Combat of Forcoin, 3 June 1800

Combat of Forcoin, 3 June 1800


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Combat of Forcoin, 3 June 1800

The combat of Forcoin (3 June 1800) was a minor French victory during the fighting in the maritime Alps in 1800 that saw the Austrians forced out of a position in the mountains east of the Roya River.

On 1-2 June the Austrian line in the Roya had been broken, and Generals Bellegarde and Ulm had been forced destroy their artillery and retreat into the mountains, taking up a new position on the heights of Forcoin and Baracon, two foothills of the mountains of Roya (combat of Breglio).

On 3 June Rochambeau and Brunet attacked the new Austrian positions and forced them to retreat yet again. The leading French troops even crossed the mountains to Pigna.

The Austrian commander, Elsnitz, was forced to retreat even further away from his best line of retreat across the Col de Tende, moved across the mountains to Ormea, and then on to Ceva, arriving with just over 6,000 men.

Napoleonic Home Page | Books on the Napoleonic Wars | Subject Index: Napoleonic Wars


How Women Fought Their Way Into the U.S. Armed Forces

“Why be behind when you could be in front?” an unnamed woman, newly promoted to Army private, asked the Army Times’ Meghann Myers in 2017. She was one of the first women to join the U.S. Army’s infantry, undergoing grueling training along with male recruits and preparing for the realities of combat.

Seventy years before, the thought of a woman training for active combat would have been unthinkable. Though women had just served as active members of the U.S. Armed Forces in World War II, they were in the process of leaving the military.

This was the norm after war—only women nurses were allowed to serve in the military during peacetime, and the hundreds of thousands of women who had served their country during World War II were expected to walk away from their military service and rejoin civilian life. But in 1948, that all changed when women took an essential first step toward becoming equal members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Women have always had a role in the United States’ military conflicts, from the prostitutes who followed the Continental Army, to washerwomen and medical caregivers in the Revolutionary War to Civil War nurses who presided over massive hospitals and worked to feed and clothe soldiers. But only during World War I could women who were not nurses enlist in the armed forces during wartime. Though most women still served in a voluntary capacity, a select few were hired by different military branches and put to work in clerical positions.

Members of the US Army Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC), 1942. (Credit: Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

Then, World War II created an unprecedented need for soldiers𠅊nd dramatically changed the military’s non-combat ranks. In an effort to free up men to fight on the front lines, the armed forces recruited women for non-combat positions like linguists, weather forecasters and telephone operators.

At first, the Army only accepted women on an auxiliary, temporary basis through the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC). But as the war continued, recruiting became more difficult. “Higher paying jobs in civilian industry, unequal benefits with men, and attitudes within the Army itself—which had existed as an overwhelmingly male institution from the beginning—were factors,” the U.S. Army notes.

In an attempt to stop the bleeding, Congress, urged on by U.S. Representative Edith Nourse Rogers, decided to allow women to actually enlist in the Army of the United States (essentially the reserves). With the creation of the Women’s Army Corps, or WAC, in 1943, women could now attain military rank and serve overseas. Meanwhile, the WAAC stayed active, too. Women served in record numbers in both branches, performing their duties with distinction. WACs received the same pay, benefits and rank as their male counterparts other military branches followed suit with groups like the WAVES (U.S. Navy) and SPARS (U.S. Coast Guard).

But though women served valiantly in the war effort, their work was often stigmatized and mocked. Sexual harassment was common, as were implications that women had traded sexual favors for their military ranks. Rumors that the program was a Nazi plot to undermine the armed forces were common, and some men resented having to serve alongside women.


The Emancipation Proclamation 

The Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, had established that all enslaved people in Confederate states in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” 

But in reality, the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t instantly free any enslaved people. The proclamation only applied to places under Confederate control and not to slave-holding border states or rebel areas already under Union control. However, as Northern troops advanced into the Confederate South, many enslaved people fled behind Union lines.

Illustrated print by Thomas Nast depicting life before and after emancipation.


What Were The Alien and Sedition Acts?

Amid mounting tensions, Federalists accused Republicans of being in league with France against their own country’s government. Writing in June 1798 in the Gazette of the United States, Alexander Hamilton called the Jeffersonians “more Frenchmen than Americans” and claimed that they were prepared “to immolate the independence and welfare of their country at the shrine of France.”

