Tuesday, June 10, 2008

On June 10

On this day in ...
... 1898 (110 years ago today), U.S. Marines landed at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to begin a month-long land battle between U.S. and Spanish forces. Precipitated by the sinking of the U.S. Maine in February of the same year, the Spanish-American War would bring an end to Spain's colonial rule in the Americas. As we have often posted, the United States maintains a naval base at Guantánamo, as well as a center for post-9/11 detention of noncitizens suspected of terrorism. (credit for June 12, 1898, photo by Edward H. Hart of Gitmo flag-raising)
... 1838 (170 years ago today), at Myall Creek, Australia, more than 2 dozen Aboriginal people, most of them women, children, and old men, were killed by "a gang of stockmen led by a squatter." The latter was never arrested, but 12 men were put on trial. Initially all but 1 were acquitted; then New South Wales' governor ordered a retrial of 7. They were convicted and executed, "despite protests from landowners and pastoralists." It was Australia's 1st trial of of whites for murders of Aboriginal persons. Among those who've worked for reconciliation in memory of the massacre are the 3 women depicted at right: Sue Blacklock (left), great-granddaughter of a survivor, Helen Lo Schiavo (middle), great-granddaughter of a civil servant who alerted police to the killings, and Beaulah Adams (right), great-niece of 1 of the men hanged. (2005 photo by Lisa Wiltse courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald)

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