Sea History 096 - Spring 2001

Page 36

SHIP NOTES, SEAPORT & MUSEUM NEWS fro m Wo rld War II rockers to modem guided missiles and an asso rrmenr of aircraft. (Ch in a Lake Museum Foundarion, PO Box 2 17, Ridgecres t CA 93556; 760 93 9-3 530 ; web sire: www. ridgen er.n er/ - clmf/ clmf/; www. nawcw - pao/museum/ dedi cario n .hrml) .. . The Charlest own N avy Yard, which closed in 197 4, celebra red irs Bicenrennial over Labo r D ay with a gathering of 150 form er Navy Yard wo rkers and their fami lies. One of six shipyards aurho rized by Cong ress in 1800 , the yard produced m ore than 2 00 vessels, fro m sailing sch oo ners to LSTs, a nd , in 1943, employed more than 50,000 workers, including 8,000 women and more rhan 2,000 African-Americans. T oday 30 acres of the 130-acre Navy Ya rd are pre-

served by rh e Nario nal Park Service. (Bosto n Na tio nal Hi storical Park, C h arlestown Navy Yard, Boston MA 02129-4543) . .. T h e tugbo a t Luna was rowed fr o m Boston in O ctober to Boothbay H arbo r, Mai ne, for m ajo r wo rk o n its wooden hull at Samples Shipya rd . T he 193 0 rug, d esigned by John Alden a nd built by M. M. D av id of Solo m o ns Islan d , Maryland , served in Boston Harbo r for m ore than 40 years and was th e first diesel-electric rug to provide commercial harbor service. T he $750 ,000 fo r rhe overha ul came fro m rhe Federal T EA-2 1 prog ram , rh e Co mm o nwealrh of Massachusetts Historic Commissio n and rh e L un a Preservati o n Society. T he work includes replacing upper fram es an d exre rn al planking, rebuilding rh e sh ee rsrrakes,


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Our handsome Ts show fo ur sailing ships pass ing Mi ss Liberty, silk screened in blue, light blue and crim so n. The offi cial OpSail 2000 program has photos & stori es of th e ships and th e peopl e who sail th em. Both commemorate a great occasion on 4 July 2000! Shirt: $12.50 + $2.50 s/h; ava il ab le in S, M, L, XL, XXL Progra m: $6 + $2 s/h

Send check or money order to National Maritime Historical Soc. PO Box 68, Peekskill NY 10566 Or phone in your credit card order to 1-800-221-NMHS (6647) 34

NEW EXHIBITS ATTHE MUSEUM: T h e las r several m o nrhs have seen numero us ch anges ar rh e

Museum, including the opening of rwo exhibits, "Sailing the Sam as: Grace Line C ruises, 1932- 1972" and "Ships of State: T he SS America and SS United States," wh ich pro vide the visitor with an engaging look at rwo storied aspects o f o ur m aritime pas t. While "Ships of State" joins the Muse um perma..n endy, "Sailing the Santas" will cl ose on 1May2 001. Reaching back to a bygo ne era, "Sailing the Santas" explo res rhe world of Grace Line cruises before the ad ve nr of th e "super" -cruise shi p. Beginnin g with th e arri val of the Santa Rosa in 1932 , the exhibit details the rise of G race Li ne to prominence in the cruise industry and its resurgen ce after th e war. Fearured p rominently are fo ur fam ed liners, the Santa Rosas of 1932 and 1958 and th e Santa Paulas of 1932 a nd 1958, which set th e standard in Caribbean cruising fo r close to 4 0 years. W ith th eir all-fi rst-class accommod atio ns, private baths, an d spacio us public areas, th ese were the bes t know n of the Grace fl eet. N ot forgotten are the comboliners that carried passengers to the exotic po n s of So uth Am erica. T hese ships were fa vo rites amo ng vaca tio ne rs in th e posrwar years. Dubbed "casual cruises," the sailing schedules were subj ect to frequ ent alteration s as cargo demands changed . "Sailing the Sam as" evokes m emo ri es of a period wh en ships bearin g the trademark green , w hite and black stacks of Grace Line co uld be seen each Friday sailing out o f New Yo rk ha rbo r, fill ed w ith fu n-seeki n g passe nge rs. In stark contras t, "Ships of Sta te" takes visitors to th e cold harshness of the No rth Atlantic during a period when ships defin ed na ti o n al p res ri ge. The visito r is in troduced to rhe U nired Stares' rwo true ships of sta re, rhe SS America and SS United States. D esigned by W illi am Fran cis G ibbs, and sailing for US Lines, rhese rwo vessels were built as embodiments of Am eri can techn ology, style and power. Completed in 1940 , the America instantly becam e th e fl ags hip of the Ameri ca n m erchant m arin e. T ho ugh Wo rld W ar II prevented her from serving o n the No rth A tl antic run until 1946 , sh e was ren owned for her style a nd acco mmod atio ns until h er re tirem ent in 1964. Entering service in 19 52, rhe United States ass um ed flagship sta rus and swiftly proved to be th e fastes t liner afl oat, seizing th e Blue Rib band a nd the rransAtlanticspeed reco rd fro m the Queen Mary. H er sleek lines and contempo ra ry d eco r refl ected trends ar ho m e, while h er incred ible speed dem o nstrated the sup re m acy of American techn ology. Tho ugh d ecommissio ned in 1969, rh e United States rem ains the fas res r liner ever bui lt, a nd it seem s unlikely rh a r her reco rd will be broken a ny rim e soo n . "Ships of Srate" inves tiga tes th e history of rheAmerica and United States n o t m erely as vessels, bur as icon s of na ti o nal pres tige in a n era wh en symb olism was of rhe urmosr importa nce in interna tio n al affairs. -KENNEDY R. HICKMAN, C urator (AMMM, US M erch ant M arine Academ y, Kings Point N Y 11024; 5 16 773-55 15)