On This Day…

February 15, 1898

U.S. battleship Maine explodes in the Havana, Cuba harbor killing 260 men. Although the cause of the explosion has never been verified, it was generally blamed on the Spanish. Some investigations ruled the explosion was caused by a torpedo and others felt the explosion had been caused by spontaneous combustion of the coal bunkers.
In what would be described as “yellow journalism”, the New York Journal and New York World gave exaggerated and distorted accounts insisting that the Maine had been bombed or mined, leading to the rallying cry “Remember the Maine, to hell with Spain.” The hysteria created by the newspaper coverage was one of the factors leading up to the Spanish-American War.