It was 151 years ago tonight the President Abraham Lincoln was shot while watching a play at Ford’s Theater. Lincoln died the next morning, and in the aftermath, some odd facts seemed to pop up.
After being demolished in last night’s New York primary, it is officially impossible for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to earn enough delegates to win the GOP presidential nomination outright.
But with Cruz still hoping to steal the nomination in a so-called brokered convention, don’t expect his campaign to be talking about his delegate math problems any time soon.
Cruz was humiliated in New York, where he finished a distant third to billionaire Donald Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. More importantly, he failed to win a single delegate.
Trump won at least 89 of the 95 delegates at stake. John Kasich won at least three, and Cruz was completely shut out.
And that poor performance mathematically eliminated Cruz from being able to accumulate enough delegates to head to the Republican National Convention as the party’s presumptive nominee.
If the process was being run fairly, Cruz and Kasich would be out and headed home.
There aren’t enough delegates left in future contests for either Cruz or Kasich to reach the 1,237 delegates needed to win the GOP nomination.
Their only hope is to block Trump and force a contested convention. The total delegate count stands as: Trump 845, Cruz 559, and Kasich 147.
The nation’s largest private insurer has decided to pull out of ObamaCare in all but “a handful” of markets, a move that is likely to touch off insurance premium spikes that could cost customers over $1,000 a year — and possibly could lead to a collapse of the entire system.
After losing $1 billion over the last two years, the UnitedHealth Group has announced it will no longer provide ObamaCare coverage in virtually all of the 34 state ObamaCare exchanges where it sells health insurance – despite over $1 trillion in pledged support over the next 10 years.
If no other company steps in to fill the unprofitable vacuum, it will leave ObamaCare markets ready to implode in much of the country .
To be able to function, a state exchange must have at least three insurance companies competing for customers, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
If UnitedHealth leaves the ObamaCare exchanges altogether, that will leave 53 percent of Americans – 2.4 million people in mostly small towns and rural areas – with one or two insurers to choose from. It would cause the number of people who have only one insurance provider available to more than quadruple.
In much of the country, people would have only one insurance company to “choose” from.
This isn’t exactly what the president promised when he pitched the Affordable Care Act. In 2013, President Obama said, “This law means more choice, more competition, lower costs for millions of Americans.” Chalk up another one of ObamaCare’s broken promises.
After hearing that UnitedHealth may be heading for the exits, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services responded by saying, apparently without any hint of irony, “The marketplace should be judged by the choices it offers consumers.”
That would be none.
Obviously, decreasing the supply will trigger price increases – a fact ObamaCare’s defenders are trying their best to minimize. UnitedHealth’s departure, they say, would only cause the premium of the national benchmark plan to rise by one percent.
But people don’t pay the national benchmark’s price. Their rate is based on their local market.
In 13 counties, if UnitedHealth leaves the market, customers will pay more than $100 in extra premiums every single month. In 304 counties, the difference would be between $25 and $100 monthly, or $300 to $1,200 a year for each insurance policy.
The impact will be more catastrophic if any of the other Big Five insurers follows UnitedHealth out the door. Aetna has hinted it may do so. Its CEO, Mark Bertolini, said its ObamaCare “business remained unprofitable in 2015, and we continue to have serious concerns about the sustainability of the public exchanges.”
The companies are the latest, but far from the only, victims of the Affordable Care Act, which President Obama promised would insure more people with more serious health problems while somehow cutting costs. A series of financial tricks and bureaucratic regulations were designed to keep the public from seeing its true price tag.
One of those was to deny insurance companies the ability to charge fees based on the patient’s health and likely burden to others – the only way to remain solvent.
As The Horn News reported, 12 of the nation’s 23 ObamaCare co-ops have already failed, and the entire system appears to entering a “death spiral.”
Desperate to stop the red ink, insurance companies have increased premiums, sometimes by 30 percent or more a year.
For the most part, this has remained hidden to the consumer, because of another ObamaCare gimmick: taxpayer subsidies.
