Maine, destruction of the

Maine, destruction of the

(Feb. 15, 1898) Incident preceding the Spanish-American War in which a mysterious explosion sank the U.S. battleship Maine in the harbour of Havana, Cuba, killing 260 sailors. The U.S. had sent the Maine to Havana in January 1898 to protect U.S. citizens and property after riots in Cuba's struggle for independence from Spain. U.S. anti-Spanish sentiment was inflamed by tabloid newspapers proclaiming “Remember the Maine, to hell with Spain!”; armed intervention followed in April. It is now believed that the explosion was caused internally.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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