“Colonel Roosevelt and his Rough Riders at the top of the hill which they captured, Battle of San Juan,” by William Dinwiddie
The Spanish-American War was fought between April 21 and August 13, 1898. The U.S. victory against the Spanish resulted in the collapse of what remained of Spain’s colonial empire and heralded America’s entrance as a major player on the world stage.
The catalyst for America’s declaration of war was the sinking of the USS Maine on February 15, 1898, in Havana Harbor (which at the time was blamed on Spain). However, American public opinion had been turning against Spain for some time, due to atrocities committed against Cubans in their fight for independence from Spain.
Following the Maine disaster, a de facto state of war began between the two countries on April 21, 1898, with the U.S. formally declaring war against Spain on April 25.
Cuba would prove to be the main stage for the war, though American troops were also sent to the Spanish possessions of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. The main actions in Cuba were the Battle of San Juan Hill (with Theodore Roosevelt’s famed Rough Riders) and the sea battle and subsequent land siege at Santiago de Cuba.
The Spanish surrender at Santiago in July essentially signaled the end of the war, though token fighting would occur in Puerto Rico and the Philippines after that date. Representatives for the United States and Spain signed a peace protocol in Washington DC on August 12, 1898, with the actual peace treaty not being signed until that December.
After the cessation of hostilities with Spain, the U.S. army occupied Cuba until 1902, when the island obtained independence (though it would remain under U.S. supervision until 1934). Puerto Rico and Guam became U.S. territories, and the Philippines soon began a long fight for independence from the U.S. that would last until 1946.
Learn more about the Spanish-American War through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.
Articles and Clippings about the Spanish-American War
Newspaper account of alleged atrocities committed during Cuba's fight for independence from Spain Sat, Feb 6, 1897 – Page 8 · The Scranton Tribune (Scranton, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comNewspaper front page about the sinking of the USS Maine on February 15, 1898 Wed, Feb 16, 1898 – Page 1 · The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) · Newspapers.comExample of "yellow journalism" from Joseph Pulitzer's New York World about the Maine explosion Thu, Feb 17, 1898 – Page 1 · The World (New York, New York) · Newspapers.comPolitical cartoon published in a newspaper following the sinking of the USS Maine in Cuba Thu, Feb 17, 1898 – 1 · The Buffalo Enquirer (Buffalo, New York) · Newspapers.comExcerpt from an editorial demanding "the punishment of Spain for the Maine massacre" Tue, Apr 12, 1898 – Page 6 · Washington Times (Washington, District of Columbia) · Newspapers.comNewspaper front page announcing that the United States has declared war on Spain Tue, Apr 26, 1898 – Page 1 · The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) · Newspapers.comPolitical cartoon published the day after the United States declared war on Spain Tue, Apr 26, 1898 – Page 1 · Los Angeles Herald (Los Angeles, California) · Newspapers.comNews (in Spanish) from a Puerto Rican newspaper during the Spanish-American war Tue, May 31, 1898 – 4 · Gazeta de Puerto-Rico (San Juan, Puerto Rico) · Newspapers.comCanadian newspaper prints comparison between United States and Spain during Spanish-American War Thu, Jun 16, 1898 – 6 · The Leader-Post (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada) · Newspapers.comFront page news about the Battle of San Juan Hill on July 1, 1898, during Spanish-American War Sat, Jul 2, 1898 – Page 1 · Reno Gazette-Journal (Reno, Nevada) · Newspapers.comSpotlight on Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders Sat, Jul 2, 1898 – Page 3 · Tyrone Daily Herald (Tyrone, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comExcerpt from article describing actions of Roosevelt's Rough Riders during Battle of San Juan Hill Sun, Jul 3, 1898 – Page 1 · The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) · Newspapers.comArtist's depiction of the Battle of San Juan Hill Sun, Jul 3, 1898 – Page 1 · The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) · Newspapers.comBritish newspaper description of the Battle of Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish-American War Tue, Jul 5, 1898 – 7 · The Standard (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comPolitical cartoon about yellow fever during the Spanish-American War Sun, Jul 17, 1898 – Page 1 · Los Angeles Herald (Los Angeles, California) · Newspapers.comFront page news about the Spanish surrender at Santiago during the Spanish-American War Sun, Jul 17, 1898 – 1 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) · Newspapers.comUnited States to advance on Puerto Rico after victory over Spanish in Cuba Wed, Jul 20, 1898 – 1 · Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) · Newspapers.comOpinions about what should be done with Spanish possessions of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Philippines Fri, Jul 29, 1898 – 3 · Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) · Newspapers.comNewspaper account of the U.S. capture of Guam during the Spanish-American War Wed, Aug 3, 1898 – Page 1 · The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) · Newspapers.comPresident McKinley announces peace protocol with Spain and end of Spanish-American War Sat, Aug 13, 1898 – Page 1 · The Indianapolis News (Indianapolis, Indiana) · Newspapers.comEditorial giving opinion on the future of the Philippines after defeat of the Spanish Tue, Aug 16, 1898 – 6 · Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) · Newspapers.comDescription from British newspaper of the signing of the Treaty of Paris in December 1898 Mon, Dec 12, 1898 – 7 · The Standard (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comArticle reviewing contents of the Paris Peace Treaty that ended the Spanish-American War Wed, Dec 14, 1898 – Page 1 · The Wichita Daily Eagle (Wichita, Kansas) · Newspapers.com