The Cuban Friendship Urn was created as a memorial to the U.S. sailors who perished aboard the U.S.S. Maine in 1898, when the ship sank in Havana Harbor during the Cuban War of Independence. The sinking of the Maine is widely regarded as the event that spurred the onset of the Spanish–American War. Originally, the urn sat atop a marble column in Havana, a monument to the friendship between the U.S. and Cuba, until it was by a hurricane in 1926. It was then placed on a marble plinth and sent to the United States in 1928, where it was received by President Calvin Coolidge and positioned outside the Cuban Embassy.
The Cuban-American Friendship Urn disappeared when the friendship between the United States and Cuba soured in 1959. It disappeared for decades, during which its whereabouts are contested, before being moved to its current location in the 1990s.
DC Inventory: February 22, 2007
National Register: October 11, 2007