates:

Devil’s Island penal colony closes permanently.

First Tupperware sold in department and hardware stores.

Breathalyzer machine for estimating blood alcohol concentration was invented.


Jan 03 – Proceedings of the U.S. Congress are televised for the first time

Feb 03 – In Snag, Yukon Territory, -63 degrees Celsius, lowest recorded temperature in North America.

Feb 17 – Propaganda: The Voice of America begins to transmit radio broadcasts into the Soviet Union.

Feb 21 – In New York City, Edwin Land demonstrates the first “instant camera”, the Polaroid Land Camera, to a meeting of the Optical Society of America.

Mar 01 – The International Monetary Fund begins to operate.

Mar 12 – The Truman Doctrine is proclaimed to help stem the spread of Communism.

Jun 05 – Secretary of State Gen George Marshall outlines the Marshall Plan for U.S. aid to Europe.

Jul 05 – Downed UFO allegedly found in the Roswell UFO incident, written about by Stanton T. Friedman.

Jul 18 – President Harry S. Truman signs the Presidential Succession Act into law which places the Speaker of the House and the Senate President Pro Tempore next in the line of succession after the United States Vice President.

Jul 24 – 100 year anniversary of Brigham Young leading 148 Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley, resulting in the establishment of Salt Lake City.

Jul 26 – Cold War: U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act into United States law creating the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council.

Aug 07 – Thor Heyerdahl’s balsa wood raft the Kon-Tiki, smashes into the reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands after a 101 day, 4,300 mile journey across the Pacific Ocean proving that pre-historic peoples could have traveled from South America.

Sep 09 – “First actual case of (a computer) bug being found” – a moth lodged in a relay of a Mark II computer at Harvard.

Sep 18 – The United States Army Air Forces, along with some components of the United States Navy’s air arm, becomes the United States Air Force.

Oct 14 – American test pilot, Captain Chuck Yeager flies a Bell X-1 faster than the speed of sound, the first man to do so in level flight.

Nov 20– Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King George VI marries the Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey, London.

Nov 29 – The United Nations General Assembly votes to partition

Dec 23 – the Transistor is invented.

Unknown dates

The House Un-American Activities Committee begin their investigations of communism in Hollywood.

Walter Frederick Morrison invents the Frisbee.

Raytheon produces first commercial microwave oven.

In a cave in and around the Wadi Qumran (near the ruins of the ancient settlement of Khirbet Qumran, on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea), several tall pottery jars containing leather scrolls are discovered, which later became known as the Dead Sea scrolls.

Jackie Robinson is the first African-American to play in modern major league baseball.

Mar 08 – The United States Supreme Court rules that religious instruction in public schools violated the Constitution.

Apr 03 – President Harry Truman signs the Marshall Plan which authorizes $5 billion in aid for 16 countries.

Apr 07 – The World Health Organization is established by the United Nations.

May 14 – Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel

May 15 – 1948 Arab-Israeli War: Egypt, Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia attack Israel.

Jun 24 – Cold War: The Berlin Blockade begins.

Jul 26 – U.S. President signs Executive Order 9981, ending racial segregation in the United States Armed Forces.

Aug 23 – World Council of Churches established.

Dec 10 – United Nations General Assembly adopts Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Unknown Dates:

Porsche is founded.

Miranda, the innermost moon of Uranus, is discovered by Gerard Kuiper.

First flight of De Havilland Comet, the first commercial jet airliner.


Jan 17 – The first Volkswagen Beetle to arrive in the United Jan 25 – The first Emmy Awards are presented at the Hollywood Athletic Club.

Mar 02 – The B-50 Superfortress Lucky Lady II under Captain James Gallagher lands in Fort Worth, Texas after completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight. It was refueled in flight four times.

Apr 01 – Éire leaves the British Commonwealth and becomes the Republic of Ireland

Apr 04 – North Atlantic Treaty is signed in Washington, DC.

May 11 – Siam changes its name to Thailand.

EDSAC, the first stored-program computer, begins operation at Cambridge University.

Jun 08 – George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty-Four is published.

Jun 24 – First Television Western, Hopalong Cassidy, airs on NBC.

Jun 29 – Last US troops withdraw from South Korea

Jun 29 – Beginning of Apartheid – The South African Citizenship Act suspends the granting of citizenship to British Commonwealth immigrants after five years and imposes a ban on mixed marriages

Sep 29 – Mrs. Iva Toguri D’Aquino is found guilty of broadcasting for Japan as “Tokyo Rose” during World War II.

