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July 3, 2015

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POST-GAZETTE, JULY 3, 2015 Page 5 THOUGHTS BY DAN A Frank De Paso uale Venture : ABOUT THIS 8< THAT with Daniel A. DiCenso WILLIAM McKINLEY (January 29, 1843-September 14, 1901) A Forgotten Hero William McKinley (Photo by Courtney Art Studio 1896) If the end of William McKinley's presidency, cut short by an assassin's bullet to the stomach, was tragic, so was its immediate after- math. Not that his successor was a disappointment. Theodore Roosevelt was a great president who, with his ideal of '100% Americanism' (meaning loyalty to your country as a whole above your specific region or demo- graphic), brought the nation together in a way that it hadn't been since before the Civil War and was the first national leader to really put an emphasis on conserva- tion. Roosevelt's legacy was, in fact, too good for the legacy of the president that pre- ceded his and under whom he had been vice president. The popularity of Roosevelt ended up clouding the legacy of McKinley which, even in the years surrounding his death, was complicated. Our 25TM president deserved bet- ter, however, as he proved to be something of a game changer in the American political landscape. As a person, McKinley was always spoken of highly and was known for his sense of humor and charisma. It seems a natural way of life for the man who would be called the first modem presi- dent. Sure enough, he had to make decisions about for- eign warfare and answer questions about the growth of imperialism. But he also was the first presidential candidate to use the media, then experiencing a revolu- tionary expansion into radio and visual media, for cam- paign advantages. Up until the latter half of the 20th century, McKinley was widely considered to be an ineffectual leader, easily manipulated by foreign pow- ers and taken advantage of. In the last forty years how- ever, a fuller, more complex, understanding of the man has emerged and the impor- tance of his presidency, when it's even discussed, is harder to place. The first step in under- standing McKinley's political strategy is to look at his aid to Cuban independence dur- McKinley ing the Spanish-American War. It's seldom discussed today, but the Spain ruled Cuba with an iron fist, send- ing rebels and freedom fight- ers to prison camps. The United States sympathized with Cuba, but McKinley wanted to avoid war at all cost, giving every effort to convincing Spain to grant Cuba its independence with- out a fight. Spain stood firm and made its unrelenting position clear. By January of 1898, McKinley was con- vinced that Spain would not release Cuba peacefully and so sent over the USS Maine as a sign that the United States also had no inten- tions of giving up the cause. Even after the battleship's" infamous (and somewhat mysterious) bombing on Feb- ruary 15th of that year, which resulted in the death of 266, McKinley still hoped for a peaceful resolution. But by this point had to hand the matter over to Congress. On April 20, Congress declared war against Spain, some- thing that would prove to be the death knell for the Span- ish empire, which found itself at a disadvantage. Having lost most of its colo- nies in Latin America and the Caribbean, Spain's only nearby base was in Cuba itself, right at the heart of the conflict. Acquiring artil- lery and medical supplies for the war proved problematic for Spain, something any experienced general on their side could have seen. Ultimately, it was Spain's pride, possibly motivated by an unwillingness to let go of Cuba, its last colony in the region, that brought her to a costly war. Ironically, the United State's first major defeat of the Spanish Empire was not anywhere near Cuba or any of its former colonies but, rather, at one of its outposts in the South Pacific. The Battle of Manila Bay, led by Commodore Dewey, proved to be one of America's clearest victorie, s; a com- plete defeat of the Spanish fleet without the destruction of a single American ship. at Atlanta McKinley Prosperity This was also the first time Spain realized the need for surrender and began taking actions to end the war. Of course, this opened up the Philippines as a valu- able territory for the empiri- cal interests of the United States, something that would become a concern as Japan began expanding its own empire. Expectedly, victory was more costly for Major Gen- eral William Rufus on his battle in Santiago de Cuba. But, though both sides faced heavy casualties after the Battle of San Juan Hill, Spain, already crippled and short on supplies, surren- dered the City of Santiago on July 17. This left Cuba as another territory open for U.S. interests. Jose Marti, one of the lead freedom fight- ers in Cuba, was less than grateful for the American in- tervention arguing, not wrongly, that the United States would be taking con- trol over many of Cuba's re- sources and finances. None- theless, the United States enjoyed a strong and profit- able relationship with Cuba for many decades after. On July 22, the U.S. and Spainbegan negotiating a peace treaty which resulted in Spain giving up many of its territories, mostly to the profit of the United States This presented yet another (Continued on Page 14) Quaflro Grille, Rosticceria & Pizzeria OOO 266 Hanover St. * 617.720.0444 Bricco Boutique Italian Cuisine 000 241 Hanover St. 617.248.6800 Mar Seafood & Oyster Bar OOO 135 Richmond St. 617.723.MARE Trattoria II Panino Boston's 1 st Original Trattoria OOO 11 St. 617.720.! 336 Umbria Prime 5 Story Steakhouse Oyster Bar & Night Club OOO 295 Franklin St. 617.338.1000 Bricco Panetteria Homemade Artisan Breads 000 Bricco Place 241 Hanover St, 617.248.9859 Bricco Salumeria & Pasta shoppe Over 50 Varieties OOO Bricco Place 241 Hanover St. * 617.248.9629 (next to Bdcco Panetteria} Lounge & Night Club Coming Soon OOO 150 Kneeland St. Gelateria & Cannoli Factory Homemade Gelato & Cannolis OOO 272 Hanover St. * 64 Cross St, 617.720.4243 In Memonj of GEORGE LERRA June 30,2011 In Our flearts flZoremer your 3 amil! Wife Gloria, Son George and Wife . nda Sort Mark and Wife Surniko )aughter Marria and -Iusband 3Zrank and Granddaughter Mia m Free Reiki Clinic and Reiki Share - on the second Wednesday of every month from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Mariner's House, 11 North Square, 2"d floor meet- ing room, North End, Boston. Sponsored by Reiki Masters Maxine Bornstein, Su.nny Davidson and Emily Kushvaliev, and The Mariner's House. Reiki is an ancient practice that utilizes light hand placements to channel healing energies to the re- cipient. Reiki induces relaxation and helps to re- lieve ,stress. Reiki is used to treat chronic and acute physical pain as well as emotional distress. Reiki is used in hospitals, clinics and spas. Next Reiki clinic is Wednesday, July 8% Please come and RSVP. Refreshments will be available. For more information, please contact Maxine at 508-292-5258. at H pens You E ~ 7 Dont Adverse: / i