The Reagan Speech Preservation Society

Haile Selassie

Modified: Monday, 06 October 2014 18:45 by admin - Uncategorized
Haile Selassie ruled Ethiopia for nearly 60 years, from 1916-1930 as its regent, then from 1930 to 1974 as Emperor. He stood against the Axis powers (specifically Italy) during World War II, leading Ethiopia to be a charter member of the United Nations when it was formed.

Selassie is viewed by the Rastafarians as the Messiah.

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Speech Relevance

In outlining foreign aid expenditures in 'A Time For Choosing' Reagan briefly talks about how:
With that money, we bought a $2 million yacht for Haile Selassie.
According to an unsourced article, the yacht was a once mothballed World War II seaplane tender and refit as a gift, with air conditioning, gold wallpaper and a Norwegian crew. Thanks to the scanning prowess of Google, two newspaper articles have turned up regarding this Yacht. One from the Eugene (Oregon) Register-Guard and one from the Deseret News and Telegram from Salt Lake City, Utah. These articles discuss the massive amounts of funding the United States allocated for this boat.

According to the Eugene Register-Guard, in 6 years, the yacht had cost the United States $6 million. $2.5 million for the de-mothballing and remodeling of the ship, $500,000 for the training of a Norwegian crew (later replaced by Ethiopians and one frenchman), a major overhaul for $900,000 and a yearly $60,000 (maybe, text is distorted). At that time, the ship was back in the United States for more repairs. The cost of those repairs was censored. These articles refer to the ship as the HMS Ethiopia and state that the ship was loaned to Ethiopia.

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USS Orca / HMS Ethiopia

The HMS Ethiopia started its life as the USS Orca in 1944 and remained in the United States service until 1960. It was loaned to Ethiopia starting in 1962 and later purchased outright in 1976. After a 1991 war, Eritrea declared independence from Ethiopia, making it a land-locked country and its navy was disbanded. The ships of its navy made their way to Yemen and were abandoned. The ship was sold for scrap in 1993.

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Source Links

Haile Selassie (Wikipedia)

About Selassie's Yacht

Eugene Register-Guard, September 6, 1967

The Deseret News and Telegram, April 20, 1962

USS Orca

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