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The Spanish-American War lasted a little less than four months, April 21st -
August 13th, 1898 and ended Spain's worldwide empire.  It ended with America
easily defeating Spain and signaled the United States emergence as a world
power.  The blowing up of the battleship USS Maine in Havana harbor on
February 15th, 1898 with the loss of 266 crewmen and marines in essence was
the start of the war.
The US Navy Department board of inquiry concluded that a mine had detonated
under the ship and the American public reacted with outrage blaming Spain
for the disaster.  It was during this war that Teddy Roosevelt and his
cavalry unit known as the "Rough Riders" became famous.  This would be the
first war fought overseas by the United States and involved campaigns in
both Cuba and the Philippine Islands.  
The brief war cost the United States $250 million and 3,000 lives of which
90% perished from yellow and typhoid fever and other infectious diseases.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars traces its roots back to these veterans who
founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service.
There was no medical care or veterans' pension for them, and they were left
to care for themselves.  These formed organizations would become what is now
known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
In observance of the sacrifices made by the Veterans of the Spanish American
War and those who died aboard the USS Maine, Shelby County Memorial Veterans
of Foreign Wars and the Auxiliary will hold wreath laying at the Veterans
Memorial on the grounds of the Historic Shelby County Courthouse, Center,
Texas on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.   As always the public
is invited.  Questions call Post Quartermaster Larry Hume at 598-2976.

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