5 November 1968

Richard Nixon is elected as 37th President of the United States.

Richard Nixon (1913-1994) was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. He was a prominent American politician who had a long and influential career in public service.

Early Life and Education: Richard Milhous Nixon was born on January 9, 1913, in Yorba Linda, California. He attended Whittier College and later Duke University School of Law, where he earned his law degree.

Military Service: During World War II, Nixon served in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant commander. He worked on various logistical and administrative roles in the South Pacific.

Political Career: Nixon’s political career took off when he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1946. He served as a congressman for two terms before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1950. In 1952, he became the vice-presidential running mate of Dwight D. Eisenhower, and they won the election.

Vice Presidency: Nixon served as Vice President from 1953 to 1961 under President Eisenhower. He gained national prominence and experience during this time, dealing with a range of domestic and international issues.

1960 Presidential Election: Nixon ran for President in the 1960 election against John F. Kennedy, but he narrowly lost the race in one of the closest and most famous presidential contests in American history.

Comeback and 1968 Election: After his defeat in 1960, Nixon temporarily withdrew from national politics but made a successful comeback. He secured the Republican nomination for the 1968 presidential election and went on to win the presidency, defeating Hubert H. Humphrey.

Presidency: Nixon’s presidency was marked by several significant events, including the Vietnam War, the moon landing, and domestic policy initiatives such as the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the implementation of affirmative action programs. He was also known for his approach to foreign policy, including the policy of détente with the Soviet Union and the historic visit to China in 1972.

Watergate Scandal: The most infamous and consequential aspect of Nixon’s presidency was the Watergate scandal. It involved a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate complex and subsequent attempts to cover up the involvement of high-ranking officials in the Nixon administration. The scandal led to a series of investigations and legal proceedings, ultimately resulting in Nixon’s resignation from the presidency on August 9, 1974.

Resignation and Pardon: Vice President Gerald Ford succeeded Nixon as President following his resignation. In a controversial move, President Ford granted Nixon a full pardon for any crimes he may have committed while in office.

Later Life: After leaving the presidency, Nixon wrote his memoirs and engaged in international diplomacy. He also continued to comment on American politics and foreign policy. Richard Nixon passed away on April 22, 1994, in New York City.

5 November 1943

Bombing of the Vatican during World War 2.

Bombing of Vatican City occurred twice during World War II. The first occasion was on the evening of 5 November 1943, when a plane dropped bombs on the area south-west of Saint Peter’s Basilica, causing considerable damage but no casualties. The second bombing, which affected only the outer margin of the city, was on the 1st of March 1944, and caused the death of one person and the injury of another.

An undated eyewitness account written by Monsignor Domenico Tardini in 1944 states:

“The first bombing of the Vatican occurred on 5 November 1943 at 20:10. It was a very clear and cloudless evening. The moon made visibility excellent. For over half an hour an aeroplane was heard circling insistently over Rome and especially the Vatican. At about 8:10, while an Allied squadron passed over the Vatican, the aeroplane that until then had been circling over Rome dropped four bombs and flew away. The bombs fell in the Vatican Gardens: the first near the receiving Radio, another near the Government building, a third on the mosaics workshop, the fourth near the building of the Cardinal Archpriest. If they had fallen a very few metres off, they would have hit the Radio, the Government building, that of the Tribunals, and that of the Archpriest.

They caused considerable damage, for all the windows were blown to pieces. There were no human casualties.”

The future cardinal Tardini continued: “General opinion, and general indignation, blamed the Germans and, perhaps more, the Republican Fascists. The latter view was reinforced by notes about a telephone conversation of Barracu that a telephone operator gave to the Holy Father. However, some months later, Monsignor Montini received from Monsignor Carroll, an American of the Secretariat of State, who was in Algiers to organize an information service for soldiers and civilians,in which it was stated clearly that the bombs had been dropped by an American. 5 November is for England, Father Hughes told me, an anti-Pope day.When Monsignor Carroll came to Rome in June 1944, he answered a question of mine by telling me that the American airman was supposed to have acted either to make a name for himself or out of wickedness. Monsignor Carroll did not know whether the delinquent had been punished.

