1775: The Continental Congress creates the Continental Navy. Esek Hopkins, Esq. is named commander-in-chief of the fleet, four captains are commissioned, as well as five first lieutenants (including future hero John Paul Jones), five second lieutenants, and three third lieutenants.
1864: Following his “March to the Sea” and just before his “March through the Carolinas,” Union Army Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman presents the captured city of Savannah (Ga.) to Pres. Lincoln as a “Christmas gift.”
The wire from Sherman to Lincoln reads; “I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah, with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, and also about 25,000 bales of cotton.”
1941: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrives in Washington, D.C. for the Arcadia Conference, the first summit between Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt to discuss military strategy.
Meanwhile, the first US troops arrive at Australia. (h/t Davod)
1944: Having surrounded the 101st Airborne at Bastogne, Belgium, German General Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz issues a surrender ultimatum to Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe, the acting commander for the 101st. Clement's one-word response: "NUTS!"
Despite being heavily outnumbered, the 101st was able to hold out until the 4th Armored Division relieved them on Dec. 26th.
Meanwhile, German commanders, including the Chief of the General Staff, recommend ending the Rundstedt Offensive (Battle of the Bulge) due to a lack of significant progress.
1950: Air Force F-86 Sabres shoot down six communist MiG-15 fighters without losing a single jet in the biggest dogfight of the Korean War.
Medal of Honor: 67 years ago near Kalterherberg, Germany, Tech. Sgt. Peter J.Dalessondro saved his unit from being completely routed by multiple overwhelming attacks.
Image of the Day: US soldiers during the Battle of the Bulge
Adapted (and abridged) in part from "This Week in US Military History" by W. Thomas Smith Jr. at Human Events.