History matters because it helps us as an individual and as a society to understand why our society is the way they are and what they value.
The Spanish-American War had its origins in the rebellion against Spanish rule that began in Cuba in the year 1895. The repressive efforts that Spain took to suppress the guerrilla war, such as herding Cuba’s rural population into disease-ridden garrison towns, were graphically portrayed in United States newspapers and enflamed opinion of the public. In the year 1898, violence in Havana led United States authorities to order the battleship USS Maine to the city’s port to protect citizens of America. On February 15, a massive explosion of unknown origin sank Maine in the Havana harbor, killing 260 of the 400 American crew members aboard. An official U.S. Naval Court of Inquiry ruled in March, without much evidence, that the ship was blown up by a mine but did not directly blame Spain. Much of Congress and a majority of the American citizen expressed little doubt that Spain was responsible, and called for a declaration of war.
As Professor Penelope J Corfield says: “Why on earth does it matter? What happened long ago? The answer is: History is inescapable. It reads the past and the legacies of the past in the present. Far from being a ‘dead’ subject, it connects things through time and encourages us to take a long view of such things and time.All people/s are living histories. To take a few obvious examples: communities speak languages that are inherited from the past or we can say History. They live in the community with complex cultures, traditions, and religions that have not been created on the spur of the moment. People consume technologies that they have not themselves invented. So understanding the connection between the past and the present is basic for a better understanding of the condition of being human. That, in a nutshell, is why History matters. It is not just ‘useful’, it is essential.”
Let’s discuss a few major Historical events in Today’s History.
1898: Armistice ends the Spanish-American War
The brief and one-sided Spanish-American War comes to an end when Spain formally agrees to a peace protocol on U.S. terms: the cession of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Manila in the Philippines to the U.S. pending a final peace treaty.
What was discovered on this day in History?
1990: Skeleton of Tyrannosaurus rex discovered
On August 12, 1990, fossil hunter Susan Hendrickson discovers three huge bones jutting out of a cliff near Faith, South Dakota. They turn out to be part of the largest-ever Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever discovered, a 65 million-year-old specimen dubbed Sue, after its discoverer.
Amazingly, Sue’s Skeleton was over 90% complete, and the bones were well-preserved. Hendrickson’s employer, the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, paid $5,000 to the landowner, Maurice Williams, for the right to excavate the dinosaur skeleton, which was cleaned and transported to the company headquarters in Hill City. The institute’s president, Peter Larson, announced plans to build a non-profit museum to display Skeleton along with other fossils of the Cretaceous period.
Today in Sports History
1973: American golfer Jack Nicklaus sets title record
On this day, American golfer Jack Nicklaus wins the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) championship for his fourteenth major title, surpassing Bobby Jones’ record of 13 major championships. Nicklaus shot a seven-under-par 277 at Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood, Ohio, to win $45,000 and his third PGA National championship. The “Golden Bear” went on to win 18 major tournaments, a record that still stands today. (Although it aptly describes his golden-coloured hair and large build, Nicklaus’ famous moniker is derived from his high school alma mater, the Upper Arlington Golden Bears.)