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What was the darkest day in American history?

Originally published on HistoryNet.com. Published Online: May 01, 2011 
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What was the darkest day in American history?


108 Responses to “What was the darkest day in American history?”


  1. 1
    R. Garcia says:

    The darkest day in American History: August 6, 1945.

    • 1.1
      Iowa Gray says:

      On August 6 ,1945 my father was fighting the Japanese in the Philippines. He would have been called on to invade Japan itself had the bomb not been dropped. August 6th 1945 was a GOOD day for me and him.

      • 1.1.1
        Stephanie says:

        My father was in the US Navy during World War II and also would have been called on to invade Japan. I agree, August 6th 1945 was a good day for him and for me.

    • 1.2
      James Bruce says:

      I totally agree with Garcia (in terms of it being morally as well as practically wrong), Japan had already sent out peace feelers in March 1945 which the USA ignored with its obstinate 'unconditional surrender', which it ignored when peace actually came, with Japan now being the only country in the world with an emperor that the US allowed to stay in power. The fire bombings killed millions of Japanese months, if not years before the A-Bomb was used, and they had already forced the Japanese to try and surrender. Hundreds of thousands of people died just so Truman could show off to Stalin.

    • 1.3
      G. Crosthwaite says:

      The shootng of JFK

    • 1.4
      George Henrique Kling de Moraes says:

      Why not August 9 or 10, 1945?

  2. 2
    Mike says:

    In my opinion, the attack on Pearl Harbor and the sinking of the Arizona. All these sailors on that ship and the rest of the military and civilian population that were killed on a Sunday morning. No one was expecting this attack. The sailors were sleeping in after a night on the town, as the ship just got into port on December 5. People were getting ready for church when the attack began at 0755.

    • 2.1
      guy jones says:

      I agree this was the darkest day for it drove the American people into a world war and caused the deaths of to many American military members.

  3. 3
    Marcia Slaughter says:

    the 9-11 incident

  4. 4
    Chuck in Montana says:

    I agree with Mike,, Pearl Harbor, followed y 9-11.
    August 6 was a jubilation for me. It meant that my two brothers were returning from the war.

  5. 5
    william says:

    the 9/11 incident

  6. 6
    Norm Daudelin says:

    March, 1857

    The Dred Scott Supreme Court case…

  7. 7
    Centurion 47 says:

    Darkest day in US History is not 9/11 nor Pearl Harbor. OK so the US was surprised by an innovative attack by fanatic terrorists and suffered thousands of civilian casualties. Pearl Harbor was another surprise attack on a naval & military installation in supposedly a safe and distant island. History revealed that the US Navy had foreknowledge of the pending Japanese attack but did not convey the information early enough that Pearl Harbor is a case where the US forces were sleeping on the job that sleepy Sunday morning in Hawaii. I believe the Fall of the Philippine Islands–Surrender of Corregidor Command and the whole Philippine Forces by Lt Gen Jonathan Wainwright is the darkest day in US military history. There were so many US units still intact, capable of fighting and not been engaged in battle but they were all surrendered en toto to the Japanese. In the island of Corregidor, the 4th Marines were intact with a lot of fight still in them did not want to surrender but were ordered to. If brave soldiers like COL Russell Volkmann survived to organize, harass and fight the Japanese during the dark days of Japanese occupation. Think of those battling bastards of Bataan who were fighting the Japs without mama or papa or Uncle Sam and the rest of the Philippine Command abandoned to fight on their own. They underwent the terrible Death March slaughtered mercilessly by the Japs. The darkest day on US military history is when President Roosevelt abandoned the US Philippine forces and its colony gave them up to the mercy of the Japanese enemy.

    • 7.1
      No Secrets says:

      Centurion, I agree with Mike. Thanks for bringing that information to us. It caused me to change my ranking order and bumped it up with salutes to those people, and another reason to intensely dislike FDRoosevelt, which I did not need.

    • 7.2
      Santiago says:

      Centurion 47…very interesting comments about the Philippine theatre and the tragedy of Bataan and the resultant 'death march.' I grew up hearing of the horrors of this march since many of the boys from my mothers high school (Athol Mass) never came home. My uncle escaped on the last hospital boat out of the Philippines and was evacuated to Australia. My love and knowledge of the brave Americans and Filipinos is the highest, but I don't think those brave men could have stood very long on the isolated island of Corregidor in the middle of Manila Harbor. I do agree that FDR did abandon many fine officers, both in Hawaii and the far east during this period and he was little concerned about them, just about the European Theatre and the help we'd give Churchill and Uncle Joe Stalin.

