1898: The Maine explodes in Havana

uss maine

We remember the Maine:

At 9.40pm on the night of February 15th, 1898 the United States battleship Maine, riding quietly at anchor in Havana harbour, was suddenly blown up, apparently by a mine, in an explosion which tore her bottom out and sank her, killing 260 officers and men on board.

In the morning only twisted parts of the huge warship’s superstructure could be seen protruding above the water, while small boats moved about examining the damage.

The Maine was showing the US flag in Cuba.   At the time time, the Spanish regime was resisting an armed uprising by Cuban patriots.

The consequence of the explosion was the brief Spanish-American War of 1898.    Eventually, Cuba became an independent country in 1902.

P.S. In 1976, an investigation concluded that it was a fire rather than a Spanish mine or act of sabotage.