June 3, 1898
Richmond Pearson Hobson was a Greensboro native and Naval Academy graduate. During the Spanish-American War, then-Lt. Hobson and a crew of seven attempted a daring mission to block Cuba’s Santiago Harbor in support of the U.S. blockade. Their weapon was the collier USS Merrimac, which they intended to sink at the harbor’s entrance. The Merrimac quickly came under heavy Spanish fire, and its steering disabled before Hobson and his crew could blow the ship’s torpedoes. By the time they sank their own vessel, it had drifted beyond the narrow entrance of the harbor, leaving it open to the Spanish. Hobson and his crew were captured and held briefly as prisoners of war, but they became heroes for their efforts. After the war in 1906, Hobson – a staunch prohibitionist but also a supporter of women’s suffrage – was elected to Congress in Alabama’s Sixth District, where he served four terms. In 1933, nearly 35 years after the sinking of the Merrimac, Hobson was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Franklin Roosevelt. Hobson died in 1937. Four years later, in 1941, the Navy christened the destroyer USS Hobson in his honor.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
Lt. Richmond Pearson Hobson, USN, who sank the Merrimac in Santiago Harbor, June 3, 1898. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)
Naval Cadet Richmond Hobson, second from right, poses with fellow cadets and junior officers on the USS Chicago, flagship of the Squadron of Evolution, in 1889. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of the U.S. Navy)
Hale County native Richmond Pearson Hobson (1870-1937) was a lauded war hero of the Spanish-American War who later represented Alabama in the U.S. House of Representatives, promoting prohibition, voting rights and education issues. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of the Library of Congress)
U.S. Rep. Richmond P. Hobson is seen in Washington, D.C., in 1914, a year in which he supported a prohibition amendment and ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the U.S. Senate against Oscar Underwood. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of the Library of Congress)
Mrs. Richmond Pearson Hobson and Richmond Pearson Hobson Jr., c. 1909-1919. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)
Magnolia Grove is a Greek Revival house, built c. 1840 in Greensboro; known for being the home of Spanish-American War hero Richmond Pearson Hobson. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Alabama Tourism Department)
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