31 October 1803 – Congress ratified the purchase of the entire Louisiana area in North America, which added territory to the United States for 13 subsequent states. 1861 – “Peerless” was a Union transport steamer of 690 tons. While carrying a cargo of stores and cattle for the Port Royal invasion, she sank in a storm along the Hatteras coast. Steam sloop-of-war USS Mohican rescued the crew. 1863 - “Kate” was a Union schooner that was lost at Brazos Pass (Texas?). 1864 – “Aphrodite” was a Union chartered screw steamer of 1098 tons and was built in 1864 at Mystic, Conn. While carrying 510 Union navy recruits from New York to join the Atlantic and Gulf Squadrons, the she was wrecked on a shoal in Core Sound, 12 miles north northeast of Cape Lookout. Sidewheel steamer USS Keystone State and USS Sholokon rescued the crew and sailors and removed the cargo on November 4th, 1864. The ship broke later in two pieces and her anchors, cables and other parts were salvaged. 1864 – “David Hughes” was a steamer chartered by the Union army that was carrying government supplies and a barge. She was captured and burned by the Confederates about 15 miles above Clarksville on the Cumberland River. 1864 – “Shooting Star” was a Union cargo ship carrying 1,500 tons of coal from New York City to Havana, Cuba when she was captured by steamer CSS Chickamauga off the NE coast off the USA. 1864 – Anxious to have support of the Republican-dominated Nevada Territory for President Abraham Lincoln’s reelection, the U.S. Congress quickly admits Nevada as the 36th state in the Union. 1913 – Dedication of the Lincoln Highway, the first automobile highway across United States. 1918 – In the worst global epidemic of the century, influenza (an acute, contagious respiratory viral infection) had been spreading around the world since May. 1941 – USS Reuben James (DD-245), while escorting 42-ship convoy HX 156, is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-552 off western Iceland, 115 men are killed. No merchantmen in HX 156 are attacked. Despite the heavy oil slick in the vicinity and the need to investigate sound contacts, USS Niblack (DD-424) rescues 36 men (one of whom dies of wounds on 2 November). Hilary P. Jones (DD-427) picks up 10. The loss of Reuben James, the first U.S. naval vessel to be lost to enemy action in World War II, proves a temporary detriment to Navy recruiting efforts. 1943 – LT Hugh D. O’Neill of VF(N)-75 flying a F4U-2 Corsair destroys a Japanese aircraft during night attack off Vella Lavella in first kill by a radar-equipped night fighter of the Pacific Fleet. 1952 – The United States exploded the first hydrogen bomb at Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific. Operation Ivy 1956 – Rear Admiral G.J. Dufek became the first person to land an airplane at the South Pole. Navy men land in R4D Skytrain on the ice at the South Pole. RADM George Dufek, CAPT Douglas Cordiner, CAPT William Hawkes, LCDR Conrad Shinn, LT John Swadener, AD2 J. P. Strider and AD2 William Cumbie are the first men to stand on the South Pole since Captain Robert F. Scott in 1912. 1958 - A US Air Force RB-47 Stratojet was attacked by Soviet fighters over the Black Sea. The crew of three were not injured and the aircraft returned safely to base. 1961 – End of Lighter than Air in U.S. Navy with disestablishment of Fleet Airship Wing One and ZP-1 and ZP-3, the last operating units in LTA branch of Naval Aviation, at Lakehurst, New Jersey. 1964 - NASA astronaut Theodore Freeman is killed when a goose smashes through the cockpit canopy of his Northrop T-38A Talon jet trainer, 63-8188, at Ellington AFB, Texas. Flying shards of Plexiglas enter the jet engine intake, causing the engine to flameout. Freeman ejects but is too close to the ground for his parachute to open properly. He is posthumously awarded the Purple Heart. 2014 – One person is dead and another injured after Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo explodes and crashes in California’s Mojave Desert during a test flight of the spaceplane.