About 85 percent of ObamaCare recipients qualify for some taxpayer funding to offset their premiums. Despite double-digit premium increases, after we all chip in to pay their insurance bill, most consumers have only seen the price they pay increase by four percent.
Of course, that’s a parlor trick. The subsidies are paid for by taxes. So, the Obama administration is just taking money from the consumer’s right pocket and putting it in his left pocket, after taking a hefty bite out of it in transit.
The system has also shifted 68 million people –- 16 million more than anticipated -– onto state health care, either Medicaid or CHIP programs for children. This continues to leach away money from the productive economy into the government’s coffers.
And as time goes on, and ObamaCare becomes more unstable, the amount American taxpayers fork over is only going to increase. According to a new CBO report, ObamaCare subsidies will increase $1.1 trillion over the next decade.
That is, if Aetna or another of the Big Five insurers doesn’t follow UnitedHealth’s lead and leave the ObamaCare exchanges to collapse like a house of cards.
Several Native American tribes, all separated by some distance, have a similar legend: that a race of white giants once walked the Earth but were eventually wiped out.
These are the legends.
Chief Rolling Thunder of the Comanches, a Great Plains tribe, once gave the following account of a race of white giants in 1857:
“Innumerable moons ago, a race of white men, 10 feet high, and far more rich and powerful than any white people now living, here inhabited a large range of country, extending from the rising to the setting sun. Their fortifications crowned the summits of the mountains, protecting their populous cities situated in the intervening valleys.
“They excelled every other nation which was flourished, either before or since, in all manner of cunning handicraft—were brave and warlike—ruling over the land they had wrested from its ancient possessors with a high and haughty hand. Compared with them the palefaces of the present day were pygmies, in both art and arms.”
Rolling Thunder stated that the Great Spirit wiped out the white giants when they forgot justice and mercy and became too proud.
The Navajo also spoke of a race of white giants, called the Starnake people. Their legend describes them as a “regal race of white giants endowed with mining technology who dominated the West, enslaved lesser tribes, and had strongholds all through the Americas. They were either extinguished or ‘went back to the heavens.’”
The Choctaw tribe told of a race of giants that once inhabited what is now Tennessee. Their ancestors fought against them when they arrived in Mississippi during their westward migration. Their tradition talks of the Nahullo, their name for the giant race, and their wonderful stature.
According to the Manta people of Peru, there were once giants that lived among them. According to their legend: “There arrived on the coast, in boats made of reeds, as big as large ships, a party of men of such size that, from the knee downwards, their height was as great as the entire height of an ordinary man, though he might be of good stature. Their limbs were all in proportion to the deformed size of their bodies, and it was a monstrous thing to see their heads, with hair reaching to the shoulders. Their eyes were as large as small plates.” The natives believe that heaven wiped them out due to their sexual habits, which the natives found revolting.
The Paiutes have an oral legend of red-haired, white cannibals that stood about 10 feet tall and lived near Lovelock Cave, Nevada. It’s hard to know for sure if this oral tradition is true or if the truth has been distorted over time and these were just normal sized cannibals that lived near Lovelock Cave.
Some similar Piutes legends feature the same story just without the giants. Archaeologists have found remains of people with red hair in the area, but black hair can turn red with time.
It was 151 years ago tonight the President Abraham Lincoln was shot while watching a play at Ford’s Theater. Lincoln died the next morning, and in the aftermath, some odd facts seemed to pop up.
Why wasn’t General Ulysses S. Grant in the theater box with Lincoln, as scheduled? Where was the President’s bodyguard? How many people were targeted in the plot? And how did all the assassins escape, at least temporarily?
Many of the questions were eventually answered, but some still linger today. And some people have doubts about one of the alleged plotters and her involvement in Lincoln’s murder.
1. Where was General Grant?
He wanted to be in New Jersey! Grant was advertised to be at the event, according to the New York Times, but he declined the invitation so he could travel with his wife to New Jersey to visit relatives.