Fears of an imminent French invasion led the Adams administration to begin war preparations and pass a new land tax to pay for them.

With fears of enemy spies infiltrating American society, the Federalist majority in Congress passed four new laws in June and July 1798, collectively known as the Alien and Sedition Acts.

With the Naturalization Act, Congress increased residency requirements for U.S. citizenship to 14 years from five. (Many recent immigrants and new citizens favored the Republicans.)

The Alien Enemies Act permitted the government to arrest and deport all male citizens of an enemy nation in the event of war, while the Alien Friends Act allowed the president to deport any non-citizen suspected of plotting against the government, even in peacetime.

Most importantly, Congress passed the Sedition Act, which took direct aim at those who spoke out against Adams or the Federalist-dominated government.

Even as the bitter debates between the two fledgling political parties were being played out in rival newspapers and other publications, the new law outlawed any �lse, scandalous and malicious writing” against Congress or the president, and made it illegal to conspire “to oppose any measure or measures of the government.”


President Garfield assassinated. President Garfield was shot on July 2 he died on September 19. Vice President Chester A. Arthur (Republican) succeeded Garfield as president.

Tuskegee Institute founded. Booker T. Washington became the first principal of Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama, on July 4. Tuskegee became the leading vocational training institution for African-Americans.

Segregation of public transportation. Tennessee segregated railroad cars, followed by Florida (1887), Mississippi (1888), Texas (1889), Louisiana (1890), Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Georgia (1891), South Carolina (1898), North Carolina (1899), Virginia (1900), Maryland (1904), and Oklahoma (1907).

Civil Rights Act overturned. On October 15, the Supreme Court declared the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional. The Court declared that the Fourteenth Amendment forbids states, but not citizens, from discriminating.

Sojourner Truth dies. Sojourner Truth, a courageous and ardent abolitionist and a brilliant speaker, died on November 26.

A political coup and a race riot. On November 3, white conservatives in Danville, Virginia, seized control of the local government, racially integrated and popularly elected, killing four African-Americans in the process.

Lynchings. Fifty-three black Americans are known to have been lynched in 1883.

Cleveland elected president. Grover Cleveland (Democrat) was elected president on November 4.

Lynchings. Fifty-one black Americans are known to have been lynched in 1884.

A black Episcopal bishop. On June 25, African-American Samuel David Ferguson was ordained a bishop of the Episcopal church.

Lynchings. Seventy-four black Americans are known to have been lynched in 1885.

The Carrollton Massacre. On March 17, 20 black Americans were massacred at Carrollton, Mississippi.

Labor organizes. The American Federation of Labor was organized on December 8, signaling the rise of the labor movement. All major unions of the day excluded black Americans.

Lynchings. Seventy-four black Americans are known to have been lynched in 1886.

Two of the first African-American banks. Two of America's first black-owned banks -- the Savings Bank of the Grand Fountain United Order of the Reformers, in Richmond Virginia, and Capital Savings Bank of Washington, DC, opened their doors.

Harrison elected president. Benjamin Harrison (Republican) was elected president on November 6.

Lynchings. Sixty-nine black Americans are known to have been lynched in 1888.

Census of 1890.
U.S. population: 62,947,714
Black population: 7,488,676 (11.9%)

The Afro-American League. On January 25, under the leadership of Timothy Thomas Fortune, the militant National Afro-American League was founded in Chicago.

African-Americans are disenfranchised. The Mississippi Plan, approved on November 1, used literacy and "understanding" tests to disenfranchise black American citizens. Similar statutes were adopted by South Carolina (1895), Louisiana (1898), North Carolina (1900), Alabama (1901), Virginia (1901), Georgia (1908), and Oklahoma (1910).

A white supremacist is elected. Populist "Pitchfork Ben" Tillman was elected governor of South Carolina. He called his election "a triumph of . white supremacy."

Lynchings. Eighty-five black Americans are known to have been lynched in 1890.

Grover Cleveland elected president. Grover Cleveland (Democrat) was elected president on November 8.

Lynchings. One hundred and sixty-one black Americans are known to have been lynched in 1892.

The Pullman strike. The Pullman Company strike caused a national transportation crisis. On May 11, African-Americans were hired by the company as strike-breakers.

Lynchings. One hundred and thirty-four black Americans are known to have been lynched in 1894.

