On this day, February 15, two momentous events in American history, 35 years apart, occurred, transforming America forever.
In 1898, 114 years ago today, the battleship USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor in Cuba, killing about 260 on board, and although it was caused by an accidental explosion, it spurred America into war against Spain, in what became known as the Spanish American War. As a result of the war, America became an “empire” with colonies in Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippine Islands, and had a “sphere of influence” over Cuba, eventually leading to problems when Fidel Castro rose to power in 1959 and condemned US “imperialism” in his island nation.
In 1933, 79 years ago, we almost lost President elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, as he was the target of an assassin, Joseph Zangara, who instead mortally wounded Chicago mayor Anton Cermak, while FDR was visiting Miami, Florida. Had FDR been killed or seriously wounded, we might not have had the New Deal programs that helped to ameliorate the Great Depression, and instead would have had conservative Texan and former Speaker of the House John Nance Garner, the Vice President elect, as our President.
The role of America in world affairs, and the coming of the greatest President of the 20th century, and only second to Abraham Lincoln in our entire history, were transformational moments in the American story!
Two infamous assassination efforts against a President and a Presidential candidate, with one person being in a mental hospital and the other in a prison for a long time, has led to these individuals applying for more freedom and less control, and for parole, respectively. Neither should be allowed to win his case!
John Hinckley, who shot President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981, has already been allowed the right to visit his family and stay away from the mental hospital under family supervision for periods of time, but now wants no supervision and less monitoring, and as much as 24 days away from the hospital at a time. This should NOT be allowed in any form! Nancy Reagan opposed the amount of freedom he has already been granted, and she is absolutely correct in her feelings!
Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who was considered a likely winner of the Democratic nomination for President in 1968 had he lived, and thought to have been likely to have defeated Richard Nixon for the Presidency, has applied for parole. But the heinous act that he engaged in on June 5. 1968, should NOT be excused to allow him freedom at any time!
When an assassin tries to kill, or succeeds in murdering a President, or a Presidential candidate, he or she should lose his or her right to freedom at any point, because this is not just a murder, but affects the history of the country! One does the crime, one pays the time in loss of freedom forever!