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21 May 1944

21 May 1944

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21 May 1944




The 5th Army captures Fondi and Campodimele

A Day In Wrigley Field History: May 21, 1944

The Cubs won on Opening Day in 1944, then lost 13 straight games. That's been exceeded only once in franchise history (the 14-game losing streak to begin the 1997 season). During that 13-game losing streak, they fired manager Jimmie Wilson and replaced him with Charlie Grimm, in his second stint as Cubs manager.

The losing continued, even with a few wins scattered here and there, and when the Boston Braves met the Cubs in a doubleheader Sunday, May 21, the Cubs began the day 6-18, 11½ game out of first place. Irving Vaughn of the Tribune tells what happened:

Well, let's try to figure out the timing on this one. My previous research noted that doubleheaders in 1944 started at 1:30. The first game was delayed "more than an hour" let's guess that meant it started at 2:45. Despite the 15-1 score, it was played in a snappy one hour and 52 minutes, thus ending at (approximately) 4:37. That included "a pause because of rain", wrote Vaughn, in the bottom of the first inning. In general, 20 minutes or so was allowed between games in those days, so let's say Game 2 began at approximately 5 p.m.

The 14-5 slugfest ran one hour, 53 minutes -- that's actually somewhat long for 7½ innings if it had gone the full length it would have been more than two hours.

That would have led to a call for darkness just before 7 p.m. Sunset in Chicago May 21, 1944 was 8:10 p.m. -- so calling the game an hour before sunset was somewhat unusual. Maybe it started to rain again, though Vaughn's article doesn't say, or maybe it was just gloomy enough to stop, given that the Cubs were ahead by nine runs.

The Cubs played better after that -- they went 67-61 the rest of the way -- but it really didn't matter, no one was going to catch the Cardinals that year. St. Louis won 105 games, one short of their 1942 franchise record, and won the pennant by 14½ games.

An unrelated, but interesting 1944 story: At the end of the year the Cubs had a chance to finish over .500 for the first time since 1939. With six games left they were 73-75 a 5-1 mark against two of the three worst teams in the league (the Braves and Phillies) would have done it.

Instead, the Cubs lost four of six and finished 75-79. One of those losses was a 5-1 defeat to the Braves September 29 in Boston in front of an announced crowd of 501. (Yes, five hundred and one.) The losing pitcher that day was Charlie Gassaway, a late-season pickup who appeared in just two games in a Cubs uniform, both losses, both on the road.

When Kasey Ignarski and I were researching "Cubs By The Numbers", Gassaway's was the only uniform number in all of Cubs history we were unable to find. Despite some leads since then, we still haven't. If you have any idea where we can find this, let us know. We'd love to complete the set.

A blue glow flashed from the sphere and the Geiger counter clicked furiously. Slotin, exposed to nearly 1,000 rads of radiation (well above a lethal dose), reacted instinctively and knocked the spheres apart. His action stopped the chain reaction and prevented the seven other individuals in the room from being exposed to the same high levels of radiation as he experienced. Slotin's health rapidly deteriorated and he spent his last nine days receiving around-the-clock care as he went through the ravages of radiation sickness, passing away on May 30, 1946.

It was not until the second accident and Louis Slotin's death that more rigorous safety procedures were applied. After the incident, criticality experiments at Los Alamos were conducted remotely, with roughly a quarter of a mile separating scientists from radioactive material. Their deaths helped incite a new era of health and safety measures.

The same plutonium core - nicknamed "the demon core" - was being used by Daghlian and Slotin at the time of their accidents. For more about the demon core and its fate, see historian Alex Wellerstein's article, "The Third Core's Revenge." To hear an eyewitness account of the Slotin accident with Raemer Schreiber, click here.


