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Hope encourages men to endure and attempt everything; in depriving them of it, or in making it too distant, you deprive them of their very soul.

-- Maurice Comte de Saxe

USS Minneapolis (Cruiser # 13, later CA-17), 1894-1921

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USS Minneapolis, a 7375-ton protected cruiser built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was commissioned in December 1894. Her first year's service was off the U.S. east coast and in the West Indies. Assigned to the European Squadron in late November 1895, she operated in the Mediterranean until May 1896 and then spent a month in Russia's Baltic waters representing the U.S. Navy during the coronation of Czar Nicholas II. Thereafter, Minneapolis visited other ports from northern Europe to Turkey. The cruiser was placed in reserve immediately after her return to the United states in July 1897 but returned to active service shortly before the beginning of the Spanish-American War. During April and May 1898 Minneapolis cruised in the West Indies, searching for the squadron dispatched from Spain as part of that nation's attempts to defend Cuba. Upon the conclusion of the war in August 1898, she was again placed in reserve at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

Minneapolis, whose powerful engines made her an expensive ship to run, was mainly in reserve from 1898 to 1917. However, she was commissioned as receiving ship at Philadelphia in 1902-1903 and began three years' of seagoing work in September 1903. Following operations in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico, from July to December 1905 Minneapolis cruised in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean. Among her assignments was participation in an expedition to gather scientific information during a solar eclipse. In April and May 1906 she was at Annapolis, Maryland, to welcome the squadron bringing the body of John Paul Jones back to the United States. Employed on training duty for much of the rest of the year, Minneapolis decommissioned in November 1906 and was laid up at Philadelphia for more than a decade.

Recommissioned for World War I service early in July 1917, Minneapolis operated between the Panama Canal Zone and Nova Scotia until February 1918, when she began escorting convoys in the North Atlantic. In February 1919, nearly three months after the Armistice ended First World War combat, she arrived in San Diego, California, for a tour as a flagship on the Pacific Station. Redesignated CA-17 in July 1920, USS Minneapolis was decommissioned at Mare Island Navy Yard, California, in March 1921 and sold for scrapping in August of that year.

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This Day in History
1862: General Ulysses S. Grant provides the first major Union victory of the war when he captures Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. Ten days later, he captured Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River, which gave the Yankees control of northern Tennessee and paved the way for the occupation of Nashville.

1899: The Spanish-American War ends.

1941: The RAF clears the way as British take Benghazi, trapping thousands of Italians.

1944: Kwajalein Island in the Central Pacific falls to U.S. Army troops.

1945: MacArthur reports the fall of Manila, and the liberation of 5,000 prisoners.

1952: The carrier USS Philippine Sea returned to Korean waters for its second tour of duty.

1973: Supervisors from the International Commission of Control and Supervision (ICCS), delegated to oversee the cease-fire, start to take up their positions in Vietnam. The cease-fire had gone into effect as a provision of the Paris Peace Accords.