The Battle of the Bulge 67 years later
Santa's Stallion

Dec. 23 in US Military History

1783: Three months after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, ending the Revolutionary War, Gen. George Washington resigns his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.

1941: Japanese troops conduct a second landing on Wake Island, supported by carrier-launched airstrikes. After 12 hours of intense fighting, the Marine garrison surrenders. Wake's capture came at a high cost to Japanese forces, however, losing nearly 900 men, two destroyers, two patrol boats, a submarine, and over 20 aircraft at the cost of 12 planes and 50 Marines and sailors.

The Japanese sub I-21 sinks the oil tanker Montebello off the coast of Cayucos, Calif.

Meanwhile, labor and industry leaders agree that there will not be any strikes or lockouts during World War II.

1944: Elements of the 5th Panzer Army bypass the 101st Airborne surrounded at Bastogne, Belgium. A break in the weather allows Allied fighter-bombers to conduct 900 sorties, conducting devastating attacks against German supply depots and allowing aerial resupply of the 101st

1948: Former Japanese premier Hideki Tojo is hanged after the International Military Tribunal for the Far East found him guilty of war crimes. Tojo was responsible for the Pearl Harbor attack. Also hanged are Gen. Iwane Matsui, responsible for the Rape of Nanking, Gen. Heitaro Kimura, responsible for the brutal treatment of Allied prisoners of war, and four others. Overall, around 5,000 Japanese are found guilty of war crimes, and 900 are executed.

1950: Gen. Walton H. Walker, commander of the Eighth Army is killed in a jeep accident. Lt. Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway, who would turn the tide of the Korean War, is his successor. In April, Ridgway will replace Gen. Douglas MacArthur as Supreme US and UN Commander in Korea.

1951: A prisoner exchange request is denied by the North Koreans. UN command lists 65,363 troops as captured in the first nine months of combat.

1961: Cuban dictator Fidel Castro announces that he will release the 1,113 prisoners from the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in exchange for $62 million in food and medical supplies. One year later, Castro will begin releasing prisoners.

1968: After 11 long months of brutal captivity, North Korea releases the crew of the USS Pueblo. The communists claimed that the intelligence-gathering ship was in North Korean waters while the US maintains that the ship was in international waters. One prisoner died in captivity, and the ship remains in North Korea as a museum.

1970: The World Trade Center is complete. The twin 110-story buildings were - at the time - the tallest buildings in the world, with the North Tower reaching an impressive 1,368 feet.

1974: The B-1 Lancer bomber makes its first flight.

2004: Marines neutralize the last pockets of resistance in Fallujah, Iraq. The Second Battle of Fallujah was the bloodiest battle of the war and the deadliest since the Vietnam War with 107 killed and 613 wounded.