On March 23, 1944, the bodies of two young girls, Betty June Binnicker (1933–1944) and Mary Emma Thames were discovered in Alcolu, South Carolina. The girls had gone missing the day before, as they never returned home the previous night. [4] Binnicker and Thames both suffered severe blunt force trauma, resulting in penetration of both of the girls skulls. [5]

In 1944, George Stinney lived in Alcolu, South Carolina, with his father, George Stinney Sr. (1902-1965), mother Aimé (1907-1989), brothers John, 17, and Charles, 12, and sisters Katherine, 10, and Aimé, 7. Stinney's father worked at the town's sawmill, and the family resided in company housing. Alcolu was a small, working-class mill town, where white and black neighborhoods were separated by railroad tracks. The town was typical of small Southern towns of the time. Given segregated schools and churches for white and black residents, there was limited interaction between them. [6]

The bodies of Betty June Binnicker and Mary Emma Thames were found in a ditch on March 23, 1944, after failing to return home the night before. The bodies were discovered on the African-American side of Alcolu. [7] Stinney's father helped in the search. The girls had been beaten with a weapon, variously reported as a piece of blunt metal or a railroad spike. [8] The girls were last seen riding their bicycles looking for flowers. As they passed the Stinneys' property, they had asked Stinney and his sister, Aimé, [6] if they knew where to find "maypops", a local name for passionflowers. [9] According to Aimé, she was with Stinney at the time the police later established for the murders. [6] According to an article reported by the wire services on March 24, 1944, and published widely, with the mistake of the boy's name preserved, the sheriff announced the arrest of "George Junius" and stated that the boy had confessed and led officers to "a hidden piece of iron." [10] [9]

Both girls had suffered blunt force trauma to the face and head. [11] Reports differed as to what kind of weapon had been used. [12] According to a report by the medical examiner, these wounds had been "inflicted by a blunt instrument with a round head, about the size of a hammer." Both girls' skulls were punctured. The medical examiner reported no evidence of sexual assault to the younger girl, though the genitalia of the older girl was slightly bruised. Both girls' hymens remained intact at the time of the autopsies. [6] [13] [14] [15]

George Stinney, Jr. and his older brother John were arrested on suspicion of murdering the girls. John was released by police, but George was held in custody. He was not allowed to see his parents until after his trial and conviction. [6] According to a handwritten statement, Stinney's arresting officer was H.S. Newman, a Clarendon County deputy, who stated, "I arrested a boy by the name of George Stinney. He then made a confession and told me where to find a piece of iron, about 15 inches where he said he put it in a ditch about six feet from the bicycle." No confession statement signed by Stinney is known to exist. The 14-year-old later claimed that the arresting officers starved him and then bribed him with food to confess. [6] [14]

Stinney was reported to have gotten into fights at school, including a fight where he scratched a girl with a knife. This assertion by Stinney's seventh-grade teacher, who was African American, was disputed by Aimé Stinney Ruffner, when it was reported in 1995. A local white woman who remembered Stinney from childhood claimed in 2014 that he had threatened to kill her and a friend the day before the murder, and that he was known as a bully. [6] [16]

Following Stinney's arrest, his father was fired from his job at the local sawmill, and the Stinney family had to immediately vacate their company housing. The family feared for their safety. Stinney's parents did not see him again before the trial. He had no support during his 81-day confinement and trial he was detained at a jail in Columbia, fifty miles from Alcolu, due to the risk of lynching. [7] Stinney was questioned alone, without his parents or an attorney. [8] Although the Sixth Amendment guarantees legal counsel, it was not until the United States Supreme Court's 1963 ruling in Gideon v. Wainwright that explicitly required representation through the course of criminal proceedings. [8]

The entire proceeding against Stinney, including jury selection, took one day. Stinney's court-appointed counsel was Charles Plowden, a tax commissioner campaigning for election to local office. Plowden did not challenge the three police officers who testified that Stinney confessed to the two murders. He also did not challenge the prosecution's presentation of two differing versions of Stinney's verbal confession. In one version, Stinney was attacked by the girls after he tried to help one girl who had fallen in the ditch, and he killed them in self defense. In the other version, he had followed the girls, first attacking Mary Emma and then Betty June. [6] There is no written record of Stinney's confession apart from Deputy Newman's statement. [7]

Other than the testimony of the three police officers, at trial prosecutors called three witnesses: Reverend Francis Batson, who discovered the bodies of the two girls, and the two doctors who performed the post-mortem examination. The court allowed discussion of the "possibility" of rape due to bruising on Binnicker's genitalia. Stinney's counsel did not call any witnesses, did not cross-examine witnesses, and offered little or no defense. The trial presentation lasted two and a half hours. [6]

