Remember the Maine: Ceremony to mark 120 years since sinking

Reading seaman among more than 260 killed in 1898

READING, Pa. - A ceremony in Reading is planned to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the U.S.S. Maine's sinking in Havana Harbor.

The Maine division of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets will lay a wreath at the Maine Anchor Memorial in City Park, near North 11th and Washington streets, on Saturday. The ceremony, which will be open to the public, is set to start at 10 a.m.

Reading Mayor Wally Scott and the city council also recognized the anniversary Monday night, when it presented a commendation to the Sea Cadets.

The actual anniversary is February 15, when in 1898, the Maine suddenly exploded and sank during the Cuban revolt against Spain, killing more than 260 sailors and marines, including a seaman from Reading.

One of the ship's six anchors was placed as a memorial in Reading City Park in 1914 and dedicated during a ceremony that was presided over by Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was then assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy.

The following year, President Woodrow Wilson dedicated the U.S.S. Maine Mast Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, where approximately 165 of the Maine's sailors and marine's were buried.

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