  8. 8
    Mike says:

    Centurion 47 Good comments and good perspective. I had not thought of this. Surely one of the worst times, if not the worst. Ranks up there with Pearl Harbor, if not above it.

  9. 9
    Al From Maine says:

    The darkest day in U.S. history I remember well, April, 29, 1975, the day I watched Saigon fall to the reds. I was 14 and skipped school to stay home and watch history. I was ashamed and embarrassed to be an American that day, we had sold South Vietnam to the devil. Seeing the choppers picking up the people from the roof of the embassy made me sick, because I thought of all the folks left behind. I also knew that the commies do to anyone whom they perceive as a dissenter, counter revolutionary or they just have a problem with. Here was the great and powerful United States running like rabbits before that Godless red horde, having sold out and betrayed people we made promises and commitments too. It was a violation of everything I was raised to believe in and what I thought my country was.

    • 9.1
      No Secrets says:

      The secret was that we had commies in our government that gave South Vietnam to their commie pals, and we let our country be swamped by the hordes of commies in our government, education, social institutions. Not only on that day did the commies take over South Vietnam, but they took over the USA. Now that we understand what we have in our country in official capacities, we can and will swamp them. Jig is up.

      • 9.1.1
        Jennifer from Down-Under says:

        Guys Get a grip! The U.S should not have got involved in the first place.

    • 9.2
      Fab73 says:

      Al From Maine, I think that 16 March 1968, the day of the My Lai massacre, the day that Lt Calley brought infamy on the USA Army was much more dark. Jennifer from Down-Under is speaking about history, No Secrets about science fiction…

      • 9.2.1
        No Secrets says:

        Fab73, not science fiction that the commies in our government are working to destroy our 2nd Amendment and issuing Orders and Bills to take guns away from Americans. Do you understand communism vs freedom and our Constitution, Amendments, Founding documents?

    • 9.3
      Keaton* says:

      Al from Marine, although i can see where your coming from, there just wasnt enough public support to go back in. Any president who would've done that would have been mutinied! It was a mess in there, and perhaps letting the communist government there just collapse on itself in the future, although producing mass injustices before hand, was the best solution.

  10. 10
    slarmer says:

    Our Vietnam withdrawal. It signalled lack of committment to our allies, and encouragement to our enemies. How many lives have been lost since, that would not have to have been lost, if we showed our willingness to finish what we start, and do what is right, not what is politically expedient.

  11. 11
    Michael says:

    I think that the "Gulf of Tonkin Incident," that opened up the door for our involvement in the Viet Nam War. I went to school with many guys whose names are now on the wall in DC, and have known dozens of guys, from my own generation come back damaged.
    Look at the final outcome; the "Domino Theory" was bogus, the country was united, as it would have been if the elections were to be held in 1956, and now we are trading with them. My Canon printer and my Nike soccer shoes were both made in Viet Nam. We wasted 58,000 guys; that makes the losses at Pearl Harbor and 9/11 seem small

  12. 12
    RayK says:

    The attack on America–September 11, 2001

    Living at the time only 60 miles from the NYC, we were thrust into a world of terror, uncertainty, sadness and grief. There were many people liivng in our community and those communities nearby who had worked and been lilled in the twin towers leaving behind heartbroken families and friends. Our heartache continued well past 9/11 into the weeks and months that followed with almost daily funerals and memorial services each time a body part was recovered.

    • 12.1
      Shawn Fox says:

      We are still reeling from that day… politically, economically, emotionally…

  13. 13
    bro clo says:

    I would argue that the darkest day in American history was the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863. While I realize that this was a three day period, no moment in our nation's history was as dark. Americans fighting against Americans on American soil. Over 45,000 casualties were recorded — almost 8,000 killed; over 26,000 wounded; over 11,000 captured or missing. Can you imagine if this happened today, with modern media coverage? Can you imagine the impact today on the collective American psyche?

    • 13.1
      Sara says:

      good point

    • 13.2
      Keaton* says:

      I agree. For solely American history alone, this was the darkest day. The fact a nation would be so split on a decision such as slavery is incredible. Most world events involving the Americans after this were USA victories, while in a civil war, you can only beat yourself.

