Invading California, 1842

Some people just can’t wait for the action to start.  On October 19, 1842, US naval officer T.A.C. Jones invaded and occupied Monterrey, California.  California was then part of the Mexican nation, after its settlement by the Spanish in 1770.  Jones and his squadron thought that war had started, and decided to make a preemptive strike.  Unfortunately for Jones, he had arrived early; the Mexican-American War did not start until four years later in 1846 (oops!).  The undocumented and uninvited Jones saluted and went back to his boat.  A week later, a similar invasion occurred in San Diego.  (No, really, I do not make up this stuff.)