Why did US declare war with Spain in 1898?
The US sent the battleship USS Maine to protect the lives and property of American citizens. The ship remained quietly at anchor in Havana Harbor for 3 weeks. Then, on February 15, 1898, an enormous explosion shattered the Maine, killing about 260 officers and crew members. American newspapers immediately blamed Spain. Much later evidence indicated that the explosion may have been accidental, but at that time, Americans clamored for war with Spain.
In 1898, the US warship USS Maine exploded in the Havana harbor. 250 US sailors were killed.This touched off a series of events that led to war with Spain. The newspaper reporting on the situation became known as "yellow journalism". Newspaper giant William Randolph Hearst, owned the New York Journal and published biased information about the situation in Cuba.