The Second Sinking Of The ‘Maine’

Giving the men who died aboard America’s first battleship a decent funeral took fourteen years, three-quarters of a million dollars, and some hair-raising engineering. But in the end, they did it right.

On the evening of February 15, 1898, the U.S. battleship Maine rode peacefully at her mooring in Havana Harbor. Officially she was there on an innocuous diplomatic mission, but many saw her presence as a demonstration of U.S. sympathy for Cuban rebels in their struggle against Spanish imperialism. Read more »

The Needless War With Spain

"The current was too strong, the demagogues too numerous, the fall elections too near"

The United States in the 1890’s became aggressive, expansionist, and jingoistic as it had not been since the 1850’s. In less than five years, we came to the brink of war with Italy, Chile, and Great Britain over three minor incidents in which no American national interest of major importance was involved. In each of these incidents, our secretary of state was highly aggressive, and the American people applauded. During these years, we completely overhauled our decrepit Navy, building fine new warships like the Maine.

 

Read more »