More than 1,000 whites crowded the courtroom, but no blacks were allowed. [7] As was typical at the time, Stinney was tried before an all-white jury (in 1944 most African-Americans in the South were prohibited from voting and therefore ineligible to serve on juries). After deliberating for fewer than ten minutes, the jury found Stinney guilty of both murders. Judge Philip H. Stoll sentenced Stinney to death by electrocution. There is no transcript of the trial and no appeal was filed by Stinney's counsel. [7]

Stinney's family, churches, and the NAACP appealed to Governor Olin D. Johnston for clemency, given the age of the boy. Others urged the governor to let the execution proceed, which he did. [11] Johnston wrote a response to one appeal for clemency, but the autopsy proved the allegations therein to be false: [6]

It may be interesting for you to know that Stinney killed the smaller girl to rape the larger one. Then he killed the larger girl and raped her dead body. Twenty minutes later he returned and attempted to rape her again, but her body was too cold. All of this he admitted himself.

Between the time of Stinney's arrest and his execution, his parents were allowed to see him once after the trial, when he was held in the Columbia penitentiary. Under the threat of lynching, they were not allowed to see him any other time. [6]

Stinney was executed on June 16, 1944, at 7:30 p.m. He was prepared for execution by electric chair, using a Bible as a booster seat because Stinney was too small for the chair. [17] He was then restrained by his arms, legs, and body to the chair. His father was only allowed to approach the electric chair to say his final words to his son, and an officer asked George if he had any last words to say before the execution took place, but he only shook his head. The executioner pulled a strap from the chair and placed it over George's mouth, causing him to break into tears, and he then placed the face mask over his face, which did not fit him as he continued sobbing. When the lethal electricity was applied, the mask covering slipped off, revealing tears streaming down Stinney's face. [17] [18] He was buried in an unmarked grave in Crowley. [19]

In 2004, George Frierson, a local historian who grew up in Alcolu, started researching the case after reading a newspaper article about it. His work gained the attention of South Carolina lawyers Steve McKenzie and Matt Burgess. [6] In addition, Ray Brown, attorney James Moon, and others contributed countless hours of research and review of historical documents, and found witnesses and evidence to assist in exonerating Stinney. Among those who aided the case were the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project (CRRJ) at the Northeastern University School of Law, which filed an amicus brief with the court in 2014. [20] Frierson and the pro bono lawyers first sought relief through the Pardon and Parole Board of South Carolina.

McKenzie and Burgess, along with attorney Ray Chandler representing Stinney's family, filed a motion for a new trial on October 25, 2013. [21]

If we can get the case re-opened, we can go to the judge and say, 'There wasn't any reason to convict this child. There was no evidence to present to the jury. There was no transcript. This case needs to be re-opened. This is an injustice that needs to be righted.' I'm pretty optimistic that if we can get the witnesses we need to come forward, we will be successful in court. We hopefully have a witness that's going to say — that's non-family, non-relative witness — who is going to be able to tie all this in and say that they were basically an alibi witness. They were there with Mr. Stinney and this did not occur. [22]

Frierson stated in interviews, "There has been a person that has been named as being the culprit, who is now deceased. And it was said by the family that there was a deathbed confession." Frierson said that the rumored culprit came from a well-known, prominent white family. A member, or members, of that family had served on the initial coroner's inquest jury, which had recommended that Stinney be prosecuted. [22]

In its amicus brief, the CRRJ said:

There is compelling evidence that George Stinney was innocent of the crimes for which he was executed in 1944. The prosecutor relied, almost exclusively, on one piece of evidence to obtain a conviction in this capital case: the unrecorded, unsigned "confession" of a 14-year-old who was deprived of counsel and parental guidance, and whose defense lawyer shockingly failed to call exculpating witnesses or to preserve his right of appeal. [20]

