A Maine Event
Late in the dark evening of February 15, 1898 the USS Maine blew up and sank deep into the Havana Harbor. An American who witnessed the explosion reported a streak of fire shot up as high as tall buildings. The light widened and fell into the darkness along with the 267 sailors burning and drowning in showers of wreckage and debris. It will most likely be one of the worst naval catastrophes to occur during peacetime. The cause was undetermined, possible explanations included a bomb or torpedo, an explosion in the weapons area, carelessness or natural causes. Public opinion quickly divided between those who suspected foul play or some believed it was a complete tragic accident.
The USS Maine was sent to Havana on to protect the citizens living on the Island form danger. Crazy riots had been occurring rapidly in Havana and were thought to be endangering them and their property. The riots were not directed at the citizens but at sneaky newspaper offices who apparently objected four Cuban newspapers about the Spanish army and their officers.
The huge sinking of the Maine provided Americans the opportunity to intervene and get involved with foreign affairs. This was necessary because the U.S was like a powerful big brother and they were here to protect the “underdog,” or the weaker, less intelligent, little brother.
Regardless, this tragic accident was a disaster, killing innocent civilians brutally and unfairly. Accident or not, it did allow for Americans to step up their game and take control of weaker places as a result.
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