On March 23, 1899, Philippine revolutionary leader Emilio Aguinaldo (1869-1964) was captured by U.S. troops during the Philippine War. The story of Aguinaldo is symbolic of the United States' relationship with the Philippines in the last years of the nineteenth century. After joining the U.S. side of the war against Spain, Aguinaldo and the Philippines faced another war with an imperialist power—the United States.
On June 12, 1898, Aguinaldo declared the independence of the Philippine islands, and in January 1899, he became the president. After the Spanish defeat, the United States refused to recognize Aguinaldo's government. On February 4, 1899, the Philippine Republic declared war on the United States. Two years later, Aguinaldo was captured by U.S. troops, and he reluctantly pledged allegiance to the United States. For the rest of his life, Emilio Aguinaldo wore a black bow in public to mourn his lost republic. On July 4, 1946, the United States granted the Philippines its independence and Aguinaldo removed his bow.