New evidence in the court hearing in January 2014 included testimony by Stinney's siblings that he was with them at the time of the murders. In addition, an affidavit was introduced from the "Reverend Francis Batson, who found the girls and pulled them from the water-filled ditch. In his statement he recalls there was not much blood in or around the ditch, suggesting that they may have been killed elsewhere and moved." [6] Wilford "Johnny" Hunter, who was in prison with Stinney, "testified that the teenager told him he had been made to confess" and always maintained his innocence. [6] The solicitor for the state of South Carolina, who argued for the state against exoneration, was Ernest A. Finney III. He is the son of Ernest A. Finney Jr., who was appointed as South Carolina's first African-American State Supreme Court justice since Reconstruction. [23]

Rather than approving a new trial, on December 17, 2014, circuit court Judge Carmen Mullen vacated Stinney's conviction. She ruled that he had not received a fair trial, as he was not effectively defended and his Sixth Amendment rights had been violated. [24] [25] The ruling was a rare use of the legal remedy of coram nobis. Judge Mullen ruled that his confession was likely coerced and thus inadmissible. She also found that the execution of a 14-year-old constituted "cruel and unusual punishment", and that his attorney "failed to call exculpating witnesses or to preserve his right of appeal." [20] Mullen confined her judgment to the process of the prosecution, noting that Stinney "may well have committed this crime." With reference to the legal process, Mullen wrote, "No one can justify a 14-year-old child charged, tried, convicted and executed in some 80 days," concluding that, "In essence, not much was done for this child when his life lay in the balance." [6]

Family members of both Betty Binnicker and Mary Thames expressed disappointment at the court's ruling. They said that although they acknowledge Stinney's execution at the age of 14 is controversial, they never doubted his guilt. Binnicker's niece claimed she and her family have extensively researched the case, and argues that "people who [just] read these articles in the newspaper don't know the truth." [12] She alleges that, in the early 1990s, a police officer who had arrested Stinney had contacted her and said: "Don't you ever believe that boy didn't kill your aunt." [12] These family members contend that the claims of a deathbed confession from an individual confessing to the girls' murders have never been substantiated. [12]

World War I

In the York River when the United States entered World War I in April 1917, Texas remained in the Chesapeake until August conducting exercises and working to train Naval Armed Guard gun crews for service about merchant vessels. After an overhaul at New York, the battleship moved up Long Island Sound and on the night of September 27 ran hard aground on Block Island. The accident was the result of Captain Victor Blue and his navigator turning too soon due to confusion regarding shore lights and the location of the channel through the mine field at the east end of Long Island Sound.

Pulled free three days later, Texas returned to New York for repairs. As a result, it was unable to sail in November with Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman's Battleship Division 9 which departed to reinforce Admiral Sir David Beatty's British Grand Fleet at Scapa Flow. Despite the accident, Blue retained command of Texas and, due to connections to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, avoided a court-martial over the incident. Finally crossing the Atlantic in January 1918, Texas reinforced Rodman's force which was operating as the 6th Battle Squadron.

While abroad, the battleship largely aided in protecting convoys in the North Sea. On April 24, 1918, Texas sortied when the German High Seas Fleet was spotted moving towards Norway. Though the enemy was sighted, they could not be brought to battle. With the end of the conflict in November, Texas joined the fleet in escorting the High Seas Fleet into internment at Scapa Flow. The following month, the American battleship steamed south to escort President Woodrow Wilson, aboard the liner SS George Washington, into Brest, France as he traveled to the peace conference at Versailles.

West Loch Disaster

A second major tragedy at Pearl Harbor became the Navy's best-kept wartime secret when powerful explosions wracked the amphibious staging area at West Loch, sinking six LSTs.

The day began as any other in wartime Hawaii with a gentle westerly breeze wafting across the sugar cane fields of the sunbasked Waipio Peninsula. Warmer than normal for mid-May, the usual parade of camouflaged warships steaming in and out of Waipio's teeming West Loch anchorage was absent on this quiet Sunday, 21 May 1944. Aboard the dozens of amphibious vessels crowded within this bustling anchorage, most soldiers, sailors and marines looked forward to a day of relaxation after a long week of endless drills, maneuvers and practice amphibious landings.