      • 13.2.1
        Michelle says:

        I was wondering when I was going to see this. I thought about adding April 12, 1861, but truthfully, in the short life of this nation we have seen and caused tto many a dark day to choose just one

  14. 14
    Roger H says:

    November 29, 1864: Sand Creek.

  15. 15
    John says:

    Trail of Tears

  16. 16
    Drew says:

    nobody is going to include April 12, 1861 the firing on Ft. Sumter or February 4, 1861 when the first 7 states seceeded and began capturing US military instillations in the south? Oh and btw the A-Bomb was a great thing and nobody knew about Pearl Harbor. Even if someone did know, people forget how long it takes to get messages from Hawaii to Washington or vice versa before satellites… you couldnt just send a text back then saying OMG Japs on the way prepare the fleet

  17. 17
    DW says:

    April 14, 1865- the day President Lincoln was assassinated.
    Although the Civil War had ended, Lincoln had plans for reconstruction and unifying the country. For instance, he had already made plans to pass law to give African-Americans the vote. That was HUGE! And how many years did it take for them to receive it? About a century!! All of the violence and suffering that African-Americans endured because Lincoln died, could have been avoided. They would have had a strong arm helping them for nearly 4 years of his administration. I am sure it would not have ended discrimination entirely, but it would have been a big push in the right direction.

    • 17.1
      Kirk says:

      agree completely

    • 17.2
      Kevin says:

      actually the war had not ended, lee had surrendered but there had been no formal surrender by the confederate government,there was also confederate armies still in the field.

  18. 18
    ray olson says:

    8-9-74 has anyone really believed in our government since thje nixon debacle?

    • 18.1
      M.F.A says:

      By this time presidents are only tools, not leaders, so it doesn't matter in my opinion.

  19. 19
    Brave Bear says:

    Tuesday 6 November 2012, unless enough of us wake-up before then!

  20. 20
    Duane A. Brinson says:

    The darkest day in American History was 09 January 2008 when a MARXIST, AMERICA HATING, RACIST, Terrorist SUPPORTING Usurper was allowed to take the oath of the Office of the President of the United States of America. But we'll fix that next November.

    • 20.1
      No Secrets says:

      Agreed.

    • 20.2
      Jes Lewis says:

      Absolutely correct…. AMEN !!!

    • 20.3
      Jane Williams says:

      What kind of sick person are you ?

      I find it despicable that you would speak that way of such a man.

      You don't know how lucky you are to have such a president, but then I guess there are some Amercans just too stupid to realise it.

      Marxist, Racist – Just shows the level of intelligence this poor guy has to deal with in his own country.

      Really, truly disgusting.

      • 20.3.1
        Jes Lewis says:

        The wife of the so called "man" under discussion, is on record as hating America and especially white people. I gather he has the same views. He and his anti american policies and ideas are rapidly undermining this country and its founding values. Certainly our darkest days are at hand.

      • 20.3.2
        M.F.A says:

        I don't agree with his synopsis, but you are just the opposite extreme. If I took time to pity people, I would pity you both.

    • 20.4
      Jennifer from Down-Under says:

      Looney!

    • 20.5
      MAB says:

      People like you make me ashamed to be an American.

      Fortunately, not all of us are racist, right-wing conservative ignoramuses.

    • 20.6
      LuLu says:

      How did that work out for you! LOL

  21. 21
    DW says:

    Your post is quite inflammatory.

    • 21.1
      No Secrets says:

      what part? please explain. Thanks.

    • 21.2
      No Secrets says:

      Not sure of who you are talking to, DW. My post did not appear… not sure if I failed to hit the submit, or if it was blocked. I'd hope there would be more of an explanation when posts are blocked… rather than a complaint by a commenter… unless you are not just a commenter but someone reviewing posts. From the other posts I've read, I didn't think mine was out of line. I'm a new subscriber and it would help for me to have answers. Thanks.

    • 21.3
      No Secrets says:

      Apologies, DW. Found you were not commenting on my post… found my post in a different area. Like I said, new at this, actually first day. Nearly my last if my post had been blocked without explanation. Really like this site, and was glad to find it so would have been very disappointed. Again, apologies.

  22. 22
    DW says:

    Hello No Secrets,

    I was referring to Mr. Brinson's post.

