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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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Bugle from the U.S.S. Maine, 1898
Bugle from the U.S.S. Maine, 1898

This bugle was recovered from the wreck of the U.S.S. Maine, which blew up in Havana Harbor, Cuba, on February 15, 1898, killing more than 250 American sailors. Although most likely an accidental explosion, it was reported as an enemy attack by the sensational "yellow" press to incite enthusiasm for war. Two months later, rallied by the cry "Remember the Maine!" the U.S. Congress declared war on Spain. After the conclusion of the Spanish-American War, the U.S. Navy salvaged relics from the Maine, many of which, including this bugle, were transferred to the Smithsonian in 1920.

See also: Military History, Musical Instruments, Ships

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