Pearl Harbor is divided into a series of lochs that fan out from Ford Island that sits in the center of harbor. West Loch was the staging area for the invasion fleets of the Pacific. In particular, vessels called LSTs or LCTs that had the capability to land on the shore, open their bows and deposit troops, stores and vehicles on the beach.

On Sunday morning, May 21, 1944, 29 LSTs readied for the invasion of Saipan, were nestled together at six berths. An LST carried a crew of 119 men and 200 marines, trucks, jeeps, and weapon carriers were carried on the main decks, all of which were loaded with ammunition and gas. Each vessel carried 80 to 100 drums of high-octane fuel on forecastle. Six thousand cubic feet of cargo ammunition was stowed on the deck with field guns and amphibious craft known as DUKWs. Besides the stores carried on by the troops and their vehicles, the ship had its own magazine and fuel capacity of 200,000 gallons. Drums of lubricating oil, fog oil smoke pots and floats were carried on the fantail -- an accident waiting to happen.

On May 21, 1944, at 3:08 p.m., an explosion blossomed out of LST-353. Apparently the blast originated near the bow of LST-963, where Army troops had been unloading mortar ammunition. Red hot fragments showered the clustered LSTs, igniting gasoline drums lined up on the exposed forecastles. In minutes, the explosions began to rip the invasion fleet apart. Fires began to blaze from stem to stern.

The explosions continued, damaging more than 20 buildings shoreside at the West Loch facility. For 24 hours fires raged aboard the stricken ships.

1944: First Use of a Helicopter in Military Operations

On this day in 1944, for the first time in the history, a helicopter was involved in a military operation. This may indeed seem quite late, since the aircraft were used by the military back in 1911 (that year the Italians used the first military aircraft in Libya).

The first helicopter action consisted of rescuing the crew of a crashed plane on the Asian front. Namely, four Allied soldiers were stuck after their plane crashed in enemy (Japanese) territory. Lieutenant Carter Harman, from the American 1st Air Commando Group, flew to retrieve them with a Sikorsky R-4 helicopter.

Sikorsky R-4 helicopters were the first mass-produced helicopters in world history and the first that entered into U.S. Army service. They had only two seats, and could weigh up to 1,170 kg during take-off, which roughly corresponds to an average modern car. For a helicopter, it is a rather small mass, and even more interesting is that the engine had only 200 horsepower (today’s Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion has over 13,000 hp). However, Sikorsky R-4 could already fly at speeds of up to 120 km/h, and its maximum altitude was as much as 2,400 meters.

Of course, it was quite difficult for Lieutenant Harman to transport four people, given that the helicopter had only two seats, one of which was for the pilot. Still, he managed it in just two runs (two at a time).

United Kingdom 1944 - 1947

By the beginning of 1944, the threat of invasion to the United Kingdom had all but melted away. Instead, the U.K. had become a base from which the Allies were preparing to invade France to open up the second front so long demanded by the Soviet Union.

The formations stationed within the U.K. were either earmarked for service with 21 Army Group in North West Europe or became training, draft finding and reserve formations.

The issue of providing reinforcements for formations on active service was to prove crucial if Britain was to continue to play a significant role in the victory over Germany. In addition to providing reinforcements to 21 Army Group, the campaigns in Italy and Burma also demanded trained soldiers from the United Kingdom.

The British, Canadian and American forces landed in Normandy in June 1944, and the first three months saw a high number of casualties as the Allies fought to breakout from Normandy. in the case of the British Army, this brought the issue of reinforcements to crisis level, particularly for the infantry units. In the 21 Army Group, this led to the disbanding of the 59 (Staffordshire) Infantry Division, and the 50 (Northumbrian) Infantry Division being reduced to Reserve status.

In the United Kingdom itself, the Reserve formations were all significantly reorganised in September 1944. Units were trawled for suitable personnel to be posted to 21 Army Group, and several anti-aircraft units were either disbanded or converted into infantry units. These and other measures managed to keep the formations deployed in North West Europe more or less up to strength.

