1969: The U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division staged its first assault on North Vietnamese troops defending Hill 937, which over the following week would earn the sobriquet of Hamburger Hill.

Also today in history in the U.S. and around the world:

1676: Virginia settlers under Nathaniel Bacon rebeled against Governor William Berkeley. Later on, Bacon was hanged along with 23 others.

1655: English forces under General at Sea William Penn and General Robert Venables annexed the island of Jamaica from Spain.

1775: A small group of rebel militia, the Green Mountain Boys led by Ethan Allen and Colonel Benedict Arnold surprised the British garrison and seized Fort Ticonderoga. Meanwhile, the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia appointed Major General George Washington as supreme commander of the Continental Army.

1796: Général de Division Napoléon Bonaparte defeated the Austrians in the Battle of Lodi Bridge.

1797: The first warship of the United States Navy, the super-frigate United States, was launched.

1862: Confederate rams attacked Union river craft at Plum Point Bend near Fort Pillow, Tennessee, sinking the ironclad gunboats Cincinnati and Mound City in shallow water before withdrawing.

1864: In the Battle of Spotsylvania, Union Colonel Emory Upton led 12 regiments in a determined charge on the Mule Shoe that overran two lines of Confederate works and took 1,000 prisoners. A counterattack ordered by General Robert E. Lee, combined with the realization that reinforcements would not be forthcoming, compelled Upton to withdraw, having suffered 1,000 casualties over the course of the day.

1865: Union troops caught up with fleeing Confederate President Jefferson Davis at Irwinsville, Georgia.

1915: Zeppelin airships droped hundreds of bombs on Southend-On-Sea, Essex, England.

1940: Winston Churchill succeeded Neville Chamberlain as British prime minister as the Germans launched simultaneous assaults on the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France, and Luftwaffe aircraft dropped their first bombs on English soil: Chilham and Petham, Kent

1945: Soviet troops secured Prague and the British secured Rangoon from the Japanese.

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