Friday, March 9, 2012

Remembering: The Punitive Expedition

Pancho Villa
In the early morning hours of March 9, 1916 hundreds of Mexican guerrillas under the command of Pancho Villa invaded, slaughter, and burn down the town of Columbus, New Mexico. Outraged by the attack America demanded a response, and President Woodrow Wilson was quick to respond by sending nearly ten thousand US troops into Mexico, under General John J. Pershing. Pershing's orders were to capture Villa and disperse his rebels.

The Punitive Expedition spent the rest of 1916 chasing Villa around Mexico, but never catching him. By that time the Mexican government had grown tired of allowing US troops into Mexico. War seemed imminent after Mexican government troops attacked US troops in Carrizal, Mexico. But focus was being aimed at Europe and the war there. When the Mexican government asked the US to remove all troops from Mexico, Wilson complied and ordered them out. Only for troubles to flare up again in February when The Zimmerman Note was released. America however would not declare war on Mexico, but focus everything at defeating Germany.

Pershing would go on to lead US forces in Europe. Some notable occurrences during the Expedition were the use of automobiles and planes, both firsts for the US military. America's first mechanized attack was led by Lieutenant George S. Patton, which would give him the taste for tanks that he would become famous for.

Pancho Villa had launched the attack in anger after the US pulled support from him and backed the Mexican government. He would later succeed in helping overthrow the Mexican government and then retire from politics. In 1923 his enemies caught up to him though, and he was murdered.

Hawaii in State of Disaster

After days of continuous torrential rains Governor Neil Abercrombie has declared two of the Hawaiian islands to be disaster areas, and more of the islands are likely to join them. The rains have brought flash flooding and at times have been joined by up to golf ball sized hail.

Never in recorded history has it rained so much in so short of a time on the islands. For many residents this is the first time in their lives that they've seen hail.

Since last Saturday, some areas have been receiving an average of three inches an hour. Waste water in certain areas has backed up, causing brown water advisories to be issued for some coastal areas.

More storms are expected to continue the onslaught over this weekend as well. Weather advisories and flash flood warnings are in effect, with continuously lengthening times.