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Topics in Chronicling America - Major Events of the Spanish American War

The U.S.S. Maine explodes and sinks in Havana Harbor on Feb. 15, 1898, killing 266 American sailors. Pressured by the “yellow press,” the U.S. declared war on Spain on April 25, 1898, resulting in the deaths of thousands and the collapse of the Spanish empire. 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.


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Important Dates:

  • April 25, 1898: The U.S. Congress declares war on Spain.
  • May 1, 1898: In the first battle between Spanish and American Forces, U.S. Commodore Dewey and his Asiatic squadron defeat the Spanish fleet at Manila Bay in the Philippines.
  • June 22, 1898: U.S. troops land in Cuba.
  • July 1, 1898: U.S. forces defeat the Spanish at the Battle of San Juan Heights.
  • July 3, 1898: U.S. forces destroy the Spanish Fleet off Santiago Bay, Cuba.
  • July 17, 1898: The Spanish surrender at Santiago.
  • August 12, 1898: The U.S. and Spain sign the Protocol of Peace, ending hostilities between the two.
  • December 10, 1898: The Treaty of Paris is signed by representatives from the U.S. and Spain. After extensive debate, the treaty is ratified by the U.S. senate on February 6, 1899. Under the treaty, the U.S. acquires control over Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Spain, Commodore Dewey, Manila Bay, Cuba, San Juan Hill, Santiago Bay, peace protocol, Paris treaty.
  • To narrow search results, search between April 25, 1898 and December 10, 1898. Use the timeline to narrow results further. Ex. Search between May 1, 1898 and May 2, 1898 for articles relating specifically to Dewey's defeat over Spanish forces at Manila.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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