2. Lincoln almost didn’t go to Ford’s Theater
In that first report of the assassination from the Times, the newspaper said Lincoln was reluctant to go to the play. However, since General Grant cancelled, he felt obliged to attend, even though his wife didn’t feel well. Lincoln tried to get House Speaker Schuyler Colfax to go with him, but Colfax declined.
“He went with apparent reluctance and urged Mr. Colfax to go with him; but that gentleman had made other engagements,” the Times reported.
3. If Colfax had been in the booth with Lincoln, two persons in line to succeed Lincoln would have been in danger.
Vice President Andrew Johnson was also an assassination target, but his assailant lost his nerve and didn’t attack. Colfax was third in line to succeed Lincoln, after Johnson, and Senate Pro Tempore Lafayette Sabine Foster. Secretary of State William Seward wasn’t in the line of succession in 1865.
4. Why wasn’t Vice President Johnson attacked?
John Wilkes Booth had convinced George Atzerodt, an acquaintance, to kill Johnson by setting a trap at the Kirkwood House hotel where the vice president lived. However, Atzerodt lost his nerve and didn’t attempt to kill the vice president, even though he had a rented room above Johnson’s and a loaded gun was found in the room.
5. How did Secretary of State Seward survive despite having his throat stabbed two or three times?
Assassin Lewis Powell gained entry to Seward’s home, where the secretary was bed ridden after a carriage accident. Frederick W. Seward, his son, was seriously injured defending his father during Powell’s assassination attempt. The secretary was wounded, but the metal surgical collar he was wearing protected him.
6. Where was Lincoln’s bodyguard?
The Smithsonian Magazine did a story on this a few years ago. John Parker, the bodyguard, initially left his position to watch the play, and then he went to the saloon next door for intermission. It was the same saloon where Booth was drinking. No one knows where Parker was during the assassination, but he wasn’t at his position at the door to the booth.
7. Where was the Secret Service?
It didn’t exist yet, but Lincoln signed the bill creating it that night before he left for Ford’s Theater.
8. How did Booth stay in hiding for so long?
Booth was able to escape Ford’s Theater alive and he was on the run for 12 days, accompanied by another conspirator, David Herold. The pair went to the Surratt Tavern in Maryland, gathered supplies, went to see Dr. Mudd to have Booth’s broken leg set, and then headed through forest lands and swamps to Virginia. They were also aided by a former Confederate spy operative and by other Confederate sympathizers. Military forces were hot on their trail, and they found a person who directed them to a Virginia farm. At the Garrett Farm, Booth was fatally wounded and Herold surrendered.
9. The original plan was to kidnap Lincoln and not kill him
Booth met with his conspirators in March 1865 and came up with a plan to kidnap Lincoln as he returned from a play at the Campbell Hospital on March 17. But Lincoln changed his plans at the last minute and went to a military ceremony. Booth then thought about kidnapping Lincoln after he left an event at Ford’s Theater. But the actor changed his mind after Lee’s surrender.
10. Was Mary Surratt part of the conspiracy?
That’s a topic still being debated today. Surratt was a Southern sympathizer who had owned land with her late husband in Maryland. She also owned a home in Washington that was also used as a boarding house and she was friends with Booth. She also rented a tavern she owned in Maryland to an innkeeper.
Surratt was with Booth on the day of the assassination, and she allegedly had told the innkeeper to get a pair of guns ready that night for visitors. The innkeeper’s testimony doomed Surratt to the gallows. What was controversial was the decision to hang Surratt – which was personally approved by Andrew Johnson.
The small 1849 Colt Pocket “five shooter” put famed gunmaker Sam Colt in business for keeps.
“You gonna pull those pistols or whistle ‘Dixie?’”
Clint Eastwood’s gunslinger famously brushed off a group of Union soldiers with those sneering words—just before he shot all four of them dead. The line was more than a bit reminiscent of the oft-misquoted line Eastwood said in the 1971 movie that catapulted him to fame: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?,” his Dirty Harry character asked the bad guy at the mercy of his Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum.