Unknown Dates:

The Vatican announced that bones uncovered in its subterranean catacombs could be the apostle Peter. 19 years later, Pope Pius XII announced confirmation that the bones belonged to this first saint.


Jan 17 – The Great Brinks Robbery – 11 thieves steal more than $2 million from an armored car in Boston, Massachusetts

Jan 31 – President Harry S. Truman orders the development of the hydrogen bomb in response to the detonation the Soviet Union’s first atomic bomb in 1949[2]

Mar 08 – The first Volkswagen Type 2 van – also known as the Volkswagen Microbus – rolls off the assembly line in Wolfsburg, Germany.

Jun 25 – Beginning of Korean War. In the USA, people began to hoard supplies in case of rationing and shortages.

Sep 03 – Beetle Bailey comic strip started.

Sep 04 – Darlington Raceway is the site of the inaugural Southern 500, the first 500-mile NASCAR race.

Oct 01 – The comic strip Peanutsby Charles M. Schulz is first published in seven US newspapers.

Oct 26 – Sister Mary Teresa begins her charity work in Calcutta and becomes known as Mother Teresa

Nov 25 – Phenomenal winter storm ravages the Northeast United States, brings 30 to 50 inches of snow, temperatures below zero, and kills 323 people.

Dec 24 – Scottish nationalists take Stone of Scone from Westminster Abbey

Unknown Dates:

First pagers developed.

Antihistamine discovered.

First TV remote control, Zenith Radio’s Lazy Bones is marketed.

Japanese soldier Yuichi Akitsu surrenders in the Philippines

President Harry Truman sends United States military personnel to Vietnam to aid French forces.


Julius and Ethel Rosenberg convicted of passing US atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, sentenced to death (executed in 1953).
United Nations headquarters opens in New York.
US military occupation of Japan ends.
US test first Hydrogen bomb.


Soviet leader Joseph Stalin dies.
Korean War ends.
Watson and Crick publish the structure of DNA.
Academy Awards televised for the first time.
US Supreme Court rules against racial segregation in schools.
Marilyn Monroe marries Joe DiMaggio..
Vietnam independent from France. Vietnam split at 17th Parallel into Communist North, and non-Communist South.
First commercial nuclear power station goes online at Obninsk, Russia.


West Germany joins NATO.
Warsaw Pact formed by Communist states in Eastern Europe and USSR.
29 African and Asian states meet at the Bandung Conference in Indonesia.
First McDonald’s restaurant opens.


Suez Crisis, Israel, Great Britain and France attack Egypt.
Soviets invade Hungary to crush anti-communist revolution.
Beginning of rock and roll music.
Elvis Presley enters the charts for the first time with Heartbreak Hotel.


Soviet Union launches Sputnik I – first artifical satellite.
FORTRAN, first high-level computer-programming language, introduced.
Nine black students are barred from entering a formerly all white school in Little Rock Arkansas. President Eisenhower uses troops to secure their entry.
International Atomic Energy Agency established.


US launches Explorer I (first US satellite).
USA creates National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
US nuclear submarine, Nautilus, travels to North Pole.
Bobby Fischer, aged 14, wins the United States Chess Championship.
A revolution in Iraq overthrows the monarchy.


Cuban revolution. Fidel Castro becomes Prime Minister of Cuba.
Xerox manufactures the Xerox 914, the first plain paper copier.
Soviet’s Luna 2 is first spacecraft to impact moon.
Soviet’s Luna 3 takes first pictures of the far side of the moon.
Soviet leader, Nikita Khruschev, visits USA.
Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper are killed-plane crash.
First Barbie Doll produced.


American U-2 spy plane shot down over Soviet Union.
Elvis Presley discharged from US Army.
Sharpeville Massacre: Africans protesting against the Apartheid “Pass Laws” are shot in South Africa at Sharpeville.
FDA approves sale of birth control pill in the USA.

Mickey Mantle becomes the highest paid Baseball player after signing a $75,000 contract.
Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba fails.
Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin is the first human in space.
US President John F. Kennedy announces US goal of reaching the moon before the end of the decade.
Sealing of East German border and building of Berlin Wall.
South Africa leaves British Commonwealth, and becomes a Republic.

