KEY WEST -- Agents booking vacation tour groups, student groups and
families to South Florida during the next few months might consider
including an overnight or longer stopover in Key West, where three
museums have introduced exhibits tied to the 100th anniversary of
the Spanish American War.
Only 90 miles from Cuba, Key West was the final port of call for
the USS Maine, which was blown up in Havana harbor on Feb. 15,
1898, killing 266 men. Twenty-four sailors are buried in the Maine
Memorial plot in a local cemetery.
Museum programs follow:The Key West Art & Historical Society's "Remember the
Maine" exhibit at the East Martello Civil War Museum is on view
through Aug. 12. The exhibit details the crew's leisure time spent
in Key West and includes a handcrafted model of the battleship and
contemporary newspaper clippings as well as a Maine life preserver
and an anchor. The museum is open daily 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is $6 for adults and $2 for children; group rates are
$2.50 for adults and $2 for children.
East Martello Civil War Museum
Phone: (305) 296-3913The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum's "Battleship!" exhibit runs
through Sept. 30 and reflects life on warships, including medical
facilities, engines and weapons. A separate diorama shows how the
Spanish fleet was destroyed. The "Run Ashore" exhibit depicts the
fleet's welcome home and 1898 "attractions" for sailors such as Key
West's bars and brothels. Admission: $6.50 for adults and $2 for
children; group prices vary.
Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
Phone: (305) 294-2633The Harry S. Truman Little White House Museum operates an
exhibit through Aug. 15 covering the life of President William
McKinley, who was in office during the war. Admission is $7.50 for
adults, $3.75 for children; groups are $6.50 and $3.50,
Little White House Museum
Phone: (305) 294-9911