When Eastwood’s character ruthlessly killed those soldiers in 1976’s The Outlaw Josey Wales, he chose as his weapons of death the 1847 Colt Walkers from his belt holsters. It’s not surprising that Hollywood would have him draw Colt’s first six-shooter, as much of the credit for taming the Wild West is usually assigned to six-shooters and big-bore rifles. But had he met those soldiers at a poker table, Josey might have reached into his vest pocket for the little five-shot pocket revolver that played its own part in the saga of the American frontier.
That hideout revolver, the 1849 Pocket Colt, was the most produced of all Colt percussion arms. It also became the best selling handgun in the world during the entire 19th century.
Colt’s First Pocket Revolver
During the 1840s, people had a myriad of single shot pistols to choose from for personal portable protection. These guns varied from huge and cumbersome large-bored horse pistols to miniscule, largely ineffective “coat pocket” handguns. As insurance against malfunctions, some of these pistols were actually designed with auxiliary weapons such as affixed knives or heavy club-like handles.
One of the few repeating pistols offered at the time, the multi-barrelled “pepperbox,” was a popular, but somewhat unreliable gun. Named for condiment canisters, a host of these single-action and double-action pepperbox pistols were produced by manufacturers including Allen & Thurber, Blunt & Syms and the English firm Manton. While some considered the pepperbox pistol one of the best pistols of its time, others saw it as unreliable, inaccurate and sometimes downright dangerous for its possessor. In his classic work Roughing It, Mark Twain claimed that the safest place to be when such a contraption fired was in front of it. A justice of the peace in Mariposa, California, agreed with Twain and actually ruled in an 1852 assault case that an Allen’s pepperbox could not be considered a dangerous weapon.
Lacking a truly reliable pocket-sized revolver, the public clamored for a quality, accurate weapon. Sam Colt, an astute businessman, knew he could fulfill the need. He carefully studied his big and heavy Dragoon revolver and determined that certain features deemed necessary in a large belt revolver could be removed from a smaller pocket-type pistol. In crafting his first pocket revolver, Col. Colt eliminated an estimated 85 of the roughly 480 separate operations required to produce his firm’s belt pistol, the .44 caliber Dragoon, reports P.L. Shumaker in Colt’s Variations of the Old Model Pocket Pistol, 1848 to 1872.
Colt’s first pocket revolver began production around 1847, after the collapse of his Patent Arms Manufacturing Company in Paterson, New Jersey. Now called the “Baby Dragoon,” this 1848 revolver was the predecessor to the 1849 Pocket Model. About 15,000 Baby Dragoons were the first pocket pistols produced by Colt’s facility in Hartford, Connecticut.
Colt offered these .31 caliber pocket pistols as an inexpensive repeating firearm designed to compare more favorably to the single-shot handguns then available. To cut costs, Colt replaced the traditional six-shot cylinder with a five loader. The Baby Dragoon also included a recoil shield but no safety cutout to catch a percussion cap. If a cap failed to ignite its chamber’s main charge, the pistol had to be dismantled to replace that faulty cap.
The model also lacked a rammer assembly underneath the barrel, which made loading a Baby Dragoon a cumbersome process. The shooter had to load ammunition by knocking out the barrel wedge and removing the barrel and cylinder. The shooter then charged the chambers of the cylinder with powder before utilizing the cylinder pin to force a lead projectile into each chamber. Next he fitted percussion caps over the nipples, replaced the cylinder and barrel assembly, and securely fastened the barrel wedge. Lastly, he rotated the cylinder so that the hammer rested over a single cylinder “safety” pin located between two of the chambers on the rear facing of the cylinder.
In spite of these drawbacks, Colt’s new pocket revolver still outperformed other available single-firing and multi-shot handguns in design, quality and function. The public’s approval was overwhelming, and the new little “revolving pistol” was a success from the very start.
