On February 15, 1898, an explosion of unknown origin sank the battleship U.S.S. Maine in the Havana, Cuba harbor, killing 266 of the 354 crew members. The sinking of the Maine incited United States’ passions against Spain, eventually leading to a naval blockade of Cuba and a declaration of war.
Ostensibly on a friendly visit, the Maine had been sent to Cuba to protect the interests of Americans there after riots broke out in Havana in January. An official U.S. Naval Court of Inquiry reported on March 28 that the ship, one of the first American battleships and built at a cost of more than two million dollars, had been blown up by a mine without laying blame on any person or nation in particular, but public opinion in the United States blamed the Spanish military occupying Cuba anyway. Subsequent diplomatic communications failed to resolve the matter, leading to the start of the Spanish-American War by the end of April.
The Spanish-American War is notable as the first U.S. war documented by the motion picture camera. The Edison Manufacturing Company, for example, sent cameraman William Paley to Key West, Florida, where he filmed Burial of the “Maine” Victims on March 27, 1898. In late March he also filmed the Wreck of the Battleship “Maine” in the Havana harbor, and in late April and early May of that year he filmed, in Florida, military preparations for the war. A special “War Extra,” issued on May 20, 1898, as a supplement to the Edison Manufacturing Company catalog, promised that these motion pictures “would be sure to satisfy the craving of the general public for absolutely true and accurate details regarding the movements of the United States Army getting ready for the invasion of Cuba.”
Source: Library of Congress
15 February 2023 at 12:14
Nite before the big fireworks, Clara Barton red cross had dinner with the Capt …just saying
15 February 2023 at 14:54
Parts of the USS Maine (maybe part of the mast?) are erected in Arlington National Cemetary as a memorial to the killed. The memorial is not far from Headquarters USMC, Henderson Hall. ANC is the field of heroes.
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15 February 2023 at 17:56
When I was a young lad in school we learned about the ‘USS MAINE’ disaster
in the American History and World History classes. The subjects probably are
not taught anymore which is a shame. RIP shipmates.
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