Entrance to the Harris nickelodeon, Smithfield Street in Pittsburgh, 1919. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (via)
On This Day in Pittsburgh History: June 19, 1905
The “Nickelodeon,” the country’s first all-motion picture house, was opened by Harry Davis and John P. Harris at 433-35 Smithfield Street with the showing of two short films, “Poor but Honest” and “The Baffled Burglar.” It was a great success, with people flocking to the place and marveling at the moving figures. [Historic Pittsburgh]
Fidel Castro and Malcolm X meet at Harlem’s Hotel Theresa, Sept. 24, 1960.
“The Theresa is now best known as the place where Fidel Castro went during his UN visit, and achieved a psychological coup over the U.S. State Department when it confined him to Manhattan, never dreaming that he ‘d stay uptown in Harlem and make such an impression among the Negroes.” - Malcolm X, 1964
“I always recall my meeting with Malcolm X at the Hotel Theresa, because he was the one who supported us and made it possible for us to stay there. We faced two alternatives. One was the United Nations gardens -when I mentioned this to the Secretary-General, he was horrified at the thought of a delegation in tents there. But when we received Malcolm X’s offer - he had spoken with one of our comrades - I said, ”That is the place, the Hotel Theresa.” And there we went. So I have a personal recollection very much linked to him.” - Fidel Castro, 1990
During the administration of President Ulysses S. Grant, the United States considered annexing the Dominican Republic, whose president at the time, Buenaventura Báez, died in Puerto Rico 128 years ago today. An investigating commission, which included Frederick Douglass, visited the country in 1871, a year after President Grant had mentioned the idea of annexing the Dominican Republic, referred to as the Republic of San Domingo, in his State of the Union address. Annexation of the Caribbean country also came with the consideration that many of the United States’ African-American population, many of whom had been recently freed from slavery, would migrate to the majority-Black island. The annexation of the country also included the purchase of Samaná Bay. The annexation treaty was fiercely opposed by Sen. Charles Sumner, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and was eventually defeated in the United States legislature.
On March 9, 1916, Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa led 500 men in an attack on the US border town of Columbus, New Mexico. In response to the raid, the Americans sent an expedition into Mexico, which failed to retrieve Villa, but did kill or capture many of his men.
During the United States’ Civil War, the Union Navy had a ship called the USS Santiago de Cuba. Builtin Brooklyn, New York and commissioned in 1861, its career spanned four active years of service in the Atlantic before being decommissioned in the Summer of 1865 and spending the next 34 years as a commercial ship.
Cuba itself was still under colonial Spanish rule during the time of the US Civil War, which took place a decade after Narciso López’ failed US-backed filibustering campaigns to “liberate” the island and seven years after the also failed Ostend Manifesto proposed purchasing the island from Spain.