Pocket Colt Shoots Out Competition
Public opinion spurred Colt to implement additional changes to the Pocket Colt (the first few had an estimated 150 run). Colonel Colt added a rammer assembly for easier loading and a cutout in the recoil shield so that capping could be accomplished without taking the pistol apart. Other improvements included affixing a roller bearing at the base of the hammer, placing tiny “safety” pins between each chamber, as opposed to just a single pin, and replacing rounded stops cutting into the cylinder with rectangular stops. Colt also lengthened the frame and barrel design, and modified the trigger and guard. The most notable cosmetic change made to the gun was engraving a “stagecoach holdup” scene by rolling it onto the cylinder. (Some early models, however, featured the “Ranger and Indian” fight scene as found on the Dragoon and Baby Dragoon models.) These features constitute what has become known as the standard 1849 Colt Pocket Model pistol.
Produced in a wide variety of configurations and barrel lengths, the 1849 Pocket Model Colt became one of the most famous handguns of its time. It outsold all of the company’s other models as well as those manufactured by competitors. City dwellers in the East mainly purchased the five shooters for travel “insurance” and home protection. But many of these Pocket Colts also went west for California’s Gold Rush.
Initially promoted in California in March 1851, as the “New Pattern…with patent lever,” Colt’s improved ’49er quickly became a favorite with miners, express agents and other argonauts who needed a small pocket revolver. On San Francisco’s Barbary Coast, gamblers sometimes referred to such hideout guns as a “fifth ace.” The demand in the Golden State proved so great that Colt’s factory in Hartford was unable to keep up with the orders. The large belt model Colt, which sold for around $16-$18 each in the East, was selling for as much as $250-$500 apiece in the West. Even the less expensive .31 caliber model commanded prices around $100 on the West Coast. The gun proved to be a favorable alternative for folks who found the heavy Dragoon a bit inconvenient.
Many ’49 Colts made their way overseas. Thanks mostly to Colt’s British agency, the pistol reached ports in Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, India and Australia. The demand “down under” was particularly strong due to the Australian Gold Rush of 1853-54. During the American Civil War, soldiers on both sides purchased the pistols with their own funds. They carried the 1849 Pocket models for close combat situations. For decades during the mid-19th century, adventurers worldwide praised these little Colts in the highest terms.
The ’49er was so well-regarded that many expressed their admiration for it by embellishing the Pocket Colt with custom stocks, special finishes, engravings and special gun sights. More non-standard Pocket ’49ers exist than any other model in the world, writes Robert M. Jordan and Darrow M. Watt in Colt’s Pocket ’49, Its Evolution, Including The Baby Dragoon & Wells Fargo. Jordan’s research shows at least 26,000 of the 1849 Pocket models were factory engraved and that more Pocket ’49ers are found in presentation cases than any other gun in the world.
The 1849 Pocket Model Colt may have outshot the competition, but it actually didn’t deliver much of a punch. Fortunately, it didn’t need to. The sidearm was perfect as leverage against a touchy situation. A misdealt card, a mining claim dispute, a defense of a lady’s honor or perhaps
an expedited bank withdrawal might all be eased along through the use of a ’49er. The simple brandishing of the firearm could even elicit the desired reaction.
If fired, the Pocket Colt’s efficacy varied at the whim of several factors not necessarily tied to its load. A .31 caliber round ball, or pointed (conical) bullet, weighs in at around 45 grains of pure, soft lead. With a standard charge of about 15 grains of FFFg (3Fg) blackpowder, this loading is capable of traveling at around 590 feet per second (fps) and hitting with a bit under 35 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. In comparison, a little modern .32 Smith & Wesson, when fired from a short-barreled revolver, develops approximately 680 fps and delivers almost 90 foot-pounds of muzzle thump.
By our current standards, the ’49 Pocket Colt is hardly impressive, but in its time, it could do damage. At close range, the length of a card table for instance, the gun could be dangerous. The soft lead of its bullets had the capacity to frustrate the period medical establishment.