Apr 1 – Robert Penry meets Mary Ann Smith in Alexandria, Virginia


Cuban Missile Crisis – world stands on brink nuclear war.
Adolf Eichmann (captured by Mossad agents in 1960) is sentenced to death and hanged in Israel for his part in the Holocaust.
Telstar, the world’s first communications satellite, is launched.

Jul 1 – Robert and Mary Ann Penry married in Silver Spring, Maryland


A quarter of million people participate in the civil rights Mar on Washington. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. makes his “I have a dream” speech.
USA and USSR establish “hotline” connection.
President Kennedy visits Berlin: “Ich bin ein Berliner”.
Nuclear Test Ban treaty.

Nov 21 – Robert and Mary Ann Penry sealed in Salt Lake Temple
Nov 22 – President Kennedy assassinated in Dallas, Texas.


Olympic games in Toyko broadcast worldwide by satellite.
Golf Of Tonkin incident between US and North Vietnam.
US Surgeon General warns against cigarette smoking.
China tests her first atomic bomb.
Nelson Mandela imprisoned in South Africa, for opposing Apartheid and sentenced to life imprisonment
The Beatles arrive on their first visit to the USA.
First Ford Mustang produced.


Vietnam war escalation begins, 150,000 US troops deployed to Vietnam.
US invades the Dominican Republic.
US black nationalist leader, Malcolm X, is assassinated in Harlem.
Canada adopts the red and white maple leaf flag.


Chinese leader, Mao Zedong launches Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).
Israel defeats Arabs in Six Day War.
The USS Liberty, a US navy ship, is accidentally bombed by Israeli jets.
First ever Super Bowl
Dr Christiaan Bernard performs first heart transplant, Cape Town, South Africa.
Biafra (1967-1970) declares independence from Nigeria, and is blockaded leading to massive starvation.
Earth Day is celebrated for the first time.


Soviet forces invade Czechoslovakia

Student riots in Paris and other European cities.
Communists launch Tet offensive in Vietnam (ending in a US military victory, but a psychological defeat).
Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated.
Robert Kennedy assassinated.
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty established.

Nov 23 – David Aaron Penry born in San Angelo, Texas


Colonel Gaddafi becomes Libyan leader.
Neil Armstrong is first man to walk on moon.
First trial flights of Concorde, the Anglo-French supersonic airliner.
Charles de Gaulle resigns as President of France.
The ocean liner, QE2, sails on her maiden voyage.

Nov 10 – Rebecca Ann Penry born in Chattanooga, Tennesee

Biafra surrenders, ending the Nigerian civil war.
Pro-US coup in Cambodia. Lon Nol becomes leader.
US invades Cambodia to attack Communist base areas.
Four students killed at Kent State University during a demonstration against the US invasion of Cambodia.

The Beatles disband.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono marry.
Venera 7 (USSR) is first probe to return data from the surface of another planet (Venus).
China launches her first satellite, Dong Fang Hong I.

Intel introduces the 4004, the first microprocessor.
Britain adopts decimal currency
Indo-Pakistan war. East Pakistan becomes the separate state of Bangladesh.
First (and last) British launched satellite, “Prospero”, launched from Woomera, Australia.
Idi Amin overthrows Ugandan President, Milton Obote.

Mar 25 – Karen Elizabeth Penry born in Mountain Home AFB, Idaho


FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover dies.
“Pong” introduces the video game craze.
SALT I treaty limiting nuclear arms signed by US and USSR.
USA and USSR sign ABM Treaty, limiting anti-ballistic missiles.
Black Sep terrorist attack at Munich Olympics, 11 Israeli athletes killed.
US President, Richard Nixon, visits the People’s Republic of China.
Goodyear Blimp flies for the first time.
Ceylon becomes a republic, and renames itself Sri Lanka.


Israel defeats Arabs in Yom Kippur War.
US and North Vietnam sign peace agreement (Paris Peace Treaty).
Oil price doubled by Persian Gulf states.
World Trade Center in New York, is dedicated.
Burglars are caught breaking into Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate Complex.
Skylab is launched.


Richard Nixon resigns as US President.
UPC (Universal Product Code) barcodes introduced.

North Vietnamese take Saigon ending Vietnam war.
Khmer Rouge occupy the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penn, ending the Cambodian civil war.
Soyuz-Apollo test flight (US and Soviet spaceships dock).
Death of Spanish dictator, Franco.
Altair introduce Altair MITS 8800, first personal computer.
Microsoft founded.