Douglass dies. African-American leader and statesman Frederick Douglass died on February 20.

A race riot. Whites attacked black workers in New Orleans on March 11-12. Six blacks were killed.

The Atlanta Compromise. Booker T. Washington delivered his famous "Atlanta Compromise" address on September 18 at the Atlanta Cotton States Exposition. He said the "Negro problem" would be solved by a policy of gradualism and accommodation.

The National Baptist Convention. Several Baptist organizations combined to form the National Baptist Convention of the U.S.A. the Baptist church is the largest black religious denomination in the United States.

Lynchings. One hundred and thirteen black Americans are known to have been lynched in 1895.

Plessy v. Ferguson. The Supreme Court decided on May 18 in Plessy v. Ferguson that "separate but equal" facilities satisfy Fourteenth Amendment guarantees, thus giving legal sanction to Jim Crow segregation laws.

Black women organize. The National Association of Colored Women was formed on July 21 Mary Church Terrell was chosen president.

McKinley elected president. On November 3, William McKinley (Republican) was elected president.

George Washington Carver. George Washington Carver was appointed director of agricultural research at Tuskegee Institute. His work advanced peanut, sweet potato, and soybean farming.

Lynchings. Seventy-eight black Americans are known to have been lynched in 1896.

American Negro Academy. The American Negro Academy was established on March 5 to encourage African-American participation in art, literature and philosophy.

Lynchings. One hundred and twenty-three black Americans are known to have been lynched in 1897.

The Spanish-American War. The Spanish-American War began on April 21. Sixteen regiments of black volunteers were recruited four saw combat. Five black Americans won Congressional Medals of Honor.

The National Afro-American Council. Founded on September 15, the National Afro-American Council elected Bishop Alexander Walters its first president.

A race riot. On November 10, in Wilmington, North Carolina, eight black Americans were killed during white rioting.

Black-owned insurance companies. The North Carolina Mutual and Provident Insurance Company and the National Benefit Life Insurance Company of Washington, DC were established. Both companies were black-owned.

Lynchings. One hundred and one black Americans are known to have been lynched in 1898.

A lynching protest. The Afro-American Council designated June 4 as a national day of fasting to protest lynchings and massacres.

Lynchings. Eighty-five black Americans are known to have been lynched in 1899.

Census of 1900.
U.S. population: 75,994,575
Black population: 8,833,994 (11.6%)

Lynchings. One hundred and six black Americans are known to have been lynched in 1900.

A World's Fair. The Paris Exposition was held, and the United States pavilion housed an exhibition on black Americans. The "Exposition des Negres d'Amerique" won several awards for excellence. Daniel A. P. Murray's collection of works by and about black Americans was developed for this exhibition.

The following works were valuable sources in the compilation of this Time Line: Lerone Bennett's Before the Mayflower (Chicago: Johnson Publishing Co., 1982), W. Augustus Low and Virgil A. Clift's Encyclopedia of Black America (New York: Da Capo Press, 1984), and Harry A. Ploski and Warren Marr's The Negro Almanac (New York: Bellwether Co., 1976).


7 Frederick Townsend Ward

Unlike most American military adventurers in the 19th century, Frederick Townsend Ward was not a Southern-born patrician. A son of Salem, Massachusetts, Ward began his life as a sailor aboard a clipper ship. His first taste of exotic danger came when his New England ship and crew docked in a Hong Kong ruled by the Qing dynasty. After a brief spell at Norwich University in Vermont (which was then known as &ldquoThe American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy&rdquo), Ward returned to sea and participated in the various big events of the day as a sailor and, later, as a mercenary.

In the 1860s, Ward returned to China while the country was busy suppressing the Taiping Rebellion&mdasha decades-long civil war inspired by religious mania that killed approximately 20 million people. From his base a few miles outside of Shanghai, Ward commanded the Ever Victorious Army, a pro-Qing force that was Western-trained and included members of the expatriate American community in China. In 1860, Ward&rsquos Western mercenaries kept Taiping rebels from seizing Shanghai, but instead of congratulations, Ward was arrested by nominally neutral British forces. After escaping, Ward reorganized his force as a Chinese army led by Western officers. This new army, while arrogant and despised by regular Qing soldiers, earned several victories on the ground, thus forcing the reluctant Qing government to financially support it.

