On this day, 23 January, 1968, the USS Pueblo was captured by North Korea, well outside the 12 mile limit off the North Korean coast.
Alone and overpowered, the ship was forced west. When Pueblo stopped outside the 12 mile limit, the ship was fired upon and Navy seaman Fireman Duane Hodges was killed. Pueblo was boarded, its crew mistreated; ship and crew were taken to Wonsan harbor.
President Lyndon Johnson was asleep at the time.
The White House response from Johnson and his crew of smart guys was to minimize confrontation with the communists at all costs. Negotiations at Panmunjom at last produced the release of the crew (and Hodges' remains) across the DMZ into South Korea on 23 December 1968 -- following a formal written apology by the USA to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Pueblo is still in North Korean possession.
By the apology, Johnson set a precedent for bowing to foreign dictators.
After 1968, one could see a few "Remember the Pueblo" bumper stickers. But memories are short. The official response had set a precedent of "what difference, at this point, does it make?"
By the way, today is exactly one year since Hillary blew off Senator Ron Johnson's question about why she lied about events leading up to the attack on our consulate in Benghazi and the murder of ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
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