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Which account do you find more believable? Why? (Read each source below, then answer the questions in the notebook. Ask your teacher for an inquiry organizer worksheet to help you think about the ways that the sources support and contradict each other.)


READ: New York Journal

Head Note: Purchased by William Randolph Hearst in 1895, the Journal published investigative and human interest stories that used a highly emotional writing style and included banner headlines and graphic images.


Assistant Secretary Roosevelt
Convinced the Explosion
of the War Ship Was Not
an Accident.

The Journal Offers $50,000 Reward for the Conviction of the Criminals Who Sent 258 American Sailors to Their Death.
Naval Officers Unanimous That
the Ship Was Destroyed
on Purpose.


George Eugene Bryson, the Journal’s special correspondent at Havana, cables that it is the secret opinion of many Spaniards in the Cuban capital, that the Maine was destroyed and 258 men killed by means of marine mine or fixed torpeda. This is the opinion of several American naval authorities. The Spaniards, it is believed, arranged to have the Maine anchored over one of the harbor mines. Wires connected the mines with a... magazine, and it is thought the explosion was caused by sending an electric current through the wire. If this can be proven, the brutal nature of the Spaniards will be shown by the fact that they waited to spring the mine after all the men had retired for the night. The Maltese cross in the picture shows where the mine may have been fired.

Mine or a Sunken Torpedo Believed to Have Been the Weapon Used Against the American Man-Of-War---Officer and Men tell Thrilling Stories of Being Blown into the Air Amid a Mass of Shattered Steel and Exploding Shells—Survivors Brought to Key West Scou[t] the Idea of Accident—Spanish Officials Protest Too Much---Our Cabinet orders a Searching Inquiry—Journal Sends Divers to Havana to Report Upon the Condition of the Wreck. Was the Vessel Anchored Over a Mine?

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt says he is convinced that the destruction of the Maine in Havana Harbor was not an accident. The Journal offers a reward of $50,000 for exclusive evidence that will convict the person, persons or government criminally responsible for the [destruction] of the American battleship and the death of 258 of its crew.

The suspicion that the Maine was deliberately blown up grows stronger every hour. Not a single fact to the contrary has been produced....
Source: Excerpt from New York Journal and Advertiser, February 17, 1898

USE THE NOTEBOOK (instructions):

Image of New York Journal

This is an image of the front page of the New York Journal from February 17, 1898.

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