Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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May 31st
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
“The sight before us is that of a strong and good nation that stands in silence and remembers those who were loved and who, in return, loved their countrymen enough to die for them,” President Ronald Reagan said on May 31, 1982, after laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in an annual Memorial Day ceremony.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier stands on a hill overlooking Washington, D.C., in Arlington National Cemetery. One of the most solemn monuments in our country, it honors all of the U.S. soldiers whose remains have never been identified.

Beneath the eight-foot-tall, white marble tomb lies the body of an unknown soldier from World War I, placed there in 1921. Inscribed on the tomb are the words:

HERE RESTS IN
HONORED GLORY
AN AMERICAN
SOLDIER
KNOW BUT TO GOD
The tombs of unknown soldiers from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War lie nearby. The remains of the Vietnam unknown were identified by DNA testing in 1998, so they were removed, and that tomb is now empty. Members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

American History Parade
1821
The first American cathedral, the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is dedicated in Baltimore.

1889
Some 2,200 people die in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, after a dam breaks and floods the city.

1918
Lt. Douglas Campbell becomes the first ace to fly under American colors when he shoots down his fifth German plane over France.

1927
The Ford Motor Company produces its last Model T.

1977
The trans-Alaska oil pipeline is completed.

1994
The United States announces it will no longer aim nuclear missiles at targets in the former Soviet Union.
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb
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