Known as a &ldquoswashbuckler,&rdquo Ward died in battle in 1862 while his Ever Victorious Army tried to take the walled city of Cixi from Taiping rebels. Ward was shot four times and died a painful death after taking a musket ball to the stomach.


Battles with the Native Americans [ edit | edit source ]

    , which included:
    (1776–94) (1777) (1778) (1778) (1779) (1782)
    (1785–95) (1794) (1806) (western theatre), which included:
    (1811–13) (1813) (1813–14)
    (1812, 1817–18, 1835–42, 1855–58) (1823) (1827) (1827) (1832) (1834) , aka Second Creek War or Creek Alabama Uprising (1835–37) (1836) (1836–1877) Southwestern Frontier (Sabine) disturbances (no fighting) (1836–37) (1837) (1848–55) (1849–63)
      (1849–66)
        (1863–68)
        (1851–52)
        (1853)
        (1850) (1850–51) (1855) (1856) (1858) (1859) 1858� (1862–65)

      Combat of Forcoin, 3 June 1800 - History

      Beginning with the year 1794, each link to the individual pay charts is associated with the military pay raise percentage and the President who signed the legislation or executive order that implemented it. Basic pay raises did not become a yearly evolution until President Kennedy's raise of 1963.

      U.S. Military Pay Raise History, 1794 to Present Day

      United States' military pay charts.
      The 1790's Navy Pay Charts
      President Washington
      1794-1814
      The 1800's Navy Pay Charts
      President MadisonPresident JacksonPresident Buchanan
      1814-18341835-18591860-61
      4.1%32.3%13%
      President Lincoln President GrantPresident Harrison
      1862-186918701893 CPO
      0%25%0%
      The 1900's to 1930's Military Pay Charts
      President T. Roosevelt President WilsonPresident Harding
      1908-19191920-19211922-1942 Officer Pay1922-1940 Enlisted Pay
      20%4.8%0%15%
      The 1940's Military Pay Charts
      President F.D. Roosevelt President Truman
      1940-19411941-19421942-19461946-1949
      28%14.4%26.4%23.7%
      The 1950's Military Pay Charts
      President TrumanPresident Eisenhower
      1949-19511952-19541955-19571958-1962
      22.9% 4%10%8.3%
      The 1960's Military Pay Charts
      President KennedyPresident Johnson
      1963196419651966
      12.6%2.5%E:11% O:6%3.2%
      President Johnson
      196719681969
      5.6%6.9%12.6%
      The 1970's Military Pay Charts
      President Nixon
      19701971197219731974
      1971-2
      8.1%7.9% & 11.6%7.2%6.7%6.2%
      President Ford President Carter
      19751976197719781979
      5.52%5%3.6%6.2%5.5%
      The 1980's Military Pay Charts
      President Carter President Reagan
      19801981198219831984
      7%11.7%14.3%4%4%
      President Reagan
      19851986198719881989
      4%3%±*3%2%4.1%
      The 1990's Military Pay Charts
      President H.W. Bush Clinton
      19901991199219931994
      3.6%4.1%4.2%3.7%2.2%
      President Clinton
      19951996199719981999
      2.6%2.4%3%2.8%3.6%
      The 2000's Military Pay Charts
      President Clinton President G.W. Bush
      20002001200220032004
      4.8%¹3.7%¹&circ¹6.9%4.7%4.2%
      President G.W. Bush
      20052006200720082009
      3.5%3.1%4.6%¹&circ²3.5%3.9%
      The 2010's Military Pay Charts
      President Obama
      20102011201220132014
      3.4%1.4%1.6%1.7%1.0%
      President Obama President Trump
      20152016201720182019
      1.0%¹&circ³1.3%¹&circ³ 2.1% 2.4% 2.6%
      The 2020's Military Pay Charts
      President TrumpPresident Biden
      2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
      3.1% 3.0% 2.7%P TBD TBD
      President Biden TBD
      2025 2026 2027 2028 2029
      TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

      ECI = Employment Cost Index. P = Proposed. E = Enlisted. O = Officer. C = Latest congressional approval.

