USS Maine Memorial Plaque
Title: Plaque, Memorial, USS Maine
Accession #: NHHC 2011-210-1
Size: 12.75 x 17.5
Location: Headquarters Artifact Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command
One bronze memorial plaque for USS Maine (ACR-1), SN 1228. The plaque is embossed "In Memoriam / U.S.S. Maine / Destroyed in Havana Harbor / February 15th 1898 / This tablet is cast from metal recovered from the U.S.S. Maine." The tablet has a twisted rope border. On the right side is a female figure clothed in a robe, wearing a Phrygian cap, carrying a shield, and her right arm outstretched towards a palm branch. The circular shield has Patriotism and Devotion in a circle of stars surrounding a seal. The seal has the shield of the United States below an eagle clutching arrows in its talons. Below the shield is a laurel branch and an oak leaf branch. In the background of the plaque can be seen the mast and remnants of the sinking Maine. The lower right corner is stamped "© C. KECK Sc. / 1913 Cast By / Jno. Williams Inc. / N.Y." The bottom edge is stamped 1228. On the reverse, the top left corner is stamped "Tablet No 1228 / Charles Keck, Sculptor / Cast By / Jno Williams Inc. / Bronze Foundry / New York / 1913."
In 1898, an explosion caused the USS Maine to sink in Havana Harbor, Cuba. It remained submerged, one of its masts still visible above the water for over a decade. In 1911, Congress authorized the raising of the Maine to investigate the cause of the explosion, recover remains, and clear the wreckage from the harbor. During the recovery and investigation, metal was salvaged from the ship and used to create memorial plaques like this one. Maine memorial plaques were commissioned by the Bureau of Engraving. Each plaque is numbered and stamped on the reverse. This plaque bears the number 1228.
Cities across the United States requested plaques like this one to commemorate and "Remember the Maine." Many of these plaques are still on display as part of veteran parks and memorials. This plaque was not awarded to any city or organization but is from the remainder of plaques not awarded.