The explosion aboard the Maine killed 266 U.S. sailors. The dead would be given a hero’s burial in Arlington National Cemetery. The McKinley administration appointed a naval committee to investigate the cause of the tragedy. Many Americans had already made up their minds.
Hearst and the other papers blamed the Spanish for mining the ship and blowing it up. There was some evidence that that had happened, but whether that evidence was overwhelming or not, this was going to lead to the war that Hearst wanted in Cuba.
Hearst’s Journal proposed a regiment of athletes that would overawe the Spanish army with their mere physical presence. The New York World reported that an army of Indians under Buffalo Bill Cody would clear Spain out of Cuba in sixty days. Jesse James’ brother Frank volunteered to lead a company of cowboys.