      ECI: Pay raise percentage based on appropriate Employment Cost Index figure per U.S.C. Title 37. ±: 1986 pay frozen at 1985 levels. The 1986 chart does not display what was paid, but does show the amount per the 3% increase that was passed and would have been paid out if not for being frozen. Note ¹: Targeted basic pay raises effective July 1, 2000 beyond the approved January 1, 2000 increase of 4.8%. Note ¹&circ¹: Targeted increases, effective July 1, 2001, the basic pay amounts for enlisted personnel in grades E-5 through E-7. Note ¹&circ²: Additional targeted increase totaling 4.6% for various pay grades effective April 1, 2007. Added longevity raises at the 30, 34 and 38 year mark for only the most senior enlisted and officer pay grades. Note ¹&circ³: Pay raise as indicated for all pay grades except O-7 through O-10 which were frozen at 2014 levels.

      Important Legislation

      Before 1920, in congressional legislation the term most commonly used to define what is now known as "basic pay" was "the pay of" because pay was mostly defined by Servicemember's job and not by a pay structure like the one we are used to today, e.g., "the pay of the schoolmaster shall be twenty-five dollars per month and two rations per day."[1]

      Military "base pay", the term used from 1920 to 1949, and "basic pay", the term used from 1949 to present, is the primary pay earned by each member serving in the armed forces of the United States (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard*).

      Public Law 67-235, the "Joint Service Pay Readjustment Act of 1922", signed by President Harding on June 10, 1922, was the first pay legislation that dealt with compensation for all the Services. It increased the pay rates, and established that officers would be paid according to “pay periods.” The Act essentially created the first pay tables for officer and enlisted personnel in which pay was based on longevity, and not just pay grade.

      Public Law 77-607, the "Pay Readjustment Act of 1942", signed into law by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during World War II, instituted the method of computing longevity pay for enlisted personnel the same as that for commissioned officers, that is, 5 percent of base pay for each three years of service, up to a maximum of 30 years.

      Public Law 81-351, the "Career Compensation Act of 1949", signed by President Truman on the 12th of October 1949, was the first legislation that made reference to the primary element of Servicemembers' pay as “basic pay.” Basic pay was coupled with the two primary allowances “basic allowance for quarters” (BAQ) and “basic allowance for subsistence” (BAS). And, for the first time, the law incorporated the use of "E" for enlisted "O" for officer and "W" for warrant officer for a rate or rank's position on the pay scale (E-1, E-2 O-1, O-2, etc.).

      How adjustments to Military Basic Pay are made

      Each year, Congress and the President has the ability to write and approve new legislation as they deem necessary to change military pay otherwise, since 1962, Title 37 of the United States Code has dictated how military pay adjustments will be automatically calculated.

      Currently, U.S.C. Title 37, Chapter 19, § 1009 -- Adjustments of monthly basic pay, reads, "An adjustment made under this section in a year shall provide all eligible members with an increase in the monthly basic pay that is the percentage (rounded to the nearest one-tenth of one percent) by which the Employment Cost Index [wages and salaries, private industry workers] for the base quarter of the year before the preceding year [three-month period ending on September 30 of such year] exceeds the ECI for the base quarter of the second year before the preceding calendar year (if at all)."

      Additionally, the Title goes on to say, "If, because of national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare, the President considers the pay adjustment which would otherwise be required by this section in any year to be inappropriate, the President shall prepare and transmit to Congress before September 1 of the preceding year a plan for such alternative pay adjustments as the President considers appropriate, together with the reasons therefor."

      *The Coast Guard is currently a part of the Department of Homeland Security, and it is from that budget the compensation for personnel in the Coast Guard is derived. United States Code Title 14 dictates that the Coast Guard will be a branch of the military at all times. Because of its status as a military branch, even when it previously fell under the Department of Transportation, the pay and allowances have always been in lock-step with that of the Department of Defense.

      Site Navigation

      Current Military Pays

      Military Information

      [1] "An Act to increase the Navy of the United States.", approved January 2, 1813. United States Statutes at Large, Volume 02, pg. 789, Government Printing Office.


      A Historical Timeline of Afghanistan

      The land that is now Afghanistan has a long history of domination by foreign conquerors and strife among internally warring factions. At the gateway between Asia and Europe, this land was conquered by Darius I of Babylonia circa 500 B.C., and Alexander the Great of Macedonia in 329 B.C., among others.

      Mahmud of Ghazni, an 11th century conqueror who created an empire from Iran to India, is considered the greatest of Afghanistan’s conquerors.

