Wednesday, May 2

The Commodore Had Class

Image - Wikipedia
By Art Cashin

On this day (-1) in 1898, a decisive battle of the Spanish-American war took place. And it took place far away from both Spain and America.

The battle occurred when Commodore George Dewey sailed the U.S. "Asiatic Squadron" against the large Pacific Fleet of Spain.

Dewey's squadron consisted of only six vessels while Spain had nearly four times as many.  But Dewey's boys were faster and better gunned.  And, he had caught the Spaniards inside Manila bay. In what looked to some like a duck shoot, Dewey's squadron sailed among Spain's best, blowing ship after ship out of the water.  The Americans lost no ships at all and suffered only eight casualties.  Spain lost the bulk of its fleet and nearly 1500 men.

But in mid-battle, as Dewey's men celebrated each sinking, the victorious Commodore Dewey sent out a message that was for many years to be the symbol of the American ethic.  Amid the hurrahs he said - - "Don't cheer men, those poor devils are drowning!"

Since the media had not yet  discovered the "Whimp Factor", this compassionate comment did not keep Dewey from becoming a national hero - - in fact he became the most popular man in the country.  The stock exchange even closed twice to celebrate his celebrity.  In fact, much of the country was thought to want him to run for president or at least vice president.

To celebrate this historic victory, stop by the Salty Porthole and have a depth charge.  But beware of any random conversations that start - - "Hello Sailor!"

This article is republished here with the kind permission of Mr. Cashin and UBS Financial Services Inc. To read more of Mr. Cashin's posts simply click on "Cashin's Comments" in the right hand sidebar.

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