VENEZUELA: Bottom Button

Just 31 years ago, while Rough Riders drilled in Texas, German bands played "Dolly Gray" and U. S. Volunteers sweated in blue flannel shirts and tubular blanket rolls, the name of the Dutch island of Curaçao appeared in bold headlines. One hot morning, the U. S. Consul at Curaçao, gazing casually from his bedroom window found the normally peaceful harbor black with steel-snouted, round-turreted warships.

Hatless, breathless, he rushed to the cable office and signaled the world that the Spanish battle fleet of Admiral Cervera,...

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