A photograph of the wreck of the USS Maine, ca. 1898.
This photograph shows part of the wreckage of the USS Maine after it exploded in Havana Harbor on February 15, 1898. The explosion, or alleged attack, of the USS Maine killed 266 men on board and pushed the United States into war with Spain. Though the cause of the explosion was undetermined, the event was the subject of sensational newspaper reporting, particularly by the New York World and New York Journal, which influenced popular opinion among the papers’ vast readership in support of going to war. The nature of the coverage of this event is often attributed to the rise of yellow journalism.