Telegrams from Havana report that a terrible disaster occurred on Tuesday night to the United States cruiser Maine, lying off Havana. The greater part of the crew were asleep when, at a quarter to ten, a terrific explosion occurred. The explosion set fire to the ship, and in the end the vessel sank. All the boats of the Spanish cruiser Alfonso XII were lowered to render assistance. About 200 sailors are reported to be missing. Many were blown into the sea, and were able to save themselves by swimming until picked up by boats. All the officers escaped.
The United states Cruiser "Maine"
The Maine is an armoured cruiser of 6,682 tons and 9,000 horsepower, and is one of the finest vessels in the United States Navy, having been built only a few years ago at a cost of over half a million sterling. Her complement is about 400 officers and men.
From The Graphic, 19 Feb 1898, page 219. Soon after this event, we're into the Spanish American War. "You furnish the pictures, and I'll furnish the war"