The armistice in North West Europe in May 1945 was the end of five and half years of war that had drained the suitable pool of manpower for the British Armed Forces to almost breaking point. By this time, however, the new Labour Government had introduced a reduction in the period of service overseas for servicemen that prompted a crisis in personnel in the Far East. It was another three months before the Second World War ended, but, it was not until early 1947 that the British Army began the process of demobilisation on a large scale to place the Army on a peacetime establishment.

The History of 61 Infantry Brigade May 1944-June 1945

The 61st fought throughout the Italian campaign and this unit history, published in 1946, describes the fighting around Perugia, the Arno Valley, the Gothic Line and the Appenines.


Written in the immediate aftermath of the campaigns which it describes. The 61st Infantry brigade consisted of the 2nd, 7th and 10th battalions of the Rifle Brigade. All four battalions of the 61st fought throughout the Italian campaign until December 1943 when the 1st returned to Britain to prepare for D-day. The remaining three battalions fought their gruelling way up the Italian peninsula. Their actions included four night attacks in the hills around Perugia, the battles in the Arno Valley, the breaching of the Gothic Line, and the harsh winter of 1944-45 in the Appenines. A rare unit history written while memories were still fresh and including detailed maps, and various rolls of staff, officers, awards and casualties.

Additional information

Usually despatched within 2-5 Days

2014 N&M Press reprint (original pub 1945). SB. 146 pp. 6 Maps in Colour
Published Price £14.50

1. United States/Philippines (1898-1946)

Crisis Phase (December 10, 1898-October 31, 1899): The U.S. government formally acquired the Philippines from Spain with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. The U.S. government declared military rule in the Philippines on December 21, 1898. Emilio Aguinaldo, a Filipino nationalist, proclaimed the independence of the Philippines on January 5, 1899. Emilio Aguinaldo established a rebel government in Malolos on January 23, 1899, and Emilio Aguinaldo was named president of the rebel government. U.S. troops and Filipinos clashed in Manila on February 4, 1899. U.S. troops took control of Jolo on the island of Sulu on May 18, 1899.

Conflict Phase (November 1, 1899-April 13, 1902): Emilio Aguinaldo led a rebellion against the U.S. military government in the Philippines beginning on November 1, 1899. Some 200 Filipino rebels commanded by General Licerio Geronimo attacked U.S. troops commanded by General Henry Ware Lawton near San Mateo on December 19, 1899, resulting in the deaths of General Lawton and 13 other U.S. soldiers. U.S. troops clashed with Filipino rebels near Catubig on April 15-19, 1900, resulting in the deaths of some 150 rebels and at least 21 U.S. soldiers. U.S. troops clashed with Filipino rebels near Cagayan de Misamis on June 4, 1900, resulting in the deaths of nine U.S. soldiers and one rebel. U.S. troops clashed with Filipino rebels near Pulang Lupa on the island of Marinduque on September 13, 1900, resulting in the deaths of four U.S. soldiers. U.S. troops commanded by Colonel Benjamin F. Cheatham, Jr. clashed with Filipino rebels commanded by General Juan Cailles near Mabitac on September 17, 1900, resulting in the deaths of 21 U.S. soldiers and 11 rebels. Emilio Aguinaldo was captured by Filipino troops loyal to the U.S. government on March 23, 1901, and he was replaced by General Miguel Malvar as rebel leader. Emilio Aguinaldo took an oath of allegiance to the U.S. government on April 19, 1901. Moros attacked U.S. troops in the town of Balangiga on the island of Samar on September 28, 1901, resulting in the deaths of some 48 U.S. soldiers and 28 Moros. The U.S. military established and maintained concentration camps (reconcentrados) with some 298,000 Filipinos in the province of Batangas from January to April 1902, resulting in the deaths of some 8,350 Filipinos. U.S. and Filipino troops suppressed the rebellion with the surrender of General Miguel Malvar on April 16, 1902. Some 200,000 Filipinos, 4,234 U.S. soldiers, and 20,000 Filipino soldiers were killed during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (April 17, 1902-June 15, 1913): U.S. troops commanded by Colonel Frank Baldwin clashed with Moros near Bayan on the island of Mindanao on May 2, 1902, resulting in the deaths of some 350 Moros and eleven U.S. soldiers. The U.S. Congress approved the Philippines Act on July 1, 1902, which provided the Philippines with limited self-government. The U.S. government replaced the military government in the Philippines with a civilian government headed by William Howard Taft on July 4, 1902. U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt proclaimed a general amnesty for Filipino rebels on July 4, 1902. General Luke Wright was sworn in as U.S. governor of the Philippines on February 1, 1904. Some 790 U.S. troops commanded by Colonel J. W. Duncan clashed with Moros near Bud Dajo on March 5-7, 1906, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of Moro men, women, and children. Some 21 U.S. soldiers were also killed during the clashes near Bud Dajo. Henry Clay Ide was sworn in as U.S. governor of the Philippines on April 2, 1906, and James Smith was sworn in as U.S. governor of the Philippines on September 20, 1906. The Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) was established on March 12, 1907. Legislative elections were held on July 30, 1907, and the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 59 out of 80 seats in the Philippines Assembly. The Progressive Party (Partido Progresista – PP) won 16 seats in the Philippines Assembly. The Philippines Assembly convened in Manila on October 16, 1907. Legislative elections were held on November 2, 1909, and the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 62 out of 81 seats in the Philippines Assembly. The Progressive Party (Partido Progresista – PP) won 17 seats in the Philippines Assembly. Major General John J. Pershing was assumed the governorship of the Moro province on November 11, 1909. On September 8, 1911, Major General Pershing issued an executive order for the complete disarmament of Moros in Moro province. Legislative elections were held on June 4, 1912, and the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 62 out of 81 seats in the Philippines Assembly. The Progressive Party (Partido Progresista – PP) won 16 seats in the Philippines Assembly. U.S. troops suppressed the 14-year Moro rebellion in southern Philippines on June 15, 1913. At least 10,000 Moros, 630 U.S. soldiers, 116 Philippines soldiers, and 750 Philippines police were killed during the rebellion.