Colt made the 1849 Pocket Model in barrel lengths of three, four, five and six inches. The four-inch and five-inch tubes were the most popular, and the six-inch barreled version appears to be the scarcest model produced. Unloaded, a ’49er weighs from 24 to 27 ounces, depending on barrel length. Sold with a blued barrel and cylinder, the frame and loading lever were color case hardened. Grip straps were generally silver plated over brass, although some were made with blued- or silver-plated iron. Factory standard stocks were of the one-piece varnished, straight-grained walnut variety—typical of commercially-produced period Colts. Custom stocks of select burl walnut, ivory and other materials were offered. On an 1849 model, you’ll likely find one of a variety of barrel roll stampings noting the addresses and places of manufacturing.
Although one of the Pocket Model’s improvements was the incorporation of a loading lever assembly, Colt produced a small number of ’49 models without these additions. Modern gun aficionados nicknamed these three-inch rammerless ’49ers the “Wells Fargo,” yet no evidence supports the claim that the famed express firm ever officially adopted this weapon as a sidearm for its drivers, guards and various agents. Wells Fargo employees certainly did carry ’49 Pocket Colts,
both with and without rammers. Many of these were privately purchased, along with other sidearms.
In any event, the rammerless Colt ’49 never sold well. Sometime around 1860, Colt attempted to sell the remaining inventory of his pocket pistols without rammers by fitting these three-inch barreled revolvers with loading assemblies. These were made by crudely modifying loading levers from the standard four-inch barreled pistols. In spite of this modification, the guns still met with public disapproval as the altered rammer lever made it difficult to apply the proper pressure to the rammer itself. Colt manufactured relatively few of these guns, probably around 100. As such, these factory-modified Colts are extremely desirable pieces with today’s collectors.
During its 23 years of production, Colt’s Hartford facility manufactured about 320,000 Colt Pocket Models, while another 11,000 were produced at the plant in London, England. Production of this handgun finally halted in 1873, when Colt began producing self-contained metallic cartridge revolvers. Despite the transition from cap-and-ball to metallic cartridge arms, Colt’s factory records reveal that percussion model ’49ers were still being shipped as late as 1889. This was especially ironic because the 1849 Pocket Model was one of the caplock revolvers that the Colt factory converted during its first stages of producing metallic cartridge handguns as early as 1869. A Colt employee, E. Alexander Thuer, designed a conversion system that allowed specially designed cartridges to be front-loaded. This little revision legally skirted around the Smith & Wesson-held Rollin-White patent for a drilled-through chamber in the revolver’s cylinder.
A Collector’s Dream
Inevitably, newer and stronger designs in pocket handguns and ammunition pushed the ’49 Pocket Colt to the wayside in favor of more modern arms. Today, the ’49 Pocket Model is considered quite collectible, commanding premium prices among discerning arms collectors. Greg Martin Auctions in San Francisco, California, set a record for the highest price paid at auction for a firearm when it sold a cased, gold-inlaid 1849 Pocket Colt engraved by Gustave Young for a $720,000 bid in 2003.
With the original garnering such a commanding price, it’s not surprising that variations of the 1849 Pocket Colts are still manufactured by Italy’s A. Uberti and Company, the world’s largest replica house, and sold by Cimarron Fire Arms, Uberti (Benelli USA), Taylor’s & Company, E.M.F. Company and Dixie Gun Works. The firms offer the standard four-inch barreled 1849 Model, the so-called “Wells Fargo” model (sans rammer assembly) and the rammerless Model 1848 “Baby Dragoon.” The Pocket models can be purchased from either company in a variety of standard finishes that include dark blue, charcoal blue and the so-called “original” antique patina.
Shooting one of these replica 1849 Pocket Model Colts is a true joy. The attached rammer assembly on Cimarron Fire Arms’ replica of the four-inch barreled version makes loading easy and firing the gun delightful. Unlike the big belt model cap-and-ball six-guns of the age, you won’t hear a booming report or see as much white smoke with each shot. Discharging this little spitfire is rather reminiscent of a small vocal dog. The diminutive wheel gun barks sharply, spitting out a .31 caliber ball with the gusto of a feisty little critter. At close range, say within 25 feet, the accuracy is gratifying. At card table distances, the ’49er is deadly, putting its lead pills right where they are aimed.