Jan 28 – Cynthia LeAnne Penry born in Bowling Green, Ohio

Concorde (first supersonic airliner) makes first commercial flights.
Viking 1 and 2 probes land on Mars and beam back photographs.
US bicentennial (200 years since independence).
Chinese leader, Mao Zedong, dies.
Israeli commandos free the passengers and crew of a hijacked French airliner, at Entebbe, Uganda.


Gary Gilmore becomes first person executed in United States since 1967.
Star Wars hits the cinemas.
Elvis Presley dies
Apple Computer founded.
Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat, visits Israel.
Astronomers discover rings around the planet Uranus.
The Apple II computer goes on sale.
A power-cut blacks out New York City. Widespread looting and vandalism occur.


Camp David Peace Treaty between Israel and Egypt.
First test-tube baby born in Britain.
Charon, the moon of Pluto is discovered.
Mass murder/suicide of members of Jim Jones’ religious cult in Guyana.
Space Invaders video game developed by Taito in Japan.

29 Aug – Andrew Thomas Penry born in Bowling Green, Ohio

Shah overthrown in Iranian revolution.
US embassy in Iran seized by students, and embassy staff held hostage.
Saddam Hussein becomes President of Iraq.
Margaret Thatcher becomes Britain’s first woman Prime Minister.
Three Mile Island nuclear accident in US.
USSR and USA sign the SALT+II treaty, limiting nuclear arms.
Soviets forces invade Afghanistan.
Voyager I discovers faint ring system around Jupiter.
Visicalc, first spreadsheet software introduced.
Ugandan dictator, Idi Admin, deposed.
Debut of the Garfield comic strip.
Muhammad Ali announces his retirement from boxing (although he will later, briefly, return).
Sony introduces the Walkman.


Start of Iran-Iraq war.
US boycotts Moscow Olympics.
John Lennon assassinated.
Lech Walesa leads Solidarity union movement in Poland against communist government.
CNN launched.
Rhodesia becomes Zimbabwe.
Mount St. Helens erupts, killing 57, and causing $2-$3 billion of damage.

Iran releases 52 American hostages, minutes after Ronald Reagan is inaugurated as US President.
Royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in Great Britain.
Martial law declared in Poland.
Gulf Cooperation Council created by six Arab states.
IBM PC introduced.
Osbourne I, first portable computer, introduced.
President Reagan survives assassination attempt.
First launch of Space Shuttle.
Unsuccessful assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II


Argentina invades Falkland Islands, a British colony, resulting in Falklands War. The war ends with a British victory.
First artifical heart transplant.
Israel invades Lebanon .
John Hinckley found not guilty by reason of insanity, for the attempted assassination of US President Ronald Reagan.

Korean Airlines Flight 007 shot down by USSR.
US forces invade Grenada.
President Reagan proposes Strategic Defense Initiative (“Star Wars”s;).
Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space.


Apple Macintosh introduced.
Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, is assassinated.
Soviets boycott Los Angeles Olympics.
Astronauts from the space shuttle Columbia make the first untethered space walk.
IRA bomb the Grand Hotel in Brighton. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher survive, but five others are killed.
Britain and China sign the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Hong Kong is to be returned to China in 1997, but will be a “Special Autonomous Region”

French secret agents sink Greenpeace ship, “Rainbow Warrior”.
Two Iraqi Exocet missiles strike the USS Stark.
British Telecom announces the retirement of Britain’s red telephone boxes.
Britain and Ireland sign the Anglo-Irish agreement, giving the Republic of Ireland, for the first time, a role in Northern Ireland.

Challenger Space Shuttle explodes killing 7 astronauts.
Chernobyl Accident (first nuclear disaster) in Soviet Union.
Iran-Contra (1985) revealed to public.
US bombs Libya.

Stockmarket crashes on Black Monday.
INF agreement between US and USSR eliminates an entire class of nuclear weapons.
Portugal signs agreement to return Macau to China in 1999.


Iran-Iraq war ends.
USS Vincennes accidentally shoots down an Iranian airliner.
A Pan Am Boeing jumbo jet crashes into the Scottish town of Lockerbie as a result of a bomb.

Soviet forces withdraw from Afghanistan,
Solidarity defeats the Communists in Polish elections.
Berlin Wall falls.
Communist regimes in Eastern Europe collapse.
Anti-Communist revolution in Romania.
Chinese pro-Democracy demonstrators and students massacred in Tiananmen Square.
Ayatollah Khomeini condemns British author Salman Rushdie to death for blasphemy.
Ayatollah Khomeini dies.
An oil tanker, the Exxon Valdez, runs aground in Alaska, resulting in a massive oil spill.


