The HonoreeThe world’s first Black cosmonaut is Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez. The Russians launched the Vietnam War veteran and a Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Romanenko into space aboard Soyuz 38 on September 18, 1980. Méndez’s space suit is preserved at the Museum of the Revolution in Havana.
Both Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams expressed interest in acquiring Cuba from Spain during their presidencies. James Polk offered Spain $100 million for Cuba in 1848, a proposal proffered by Secretary of State James Buchanan. The effort was renewed again by President Franklin Pierce, a New Hampshire Democrat whom some described as “a northern man with southern principles.” Pierce was elected president in1852 and stocked his cabinet with pro-slavery southerners, including Jefferson Davis as secretary of war.
In 1854, the U.S. Congress drew up the Ostend Manifesto, which essentially was going to force Spain to sell Cuba to the U.S. or face military invasion. If it had not been for the internal conflicts in the US that demanded balance between free and slave states, the US probably would have found a way to purchase or annex Cuba and make it a state.