We old skydivers have a great shout we give exiting an aircraft GERONIMO! Today in 1885, for the second time in two years, the Apache chief Geronimo breaks out of an Arizona reservation, sparking panic among Arizona settlers. A famous medicine man and the leader of the Chiricahua Apache, Geronimo achieved national fame by being the last American Indian to surrender formally to the United States. For nearly 30 years, Geronimo and his followers resisted the attempts of Americans to take away their southwestern homeland and confine them to a reservation.
He was a fearless warrior and a master of desert survival. The best officers of the U.S. Army found it nearly impossible to find Geronimo, much less decisively defeat him. In 1877, Geronimo was forced to move to the San Carlos, Arizona, reservation for the first time, but he was scarcely beaten. Instead, Geronimo treated the reservation as just one small part of the vast territory he still considered to belong to the Apache. Fed up with the strictures and corruption of the reservation, he and many other Apache broke out for the first time in 1881. For nearly two years, the Apache band raided the southwestern countryside despite the best efforts of the army to stop them.
Finally, Geronimo wearied of the continual harassment of the U.S. Army and agreed to return to the reservation in 1884, much on his own terms. He did not stay long. Among the many rules imposed upon the Apache on the reservation was the prohibition of any liquor, including a weak beer they had traditionally brewed from corn. In early May 1885, Geronimo and a dozen other leaders deliberately staged a corn beer festival. Reasoning that the authorities would be unlikely to try to punish such a large group, they openly admitted the deed, expecting that it would lead to negotiations.
Because of a communication mix-up, however, the army failed to respond. Geronimo and the others assumed the delay indicated the army was preparing some drastic punishment for their crime. Rather than remain exposed and vulnerable on the reservation, Geronimo fled with 42 men and 92 women and children. Quickly moving south, Geronimo raided settlements along the way for supplies.
Lt Col. Miles committed 5,000 troops to the campaign and even established 30 heliograph stations to improve communications. Still, Miles was also unable to find the elusive warrior. Informed that many of the reservation Apache, including his own family, had been taken to Florida, Geronimo apparently lost the will to fight. After a year and a half of running, Geronimo and his 38 remaining followers surrendered unconditionally to Miles on September 3, 1886. Relocated to Florida, Geronimo was imprisoned and kept from his family for two years. Finally, he was freed and moved with this family to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. He died of pneumonia at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1909.
Get yours now! The Department of Oklahoma in OKC has Legion 100th Anniversary coins for sale at $15 each. I got my 10 coins and they are beautiful (I have awarded eight of them to special folks in my life). I will continue to distribute mine to folks who have a special meaning to me. Also, please participate in our rifle raffle. Carl Blue has set up opportunities at the NAPPA Store (Thanks to the Breedloves) and The Hominy Pawn Shop.
Flags go out May 18th 0900 at the Hut. We retrieve the colors the 21st. On the Memorial Day weekend will be flags up May 25th retrieve May 29th. This will include our legendary Flag Man Babo Carter. I know he hates recognition. But I love doing it lol.
Now this is important. Monday May 21st, 1800 hours (6:00 PM) City Hall will have the official recognition of Hominy being a “Purple Heart City” due to the sacrifices of our past veterans. For some of our young veterans who have returned. Not all wounds are visible. Your Legion is here for you.
Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings in May are still scheduled for biscuits and gravy with always a cup of Joe (coffee to the civilians). Keep your eye on the weather in case things must be postponed (like freezing weather). If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print. Also keep up with us at website “americanlegion142.org”.