Remember the Maine!
USS Maine was, commissioned in 1895 and is best known for her loss in Havana Harbor on the evening of February 15, 1898. Sent to protect U.S. interests during the Cuban revolt against Spain, she exploded suddenly, without warning, and sank quickly, killing nearly three quarters of her crew. The cause and responsibility for her sinking remained unclear after a board of inquiry investigated.
Nevertheless, popular opinion in the U.S., fanned by inflammatory articles printed in the “Yellow Press” by William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, blamed Spain. The phrase, “remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain”, became a rallying cry for action, which came with the Spanish–American War later that year.
While the sinking of Maine was not a direct cause for action, it served as a catalyst, accelerating the approach to a diplomatic impasse between the U.S. and Spain.
The base of Maine’s conning tower is currently on display at Westbrook Veterans’ Memorial Park in Canton, Ohio, hometown of President McKinley.
This relic of the Maine is in Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood in Washington Park.