Wednesday, September 9, 2015

How Geronimo became a celebrity

The U. S. cavalry was still fighting “Indian wars” in 1886. Sad but true.

1886 was 20 years after the Civil War.

Coca-Cola was invented in 1886.

The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York harbor in 1886.

In 1886 strikers and the Haymarket rioters fought successfully for introduction of the eight-hour workday.

Geronimo, an Apache warrior, was the last Native American chief to surrender to American soldiers. In August, 1886, he and his hardy band of 50 Apaches gave it up to Gen. Nelson Miles in Skeleton Canyon, Arizona, after fighting the white intruders for 30 years in Mexico’s Sierra Madre mountains and in southern regions of what would Arizona and New Mexico.

The strangest part of the story is that after a brief imprisonment, Geronimo moved to Oklahoma, became a Christian and was a successful farmer. He did some work as an army scout, and then became a rehabilitated (call it exploitation if you want to) symbol of the Wild West.  He did high profile celebrity gigs at world’s fairs and expositions, and rode in Teddy Roosevelt’s inaugural parade in 1905.

Call it a sell-out if you want to.

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2015 All rights reserved.

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