Dec. 08 (Sunday)

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Full Name: Cochise
Born: unknown (various sources list dates from 1804 to 1815) in Chiricahua County, under Spanish occupation
Died: June 8, 1874 in Chiricahua Apache Reservation, Arizona Territory

Cochise was a Chiracahua Apache chief who led the resistance against the intrusion of white people in the 1860s. Just as Osama bin Laden fought two rogue superpowers — the Soviet Union and United States — so did Cochise fight against both Mexico and the United States.

Mexico was unable to conquer the Apache. After what is now Arizona and New Mexico was acquired by the United States, the U.S. government tried the same strategy it now uses in Iraq, Afghanistan and other nations: it began murdering civilians. A number of Cochise’s relatives were killed, including his father in law, the great Apache chief Mangas Coloradas.

In 1861, Cochise led an uprising, waging war against white soldiers and settlers in the region. The fighting continued until Cochise signed a treaty in 1872. He died a couple years later of natural causes, still a free man.