Today in history
- Swiss Guard Arrives at the Vatican (1506)
Though various units of Swiss Guards have existed throughout history, the most famous unit—and the only one remaining—is responsible for the safety of the Pope. Known for their colorful uniforms, the guards must be single, Swiss, and Catholic and must have completed Swiss military training. The first 150 Swiss mercenaries were invited to the Vatican during the reign of Pope Julius II. In 1527, 147 of the Swiss Guards were killed while helping the Pope escape from whom? Discuss
- Battle of Khe Sanh Begins (1968)
Located near the demilitarized zone that marked the border between North and South Vietnam, Khe Sanh was the site of a protracted battle during the Vietnam War. It involved months of near-constant artillery attacks on the local US Marine base, matched by a bombing barrage of surrounding areas by US planes. The US forces retained the base but gained no advantage, and both sides suffered heavy casualties. Why do some historians believe the North Vietnamese never intended to capture the base?
- Nazi Officials Decide on "The Final Solution" (1942)
In early 1942, Nazi officials held a conference at Lake Wannsee in Berlin to discuss what "final solution" would be used to eliminate the Jewish population of Europe. On paper, the plan called for gathering Jews into camps for deportation to work details in the East. The official record of the meeting does not mention killing but notes that the "evacuation" was to happen as soon as possible. Who later admitted that the actual conversation at the meeting differed significantly from the record?