JULY 16, 1927


In May of 1927, Nicaragua’s conservative government asked President Calvin Coolidge for U.S. intervention in that nation’s civil war. Coolidge sent 400 U.S. Marines. After liberal leader José María Moncada signed a cease-fire agreement with the U.S., Augusto Cesar Sandino, son of an Indigenous mother, led his splinter group into the hills. Early on July 16th, the Sandinistas marched on Ocotal and surrounded the 40-man Marine garrison and 48 Nicaraguan Guardsmen. Greatly outnumbering the Marines, Sandino demanded their surrender. However, by early afternoon, a squadron of 5 DeHavilland biplanes, armed with machine guns & 25-pound bombs began dive-bombing the Sandinista forces—history’s 1st such organized bombing attack. Sandino’s troops, unused to airborne attack, fled. However, Sandino’s continued resistance led President Hoover to withdraw US troops by 1930. He was murdered by the National Guard in 1933. Sandino was named a Nicaraguan national hero in 2010.

  “Nicaragua, 1927,” Charter for Compassion.  Retrieved 8/31/2022, Nicaragua, 1927 :: Charter for Compassion
John J. Tierney, Jr., “Nicaragua 1927: Portent for the Future,” The Institute of World Politics.  Retrieved 8/31/2022, Nicaragua 1927: Portent for the Future | The Institute of World Politics (iwp.edu)
 “Battle of Ocotal,” Wikipedia.
Photo: U.S. Marine Corps, between 1912-27. Public Domain. 

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