July 28 (Pt 2) – War, Empire and the Bonus Army

In Part 1 we cover the anniversary of the Fourteenth Amendment’s certification, one the first major civil rights march in the United States and the incorporation the city of Miami.

In Part 2 we cover war – the commissioning of the USS Constellation and President Hoover’s using the cavalry to crush the Bonus Army protests; empire with the US occupation of Haiti and a bomber crash into the Empire State Building; and peace with the disarmament of the IRA in Northern Ireland.

1854

USS Constellation Commissioned

USS Constellation the last all-sail warship built by the United States Navy is commissioned.  The ship played a key role in fighting slave trafficking.  She remained in service for close to a century before finally being retired in 1954. She is now preserved as a museum ship in Baltimore, Maryland, and is a National Historic Landmark.

1915

US Begins 19-Year Occupation of Haiti

President Wilson sent an invasion force of 330 Marines to “protect American and foreign” interests.  In reality, Wilson was concerned about German influence in Haiti and the Dominican Republican and wanted to rewrite the Haitian Constitution, which banned foreign ownership of land and replace it with one that guaranteed American financial control.

The Americans implemented a Jim Crow protectorate, that brutally suppressed opposition and changed the Haitian education system from a liberal arts curriculum which the Haitians had inherited (and adapted) from the French system to, instead, emphasize vocational training, similar to its industrial education for minorities and immigrants in the United States.

 

1931

Hoover Sends Army to Crush Bonus Army Protests

Evictbonusarmy

In 1924, Congress awarded bonuses to World War I vets in the form of certificates that they could not redeem until 1945 (although it accrued interest).  Hard hit by the depression, some 43,000 marchers – 17,000 veterans and their families and supporters –   set camp in Washington to demand payment of the principal owed to them.  President Hoover sent the cavalry who charged with bayonets and tear-gas as the veterans shouted “shame”.  Led by General Douglas MacArthur and Major George Patton, the cavalry destroyed the camps and evicted the protesters – including the man who had saved Patton’s life during the Meuse-Argonne offensive.

1945

B-25 Crashes Into Empire State Building

A B-25 Mitchell bomber, piloted in thick fog over New York City, crashed into the Empire State Building. The accident did not compromise the building’s structural integrity, but it did cause fourteen deaths (three crewmen and eleven people in the building) and damage estimated at $1,000,000 ($13,303,142 in 2016 dollars).

2005

IRA Ends Armed Campaign

Provisional Irish Republican Army calls an end to its thirty-year-long armed campaign and agrees to disarm.  It had already agreed to a cease fire as part of the 1998 Good Friday Accords.

 

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