    I value this history site as well. DW

  23. 23
    Ken (USMC) says:

    The day George Bush was reelected President.

  24. 24
    Durand says:

    The Battle of Antietam (also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg) and it is the bloodiest in the history of the United States has fought in a single day, with nearly 23,000 casualties.

    • 24.1
      Mary says:

      This would have been my choice also. Good for you for remembering. The Battle of Antietam is without a doubt the one single day in the history of our country that was the worse.

  25. 25
    AlexC says:

    the day Obama was elected president and the second darkest day is the day he was born, that is if he really was born in America.

  26. 26
    Joe says:

    August 18, 1920. I will suffix by adding that I say that date with some mirth! While visiting the site of the start of the Women’s Suffrage movement in Seneca Falls, New York, where my wife was born, I was the only male in a van full of daughters and nieces… and of course, my wife! I let the girls get out to look at the memorial wall and proceeded to announce to them “Girls, this is where it all went to hell in a hand basket!” As they were all pre-teens and had no idea what I was referring to my wife then proceeded to slap me around knowing full well I was being a doofus and messing with them all. After she explained that I was inferring that giving women the vote was the darkest day in US History I only escaped with my life because I had the keys to the van! great joke…good times!

  27. 27
    Jake 46 says:

    November 22, 1963. An awful time for the Country.

  28. 28
    eman says:

    WWII: because the US began placing the Japanese in internment camps because during that time, it turned its back on the democratic principals it was founded on. Unfortunately, a mild form of this continues today. During this time, there was also a lot of racial discrimination.

  29. 29
    Jenny says:

    Not all dark days are immediately visible…or remembered. There is a quote I use: "The only thing necessary for evil to flurish is for good men to do nothing."
    The US Supreme Court case "Buck v Bell" was about sterilization of men & women as "patients" in homes for the "feeble-minded" in Virginia. One patient was underage, and permission was needed by the court to sterilize her. She was abandoned by her mother, no father; was able later to attend high school, & earn "B's".
    The Court heard the case in 1927and passed the sterilization law by a vote of 8-1. The lone dissent was Justice Pierce Butler. The majority opinion was written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and included the sentence, three generations of imbeciles are enough." The Virginia state law was quickly used as a role model by at least 35 states, and a few countries, including Hitler's Germany.
    This was called negative eugenics back then. A model Eugenics law was created by Harry Laughlin at Cold Springs Harbor Labratory at Laurel Hollow, NY, near Long Insland. It was also the Eugenics Record Office. I refer readers to the "International Federation of Eugenics Organizations" of 1925.
    The last sterilaztions were in the early 1970's. Quietly the states have changed the state laws. The federal statute "Buck v Bell" has never been challenged.
    Helen Keller once remarked, " It is hard to interest those who have everything in those who have nothing."

    • 29.1
      No Secrets says:

      I take it then that you do not support Obama's commitment (stated as a Senator in Illinois) to the New World Order? Find it on YouTube if interested.

      Jenny, time and experience of life has changed people's opinions about a lot of things since 1927. American judges and other professionals in 1927 did the best they could according to their understanding and experience with their society. We all will be "educated" and better people when we understand that fact, sometime in the future. We are not there yet, we are wrongly judgmental today about many situations in previous generations. Always applying current standards against those of people ages ago is simply stupid.

      For example, the women's movement isn't what enabled women to work 9-5 jobs in increasing numbers. It was then called Sanitary Napkins. Prior to that unmentioned contribution to women's expanding horizons, she had to wash what was called "rags" for days each month and be able to change, refresh and cleanse frequently during the day. That little item opened Secretarial jobs which previously were held by men, and many other jobs were opened for women. Add Midol, Aspirin, and public transportation.

      We need to be more studious of everything in a given time frame of the past that influenced life, to be able to make judicial opinions today about those people.

      Future generations will look back at us and say what on earth were they thinking when they did/didn't do things that will be obvious in the future.

      History is repeating itself in our country today with the eruption of tyrants wanting to control us and destroy our Constitution and Founding Documents. Speaking of the USSC, all of us can name one ingrate that swore an oath to uphold our beloved Constitution then scurried to an Egyptian to rip our Constitution saying it was too old and difficult for her to work under, and Egypt should model their new one after the African or European documents, especially created after WWII.

