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Death of General "Hap" Arnold - January 15, 1950
 
Aviation pioneer Henry “Hap” Arnold died on January 15, 1950. Arnold had the distinction of being the only person to serve as a five-star general in two different branches. Arnold was General of the Army towards the end of World War II (December 21, 1944), and on May 7, 1949, Congress named Arnold as the only General of the Air Force. The U.S. Air Force did not become a separate branch until September 18, 1947, and Arnold had retired 1946. This public law changed Arnold’s final rank from Chief of Staff of the Army Air Force to General of the Air Force, making him the only person to ever hold the rank.
 
This West Point graduate was mentored by the pioneers of manned flight, sitting under the Wright Brothers as a student for two months. Arnold, along with another officer, became the first Army flight instructors at College Park, MD. While at College Park, he would set multiple altitude records topping out at over 6,500 feet. After avoiding a nearly fatal crash in 1912, Arnold removed himself from flying status for a period, with assignments taking him all around the world.
 
In 1916, Arnold found himself as in the 3rd Infantry Regiment as a 1st Lieutenant, at Camp Eagle Pass, TX. The Regiment was there to support the Mexican Border Expedition that followed the Pancho Villa attacks across the border. While serving with the 3rd Infantry Regiment, Arnold received orders to report back to the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps.
 
Over the next decades, Arnold would be at the leading edge of military aviation. During World War II, Arnold would grow the Air Corps from 22,000 men and 3,900 aircraft to over 2.5 million men and 75,000 aircraft. Arnold’s retirement came only after he suffered four heart attacks and after receiving word that Germany had surrendered.
 
Arnold would pass away five years later at his ranch in Sonoma, CA. Arnold would be honored with a State Funeral and interred in Section 34 of Arlington National Cemetery.
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On November 10, 1921, the remains of the Unknown Soldier of World War I lain in state under the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. Starting at 8 AM, the Rotunda opened to allow the public to pay their respects before the State Funeral commenced the following day. Over 90,000 people passed by the Unknown's casket, with so many still waiting in line at 11 PM, visitation hours were extended through midnight. The casket rested on the Lincoln catafalque, the support built for President Lincoln’s funeral, and is used for all of those are granted the honor of lying in state under the Rotunda.

The previous day, the USS Olympia docked at the Washington Navy Yard with the Unknown Soldier’s remains aboard. The Unknown Soldier was transported on a horse-drawn caisson by members of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, based out of Fort Myer, VA, and conveyed to the Capitol. The procession route was “lined with sorrowing people standing bareheaded in silent tribute, regardless of the rain.”

On November 11, 1921, the third anniversary of the World War I armistice, the Unknown Soldier was laid to rest next to Arlington National Cemetery’s Memorial Amphitheater, just completed the previous year.

The Unknown Soldier’s remains were placed in the crypt atop two inches of French soil, brought back for the ceremony, amid wreaths and gifts bestowed by the Allied and even the Crow Nation, all to honor the Unknown Soldier.

Earlier this year, descendants of Thomas Cecil Scott, a clerk in the War Department’s Cemeterial Division, donated a history of the Unknown Soldier of World War I selection and State Funeral. The entire document can found here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/oldguardmuseum/albums/72157660990491415
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On July, 11, 1863, the first draft lottery of the Civil War was held in New York City. Two days later, riots erupted in the city. A group of 80 Old Guard soldiers went to help restore peace, immediately after Gettysburg. The rest of the Regiment arrived in August, along with other units. The Old Guard was part of a show of force that stayed until September, to ensure peace was maintained when the draft resumed in August. The Old Guard camped in Washington Park, until their departure on September 14. Illustration- "Battle in Second Avenue and Twenty-Second Street," from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, August 1, 1863.
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On this day in 1842, Colonel William Worth, commander of army forces in Florida, declared an end to the Second Seminole War. The war was an effort to move Seminole tribes to reservations west of the Mississippi River. The 690 men of the Old Guard were constantly engaged in patrolling and scouting in search of the enemy and protecting settlers since deploying in October 1840. The 3rd lost three men killed in action and three officers and sixty-five men to disease. Illustration by H. Charles McBarron, Army Art Collection.
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Friday Flashback - In 1964, the Austrian government presented the Lippizzaner stallion "Conversano Beja" to the U.S. Army at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The gift was a thank-you for protecting the Spanish Riding School at the end of World War II. "Conversano" was transferred to the Caisson Platoon, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment for use in full honor military funerals at Arlington National Cemetery.
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Friday Flashback-The Old Guard sees its fair share of notable personalities. Back in 1984, actress Elizabeth Taylor came to visit the Old Guard Caisson Platoon. Does anyone remember this visit? Let me know in the comments.
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Birth of Zebulon Pike - January 5, 1779
Zebulon Pike was born on January 5, 1779, near present-day Lamington, New Jersey. At the age of twenty, Pike chose to follow in his father’s footsteps and was commissioned in the Army. Pike served in the Northwest Territory, managing logistics for the scattered elements of the Army.

Much like the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Pike explored the newly acquired Louisiana Territory. Pike first led twenty men in a keelboat up the Mississippi River into present-day Minnesota in 1805, scouting for potential sites for future Army posts.
The following year Pike and nineteen others of the First Regiment of Infantry traveled west using the Arkansas and Red Rivers as their paths. It was during this expedition that the famous Pike’s Peak would be sighted and named. Pike and his party never reached the summit of Pike’s Peak, having been deterred by waist-high snow and going two days without food. The expedition was eventually captured by the Spanish after straying beyond the US border in 1807. Most of the group was escorted back to US lands, but others remained Spanish captives for years.

Pike continued to serve in the Army up the outbreak of the War of 1812, having rose to the rank of colonel. Having successfully managed greater responsibility, he was made a brigadier general in 1813. Pike and several others would be killed at the Battle of York (present-day Toronto, Canada) on April 23, 1813, when British troops blew up a munitions magazine as they withdrew from the York.
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On October 15, 1970, the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) was inactivated at Fort Benning, Georgia. The 2nd Battalion re-activated four years earlier at Fort Benning, before deploying to Vietnam. During the deployment, the 2nd Battalion participated in eleven campaigns and earned the Valorous Unit Award for its actions during the Tet Offensive (31 Jan - 19 Feb 1968). The 2nd Battalion was assigned to the 199th Infantry Brigade (known as the Redcatchers) throughout its deployment. The 2nd Battalion was next re-activated on 16 March 2001, as part of the Army’s first Stryker Brigade Combat Team under the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington.
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On this day in 1847, US forces engaged the Mexican Army under Valencia at Contreras. American forces attacked across lava fields, pushing Mexican forces within sight of their capital. The image, "The Camp of Valencia, Contreras" by James Walker, shows US forces approaching Valencia's camp in the center (Army Art Collection).
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#OTD  in 1850, President Zachary Taylor passed away. Taylor was a member of the 3rd Infantry from 1816-1819. Later, Taylor's popularity as the commanding general during the War with Mexico led him to the White House in the 1848 election. His term was cut short by his untimely death attributed to a food-borne illness.
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On this Medal of Honor Day 2015, we remember the four Soldiers, who during their service with the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), were awarded the highest honor any service member can receive. 
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Friday Flashback-In just one week, the first Spirit of America performance of 2014 premieres in Boston. A patriotic cover from the 1975 Spirit of America program seems like an appropriate share. Big thanks to John Hearty who shared this at the 2012 TOGA Reunion. See the entire program here- http://bit.ly/SOA75
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The US Army's first Regiment!
Introduction
US Army's oldest infantry unit and official ceremonial unit.