After handling and firing this pocket revolver, one can easily see why it commanded such respect among the people of the Victorian era. For its time, the 1849 Colt Pocket Model was a modern and practical pocket gun. And no bluecoat whistling “Dixie” in your face would have stood a chance against it.
SOBERING STATISTICS FOR THE VIETNAM WAR
In case you haven’t been paying attention these past few decades after you returned from Vietnam, the clock has been ticking. The following are some statistics that are at once depressing yet in a larger sense should give you a huge sense of pride.
“Of the 2,709,918 Americans who served in Vietnam, Less than 850,000 are estimated to be alive today, with the youngest American Vietnam veteran’s age approximated to be 60 years old.”
So, if you’re alive and reading this, how does it feel to be among the last 1/3rd of all the U.S. Vets who served in Vietnam? I don’t know about you guys, but it kinda gives me the chills, Considering this is the kind of information I’m used to reading about WWII and Korean War vets…
So the last 14 years we are dying too fast, only the few will survive by 2025…if any.. If true, 390 VN vets die a day. so in 2190 days…from today, lucky to be a Vietnam veteran alive… in only 6-10 years..
These statistics were taken from a variety of sources to include: The VFW Magazine, the Public Information Office, and the HQ CP Forward Observer – 1st Recon April 12, 1997.
*STATISTICS FOR INDIVIDUALS IN UNIFORM AND IN COUNTRY VIETNAM VETERANS: *
9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam Era (August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975).
8,744,000 GIs were on active duty during the war (Aug 5, 1964-March 28, 1973).
2,709,918 Americans served in Vietnam, this number represents 9.7% of their generation.
3,403,100 (Including 514,300 offshore) personnel served in the broader Southeast Asia Theater (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, flight crews based in Thailand, and sailors in adjacent South China Sea waters).
2,594,000 personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam (Jan. 1, 1965 – March 28, 1973). Another 50,000 men served in Vietnam between 1960 and 1964.
Of the 2.6 million, between 1-1.6 million (40-60%) either fought in combat, provided close support or were at least fairly regularly exposed to enemy attack.
7,484 women (6,250 or 83.5% were nurses) served in Vietnam.
Peak troop strength in Vietnam: 543,482 (April 30, 1968).
Agent Orange is taking a huge toll on Vietnam Veterans with most deaths somehow related to Agent Orange exposure. No one officially dies of Agent Orange, they die from the exposure which causes ischemic Heart Disease and failure, Lung Cancer, Kidney failure or COPD related disorders.
The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis, in 1958. He was with the 509th Radio Research Station. Davis Station in Saigon was named for him.
Hostile deaths: 47,378
Non-hostile deaths: 10,800
Total: 58,202 (Includes men formerly classified as MIA and Mayaguez casualties). Men who have subsequently died of wounds account for the changing total.
8 nurses died — 1 was KIA.
61% of the men killed were 21 or younger.
11,465 of those killed were younger than 20 years old.
Of those killed, 17,539 were married.
Average age of men killed: 23.1 years
Enlisted: 50,274; 22.37 years
Officers: 6,598; 28.43 years
Warrants: 1,276; 24.73 years
E1: 525; 20.34 years
Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.
The oldest man killed was 62 years old.
Highest state death rate: West Virginia – 84.1% (national average 58.9% for every 100,000 males in 1970).
Wounded: 303,704 — 153,329 hospitalized + 150,375 injured requiring no hospital care.
Severely disabled: 75,000, — 23,214: 100% disabled; 5,283 lost limbs; 1,081 sustained multiple amputations.
Amputation or crippling wounds to the lower extremities were 300% higher than in WWII and 70% higher than Korea.
Multiple amputations occurred at the rate of 18.4% compared to 5.7% in WWII.