      In my brain modeled somewhat according to my several Continental Army patriot relatives, she is a traitor. Although it was in the past, they knew the right way to deal with tyrants and traitors and today we have lost that determination and understanding of truth, character and responsibilities of freedom.

      • 29.1.1
        Jenny says:

        The belief of people in Eugenics (purity of races) was widespread in Europe and the USA in 1927. Did you notice the reference to Hitler? He also got the idea and formula for the gas showers from the USA due to the problems of electric chairs malfunctioning creating cruel deaths. Due to this belief in Eugenics, the world looked aside while a madman whipped up hysteria in Germany.
        We need to remember history to learn not to repeat it. That was my point.

      • 29.1.2
        Jenny says:

        Also, sanitary napkins were created by the nurses of WWI. The nurses needed large bandages to soak up massive amounts of blood for the wounded. A lumber company used sawdust and small shavings inside of layers of gauze & they were very effective. The nurses found them also useful for their menstrual periods, and easily disposable. After the war ended a few nurses tried to interest several companies in manufacturing such a product, but received very little interest. Finally, a company called Kimberly-Clark started to experiment with the idea, leaving the sawdust out.
        They were and are very useful to women, especially in the workforce. However, women were in the workforce years before that. In New York City, There was a huge fire with the exits blocked or chained, called the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in 1913, I think. All of the workers were young women who died.

  30. 30
    William Pearson says:

    The biggest shock for me a Combat Vietnam Veteran, was seeing the 10,000 marble grave markers in Normandy,France. It made me catch my breath seeing all of those grave markers. Too bad the leaders could not remember D DAY when we got involved with Vietnam.
    I agree9/11 was a horrible reminder that we need to be alert.

  31. 31
    Sara says:

    The dropping of the atomic bomb should be an utterly shameful and regrettable event in our history. We changed the course of the history of the world in the most horrific way imaginable.

    Justifying our own act of genocide while accepting praise for stopping the genocide committed another nation??

    If you are not totally ashamed then you cant possibly understand the gravity of what happened that day. Hundreds of thousands of completely innocent civilians (just like you and I) were murdered within hours and estimates range in the millions killed of the long term effects.

    What an unfortunate piece of history to hold claim to

    • 31.1
      Shooter1001 says:

      Nonsense!! Ending the war saved the hundreds of thousands of American lives that an invasion of Japan would have cost. And probably millions of Japanese lives as well. Prior to Hiroshima Japan gave no indication that surrender or some sort of negotiated peace was realistically possible. More Japanese were killed in the bombing of Tokyo than Hiroshima. They showed no intention of ending the war then, why would an invasion of their home islands make any difference? They were preparing to resist to the last man.
      If you want to point a finger at America for genocide , point your finger at Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He and his communist infested administration wanted to have us involved in the war so as to give some relief to Stalin who was getting his ass kicked at the time. Put almost the entire fleet in Pearl Harbor and then impose an oil embargo on the Japs with ultimatums to get out of China. What did he think Japan would do?
      Not only did FDR want to be on 'Uncle Joe's' side, the US economy had been in depression since 1932 and faltered again in 1938. All FDR's Keynesian efforts could not get the US out of the Depression. A nice war did!!!
      The Japs bombed Pearl Harbor and got their just deserve!

      • 31.1.1
        Santiago says:

        Shooter1001…I was harsh toward you in an earlier comment about the royal wedding of Kate and Willy boy…but you are very perceptive on this point and, I suspect, on most issues of import. Your analysis of FDR and the group surrounding him during his four terms as president are very accurate, as research and facts have abundantly confirmed during the years since his death. We have known reaped the maelstrom of his socialist experiments during that period and the demographics of takers has now arced to the point we may be on the downside of an irreversible trend. Compliments to you on such perception regarding these critical issues and forgive the rather admonishing tone of my comments about Will & Kate and the Brits.

  32. 32
    George Henrique Kling de Moraes says:

    In the WWII
    25 or 27 million soviets died;
    5 million germans died;
    1,7 million japoneses died;
    1,2 million people from balcans died;
    Almost 400 thousand british died;
    Almost 300 thousand americans died.

    If theses numbers are correct americans (USA) are really efficient in killing their enemies. Congratulations!

    The darkest part of american history:
    Vietnam War:
    50 thousand americans died;
    How many people from Vietnam, Camboja, Laos died?
    500 thousand, One millon, two million?

