The Kiel Canal connected the North Sea and the Baltic Sea thereby eliminating the need for ships to sail around the dangerous Danish Jutland Peninsula. In a time when fancy military uniforms were the fashion, the grand opening of such an important canal was an event which Germany played to the hilt. Fourteen other countries including the United States, sent fifty-one war ships to the opening ceremony held on June 20, 1895. As was often the case when the navy went cruising a medal was sure to follow. This was also a time when the US government had a much more balanced budget and so in order to insure that the US Navy would participate there was an organized fund drive by patriotic citizens to finance the trip. Illustrated below is the medal issued to commemorate the trip. So who do you think got the medals? Why the fund raisers of course!