Missing in Action: 2,338
POWs: 766 (114 died in captivity)
As of January 15, 2004, there are 1,875 Americans still unaccounted for, from the Vietnam War.
DRAFTEES VS. VOLUNTEERS:
25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees. (66% of U.S. armed forces members were drafted during WWII).
Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in Vietnam.
Reservists killed: 5,977
National Guard: 6,140 served: 101 died.
Total draftees (1965 – 73): 1,728,344.
Actually served in Vietnam: 38% Marine Corps Draft: 42,633.
Last man drafted: June 30, 1973.
RACE AND ETHNIC BACKGROUND:
88.4% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian; 10.6% (275,000) were black; 1% belonged to other races.
86.3% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasian (includes Hispanics);
12.5% (7,241) were black;
1.2% belonged to other races.
170,000 Hispanics served in Vietnam; 3,070 (5.2% of total) died there.
70% of enlisted men killed were of North-west European descent.
86.8% of the men who were killed as a result of hostile action were Caucasian; 12.1% (5,711) were black; 1.1% belonged to other races.
14.6% (1,530) of non-combat deaths were among blacks.
34% of blacks who enlisted volunteered for the combat arms.
Overall, blacks suffered 12.5% of the deaths in Vietnam at a time when the percentage of blacks of military age was 13.5% of the total population.
Religion of Dead: Protestant — 64.4%; Catholic — 28.9%; other/none — 6.7%
Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than the same non-vet age groups.
Vietnam veterans’ personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent.
76% of the men sent to Vietnam were from lower middle/working class backgrounds.
Three-fourths had family incomes above the poverty level; 50% were from middle income backgrounds.
Some 23% of Vietnam vets had fathers with professional, managerial or technical occupations.
79% of the men who served in Vietnam had a high school education or better when they entered the military service.
63% of Korean War vets and only 45% of WWII vets had completed high school upon separation.
Deaths by region per 100,000 of population: South — 31%, West –29.9%; Midwest — 28.4%; Northeast — 23.5%.
DRUG USAGE & CRIME:
There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non-Vietnam Veterans of the same age group.
(Source: Veterans Administration Study)
Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison – only one-half of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes.
85% of Vietnam Veterans made successful transitions to civilian life.
WINNING & LOSING:
82% of veterans who saw heavy combat strongly believe the war was lost because of lack of political will.
Nearly 75% of the public agrees it was a failure of political will, not of arms.
97% of Vietnam-era veterans were honorably discharged.
91% of actual Vietnam War veterans and 90% of those who saw heavy combat are proud to have served their country.
74% say they would serve again, even knowing the outcome.
87% of the public now holds Vietnam veterans in high esteem.
INTERESTING CENSUS STATISTICS:
1,713,823 of those who served in Vietnam were still alive as of August, 1995 (census figures).
As of the current Census taken during August, 2000, the surviving U.S. Vietnam Veteran population estimate is: 1,002,511. This is hard to believe, losing nearly 711,000 between ’95 and ’00. That’s 390 per day.
The Department of Defense Vietnam War Service Index officially provided by The War Library originally reported with errors that 2,709,918 U.S. military personnel as having served in-country. Corrections and confirmations to this erred index resulted in the addition of 358 U.S. military personnel confirmed to have served in Vietnam but not originally listed by the Department of Defense. (All names are currently on file and accessible 24/7/365).
Isolated atrocities committed by American Soldiers produced torrents of outrage from anti-war critics and the news media while Communist atrocities were so common that they received hardly any media mention at all. The United States sought to minimize and prevent attacks on civilians while North Vietnam made attacks on civilians a centerpiece of its strategy. Americans who deliberately killed civilians received prison sentences while Communists who did so received commendations.
From 1957 to 1973, the National Liberation Front assassinated 36,725 Vietnamese and abducted another 58,499. The death squads focused on leaders at the village level and on anyone who improved the lives of the peasants such as medical personnel, social workers, and school teachers.
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