BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – The Army looks to our four-legged friends for assistance in battle, and the first Uncle Sam cartoon is published. All this, including the US adopting Standard Time, and more, in today’s, “This Day in History”.
On this day in 1942, the United States Army began training dogs for the newly established War Dog Program, better known as the “K-9 Corps.” While over 30 breeds of dogs were originally accepted, the K-9 Corps eventually narrowed the list to seven types: German Shepherds, Belgian sheep dogs, Doberman Pinschers, collies, Siberian Huskies, Malumutes and Eskimo dogs. Members of the Corps would be trained for from 8 to 12 weeks. Afterwards, they’d be sent to specialized programs to where they would learn to work as sentry, scout/patrol, messenger, or mine-detection dogs. Scout dogs proved essential in active combat duty by alerting patrols to enemy approach. The most famous canine hero of World War II was Chips, a German Shepherd who served with the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division. He would end up being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and the Purple Heart. Unfortunately, all of the awards were later revoked due to Army policy preventing official commendation of animals.
On this day in 1969, Disney’s “The Love Bug,” hit theatres.
On this day in 1943, Baseball approved the official ball for the game. The ball was made of cork and balata.
On this day in 1969, Apollo 9 returned to Earth.
On this day in 1884, the United States adopted “Standard Time”.
On this day in 1852, the Uncle Sam cartoon figure, drawn by Frank Bellew, made its debut in the NY Lantern weekly. Up until that point, Uncle Sam had only been used as a reference, he had never been depicted in any form of a visual medium.
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