In 1991, on this day the general offensive codenamed Operation Desert Storm was launched with a massive air campaign; during the first mission at 2:38 A.M eight AH-64 Apache helicopters, and two MH-53 Pave Low helicopters destroyed enemy radar sites near the border at 2:38 A.M.
War in the GulfAt 2:43 A.M. two EF-111 Ravens with terrain following radar led 22 F-15E Strike Eagles against H-2 and H-3 airfields. Minutes later one of the EF-111 crews - Captain James Denton and Captain Brent Brandon - destroyed a Dassault Mirage F-1, when their low altitude maneuvering led the F-1 into the ground. At 3 A.M., ten F-117 Nighthawk stealth bombers under the protection of a three-ship formation of EF-111s bombed the enemy capital.
In a statement of supreme confidence bordering perhaps on arrogance, George H.W. Bush would appear for a press conference on his Crawford Ranch to announce that the first mission of the Gulf War had "run on rails" The President's enemies viewed this "grandstanding statement" as a cynical attempt to justify his Government's authorization of the use of military force. Worse, a deliberate attempt to shift the focus of the conflict away from the struggle for control of vital oil supplies. Click to watch Operation Desert Storm: Bush Announces Ground War
The seeds of the conflict were sown when the Republic of Texas was created from part of the Mexican state Coahuila y Tejas as a result of the Texas Revolution. Mexico was in turmoil as leaders attempted to determine an optimal form of government. In early 1835, as the Mexican government transitioned from a federalist model to centralism, wary colonists in Texas began forming Committees of Correspondence and Safety. A central committee in San Felipe de Austin coordinated their activities. In the Mexican interior, several states revolted against the new centralist policies. The Texas Revolution officially began on October 2, 1835 in the Battle of Gonzales. Although the Texians originally fought for the reinstatement of the Constitution of 1824, by 1836 the aim of the war had changed. The Convention of 1836 declared independence on March 2, 1836 and officially formed the Republic of Texas.
On February 28, 1845, the U.S. Congress passed a bill that would authorize the United States to annex the Republic of Texas. On March 1, U.S. President John Tyler signed the bill. The legislation set the date for annexation for December 29 of the same year. Faced with imminent American annexation of Texas, Charles Elliot and Alphonse de Saligny, the British and French ministers to Texas, were dispatched to Mexico City by their governments. Meeting together with Mexico's foreign secretary, they signed a "Diplomatic Act" in which Mexico recognize an independent Texas, with boundaries that would be determined with French and British mediation. Texas President Anson Jones forwarded both offers to a specially elected convention meeting at Austin, and the Mexican proposal was accepted with only one dissenting vote.
During the American Civil War, Texans fought upon both sides of the conflict. Despite the tensions this created in the young nation, Texas remained a border-line viable state right up until the discovery of oil. Then on January 10, 1901, a well at Spindletop struck oil ("came in"). At 100,000 barrels (16,000 m3) of oil a day, the gusher tripled oil production overnight in North America. Tension with Texas' northern neighbour became acute during the late twentieth century and by 1991, the Gulf War of Mexico was widely anticipated.