APRIL 25, 1898
President William McKinley’s government declared war on Spain. This was a result of earlier events in Cuba which resulted in the blowing up of the USS Maine in Havana harbor. Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt (who would become president) ordered Commodore George Dewey, the commander of the American Asiatic Squadron to attack the Spanish naval forces in the Philippines. Earlier in Hong Kong, Dewey had discussions with Emilio Aguinaldo’s government-in-exile on the imminent war between America and Spain.