News from Central America and a Balkans Ultimatum to Turkey

April 15: The RMS Titanic sinks.
April 16 – Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to fly across the English Channel.
April 20 – Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts opens.
May 13 – In the United Kingdom, the Royal Flying Corps (forerunner of the Royal Air Force) is established.
May 31 – U.S. Marines arrive in Cuba to “protect U.S. interests”.

Today: Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was shot and wounded by a .38 caliber bullet fired by John Schrank, a New York City saloonkeeper, who was standing at a distance of only 30 feet. The bullet was slowed when it passed through Roosevelt’s metal eyeglasses case and the folded, fifty page manuscript of Roosevelt’s prepared speech, but still penetrated three inches into his chest, too close to the heart to be safely removed by surgery.
Montenegro’s Prince Danilo led the capture of Tuzi.
Turkish troops invaded Serbia (at Ristovatz) and Bulgaria (at Philippopolis)
General Benjamín Zeledón died, either killed by his own men or by the victorious Nicaraguan government.

On Zeledón by Augusto C. Sandino, 1929:

General Benjamín Zeledón, by General Augusto C. Sandino

“To the world press:

“Today, October 4, the Nicaraguan people begin their eighteenth year of anti-imperialist conflict in Nicaragua.

“A lot has been written about the origins of North American intervention in my homeland, but the more that is written the more necessary it becomes to mention historic dates such as October 4, 1912, when plans to carry out the scandalous Chamorro-Bryan Treaty began in the political circles of Nicaragua. Rumours about this project produced a strong nonconformist feeling among those people, and a bloody revolution arose against Adolfo Díaz, the then President of Nicaragua and instrument of Yankee piracy, who sold our homeland.

“This revolution first started in Managua on July 28, 1912, and ended on October 4 of the same year with the death of our great hero General Benjamín Zeledón, who with a handful of patriots launched into the world, with the thunder of cannons and under a rain of shrapnel, his energetic protest against the interference of the Yankee government in our internal affairs.

“BENJAMIN ZELEDON, great patriot, brave soldier, his heroic sacrifice for our national sovereignty will not be forgotten. His memory will live on in the heart of every good child of Nicaragua.

“At that time I was very young and in charge of my father’s estate. Love of my country, then as today, beat in my heart and I followed the development of these events with fascination.

“Niquinohomo, the village where I was born, is located in the hills of Pacaya, two leagues from Masaya, a city in the foothills of Pacaya, in a lovely and wide plane which offers views of the most beautiful countryside from my village.

“In that city of Masaya, called the “City of Flowers” by Rubén Darío, is the fortress of La Barranca where General Benjamín Zeledón’s forces had entrenched themselves against the North American invaders and sell-out Nicaraguans, headed by the thugs Emiliano Chamorro and Adolfo Díaz.

“In the early morning of October 4, when I was going to one of my father’s estates, I heard gunshots and machine gun fire in the hollows of the Pacaya hills. Later, the worsening of the formidable battle could be heard, struck up between two thousand North American “marines”, together with fifteen thousand sell-out Nicaraguans, against five hundred of General Zeledón’s men who heroically defended against that dishonorable human avalanche. The Nicaraguan autonomists, with the prolonged siege that they suffered in that city, had to eat even their horses.

“Our young and patriotic hearts were distressingly worried, but there was nothing we could do for the good of General Benjamín Zeledón’s great and noble cause; at 5 p.m. that day, that apostle of freedom had died and his corpse was driven in an ox-drawn cart to the town of Catarina, a neighbouring town to mine, where beneath a slimy gravestone half-destroyed by the elements over time, can still be found the remains of our greatest hero and great patriot General Benjamín Zeledón.”

Mérida (Yucatán), México. 4 October 1929.


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