The Marine Corps History Items are taken from the Annual USMC History Calendar published by the Marine Corps Association and Foundation.
The other history items are key portions of selected historical events from www.HistoryChannel.com. For more information on these events and to see the other events which occurred on this day in history, follow this link: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history
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20 February 2015
In the American colonies, a posse of New Hampshire volunteers comes across a band of encamped Native Americans and takes 10 "scalps" in the first significant appropriation of this Native American practice by European colonists. The posse received a bounty of 100 pounds per scalp from the colonial authorities in Boston.
President George Washington signs legislation renewing the United States Post Office as a cabinet department led by the postmaster general, guaranteeing inexpensive delivery of all newspapers, stipulating the right to privacy and granting Congress the ability to expand postal service to new areas of the nation.
Navy Lt. Edward O'Hare takes off from the aircraft carrier Lexington in a raid against the Japanese position at Rabaul-and minutes later becomes America's first flying ace of World War II. In a mere four minutes, O'Hare shot down five Japanese G4M1 Betty bombers bringing a swift end to the attack on the Lexington. O'Hare was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery--and excellent aim.
After operating for 22 years, the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization concludes its final military exercise and quietly shuts down. SEATO had been one of the bulwarks of America's Cold War policies in Asia, but the Vietnam War did much to destroy its cohesiveness and question its effectiveness.
Attempts to dig a channel tunnel between Britain and France date back to 1883, and Napoleon drew blueprints for a tunnel in 1802. Yet not until February 20, 1986, were France and Britain able to announce that a tunnel would soon become a reality. Trains, cars and buses would be able to speed through the tunnel in less than half an hour. Construction began in December 1987 and the "chunnel" was finally completed in 1994.