D-Day – June 6 | National Day Calendar

D-Day – June 6 | National Day Calendar

D-Day – June 6 | National Day Calendar

D-Day is June 6 on the National Day Calendar and we are honoring those who fought on the beaches of Normandy, France. This historical day is a reminder of the day troops of Allied forces staged one of the most pivotal attacks against Germany during World War II. 

#DDay

The Battle of Normandy was executed under the codename Operation Overlord and became known as the beginning of the end of World War II. The Battle took place was along a 50 mile stretch of beaches, including Utah and Omaha Beach. While many explanations exist for the name, many believe the word “Day” means nothing more than what it is and the countdown the day and hour of the assault. 

The U.S., Britain,  and Canada sent more than 160,000 Allied troops under the leadership of General Dwight Eisenhower. The troops manned more than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft the day of the initial landing and is considered one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history. An amphibious military operation requires the use of naval ships to project ground and air power at a designated landing beach. Due to the sheer numbers of troops, ships, and aircraft involved, Operation Overlord required extensive planning. The Battle of Normandy liberated Northern France, but more importantly, began the liberation of millions of people across Europe.

Message to the troops of Normandy: “You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you.”

Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, 1944

6 Interesting D-Day Facts

  1. About 150,000 Allied troops successfully carried out their mission to storm the beaches of Normandy. Unfortunately, nearly 10,000 lives were lost on that single day. 
  2. The Normandy invasion was a vital turn in the war and turned the tide in the war against the Nazis. The successful mission was a huge blow to Hitler.
  3. The Normandy Invasion is one of the most significant events of WWII.
  4. Allied forces consisted of troops from U.S., Australia, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Greece, New Zealand, Norway, and Poland. 
  5. Over 18,000 Allied paratroopers were dropped into the invasion area. 
  6. A few months before D-Day, General Eisenhower threatened to quit due to being at odds with Winston Churchill over a controversial plan. 

HONORING D-Day

On June 6 across the world, World War II museums, memorials, and ceremonies honor the Allied forces who landed along the 50 mile stretch of beaches in 1944. There are several ways to honor D-Day and the impact it had on WWII. 

  1. Learn more about the Battle of Normandy by exploring World War II museums.
  2. Visit the National D-Day Memorial to attend the D-Day Commemoration at the WWII Memorial.
  3. Fly the American flag in honor of the sacrifices made during WWII.
  4. Visit with a combat veteran and learn about their experiences. Document their stories to share with future generations.
  5. Watch Band of Brothers, which is a true story of U.S. Army’s Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division.
  6. Read books about the Battle of Normandy or listen to a podcast such as: D-Day Girls: The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War II by Sarah Rose. The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan. Normandy ’44: D-Day and the Battle for France by James Holland. Pegasus Bridge by Stephen E. Ambrose. The Bedford Boys by Alex Kershaw. History Extra Podcast.
  7. Share your family stories, photos, and family history about WWII on social media using the hashtag #DDay.

D-DAY HISTORY

The landing of troops on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, is known around the world as D-Day and was given the name Operation Overlord. Leading up to the attack, plans of deception were carried out to mislead Germany about the intended invasion target. They led the Germans to believe that the invasion target would be at Pas-de-Calais. This was the narrowest point between Britain and France. In addition, they also led the Germans to believe that others areas, such as Norway, would be invaded. Phantom armies, fake equipment, double agents, and fraudulent radio transmissions were all used to carry out the deceptive tactics of the Allies. 

June 6th Celebrated History

  • 1844 – A twenty-two-year-old George Williams founded the Young Men’s Christian Association in London, England.
  • 1933 – Richard M. Hollingshead Jr. of Camden, New Jersey created the first drive-in theater.
  • 1944 – Allied forces land on the beaches of Normandy, France during World War II.
  • 2004 – Phylicia Rashad’s performance in Loraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sunearned her the Tony Award for Best Actress. She was the first African American to win the Best Actress category.

June 6th Celebrated Birthdays

  1. Nathan Hale (1755 – 1776) -In 1776, at the age of 21, Captain Nathan Hale volunteered to carry out a mission ordered by General George Washington. Hale was charged with gathering information on the British troops. When the British revealed the Patriot’s identity, they swiftly placed a noose around Hale’s neck. According to legend, Hale declared before being hung, “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.
  2. Sarah Parker Remond (1826 – 1894) was born into freedom and became an African-American abolitionist and suffragist spoke to audiences around the world. In 1853, a theatre owner denied Remond and two of her two companions entry to the Opera, and the police responded. Remond brought charges against Henry Palmer, the theatre operator, and C.P. Philbrick, the officer who responded. Judge Russell found for the plaintiff, ordering the theatre to “stand by their contract, and give to every ticket holder of whatever nation, color or condition, the place which he has brought.
  3. David Scott (1932 – ) is an American astronaut who flew several missions during the space race, including a 1971 Moon landing. During the mission on July 31, 1971, Scott drove the Lunar Roving Vehicle, becoming the first person to drive on the Moon.
  4. Phillip A. Sharp (1944) In 1993, American molecular biologist Phillip Sharpe and Richard J. Roberts shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Their study of DNA and split genes inspired new research into mRNA and evolutionary biology.

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