The Brink of the Spanish-American War, Sunken Remains of USS Maine
The island of Cuba had been a Spanish colony since the first Europeans landed in the Western Hemisphere. By the middle of the 1800’s, revolutionaries in Cuba began lobbying and fighting for independence. By 1895, Cuba and Spain were engaged in a full scale war. In 1898, the U.S. sent USS Maine to Havana harbor to protect U.S. citizens and economic interests in Cuba. On February 15, 1898, Maine exploded in Havana Harbor. Although the cause of the explosion remains a mystery today, at the time the U.S. responded by declaring war against Spain to help liberate Cuba.