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Topics in Chronicling America - The Sinking of the Maine

Shaking the city of Havana to its core and breaking residential windows, an explosion destroys and sinks the U.S.S. Maine to the bottom of the Havana Harbor on the evening of February 15, 1898, blowing seamen out of their bunk beds as they slept. The American "yellow press" blamed Spain in banner headlines, outraging the public, inciting the rallying cry, "Remember the Maine! To hell with Spain!" About 260 crew members perished in this precipitating event that led to the Spanish-American War. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/). Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.


Picture of the Maine

Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • January 24, 1898: U.S. President William McKinley sends the battleship USS Maine to Havana to protect U.S. interests in Cuba.
  • February 15, 1898: The Maine explodes in Havana Harbor killing 266 men.
  • March 25, 1898: An inquiry conducted by the U.S Navy concludes that the explosion was caused by the detonation of a mine under the ship.
  • April 19-20, 1898: The U.S. Congress adopts the Joint Resolution for war with Spain and sends an ultimatum to the Spanish government.
  • April 21, 1898: The U.S. orders a blockade of Cuba.
  • April 23, 1898: Spain declares war on the United States, and the U.S. Congress responds on April 25 by issuing a formal declaration of war.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Cuba, Maine, Spain, blockade, Havana, war, joint resolution.
  • The battleship USS Maine was often referred to as “the Maine” so omit “USS” and “battleship.”

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  May 3, 2013
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