The Republic of Haiti was itself again last week. The mid-summer plague of butterflies fluttered down on the custard apple trees. And in a curt ceremony at Port-au-Prince command of the Haitian army passed from Lieut.-Colonel Clayton B. Vogel of the U. S. Marine Corps to a native colonel named Demosthenes P. Calixte. After 19 years of being ruled from Washington, the Republic of Haiti at last had a crack army of 2,500 men without a single U.S. officer. Last week 275 U.S. Marines sailed away. The rest were due to leave next week.
Overshadowed by the World War every-where except in Latin America were the wild events in 1915 when Haiti's black President Vilbrun Guillaume Sam had 200 political prisoners bayoneted in jail, took refuge in the French Legation and was dragged out and murdered by a mob. Two hours later the U.S. Marines landed at Port-au-Prince and began forcibly soothing everybody.
Franklin D. Roosevelt had his fling at Haitian affairs when, as a young Assistant Secretary of the Navy, he had "something to do" with writing the constitution of 1918. When he became President, he resolved to take the U.S. out of Haiti. Last year he put through a treaty agreeing to get the Marines out of the Garde d'Haiti by Oct. 1 this year. Last April Haiti's cream-colored, egg-shaped President Stenio Vincent called on the U.S. and, between sales talks for Haitian rum and an $11,000,000 refunding loan, got President Roosevelt's word that he could not take his Marines out too soon. Last week President Roosevelt, two months ahead of schedule, proved that he meant what he had said.