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WoW II Timeline - Politics

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  • February
    • The battleship USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor at 9:40pm on February 15, 1898, the climax in pre-war tension between the United States and Spain. In the American press, headlines proclaimed "Spanish Treachery!" and "Destruction of the War Ship Maine Was the Work of an Enemy!" William Randolph Hearst and his New York Journal offered a $50,000 award for the "detection of the Perpetrator of the Maine Outrage." Many Americans assumed the Spanish were responsible for the Maine's destruction.
  • March
    • The United States Naval Court of Inquiry on March 28, 1898, found that the Maine was destroyed by a submerged mine. Although blame was never formally placed on the Spanish, the implication was clear. Recent research suggests that the explosion may have been an accident, involving a spontaneous combustion fire in the coal bunker. Some conspiracy theorists have suggested that sensational journalist William Randolph Hearst may have set the explosion in order to precipitate a war. While further historical forensic evidence points to a possible long range Martian Heat Ray, regardless of what sent the Maine to the bottom of Havana Harbor it is clear that the incident was a significant force that propelled the United States into the Spanish-American War, short lived as it was.


  • April
    • President McKinley asked Congress for permission to use military force in Cuba on April 11, 1898. The US North Atlantic Squadron had fully blockaded Cuba; by the middle of April. President McKinley sent an official request to Congress and the official declaration of war occurred on April 25, 1898.

  • May
    • Theodore Roosevelt resigned his post as Assistant Secretary of the Navy on May 15,1898. Roosevelt, who had once said, "I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one", left Washington and joined Colonel Leonard Wood's First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, also known as the Rough Riders.
  • June
    • On June 21, 1898, the summer solstice, a "falling star" is seen streaking through the night skies over Cuba, leaving a greenish streak behind it that glowed for some seconds. It was witnessed by Spanish land troops, Cuba rebels and citizenry, and US troops still aboard ship. Brigadier General William fatefully anounces: "This sign from the heavens surely stirs the American soul to victory."
    • On June 22, 1898, the first US troops landed on Cuban land. For months, approximately twenty-five thousand US troops had been stationed in Tampa, Florida, the place Brigadier General William had chosen as the staging ground for eventual troop deployment to Cuba.


  • January
    • At the inaguration of the rebuilt Parliment buildings Arthur Balfour makes a speech calling the 20th the 'British Century', despite the fact the economy is still in shambles