Monday, September 29, 2014

Invading Spokane

Davenport Hotel
Downtown Spokane
It is not hard to find evidence of American Invasions in Spokane, Washington.

First off, most visitors drive past Fairchild Air Force Base (  Fairchild AFB, which lies about 12 miles outside of Spokane, was built in 1942 when panic swept the West coast of the US after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  The 1942 Rose Bowl was played in North Carolina instead of Pasadena that year.

Washington state is packed with US military installations such as the JBLM near Tacoma that I have blogged about previously (  Bremerton is home to a significant US Naval base and Whidbey Island has a naval air station.  Much of this defense spending in Washington state is attributable to the legacy of Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson who served for many years on the defense committee and steered pork to Washington state.

Ensign John Monaghan
Spokane, WA
Right in front of the Spokane Club in downtown Spokane a visitor will find a statue of Ensign John Monaghan who died fighting in an American invasion of Samoa in 1899.  Here is what we had to say about that American invasion in our new book America Invades (Pre-order today at

Death of Monaghan
Spokane WA
By 1899, fighting between local factions was raging once again, with the United States and Britain throwing their weight behind Prince Tanu and with the Germans supporting his opponent, Mata’afa losefo. British and US naval forces, including the USS Philadelphia, shelled Apia in March 1899, and then US and British marines and sailors along with Tanu’s followers pursued Mata’afa losefo’s forces. What followed was the Battle of Vailele, in which the American, British, and Tanu’s party were ambushed by large numbers of attackers. Our men fought bravely, but their commander and three other Americans were killed (including Ensign John Monaghan, a graduate of Gonzaga University and the US Naval Academy who was later commemorated with a statue in Spokane, Washington), and the attacking party had to withdraw. Shortly afterwards, a peace deal was reached, which split Samoa into German and American areas while Britain got territory elsewhere.

America Invades, Kelly / Laycock, 2014,

Monaghan Plaque
Spokane, WA
Half a block away from the Monaghan statue, one will find a statue of Abraham Lincoln the Great Emancipator.

The Great Emancipator
Spokane, WA
There are two wonderful quotes from the most eloquent American President.  Lincoln wrote several condolence letters to grieving parents during the US Civil war -- the costliest war in our history.

Lincoln's condolence letter
"Right makes Might"
A. Lincoln
"Scoop" Jackson and many others shared Lincoln's faith that "right makes might".

Havermale Island in the middle of the Spokane river and near downtown was one of the first settlements of European settlers in the inland Empire.  According to the 1958 plaque, this small island formed a pioneer stronghold in a sea of Indian country.  On a bridge across the river a visitor will find this plaque...

Havermale Island Plaque
Spokane, WA
A bronze Vietnam Veteran memorial was dedicated in 1985 on this same island in Spokane that the pioneers had defended.  The cost of American Invasions is on display here.

Weary Vietnam Vet
Spokane, WA
Vietnam Veteran Memorial
Spokane, WA
Americans have even "invaded" space.  Michael Anderson was the son of an Air Force father who served at Fairchild AFB.  He grew up in Spokane and also joined the USAF.  He later became a NASA astronaut but was tragically killed in a 2003 shuttle explosion (

Michael Anderson
Spokane, WA

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