Spain Declares War on USA – April 24, 1898

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Spain Declares War on USA – April 24, 1898

6 Things You May Not Know About the Spanish-American War

On April 24, 1898, Spain declared war on the United States, which days earlier had passed a resolution supporting Cuba’s independence. The United States issued its own declaration on April 25, making it retroactive to April 21.

In January 1898, as tensions flared between Cuban revolutionaries and Spanish troops, the battleship USS Maine was sent to Havana to protect American interests and civilians there. On February 15 a massive explosion sank the vessel, killing 266 sailors. Sensationalist newspaper articles and advocates of war accused the Spanish of destroying the ship, and a naval inquiry soon concluded that a mine had caused the disaster. With the rallying cry “Remember the Maine!” galvanizing Americans, President William McKinley reluctantly signed a resolution supporting Cuban independence and threatening Spain with military action. Today, however, experts generally doubt the Spanish had a hand in Maine’s demise. Though we may never know for sure what unleashed the tragedy that helped spark a war, recent investigations have implicated the ship’s design, ammunition storage and coal bunker.

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