Thursday, November 16, 2006

Philippines, the Iraq of 1900...

a blast from our past...
From US Library of Congress on Philippines in 1902
July 1, 1902
The first organic act, known as the Philippine Bill of 1902, was passed by the U.S. Congress. It called for the management of Phillipine affairs, upon restoration of peace, by establishing the first elective Philippine Assembly and the Taft Commission comprising the lower and upper house, respectively, of the Philippine Legislature. The passage of the Act may be attributed in part to José Rizal and his stirring last farewell to his beloved country immortalized in his poem, Mi Ultimo Adios, that he wrote in his cell at Fort Santiago on the eve of his execution by the Spaniards on December 30, 1896. At first, there was strong opposition to the passage of the bill from misinformed members of the House, some of whom referred to the Filipinos as "barbarians" incapable of self government. Thereupon, Congressman Henry A. Cooper of Wisconsin took the floor and recited Rizal's last farewell before a skeptical House. Silence soon pervaded the floor as Cooper, eyes moist with tears and voice deep with emotion, recited the poem stanza by stanza. Soon after his recitation, Cooper thunderously asked his colleagues might there be a future for such a barbaric, uncivilized people who had given the world a noble man as Rizal. The vote was taken on the bill, and passed the House.
July, 1902
War ended in the Philippines, with more than 4,200 U.S. soldiers, 20,000 Filipino soldiers, and 200,000 Filipino civilians dead.

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