- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The U.S.S. Little Rock will be christened and officially launched during a ceremony this weekend in Marinette, Wisconsin.

Saturday’s christening ceremony celebrates the ship’s physical transition from land to sea and serves as a symbolic transition from a hull number to a ship with its own name.

Following the shattering of a champagne bottle on the hull, the ship will be side-launched into the Menominee River.

There will be a commissioning ceremony in November 2016 when the ship will formally join the fleet and become sovereign U.S. territory wherever it sails.

The first U.S.S. Little Rock was launched in Philadelphia in 1944.

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