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On This Day In History
Tuesday, February 15, 2005   By: Juan Paxety

Three interesting (to me) things happened on this day in history.

In 1898, the U.S. battleship Maine blew up in Havana's harbor.  I don't think it's ever been settled as to what happened, but U.S.newspapers, notably the Hearst papers, used the incident to push for war between the U.S. and Spain.  In effect, the U.S. joined Cuba's war for independence.

In 1933, President Elect Franklin Roosevelt (the inauguration was in March then) made an appearance in Miami.Guiseppe (aka Joseph) Zangara attempted to kill Roosevelt, firing five shots from a pistol, but missed him and hit Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak. Cermak died from his wounds. Zangara had long suffered from undiagnosed stomach ulcers.  He blamed his pain on capitalists, and he considered Roosevelt one of them.  When Zangara was convicted of murdering Cermak, he is reported to have told the judge, "You give me electric chair. I no afraid of that chair! You're one of capitalists. You is crook man too. Put me in electric chair. I no care!" In those days of quick justice, he was executed only a month later, on March 20.  As his head was covered with the shroud, he yelled, denouncing capatilists, and ordering the warden to "push the button."

And in 1964, also in Miami, the boxer then known as  Cassius Clay shocked the world by scoring a TKO over Sonny Liston.  "The Greatest" became heavy weight champion of the world.


(c)1968- today j.e. simmons or michael warren