Post-Crisis Phase (June 16, 1913-December 7, 1941): Francis Harrison was sworn in as U.S. governor of the Philippines on August 21, 1913. Legislative elections were held on June 6, 1916, and the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 75 out of 90 seats in the House of Representatives. The U.S. Congress approved the Jones Act on August 29, 1916, which provided for a bicameral Philippines legislature including a House of Representatives and Senate. Legislative elections were held on June 3, 1919, and the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 75 out of 90 seats in the House of Representatives. General Leonard Wood was sworn in as U.S. governor of the Philippines on October 5, 1921. Legislative elections were held on June 6, 1922, and the two major factions of the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 64 out of 93 seats in the House of Representatives. The Philippines Assembly approved a resolution on November 19, 1924, which demanded “full and complete independence” from the U.S. Legislative elections were held on June 2, 1925, and the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 64 out of 92 seats in the House of Representatives. The Philippines Assembly presented a petition demanding independence to the U.S. Congress on December 7, 1925. The Philippines Assembly approved a resolution calling for a plebiscite on independence on July 26, 1926, but the resolution was vetoed by Governor Wood. Governor Wood died on August 7, 1927, and Henry Stimson was sworn in as U.S. governor of the Philippines on December 13, 1927. Dwight Davis was sworn in as U.S. governor of the Philippines on May 17, 1929. Legislative elections were held on June 5, 1928, and the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 71 out of 94 seats in the House of Representatives. Legislative elections were held on June 2, 1931, and the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 66 out of 86 seats in the House of Representatives. The U.S. Congress approved the Tydings-McDuffie Act on March 24, 1934, which promised independence to the Philippines in 12 years. Legislative elections were held on June 5, 1934, and the pro-independence faction of the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 70 out of 92 seats in the House of Representatives. The anti-independence faction of the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista PN) won 19 seats in the House of Representatives. As called for in the Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1934, elections for delegates to the Constitutional Convention were held on July 10, 1934. Benigno Ramos led a right-wing uprising against the government in Bulacan and Laguna provinces on May 1-2, 1935, resulting in the deaths of some 100 individuals. Benigno Ramos fled to Japan. A constitution establishing the Commonwealth of the Philippines was approved by 96 percent of voters in a referendum held on May 14, 1935. Legislative elections were held on September 15, 1935, and Manuel Luis Quezón’s faction (pro-independence faction) of the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 64 out of 98 seats in the House of Representatives. Sergio Osmeña’s faction of the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista PN) won 19 seats in the House of Representatives. Manuel Luis Quezón of the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) was elected president of the Commonwealth on September 15, 1935. The Commonwealth of the Philippines was formally established on November 15, 1935. Legislative elections were held on November 8, 1938, and the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 98 out of 98 seats in the House of Representatives. Several constitutional amendments, including the establishment of a bicameral Congress of the Philippines, were approved in a constitutional plebiscite held on June 18, 1940. Legislative elections were held on November 2, 1941, and the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 95 out of 98 seats in the House of Representatives. President Manuel Luis Quezón was re-elected with 82 percent of the vote on November 11, 1941.

