Good morning, it’s Thursday, July 29, 2021. Seventy-six years ago today, the USS Indianapolis, a 610-foot-long heavy cruiser, was leaving the Marianas on a course for Leyte Gulf in the Philippines. Affectionately known by her crew as the “Indy Maru,” the vessel had been President Franklin Roosevelt’s favorite U.S. Navy warship. He knew it well: Before the outbreak of World War II, FDR had spent most of his month-long goodwill tour of South America aboard the Indy.
She had been a lucky ship, too. The Indianapolis was away from Hawaii on routine exercises when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. In the ensuing time she had seen action in many of the most decisive naval battles of the war in the Pacific. And as the war was winding to its devastating and climactic end, the Indianapolis was again doing her part -- she had just delivered key atomic bomb components to the B-29 base on Tinian Island.
Now, on the morning of July 29, 1945, the plan was to rendezvous with the USS Idaho three days later. It was a journey of 1,300 nautical miles on the open ocean. Knowing that the Indy lacked the Navy’s most sophisticated sonar equipment, its captain, Charles B. McVay III, had requested a destroyer escort. He had been informed the day before that this request was denied. What he wasn’t told was that U.S. Naval Intelligence had detected two Japanese submarines in the waters he was heading into -- or that one of them had sunk a Navy destroyer.
But Capt. McVay was the son and namesake of a renowned admiral and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. Trusting the U.S. Navy to give him the best equipment, men, and information at its disposal, he took his orders in stride. This was war, with an enemy that was not yet defeated. McVay gathered his officers together. “We are going to Leyte,” he told them, “to prepare for the invasion of Kyushu.”
Instead, they sailed into a horror movie. With that, I’d point you to our front page, which aggregates, as it does each day, columns and stories spanning the political spectrum. We also offer a complement of original material from RCP reporters and contributors, including the following:
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Cruz: Biden’s “Crazy-Ass Ideas” Will Lead to GOP Majority. Phil Wegmann had exclusive access yesterday when the Texas senator spoke to members of the Republican Study Committee.
Following in The Donald’s Celebrity Footsteps. Wayne Avrashow assesses the appeal of Herschel Walker, J.D. Vance and Larry Elder, among others.
Biden Reveals His True Goal: To Ban Most Guns. John R. Lott Jr. responds to comments the president made last week during a CNN town-hall meeting.
Russiagate’s Fallen Guardian(s) of Integrity. At RealClearInvestigations, Aaron Maté considers why major media outlets ignored a new report in The Guardian on documents that sounded like the Holy Grail of Trump-Russia collusion.
Should Kids Be Taught About How Racism Shapes Society? At RealClearEducation, David Bernstein considers a question that underpins the CRT debate.
The Other Vaccine Denial. At RealClearHealth, Peter J. Pitts advocates passage of a bill that would eliminate out-of-pocket costs for vaccines covered under Medicare, Part D.
When Cryptocurrency and Climate Collide. At RealClearMarkets, Mitchell Silk and Timothy Fitzgerald hail the benefits of bitcoin but say the energy consumption required for its verification process needs to be reined in.
The Cascade Institute’s Assault on Western Civilization. At RealClearEnergy, Tammy Nemeth asserts that the think tank’s net-zero plan would bring down the current market system, its institutions, and the energy system at its core.
The PRO Act Is a Threat to Housing Affordability. At RealClearPolicy, James Schloemer warns of dire implications from the union-organizing bill.
Hillsdale’s 1776 Curriculum: Antidote to Civics Miseducation. At RealClear’s American Civics portal, Matthew Mehan highlights a new resource for parents, teachers, and students.
Beer and Exercise. At RealClearScience, Ross Pomeroy examines a study of beer's effects on exercise performance, recovery, and adaptation.
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Carl M. Cannon
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics