Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Fifty-two years ago today, August 24, 1962, President John F. Kennedy issued an Executive Order to extend the eligibility for the BRONZE STAR* to American soldiers serving in Vietnam and Laos where the United States was not "technically" at war.
The Bronze Star was originally created by an Executive Order signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 4, 1944.
This order was issued six months after Lt. j.g. John F. Kennedy's PT109 was struck by a Japanese destroyer in the South Pacific. In the aftermath of that collision, JFK's leadership was instrumental in the rescue of his crew and he had received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal as well as the Purple Heart.
According to Robert F. Dorr, Mr. Kennedy wrote the Navy Board of Decorations and Medals in the late 1940s asking for a review of his records to determine if he would be eligible for the Bronze Star.
The Board ruled that JFK could receive a Bronze Star if he would return the "original award." Apparently Mr. Kennedy did not comply but another request was made to the board in 1959. The Board once again responded that eligibility for the Bronze Star was dependent upon the return of the original award.
Mr. Dorr says that "nothing more was done."
"JFK Received "non-combat Recognition for Wartime Action," by Robert F. Dorr, January 20, 2011, www.defensemedianetwork.com
CONTROL ACT PASSED 60 YEARS AGO TODAY
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The United States Congress passed the Communist Control Act sixty years ago today, August 24, 1954.
The act states that...
"the Communist Party of the United States* is in fact an instrumentality of a conspiracy to overthrow the Government of the United States."
The act also stipulates that the party is a...
"continuing danger to the security of the United States".
Five years earlier, the Federal Bureau of Investigation had prosecuted eleven leaders of the Communist Party of America and in the first years of the 1950s another 100 were arrested and convicted.
In the long run, however, the Communist Control Act proved to be ineffective.
In 1961, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the party could constitutionally be a participant in New York State's unemployment insurance system. Since then, no presidential administration has attempted to enforce it.
*The Communist Party of America was established in 1919. It played a major role in the labor movement through the 1940s. Although it claimed more than 50,000 members in the first years of its founding, by 1957 that number had declined to less than 10,000.
WARNING ISSUED TO SOVIETS ON BERLIN
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Sixty-three years ago today, August 24, 1961, the Kennedy administration released a statement declaring...
"the United States must serve a solemn warning to the Soviet Union that any interference by the Soviet Government or its East German regime with free access to West Berlin would be an aggressive act for the consequences of which the Soviet government would bear full responsibility."