Monday, February 17, 2014

remember the Maine!

To mark the anniversary of the sinking of the battleship Maine in Havana harbor on February 16, 1898, the Wall Street Journal posts its original story online today.  What's especially interesting to me is that even this first report strongly suggests that the explosion was "internal,"  and thus not caused by a Spanish mine or other sabotage.  Scientific research in the 1970s reached the same definitive conclusion.

But in the days just after the incident, America's "yellow press" helped build public pressure to liberate Cuba from Spain. In fact, Democrats and Republicans in Congress teamed up to force a reluctant President McKinley to go to war.

Although "first reports are [almost] always wrong," a military aphorism worth remembering, this is a case where they were right.

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