Monday, February 15, 2010

Remember the Maine

USS Maine monument in Scranton's Nay Aug Park.

On February 15, 1898 the USS Maine was attacked by Spain in Havana harbor, killing 254 American sailors. War with Spain was declared on April 25, 1898. On May 1, 1898 Commodore Dewey gave his famous command, "You may fire when ready, Gridley," The Spanish fleet in the Pacific was reduced to floating matchsticks in a matter of a few hours.

On July 1, 1898 Colonel Theodore Roosevelt led his Rough Riders up Kettel Hill capturing Spanish positions in Cuba. The press misnamed Kettle Hill as San Juan Hill. Nonetheless Roosevelt became a national hero.

By the time the war ended in August 1898, Spain was no longer a major world power. It was as John Hay wrote, "A splendid little war."

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