American Defenders of Land, Sea & Sky
America as World Power
  The Spanish-American War (1898-1900)

USS Olympia
We acquired island possessions.

USS Olympia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

   In April, 1898, President William McKinley declared war on Spain. An American fleet commanded by Admiral George Dewey was ordered to proceed to the Philippines and attack Spanish warships as they lay at anchor in Manila Harbor. Dewey's flagship, the USS Olympia, was more heavily armed than earlier U.S. cruisers and could also move much faster at 21.4 knots (that's over 24 miles an hour). On May Day at dawn, the Olympia steamed into the waters of Manila Bay, launching the first shell at the Spanish ships. When the entire American fleet opened fire, the Spanish were quickly defeated.

  A peace treaty was signed in December, 1898. Three of Spain's possessions—the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam—were ceded to the United States. In the same year, the Hawaiian Islands were annexed. But that's another story. The USS Olympia is now a museum ship on display in Philadelphia at Penn's Landing.

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