Time Warner is formed from the merger of Time, Inc. and Warner Communications, Inc.
Nelson Mandela released from prison in South Africa.
Iraq invades Kuwait.
Hubble space telescope launched.
Microsoft introduces Windows 3.0.
British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher resigns.
Tim Berners-Lee invents “The Worldwide Web”.

Dec 29 – Rebecca Ann Penry marries Robert Paul Niles in Muncie, Indiana


US, Britain, France and allied countries drive Iraq from Kuwait (Operation Desert Storm).
Warsaw Pact officially dissolved.
Attempted coup in Soviet Union.
Break-up of USSR, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) formed.
Croatia and Slovenia independent from Yugoslavia after a brief war.

Jun 01 – Karen Elizabeth Penry marries Craig Lynn Baker in the Idaho Falls Temple, Idaho

Bosnia votes for independence from Yugoslavia.
Bosnian war begins, siege of Sarajevo.
Los Angeles riots. Triggered by acquittal of four white police officers for beating of Rodney King (1991).
Boxer Mike Tyson convicted of rape.
Microsoft introduces Windows 3.1.


Waco seige in Texas.
First World Trade Center bombing. Terrorists detonate bomb in underground car park.
Peace treaty signed between Israel and PLO.
Mosaic, web browser software, introduced.
Intel introduces the Pentium microprocessor.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum opens.


South Africa holds its first multi-racial elections.
Nelson Mandela elected President of South Africa.
Rwandan genocide: 800,000 Tutsi killed.
Channel Tunnel (Eurotunnel) opens between England and France.
WTO (North American Free Trade Agreement) comes into effect.


Terrorist bombing kills 168 in Oklahoma City.
O.J. Simpson Trial. Simpson is acquitted.
Dayton settlement ends war in Bosnia.
Netscape goes public, start of Internet stockmarket boom.
NAFTA (World Trade Organization) comes into effect.
Microsoft introduces Windows 95.

Dec 6 – Morgan Danielle Niles born in Angola, Indiana


Bomb kills 19 US servicemen in Saudi Arabia.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorce.
First democratically elected Palestinian parliament


Britain cedes Hong Kong (a British colony since 1841) back to China.
Princess Diana dies in road accident in Paris, France.
NASA’s Mars Pathfinder probe lands on Mars.
An unmanned Progress cargo-ship crashes into the Mir space station.
Tiger Woods becomes the youngest golfer to win the Masters Tournament.

Sep 06 – Dylan Conner Niles born in Goshen, Indiana

Apr 25 – David Aaron Penry marries Sherise Lanette Slaugh In the Oakland Temple, California


Prosecutor Kenneth Starr pursues President Bill Clinton for alleged lying about extra-marital affairs.
US and Britain bomb Iraq (Operation Desert Fox).
Apple Computer introduces the iMac.
Microsoft introduces Windows 98.


President Bill Clinton acquitted in Senate impeachment trial.
NATO begins bombing Serbian forces in Kosovo. Mass explusion of Albanians from Kosovo.
Y2K scare. Computers predicted to crash at the end of the year.

Shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado kills 13, wound more than 20


Y2K computer bug doesn’t cause too many problems.
Air France Concorde crashes near Paris.
US Supreme Court decides in favor of George W. Bush in split decison over 2000 Presidential election.

AOL announces agreement to buy Time Warner for $162 billion, the largest corporate merger in history.
Former Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic surrenders to face war crimes charges.

Feb 10 – Daniel Craig Baker born in Rexburg, Idaho
Sep 11 – Terrorists hijack 4 US airlines, and crash them. World Trade Center in New York destroyed.


President George Bush faints after choking on a pretzel.
Accountacy and auditing scandals engulf Enron, Worldcom and other US businesses.
Swiss voters vote in favor of joining the United Nations.
Funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother of the UK.
Organisation of African Unity becomes African Union.

US, Britian, Australia and Poland invade Iraq. Saddam Hussein toppled.
Concorde makes last commercial flight.
The Space Shuttle Columbia is destroyed during re-entry into the atmosphere.
China launches Shenzhou 5, their first manned space mission.
Human Genome Project completed.