      Genghis Khan took over the territory in the 13th century, but it wasn’t until the 1700s that the area was united as a single country. By 1870, after the area had been invaded by various Arab conquerors, Islam had taken root.

      During the 19th century, Britain, looking to protect its Indian empire from Russia, attempted to annex Afghanistan, resulting in a series of British-Afghan Wars (1838-42, 1878-80, 1919-21).

      The British, beleaguered in the wake of World War I, are defeated in the Third British-Afghan War (1919-21), and Afghanistan becomes an independent nation. Concerned that Afghanistan has fallen behind the rest of the world, Amir Amanullah Khan begins a rigorous campaign of socioeconomic reform.

      Amanullah declares Afghanistan a monarchy, rather than an emirate, and proclaims himself king. He launches a series of modernization plans and attempts to limit the power of the Loya Jirga, the National Council. Critics, frustrated by Amanullah’s policies, take up arms in 1928 and by 1929, the king abdicates and leaves the country.

      Zahir Shah becomes king. The new king brings a semblance of stability to the country and he rules for the next 40 years.

      The United States formally recognizes Afghanistan.

      Britain withdraws from India, creating the predominantly Hindu but secular state of India and the Islamic state of Pakistan. The nation of Pakistan includes a long, largely uncontrollable, border with Afghanistan.

      The pro-Soviet Gen. Mohammed Daoud Khan, cousin of the king, becomes prime minister and looks to the communist nation for economic and military assistance. He also introduces a number of social reforms including allowing women a more public presence.

      Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev agrees to help Afghanistan, and the two countries become close allies.

      As part of Daoud’s reforms, women are allowed to attend university and enter the workforce.

      The Afghan Communist Party secretly forms. The group’s principal leaders are Babrak Karmal and Nur Mohammad Taraki.

      Khan overthrows the last king, Mohammed Zahir Shah, in a military coup. Khan’s regime, the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan, comes to power. Khan abolishes the monarchy and names himself president. The Republic of Afghanistan is established with firm ties to the USSR.

      Khan proposes a new constitution that grants women rights and works to modernize the largely communist state. He also cracks down on opponents, forcing many suspected of not supporting Khan out of the government.

      Khan is killed in a communist coup. Nur Mohammad Taraki, one of the founding members of the Afghan Communist Party, takes control of the country as president, and Babrak Karmal is named deputy prime minister. They proclaim independence from Soviet influence, and declare their policies to be based on Islamic principles, Afghan nationalism and socioeconomic justice. Taraki signs a friendship treaty with the Soviet Union. But a rivalry between Taraki and Hafizullah Amin, another influential communist leader, leads to fighting between the two sides.

      At the same time, conservative Islamic and ethnic leaders who objected to social changes introduced by Khan begin an armed revolt in the countryside. In June, the guerrilla movement Mujahadeen is created to battle the Soviet-backed government.

      American Ambassador Adolph Dubs is killed. The United States cuts off assistance to Afghanistan. A power struggle between Taraki and Deputy Prime Minister Hafizullah Amin begins. Taraki is killed on Sept. 14 in a confrontation with Amin supporters.

      The USSR invades Afghanistan on Dec. 24 to bolster the faltering communist regime. On Dec. 27, Amin and many of his followers are executed. Deputy Prime Minister Babrak Karmal becomes prime minister. Widespread opposition to Karmal and the Soviets spawns violent public demonstrations.

      By early 1980, the Mujahadeen rebels have united against Soviet invaders and the USSR-backed Afghan Army.

      Some 2.8 million Afghans have fled from the war to Pakistan, and another 1.5 million have fled to Iran. Afghan guerrillas gain control of rural areas, and Soviet troops hold urban areas.

      Although he claims to have traveled to Afghanistan immediately after the Soviet invasion, Saudi Islamist Osama bin Laden makes his first documented trip to Afghanistan to aid anti-Soviet fighters.

      The United Nations investigates reported human rights violations in Afghanistan.

      The Mujahadeen are receiving arms from the United States, Britain and China via Pakistan.

      In September, Osama bin Laden and 15 other Islamists form the group al-Qaida, or “the base”, to continue their jihad, or holy war, against the Soviets and other who they say oppose their goal of a pure nation governed by Islam. With their belief that the Soviet’s faltering war in Afghanistan was directly attributable to their fighting, they claim victory in their first battle, but also begin to shift their focus to America, saying the remaining superpower is the main obstacle to the establishment of a state based on Islam.

