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How the Spanish-American War, Not World War II, Made USA a Superpower

The little-known war in 1898 may have set the stage for USA’s rise to power.


Many believe that the Allied victory in World War II was instrumental in the United States of America’s rise to power. This moment in history is often cited as the event that set the stage for the USA’s eventual global domination, but it could actually be a lesser-known war that did so.

On April 23, 1898, the Spanish-American War officially began. This declaration of war against Spain was a major blow to the then global superpower. At the time, the US was just an emerging nation, and it was already at war with an established and powerful country.

Many attribute United States’ rise to power to their World War II victory.

Source: Alden March

Over time, Spain’s influence on and hold of the New World started to weaken. At the same time, the US was hoping to access the markets and resources there. This is one of the reasons for the conflict between the two countries.

But it could actually be a smaller and lesser-known war that set the stage for the US’s eventual domination.

The sinking of the USS battleship Maine, which the US blamed on Spanish aggression, was said to have sparked the war. This event gave the motive for a US declaration supporting Cuban rebels followed by a naval blockade of the island. This then provoked a declaration of war from Spain.

The Spanish-American War saw the US proving their strength on the international level.

Most of the combat took place in the Pacific. The battles were more focused on US trying to take control of the Philippines from Spain. But the US also sent troops to Guam and showed great force in the battles in Cuba and Puerto Rico.

The Spanish-American War came to and end in December 10, 1898 when both parties signed the Treaty of Paris. The peace agreement was more favorable to the US. It gave the US control over the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico. And this, some say, is the real beginning of US’s rise to power.


Apparently, Japanese Nightingale Floors are Ninja-Proof!

These ingenious floors alert guards when an intruder enters the premises!

What's a surefire way to keep thieves from even entering your home? Back in the Edo period in Japan, there obviously weren't electronic alarm systems to keep intruders out.

While they had guards, these guards were no match for sneaky ninjas who could sneak in without being detected. So instead, they created the uguisubari or nightingale floors.

They look like regular floors, but the secret lies beneath the planks.

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The Story of the 2,300-Year-Old Fallen Wawona Tunnel Tree in Yosemite National Park

Know the tale of this fallen beauty.

If you've been to the Yosemite National Park, chances are you've seen the famous Wawona Tunnel Tree, now also known as the Fallen Tunnel Tree. The Wawona was once a towering sequoia that stood in Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park in California, USA until February 1969. It is estimated to have been around 2,300 years old by the time it fell.

The Wawona had a height of 227 feet (69 m) and was 26 feet (7.9 m) in diameter at the base. It is not clear where the word 'Wawona' came from, but some believe it to mean either 'big tree' or 'hoot of the owl.'

The famous Wawona Tunnel Tree can be found in Yosemite National Park.

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The Story of Kolmanskop, Former Diamond Mine and Now Ghost Town in the Namib Desert

The town has long since said goodbye to its glory days.

Ghost towns may be creepy, but they always have good stories to tell. Case in point, the Kolmanskop in the middle of the Namib desert in South Africa. Here, no humans can be found, only decrepit houses partly swallowed by the sand. They are witnesses to a once thriving town.

The story goes that in 1908, railway worker Zacharias Lewala, while shoveling in the desert, noticed a sparkling stone. Convinced the stone was a diamond, Lewala decided to show his discovery to his supervisor, German railway inspector August Stauch, for confirmation.

Kolmanskop is located in the middle of the Namib desert in South Africa.

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