I didn't learn about
Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders
while impatiently tapping my toes under a cold metal desk
in a pea soup painted
NYC Junior High classroom.
Nope... I was busy practicing
driven to distraction by
the droning tempo of
an eternally nasal infected
whose only passion was to
DRILL RUSTY SPIKES
of DATA into
HARD WOOD HEADS.
Spanish American War
was therefore a
memorized ~ meaningless
tidbit of tortured knowledge
until I lived in an old Conch House across the street from
the sepulchers of souls
that perished when
The Battleship Maine
suddenly and mysteriously
! ! ! EXPLODED ! ! !
She QUICKLY SANK ... on a February nite ... taking with her the lives of
266 Naval Soldiers ... WITHOUT WARNING !
In the quiet of the tropical nights,
when the palms slowly swayed in the breeze
and the air held a sweet odor of frangipani, jasmine and ions,
I would sit on my porch steps watching the dry lightening;
feeling the solemnity of this resting place as if it had only recently happened.
IF YOU'D LIKE TO VIEW AN AUTHENTIC TWO MINUTE VIDEO
of the BURIAL PROCESSION of 1898,
PLEASE CLICK HERE !
The Maine had been peacefully sitting
in Cuba's Havana Harbor
as a symbol of American intervention in
The Cuban War of Independence
Despite investigations into the catastrophe,
it remained unclear exactly why or
how this tragedy occurred.
The Ship was an armored cruiser
powered by an archaic steam engine, considered outdated many years
prior to going into service.
She very well could have succumbed
due to a fire in one of her coal bunkers.
William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer
with inflammatory articles that blatantly pointed the finger at SPAIN,
capitalizing on the public's anger and pain,
with full understanding that the public wanted to blame
Because of these articles,
REMEMBER THE MAINE ! TO HELL WITH SPAIN !
became an unfortunate and common cry amongst the people.
So began a series of events that led to
SPAIN declaring WAR on April 23 rd., 1898.
called for volunteers
which led to the creation of
"RECRUITS MUST BE
A GOOD SHOT...
ABLE TO RIDE ANYTHING
IN THE LINE OF HORSEFLESH...
A ROUGH AND READY FIGHTER,
AND ABOVE ALL
MUST HAVE ABSOLUTELY
OF THE WORD
Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt
COME BACK NEXT WEEK
FOR PART TWO
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