Crisis Phase (December 8, 1941-October 17, 1945): Japanese military aircraft attacked the U.S. government’s Clark airfield in the Philippines on December 8, 1941, resulting in the deaths of 80 U.S. military personnel. Some 43,000 Japanese troops commanded by General Masaharu Homma invaded the islands of Luzon, Mindanao, and Jolo on December 22, 1941. Japanese troops took control of Manila on January 2, 1942. General Douglas MacArthur, commander of U.S. troops in the Philippines, was evacuated from Batann peninsula on March 11, 1942. Some 12,000 U.S. troops and 58,000 Filipino troops commanded by General Edward King surrendered to Japanese troops on the island of Luzon on April 9, 1942. U.S. government troops commanded by Major General Jonathan Wainwright surrendered to Japanese troops on the island of Corregidor on May 6, 1942. President Manuel Luis Quezón fled to the U.S. and established the Commonwealth government-in-exile in Washington DC. Under Japanese occupation, legislative elections for the National Assembly of the Second Republic of the Philippines were held on September 20, 1943, and the Kapisanan sa Paglilingkod sa Bagong Philinas – KALIBAPI led by Benigno Aquino, Sr. won 108 out of 108 seats in the National Assembly. José Paciano Laurel was elected president of the Second Republic of the Philippines by the National Assembly on October 14, 1943. President Manuel Luis Quezón died in the state of New York on August 1, 1944, and Vice-President Sergio Osmeña became president of the Commonwealth government-in-exile on August 1, 1944. President José Paciano Laurel declared martial law in the Philippines on September 22, 1944, and declared a state of war with the U.S. and U.K. on September 23, 1944. U.S. government troops commanded by General MacArthur landed on the island of Leyte on October 20, 1944. Japanese naval ships withdrew from the Philippines region on October 25, 1944, and U.S. troops landed on the island of Samos on October 26, 1944. U.S. troops captured the island of Leyte on December 24, 1944. U.S. government troops attacked Japanese troops on the island of Luzon on January 9, 1945, and captured the island on August 15, 1945. U.S. government troops captured the island of Corregidor on February 16-27, 1945. U.S. government troops attacked Japanese troops on the island of Mindanao on April 17, 1945, and captured the island on August 15, 1945. José Paciano Laurel, who had fled to Japan, formally resigned as president of the Philippines on August 17, 1945. Japan formally surrendered to the U.S. on September 2, 1945.

Post-Crisis Phase (September 3, 1945-July 4, 1946): Manuel Acuña Roxas of the liberal wing of the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) was elected president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines with 55 percent of the vote on April 23, 1946, and was inaugurated as president on April 28, 1946. Legislative elections were held on April 23, 1946, and the liberal wing of the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 49 out of 98 seats in the House of Representatives. The Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 35 seats in the House of Representatives. The Republic of the Philippines formally achieved its independence from the U.S. on July 4, 1946.

[Sources: Clodfelter, 1992, 911-913, 924-927 Jessup, 1998, 585-586 Keesing’s Record of World Events, July 20-27, 1946 Langer, 1972, 827, 937-938, 1118-1119, 1353-1354.]


Bingham, Woodbrigde, Hilary Conroy, and Frank W. Ikle. 1965. A History of Asia, Vol. II, Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.

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