Remember the Maine! The USS Maine was a second-class battleship built at the New York Naval Yard and commissioned in 1895.
For two years the ship and her crew operated in the eastern Atlantic until being sent to Cuba as tensions continued to rise in the area.
Unfortunately, after only three years in commission, the USS Maine sank in Havana Harbor after suffering a massive explosion. A total of 252 lives were lost out of the 350 who were on board.
Naturally, several theories have circulated about the cause of the explosion but it remains unknown to this day. However, the sinking of the USS Maine is commonly seen as an attributing cause in helping to spark the Spanish-American War only two months later.
As America went to war, propaganda emerged with the phrase “Remember the Maine!” hoping to use the theory of Spanish involvement as momentum for the war effort. In 1912 the hull of the USS Maine was raised and towed to sea in a memorial ceremony.