Space Ship One becomes the first privately funded craft to achieve space flight.
On Dec 26th, an earthquake in Indian Ocean off the west coast of Sumatra in Indonesia, measuring 9.3 on the Richter Scale creates tsunami waves that sweep across much of the coastlines of Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. At least 290,000 people are killed.
The official opening of Taipei 101, the tallest skyscraper in the world standing 1,676 feet (508 metres). 

I was diagnosed with and operated on for Prostate Cancer

Aug 18 – Gavin Christopher Niles born in Columbus, Ohio

Oct 21 – Bronwen Nicole Baker born in Middletown, Ohio


North Korea announces that it has nuclear weapons.
Over 1,000 are killed, and severe damage is caused along the U.S. Gulf Coast, as Hurricane Katrina strikes the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coastal areas. Levees protecting New Orleans give way and the city is flooded.

Hurricane Wilma does severe damage across South Florida, Everglades, and Florida Keys.
Pope John Paul II dies.
Prince Charles marries Camilla Parker Bowles.
French voters reject the proposed European Constitution in a national referendum.
Deep Impact space probe successfully hits comet Tempel 1.


Apple Computer announces first Intel-based Macintosh


Adam Air Flight 574 disappears over Indonesia with 102 people on board.


Cyclone Nargis killed more than 138,000 in Myanmar.

Lehman Brothers went bankrupt following the subprime mortgage crisis.


 US Airways Flight 1549 ditches in the Hudson River in an accident that becomes known as the “Miracle on the Hudson”, as all 155 people on board are rescued.


Wiki leaks 

U.S. Combat withdrawal from Iraq

Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico, worst oil spill in history


Navy Seals kill al-Quida leader, Osama bin Laden

Libya’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi kill by rebels following NATO air strike

North Korean Leader Kim Jong-il dies, one of most notorious leaders on the century


Costa Concordia Shipwreck on jagged coast of Tuscan island Giglio


U.S. Supreme court legitimizes gay marriages

U.S. military allows women to serve in front-line combat

Two pressure-cooker bombs explode during Boston Marathon

Boy Scouts allow homosexual boys to participate in scouting


Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappears

Scotland votes to remain part of U.K.

ISIS declares an Islamic Caliphate


Death of my wife, Mary Ann, January 31st.

ISIS launches terrorists attacks on three continents


Brexit Referendum

Zika Virus

Orlando nightclub shooting


Russia meddles in U.S. Elections

Confederate Monuments fall.

Las Vegas shooting, 58 killed and over 500 wounded

Opioids become leading cause of deaths in America for under age 50.


Wildfires ravaged California, killing at least 90.  Town of Paradise destroyed


Notre Dame Cathedral catches fire

Emperor Akhito of Japan abdicates

Wildfires destroy over 2 million square miles of Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest.  

2020:  COV19, the beginning of a world-wide pandemic of biblical proportions. The world “masks” and almost everything shuts down.

Death of George Floyd, a black man at the hands of the Minneapolis Police, fuels mass protests in form than 2,000 cities and 60 countries against systemic racism and police violence. National Guard called out in 30 states, over 4,400 arrests. Other incidents against blacks by police were also reported.  


Because of COVID 19, China is blamed and Asians in U.S. are persecuted. All Asians are included, not just the Chinese.

After Columbine in 1999, there has been a history of mass shootings in the United States. It is an epidemic! I started to make a list, but it is so horrific, I decided to stop. Hardly a week goes by without school schools, churches, hotels, malls, sporting events, etc. Will it ever stop, or is this part of the biblical end of times?

Perhaps the most alarming problem is the disintegration of the American political system. Talking across the isle today is a joke. Both of the major political parties have gone radical.  There is no decency or honesty left among politicians.  I have tried to keep my political viewpoints out of my autobiography.   But, I am scared today for my grandchildren.  I will make one statement that perhaps summarizes my feelings:

I hate with a passionate hate, the term MAGA.  It is the absolute most insulting phrase in political history. It implies that my country, the greatest nation on our planet is not great. I have served twenty years in the military around the world, protecting the greatest county on earth. I could live with Make America Greater. Unfortunately, the man who came up with this phrase and uses it doesn’t have the intelligence to fix anything! He has accomplished nothing except causing disunity, disharmony and revels in dishonesty. He claims he had nothing to do with an attack on our political system. Bull Shit! I will leave that as my final comment. Just do me a favor, don’t even tell me that you support him. I don’t want to hear it!  


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