    Again, efficiency is really an american characteristic.

    • 32.1
      T.L.Rouhier says:

      Do you really think that the USA killed 25 million soviets and 5 million germans? and when did we fight in the balkans? The USA was not the only country fighting in WW II. The soviets killed most of the germans and the germans killed the soviets.

      • 32.1.1
        George Henrique Kling de Moraes says:

        Those numbers are from the WWII totally. You did not understand perfectly. Since the number of americans dead are the smallest, one can understand the high efficiency in wars. What you wrote it is right. But consider only the number of japanese death (WWII), vietnamese, african, iraquian, afegan deaths. Americans are efficient in wars, do not you agree?

  33. 33
    levon says:

    The creation of the U.S.Federal Reserve on Jekyll Island Georgia

  34. 34
    Shooter1001 says:

    November 4, 2008. The day America committed suicide.

    • 34.1
      George Henrique Kling de Moraes says:

      What happens in November 4, 2008? Obama election? Why?

      • 34.1.1
        Shooter1001 says:

        The USA has been on an almost uninterrupted slide into a socialist culture and economy since 1932. The FDR administration rancid with progressives, leftists and outright communists started the process. It has continued with the leftists capture of the media and academia, affirmative action and political correctness as salient examples of the deterioration of American culture and society. Obama's election in 2008 made that final leap to the left. There are now as many, if not more, takers as there are makers in America. No society can last very long when more than half of its citizens can vote in the people who will continue to buy their votes with the assets of the minority.

  35. 35
    Mimi2Elle says:

    June 25, 1962

  36. 36
    iowtommy says:

    when barack obama was elected president in 2008

  37. 37
    big eddy says:

    january 16, 1919. look it up.

  38. 38
    Steve Steelman says:

    Whether it is Hiroshima, or Wounded Knee, or Abu Ghraib, or Guantanamo, or the day the Roe v Wade dicission was published, the important thing to acknowledge is that America's worst days are not those days on which she suffers some defeat, such as Fredricksburg or even Siagon, but those days on which she fails to live up to her ideals.

    America is, in fact, on this earth at least, what Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan called her: 'the last best hope of human kind'. When she fails to be her true self, humanity, humanity itself, is put in jeopardy. Then darkness, real darkness, as personified by Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot or Mummamar Gadhafi licks it's lips and prepares to take the stage.

    It could still happen. Although I do not think it will be a foreign sounding name that will become the synonym for oppression. America can only ever be defeated by herself. The name of the oppressor, should he ascend, will be a name Americans have no trouble pronouncing.

    • 38.1
      George Henrique Kling de Moraes says:

      Finally I read something interesting. Congratulations. Well, if I really understand with my English what you did write.

    • 38.2
      jmohlinger says:

      America can only ever be defeated by herself……
      Well stated!

      • 38.2.1
        George Henrique Kling de Moraes says:

        When I was in the USA from 1976 to 1980 we foreigners use to say that amercian society was been destroyed because family was being destroyed also. From that time to now several changes occurred: gay and lesbian marriage, pornography, several new churches with different Bible interpretation, etc, women in front line, etc, etc. But the tendency to fight localized wars it is common: Panama, Grenade, Lebanon, Iraq, Afeganistan, and so on. Well, the USA continue the number one country in the world. Everybody wants to stablish there. But one thing it is a fact all empires went down. USA also will fall down probably 1000 years form now. George Moraes

  39. 39
    Mathias says:

    The day Obama became president and when he was re-elected. The re-election just showed how much of sheeple we really are. (those who voted for him anyways)

  40. 40
    3tourVietnamVet says:

    Michael,

    I believe that the US has a longstanding habit of commercial dealings with former combatants. Have you seen a Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche or Fiat dealership today? I would bet my last dollar that you have seen at least two of those if not more!

    If a person really wanted to get technical, President Eisenhower got us 'involved' in Vietnam long before the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The first recorded 'combat' casualty of the Vietnam Conflict was in 1959. The last in 1975.

    I personally believe that there were many more than one dark day in American history during the Vietnam Conflict, since it never was offically declared a war. Those days started around Dec. 11, 1968, when my second combat tour ended. That was the day I stepped off of a Pan Am flight back to the 'world' in San Francisco. I was in uniform, having changed out of 13 day old fatigues on the return flight into my dress blues on the flight. I was very proud of my service, my DFC and Bronze Star with a V device attached. When I exited a restroom in the airport, I was hit in the forehead with a rotten tomato. An egg hit my ribbon rack a few seconds later. Followed by a volley of spitballs on my cheek. Words like 'baby killer', 'murderer' and the like came next.

