Maine Memorial Day

Maine Memorial Day

February 15
The American battleship Maine, which had been sent to Cuba to rescue any Americans who might be endangered by the Cubans' unrest under Spanish rule, was blown up while sitting at anchor in Havana harbor on February 15, 1898. Many in the United States assumed that the Spanish were responsible for the ship's destruction, since American sympathies were clearly with the Cubans. But despite the fact that 260 men died, the question of responsibility for the explosion was never really settled. The Spanish-American War was declared in April, and "Remember the Maine !" is the slogan that has been associated with it ever since.
February 15 was observed for many years by the U.S. Navy and by Spanish-American War veterans' associations in Havana and the United States. Some naval units still participate in local observances. This day is sometimes called Battleship Day or Spanish-American War Memorial Day .
Special observances marked the 100th anniversary of the battleship's destruction in 1998 at Key West, Florida, the ship's last port-of-call before heading to Havana.
CONTACTS:
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20540
202-707-5000; fax: 202-707-8366
www.loc.gov
Department of the Navy
Naval Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard
805 Kidder Breese S.E.
Washington, DC 20374
202-433-2210; fax: 202-433-2729
www.history.navy.mil
SOURCES:
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 144
AnnivHol-2000, p. 28
DictDays-1988, p. 10
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