The message from Monsignor Walter S. Carroll that Monsignor Tardini spoke of as addressed to Monsignor Montini was in reality addressed to Cardinal Secretary of State Luigi Maglione. It read: “In a conversation with the American Chief of Staff during the past week I was informed very confidentially that they feel that the bombing of the Vatican is probably attributable to an American pilot who lost his way; in fact, another American pilot reported seeing an Allied plane dropping its load on the Vatican. The General expressed his sincere regret and gave assurances that strict precaution would be taken to avoid a repetition of this incident ”

Official assurance that no American plane had in fact dropped bombs on Vatican City was given by the United States authorities.

The German and British authorities gave similar assurances regarding aircraft of their countries.

However in 2007 new evidence found by Augusto Ferrara, suggested that the bombing was ordered by the Italian Fascist politician Roberto Farinacci.

The main target had been the Vatican radio because the Fascists believed that the Vatican was sending coded messages to the allies.

The plane which bombed the Vatican reportedly took off from the airport of Viterbo, a town 70 miles north of Rome.Ferrara discovered that “the pilot was a sergeant Parmeggiani, who was ordered to drop the bombs by the prominent fascist Roberto Farinacci.

That the attack was carried out by the Italian fascists, and not the Allies, is also suggested by a conversation between a priest of Rome, Fr. Giuseppe, and the Jesuit Pietro Tacchi Venturi, who was continuously in touch with Cardinal Luigi Maglione, Vatican Secretary of State.The conversation is reported in the book “Skyways lead to Rome” by the historian Antonio Castellani.

According to Castellani, Fr. Tacchi Venturi lamented “the attack of the Americans” to Fr. Giuseppe, but Fr. Giuseppe replied, “they were not Americans, they were Italians.”

Fr. Giuseppe then underscored that “it was a Savoia Marchetti plane, with five bombs aboard to be thrown to the Vatican Radio station, since Farinacci was convinced that Vatican Radio transmitted military information to the Allied Forces.”

5 November 1943

The Vatican is bombed during World War II.

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On 5 November a single plane flew over Vatican City and dropped bombs. The identity of the plane was never established despite a series of investigations launched by the Secretary of State, Cardinal Maglione and responses made by the British, American and German governments. Amidst the documents is a telegram sent by Maglione to the Apostolic Delegate in Washington, Amleto Cicognani, that there was a rumour that Stalin had congratulated Churchill for ordering the raid! The British government promptly denied the rumour.

The three governments denied responsibility and reaffirmed their committment to observing Vatican neutrality. The Allies accused the Germans, who counter-accused the Allies of bombing the Vatican for propaganda purposes. On 9 December the British and American governments informed the Vatican that Allied pilots had been ordered to avoid flying over Vatican territory.

The timing of the bombing was significant. Rome was occupied by the Germans, the Jews of Rome were either in Auschwitz or hiding, the city was hungry with the very real spectre of famine hovering ominiously, the partisans were stepping up anti-German activity and Naples had been liberated a few weeks but not before the Germans wrecked a savagery on the city not witnessed outside of Eastern Europe. The Vatican remained visibily neutral hoping Rome would be spared.

The Zenit article proposes a new theory based on new documents that suggest the source of the raid lay in orders given by Roberto Farinacci from the Salo Republic in an attempt to silence Vatican Radio. According to the new information, Farinacci was convinced the Vatican was sending information to the Allied. It will be interesting to read the book which has received some coverage in the Italian press.

5 November 1943

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The Vatican is bombed during World War II

The Bombing of The Vatican during World War II happened on the evening of 5 November 1943 when a Fascist Italian aircraft, departing from Viterbo, dropped five bombs on Saint Peter’s Basilica.Only four out of the five bombs detonated. The Vatican City was neutral during the whole of the war;both Allied and Axis bombers were told not to attack the Vatican when bombing Rome. Two months before the bombing, the Kingdom of Italy signed an armistice with the Allies. Nazi Germany responded quickly by driving the royal government from Rome, freeing Benito Mussolini, and establishing the Italian Social Republic. The bombing occurred while the city was under German occupation.

It was discovered in 2010 that the attack was a deliberate attempt to knock out the radio station, but the raid did not succeed. The Fascists were under the impression that Vatican radio was sending coded messages to the Allies. The attack was orchestrated by leading Italian Fascist politician and anti-clericalist, Roberto Farinacci, who wished the bombing to remain anonymous, so as not to give the nascent RSI a bad name. Damage from the raid can still be seen today, but it is not signposted in any way. There was no actual loss of life during the raid but several windows and a mosaic were destroyed, there was also severe damage to the Vatican’s train station and water-system.
The attack was the only breach of Vatican neutrality during the Second World War.