On this day in 1898, the USS Maine exploded in Havana harbor. Soon after, President McKinley called on the US Congress to declare war on Spain.
McKinley tried to keep a distance from the terrible situation in Cuba, i.e. a long and bloody war of independence. However, everything changed after that explosion. It certainly caught the interest of newspapers and their readers. Just look at the headline that calls it the work of “the enemy”.
And so started the 4-month Spanish American War that changed Cuba forever. It also made a national hero out of Theodore Roosevelt. After the quick victory, President McKinley selected Mr. Roosevelt as his running mate in 1900. A year into his second term, he assumed the presidency when McKinley was assassinated.
And Cuba? The island became an independent country in 1902.