May 15-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: May: May 15-05
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Photo from Copper Country Reflections

Charlie at Pasty Central on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 07:52 am:

In April of 1898 the United States declared war on Spain following the sinking of the Battleship Maine in Havana harbor in February of that year. By mid-May the Calumet Light Guard, Company D was ready to depart Fourth Street Depot, on their way to the tropics. Thirteen of the boys in this unit would not return - in most cases because of malaria or typhoid. Hundreds of Copper Country residents turned out to speed them on their way with the admonition to "Remember the Maine!"

Our thanks to Chuck Voelker for scanning this notable moment in time, and for his outstanding historical work known as Copper Country Reflections.

As a side note, we are less than 7 weeks away from another gathering in our hometown: Pasty Fest 2005, scheduled for July 2, brought to you by Main Street Calumet. That's a Saturday, and if you're in the area you will surely want to join us for lunch in Agassiz Park, as the first 500 attendees will receive a free hot and delicious Pasty Central pasty. There will be games and music, and competition for both commercial and homemade divisions of pasty bakers. Plan now to spend the first weekend in July right here in the Copper Country.

Have a good week :0)

By BT,TC on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 08:01 am:

Holy cow! are there still that many people living in Calumet anymore? Wow what a crowd.

By copper country resident on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 08:35 am:

What a wonderful way to spend a July 4th weekend, PASTY FEST 2005!

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 09:32 am:

We might get to be there! Mornin' all.

By Sean, Illinois on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 10:17 am:

Today is Peace Officers Memorial Day.
Remember to fly your flag at half staff.

By sur5er on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 01:07 pm:

Chuck, thanks for the awesome pic...some of the old pics are my favorites. Surprised at the number of!
Am gonna miss Pasty Fest...and most of the summer in the UP. Last courtdate for me to testify at was supposed to be before Memorial Day...but that date was cancelled and now I am in the holding pattern the rest of the summer. Sigh.

By George K, Phoenix Az on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 03:39 pm:

Where on Fourth Street was the Depot? Isn't that the street where Agassiz Park is today?

We'll move up our summer plans to make it in time for Pasty Fest.

By Dave, Summery Temecula, CA on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 05:36 pm:

According to the article below, the population of Calumet was about 70,000 in 1900. In 2000 there were 36,000 in the whole County.

By FLEWDAMOONEYTODAY on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 06:00 pm:

Ex Peace Officer..........DEA during the 70' you couldn't get a crowd like that today for the current administration....

By Gary, Surabaya, Indonesia on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 06:08 pm:

Wow, a pasty sure sounds tasty! I can't imagine the cost for shipment here.

By ed/mi on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 08:09 pm:

The population figure of 70,000 covered CALUMET TOWNSHIP which covers a much larger area than just Calumet as can be seen at..

By John-Canton Mi on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 09:49 pm:

right on flew

By Brenda MN on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 11:51 pm:

Thank you. Beautiful. Words can't describe the pride. I love the ethics of our ancestors. If the USA had their strength today, we wouldn't be falling apart like we are now.

By Bill P , Ca. on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 11:54 pm:

George, the 4th Street depot was north of Pine Street. The Mineral Range depot was the main depot for passenger traffic later on.

By Bill P Ca. on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 11:59 pm:

George, the 4th Street depot was north of Pine Street. The Mineral Range depot became the main passenger depot later on.

By Edward, MN Yooper on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 12:44 am:

And Admiral Rickover's official U.S. Navy examination in 1975 concluded there had been no evidence of an external explosion, and that the most likely cause of the Maine's sinking was a coal dust explosion in a coal bunker located dangerously close to the ship’s magazines.

But the Hearst papers and others had been advocating vociferously for an intervention in Cuba (occupied by Spain) prior to the sinking, with Hearst himself supposedly telling a confused photographer he'd dispatched to Cuba in advance of the conflict, "You take the photographs, and I will provide the war". Subsequently the Maine's sinking was used amidst media hoopla as a pretext for the United States to go to war with Spain, resulting in the deaths of thousands of U.S. soldiers in Cuba and the Philippines and as many as half a million Filipinos (!).

By danbury on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 01:48 am:

Thanks, Edward. I've read about that, didn't know it was official US knowledge, though.

By Edward, MN Yooper on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 04:49 am:

Admiral Rickover conducted an in-depth investigation of the sinking of the Maine six or seven years prior to his retirement, after well over half a century in service to the Navy and many honors under his belt. The results were published by the Department of the Navy. There is still debate on the issue in some quarters, despite the exhaustive study of the forensic evidence of the ship, the many accounts of Spanish soldiers rushing to help the American sailors in the aftermath, the fact that Spain had no interest in provoking a losing war with the United States, the widespread incidence of coal-bunker fires on other naval ships during the same time period, etc.

At the time, the justification for the war was wrapped in pieties and fueled by cynical maneuvering of politicians and rampant "yellow journalism", all at the expense of the citizenry and their family members who died in uniform. The call-to-arms provoked by the alleged Spanish sinking of the Maine incited good, reasonable people to drop their guard and get behind a cause that didn't take their interests into account in the least, and there were fatal consequences for many.

The supposed concern on the part of politicians for the Cubans who were "under the boot" of the occupying Spaniards was later shown to be a smokescreen for the emerging imperial ambitions of the time. Why else would elected officials make speeches in defense of preserving the lives and freedom of a relative handful of downtrodden Cubans - a noble cause, to be sure - but then move forward with policies that directly resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in the Philippines, not to mention enlisted men on all sides, by the time the conflict ended?

The simple answer is that the lives of the soldiers, sailors, and innumerable civilians were secondary and expendable, that it was more important to expand the imperial reach of U.S. business and financial interests of the time than it was to observe the words of the sixth commandment, "Thou shalt not kill". (Not to mention the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you", for those who follow such things.) Those thirteen brave young men from Calumet, who never returned from the conflict, deserved better. They deserved long lives. We should never forget the sacrifice they made, nor the reasons why they were compelled to make it.

I located a quote from Admiral Rickover's conclusion to his study:

"In the modern technological age, the battle cry 'Remember the Maine!' should have a special meaning for us. With the vastness of our government and the difficulty of controlling it, we must make sure that those in 'high places' do not, without most careful consideration of the consequences, exert our prestige and might. Such uses of our power may result in serious international actions at great cost in lives and money - injurious to the interests and standing of the United States."

By maija on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 07:21 am:

profound words, Edward.

By bob brown, AL on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 07:51 am:

At one stage, President Roosevelt is reported to have said, "It is a small war, but it's the only one we have".
This was after the destruction of the Spanish navy ...i.e. "You may fire when ready, Gridley."

By Sherry, Gulfport MS on Friday, May 20, 2005 - 01:54 am:

Notice that everyone is wearing a hat? How fashionable as compared to today!

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