THIS DAY IN HISTORY IN NOVEMBER 25th 2019

On this day in 1999, a 5-year-old Cuban boy, Elian Gonzalez, was rescued by fishermen while floating in an inner tube off the Florida coast.

The Cuban citizen who is now 25, as a young boy in 2000, became embroiled in a heated international custody and immigration controversy involving the governments of Cuba and the United States; his father, Juan Miguel González Quintana; his other relatives in Cuba and in Miami, Florida; and Miami’s Cuban American community.

González’s mother, Elizabeth Brotons Rodríguez, drowned in November 1999 while attempting to leave Cuba with González and her boyfriend to get to the United States.

The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) initially placed González with paternal relatives in Miami, who sought to keep him in the United States against his father’s demands that González be returned to Cuba.

United States district court ruling from the Southern District of Florida that only González’s father, and not his extended relatives, could petition for asylum on the boy’s behalf was upheld by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

After the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case, federal agents, by order of U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, took González from the paternal relatives at gunpoint and returned him to his father in Cuba in June 2000.

The saga was portrayed in the 2000 television film, “A Family In Crisis”: The Elian Gonzales Story, which starred Esai Morales as Elián’s father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, Laura Harring as Elián’s cousin Marisleysis Gonzalez, and Alec Roberts in the title role.

The film details the story of the young Cuban and has exclusive interviews with Elián González and his family in both Cuba and Miami.

The film was co-produced by Fine Point Films and Jigsaw Productions and has a voiceover by Raul Esparza. The film premiered on April 19, 2017, at the Tribeca Film Festival. It opened in limited release in May, and appeared on CNN Films in August 2017.

*On this day in 571 BCServius Tullius, king of Rome, celebrated a triumph for his victory over the Etruscans.

Servius Tullius was the legendary sixth king of Rome, and the second of its Etruscan dynasty.

He reigned 575–535 BC.

Roman and Greek sources describe his servile origins and later marriage to a daughter of Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, Rome’s first Etruscan king, who was assassinated in 579 BC.

Servius is said to have been the first Roman king to accede without election by the Senate, having gained the throne by popular support; and the first to be elected by the Senate alone, without reference to the people.

Several traditions describe Servius’ father as divine.

Livy depicts Servius’ mother as a captured Latin princess enslaved by the Romans; her child is chosen as Rome’s future king after a ring of fire is seen around his head.

The Emperor Claudius discounted such origins and described him as an originally Etruscan mercenary, named Mastarna, who fought for Caelius Vibenna.

Servius was a popular king, and one of Rome’s most significant benefactors.

He had military successes against Veii and the Etruscans, and expanded the city to include the QuirinalViminal and Esquiline hills.

He is traditionally credited with the institution of the Compitalia festivals, the building of temples to Fortuna and Diana and, less plausibly, the invention of Rome’s first true coinage.

Despite the opposition of Rome’s patricians, he expanded the Roman franchise and improved the lot and fortune of Rome’s lowest classes of citizens and non-citizens.

According to Livy, he reigned for 44 years, until murdered by his daughter Tullia and son-in-law Lucius Tarquinius Superbus.

In consequence of this “tragic crime” and his hubristic arrogance as king, Tarquinius was eventually removed.

This cleared the way for the abolition of Rome’s monarchy and the founding of the Roman Republic, whose groundwork had already been laid by Servius’ reforms.

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