      The U.S., Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Soviet Union sign peace accords in Geneva guaranteeing Afghan independence and the withdrawal of 100,000 Soviet troops. Following Soviet withdrawal, the Mujahadeen continue their resistance against the Soviet-backed regime of communist president Dr. Mohammad Najibullah, who had been elected president of the puppet Soviet state in 1986. Afghan guerrillas name Sibhatullah Mojadidi as head of their exiled government.

      The Mujahadeen and other rebel groups, with the aid of turncoat government troops, storm the capital, Kabul, and oust Najibullah from power. Ahmad Shah Masood, legendary guerrilla leader, leads the troops into the capital. The United Nations offers protection to Najibullah. The Mujahadeen, a group already beginning to fracture as warlords fight over the future of Afghanistan, form a largely Islamic state with professor Burhannudin Rabbani as president.

      Newly formed Islamic militia, the Taliban, rises to power on promises of peace. Most Afghans, exhausted by years of drought, famine and war, approve of the Taliban for upholding traditional Islamic values. The Taliban outlaw cultivation of poppies for the opium trade, crack down on crime, and curtail the education and employment of women. Women are required to be fully veiled and are not allowed outside alone. Islamic law is enforced via public executions and amputations. The United States refuses to recognize the authority of the Taliban.

      Continuing drought devastates farmers and makes many rural areas uninhabitable. More than 1 million Afghans flee to neighboring Pakistan, where they languish in squalid refugee camps.

      The Taliban publicly executes Najibullah.

      Ethnic groups in the north, under Masood’s Northern Alliance, and the south, aided in part by Hamid Karzai, continue to battle the Taliban for control of the country.

      Following al-Qaida’s bombings of two American embassies in Africa, President Clinton orders cruise missile attacks against bin Laden’s training camps in Afghanistan. The attacks miss the Saudi and other leaders of the terrorist group.

      By now considered an international terrorist, bin Laden is widely believed to be hiding in Afghanistan, where he is cultivating thousands of followers in terrorist training camps. The United States demands that bin Laden be extradited to stand trial for the embassy bombings. The Taliban decline to extradite him. The United Nations punishes Afghanistan with sanctions restricting trade and economic development.

      Ignoring international protests, the Taliban carry out their threat to destroy Buddhist statues in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, saying they are an affront to Islam.

      Sept. 4, 2001

      A month after arresting them, the Taliban put eight international aid workers on trial for spreading Christianity. Under Taliban rule, proselytizing is punishable by death. The group is held in various Afghan prisons for months and finally released Nov. 15.

      Sept. 9, 2001

      Masood, still head of the Northern Alliance and the nation’s top insurgent, is killed by assassins posing as journalists.

      Sept. 11, 2001

      Hijackers commandeer four commercial airplanes and crash them into the World Trade Center Towers in New York, the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., and a Pennsylvania field, killing thousands. Days later, U.S. officials say bin Laden, the Saudi exile believed to be hiding in Afghanistan, is the prime suspect in the attack.

      Following unanswered demands that the Taliban turn over bin Laden, U.S. and British forces launch airstrikes against targets in Afghanistan. American warplanes start to bomb Taliban targets and bases reportedly belonging to the al-Qaida network. The Taliban proclaim they are ready for jihad.

      Nov. 13, 2001

      After weeks of intense fighting with Taliban troops, the Northern Alliance enters Kabul. The retreating Taliban flee southward toward Kandahar.

      Taliban fighters abandon their final stronghold in Kandahar as the militia group’s hold on Afghanistan continues to disintegrate. Two days later, Taliban leaders surrender the group’s final Afghan territory, the province of Zabul. The move leads the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press to declare “the rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan has totally ended.”

      Dec. 22, 2001

      Hamid Karzai, a royalist and ethnic Pashtun, is sworn in as the leader of the interim government in Afghanistan. Karzai entered Afghanistan after living in exile for years in neighboring Pakistan. At the U.N.-sponsored conference to determine an interim government, Karzai already has the support of the United States and by the end of the conference is elected leader of the six-month government.