    That day was repeated hundreds of thousand times, I am sure. Experienced by other proud young men called upon to do a tough job.

    Most people refer to the WW II veterans as the Greatest Generation. I disagree. It is VERY easy to go off to fight a war when the whole country throughs parades and parties when you come home. It is entirely a different matter when you come home to verbal and physical abuse because you did your duty, as you saw it.

    The military has always been, as intended, an apolitical entity. Men serve because of words like honor and duty. And they fight, and die, because of words like buddy, friend, comrade, neighbor and a whole host of other nouns. I know of not even draftee, that I knew, who didn't do his best to keep his buddies alive, regardless of their personal opinions about the war.

    By the way, I still have that egg covered ribbon rack. Proudly displayed in my den. I later added a Silver Star to it during my 3rd combat tour.

    I am delighted to see that MOST of the current US civilian population is now able to respect and honor the veterans returning from a seemingly unpopular war. Maybe, just maybe, the endurance and resolve of the millions of Vietnam Veterans who 'suffered in silence and despair', when we came home, was worth it afterall.

    I would like to close with a hardy \WELCOME HOME\ and a salute of honor to the more than 2 million Americans who served in S.E. Asia.

  41. 41
    Santiago says:

    Drew, please, don't insult the intelligence of the readers. I don't know how old you are, but it appears you are of the younger generation that thinks until cell phones and the insipid texting that most engage in, there was only bonfires and flag messages. Radio and telegraph communications were well established in 1941. Washington claimed at the Pearl Harbor hearings (five in all) they had communications trouble. Evidence now shatters that shameful excuse, but given what we know now about the code breaking and how far in advance of the attack we knew about it, they could have attached a note to a carrier pigeon and still made it on time. Many more interesting facts are coming out about the so-called flat-footed surprise of the Pacific Fleet…and the carriers were not in Pearl at the time, just the aging and almost obsolete battleships which were totally expendable, as were two patriotic commanders (Admiral Husband Kimmel and Gen. Short) who were made the scapegoats for FDR's greatest gift, i.e., excuse to get into WW II and aid Churchill and England.

  42. 42
    Jim Ross says:

    The first election of Barack Hussein Obama.

  43. 43
    Rain says:

    The constant on going massacre of Native Americans since the Europeans arrived in North America. Disgusting, sometimes I can't bear hearing the us citizens shouting how proud they are to be americans, rather, you should be damn ashamed.

  44. 44
    Bill says:

    November 22, 1963. The assassination of a sitting president for all the world to see. I wasn't alive then, and it still chills me to the bone. The conspiracy theories and mystery shrouding that day only darken the already murky depths of a day that will live in infamy.

    • 44.1
      HereNowJAL says:

      On June 4, 1963 John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order 1110 which gave the US the ability to create its own money backed by silver which would effectively strip the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the government at interest. He was murdered on November 22, 1963. Coincidence ?

  45. 45
    Isaac says:

    The twin towers or the bombing of pearl harbor both incidents many Americans died, one brought us into World War 2 and another brought us into the war on terrorism.

    • 45.1
      HereNowJAL says:

      Both the two towers destruction and pearl harbor were planned to further the move toward one world government. The "story" that the 9/11events were planned from a cave is ludicrous. We might have been born at night – but not last night.

  46. 46
    Ron says:

    8/18/1920
    The passage of the 19th amendment allowing women to vote. It's all been downhill for the US since….

    • 46.1
      HereNowJAL says:

      The womens liberation movement was planned to break up the family home, deliver the education of the youth into the hands of the state, and effectively double the tax base with both men and women working. This was a clever plan designed by those that cast no shadow.

      • 46.1.1
        Patriot says:

        Agreed. Cultural Marxism designed to de-rail the promise that was America, and the beginning of it's end.

