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United States and Samana Bay
In the 1860's an American Naval captain was interested in Samana Bay in the Dominican Republic for use as a base. Treaties were drawn up, but British and French influence and warship caused it to be withdrawn.
In 1867 Secretary Seward of President Johnson's cabinet was worried about the expansion of the America and control of the world. He felt that he could improve his own political standing and strengthen the administration with a spectacular program of expansion. The United States decided to acquire Naval and coaling stations in the Caribbean.
Seward went on a trip to find the base, talking with Denmark, Spain, Sweden, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The Bay of Samana in the latter seemed perfect. The rulers tried to sell the entire island to the United States, because they were under the pressures of revolution and bankruptcy. Congress would not let the negotiations get any closer; in 1869 the House overruled the resolutions on two occasions.
After the Grant administration had taken over, attempts to acquire the bay continued. A convention was held to sign the annexation treaty, but in each case Congress rejected it; as a result a draft for the lease of the bay was also drawn up.
Both the lease and annexation proposals were signed on November 29th, 1869. Opposition in Washington, led by an old abolitionist, Senator Charles Sumner, fought against the treaty. The final vote was tied at 28 - not enough of the two-thirds vote that was needed.
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History Fact of the Month
Did you know ...
The Origin of Valentine's Day?
Valentines day dates back to Roman times, when a holiday called The Feast of Lubercus was celebrated to protect shepherds and their flocks from wolves. During this time of year, goddess Juno Februata was honored by pairing boys and girls and denoting them 'partners' for a year.
Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day around 497 AD, in an effort to replace pagan holidays with Christian tradition. Although the pairing ritual was banished, romance remains the distinctive attribute of this holiday.
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