      In June, the Loya Jirga, or grand council, elects U.S.-backed Hamid Karzai as interim leader. Karzai chooses the members of his government who will serve until 2004, when the government is required to organize elections.

      Amid increased violence, NATO takes over security in Kabul in August. The effort is the security organization’s first-ever commitment outside of Europe.

      January 2004

      The Loya Jirga adopts a new constitution following input from nearly 500,000 Afghans, some of whom participate in public meetings in villages. The new constitution calls for a president and two vice presidents, but the office of prime minister is removed at the last minute. The official languages, according to the constitution, are Pashto and Dari. Also, the new constitution calls for equality for women.

      October 2004

      Presidential elections are held. More than 10.5 million Afghans register to vote and choose among 18 presidential candidates, including interim leader Karzai. Karzai is elected with 55 percent of the vote.

      The nation holds its first parliamentary elections in more than 30 years. The peaceful vote leads to the parliament’s first meeting in December.

      Amid continuing fighting between Taliban and al-Qaida fighters and the Afghan government forces, NATO expands its peacekeeping operation to the southern portion of the country. After the forces take over from American-led troops, Taliban fighters launch a bloody wave of suicide attacks and raids against the international troops.

      The Afghan government and NATO confirm that Taliban commander Mullah Dadullah was killed during a U.S.-led operation in southern Afghanistan.

      The international community pledges more than $15 billion in aid to Afghanistan at a donors’ conference in Paris, while Afghan President Hamid Karzai promises to fight corruption in the government.

      President Barack Obama names Richard Holbrooke as a special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mr. Obama announces a new strategy for the Afghanistan war that would dispatch more military and civilian trainers to the country, in addition to the 17,000 more combat troops he previously ordered. The strategy also includes assistance to Pakistan in its fight against militants.

      President Barack Obama accepts Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s resignation as the top commander in Afghanistan, over critical comments he made in a Rolling Stone article, and nominates Gen. David Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command, as his replacement.

      U.S. forces overtake a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and kill al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden on May 2 local time.

      President Hamid Karzai calls for American forces to leave Afghan villages and pull back to their bases after a U.S. soldier kills 16 Afghan civilians inside their homes.

      The Afghan army takes over all military and security operations from NATO forces.

      Ashraf Ghani becomes president of Afghanistan in September after two rounds of voting, claims of election fraud and a power-sharing agreement with main rival Abdullah Abdullah.

      In December, NATO officially ends its combat mission in Afghanistan. U.S.-led NATO troops remain to train and advise Afghan forces.

      For more coverage of Afghanistan and other international news, visit our World page.

      Left: Pigeons fly as a policeman guards residents praying outside the Shah-e Doh Shamshira mosque during the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Fitr in Kabul on Aug. 30, 2011. Photo by Erik de Castro/Reuters


      Why “Easter”?

      One of the advantages of my job is that I get paid to look up stuff I always wanted to know. Like now that it's Holy Week, I've often wondered why we call Resurrection Sunday "Easter."

      When I was growing up in Phoenix, my parents used my school spring breaks (which then always coincided with Holy Week) to visit relatives. Usually, that meant a trip out to the Chicago area to visit my grandmother, Esther Olsen. For years, I was sure that Easter and Esther were inexorably linked together (though I didn't use the word inexorably).

      It didn't take long to figure out that Easter has nothing to do with Grandma Esther (for one thing, I knew more people celebrated Easter than were meeting at Grandma's house and for another, we spent a few of those spring breaks at Grandma Lois's place). Still, every year I wonder: If it's not named for Grandma, why do we call it Easter?

      The fact of the matter is no one knows for sure, but our best bet comes from Bede ("The Venerable"), a late-seventh-century historian and scholar from Anglo-Saxon England. He says Easter's name comes from the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre, associated with spring and fertility, and celebrated around the vernal equinox. So there you go. As Christmas was moved to coincide with (and supplant) the pagan celebration of winter, Easter was likely moved to coincide and replace the pagan celebration of spring.

      And while we're at it, the Easter Bunny comes from these pagan rites of spring as well, but more from pagan Germany than pagan Britain. Eighteenth-century German settlers brought "Oschter Haws" (never knew he had a name, did you?) to America, where Pennsylvania Dutch settlers prepared nests for him in the garden .

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      Watch the video: #Shadowfight3#JunesPlane#fight4#


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