  47. 47
    Jim Lindner says:

    November 27, 1868 Washita River. It was a repeat of Sand Creek, neither of which should have happened. All you who say the election or re-election of Obama are just stating personal political views, and are missing the intent of the question. The darkest day is a reflection where our national values were absent or intentionally ignored. When you say that we have been in a slide towards socialism since 1932 must remember that the Reagan years are in that time frame. What did. Reagan do to stem this tide? Nothing that I can tell. The socialistic elements that were present in 1981 were still in place in 1989. Reagan didn't do anything to remove any of them. Perhaps all of you who claim socialism is so terrible are economically well off that you won't need social security in your old age. If so, then why don't you give the money back? In any society there are those individuals who cannot fend for themselves, namely the mentally retarded and the very infirm. What is your solution to deal with these people? Are you willing to take them into your house to provide for them? I doubt it. So what are we to do? Let them die? Or what about farm subsidies? Why keep paying able bodied farmers for crops that are either not grown or do not receive a certain price? Does anyone ever decline a subsidy payment? It seems to me that what is criticized as socialism depends on who is doing the defining. Besides, what alternatives do the critics offer? Do they propose nothing but raw capitalism? I suppose they will exploit everyone possible for the sake of profit, put children back into the workforce, deny health insurance to all but those who can afford private coverage, throw out all environmental laws so no one has a supply of safe drinking water, put aside all banking regulations so all kinds of junk bonds and mortgage scams are legal, all because capitalist theories say these are acceptable ways to make money. Having some safeguards to protect our quality of life and to insure domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare may appear as socialism but it seems more like common sense. Obama was elected by a majority of Americans, and perhaps if the Republicans had fielded better candidates they would have attracted more voters. Electing a president, no matter who it is, is not a dark day, it's just another day in paradise.

  48. 48
    Jim Lindner says:

    February 19, 1942

  49. 49
    Ross says:

    I agree. When obama was elected America lost a lot of its freedoms. Lost a lot under Bush also

    • 49.1
      HereNowJAL says:

      We need to wake up and realize that Bush and Obama might wear different color ties – but their suit is made by the same taylor. Did you know they are related (distant cousins) and related to the Queen of England ?

  50. 50
    M.F.A says:

    The darkest days are surely in front of us, as right now we are United. But looking back into history I would have to say Pearl Harbor, the legality of slavery, the Civil War are all pitch-black days that cannot be contrasted because of their darkness. These are defined times, any time when we sell our freedoms for security are equally as dark. It is what breeds faction, and will doom us to repeat history.

    • 50.1
      HereNowJAL says:

      History is not what is used to be. Currently "the higher the public office the fewer decisions made by the office holder – until the highest office in the land – no decisions are made by the PRESIDENT." ~ Bill Clinton off camera quote. When we understand that our precious democracy has been hijacked for foreign interests we will realize that all of these "dark days" are orchastrated by the same interests that has hijacked the government – in order to meet their hidden agenda. Look up the Bilderberg Group, the Bohemian Grove, the Georgia Guidestones and research "population control quotes"; to see that if we allow it "the darkest days are surely in front of us". However: It only takes one candle to light a million others. Thoughts create things – so what are we creating ?

      • 50.1.1
        MAB says:

        You forgot the Illuminati.

        I'm extremely grateful my parents taught me the difference between reality and fantasy….

  51. 51
    Sparky says:

    October 7 1996

  52. 52
    marxducksoup says:

    The darkest day in American history was not August 6 1945. Japan had the chance to surrender in the THREE days between the bombing of Hiroshima and the bombing of Nagasaki and they did not. My uncle saw firsthand a lot of the men who survived the Bataan death march and what the Japanese government and military were capable of when he served in the Navy. We did not have a choice.

    The darkest days in American history was the time span it took to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the bombing of Pearl Harbor; the 09/11 attacks; the firing on Fort Sumter; Antietam; Gettysburg; the My Lai massacre; the election and re-election of George W, Bush and the creation of the Tea Party.

    There have been too many dark days in American history to settle on just one.

  53. 53
    David says:

    April 9, 1865. The day the Constitutional Republic died.

  54. 54
    Wladislaw says:

    October 29, 1929

  55. 55
    Imran says:

    look guys! All what has been said, is not more than and blacker than Aug 6th and 8th 1945 when the US demonstrated an evil power of show for the first time in history and appeased the thirst of Devil by blowing and frying hundred of thousands of innocent people in the twinkle of an eye, never done by Changiz Khan (the Mongols) or Hitler etc. All of them lag behind the modern civilized US.



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