1003Fw: SS United States Maiden Voyage Anniversary Update
- Jul 3, 2011Ahoy All,Scroll down to see a picture of wife Teddy and myself at the Washington DC SS UNITED STATES Conservancy gathering Wednesday, June 29. Picked up some supplies including a seven minute and a twenty minute DVD on the ship and the Conservancy. I intend to use these in conjunction with three SS UNITED STATES Conservancy orientations in Northern California. Let me know if you would like to be involved.Earlier in the day Teddy and I had lunch with Mike Sacco, President, and David Heindel, Secretary-Treasurer, Seafarers International Union, along with James Henry, Chairman and President, Transportation Institute, http://www.trans-inst.org in Mr. Sacco’s office just outside Washington D.C. http://www.seafarers.org. Then on Thursday we toured the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education, http://www.seafarers.org/paulhallcenter/phc.asp.Then on to Philadelphia to personally see the SS UNITED STATES. Couldn’t get up close but did chat with the guard at the access gate to Pier 82. Then it was over to IKEA across the street for lunch – the view of the ship is spectacular. Saw a number of other ships as well and much more in our nation’s capitol, 1790 – 1800.Its back to Washington DC for three more days before returning to California on July 6.Heave Ho,Phelps
Having trouble viewing this email? Click here July 3, 2011
SS United States is greeted by a flotilla of tugboats on her maiden voyage (courtesy of the Mark Perry Collection)Latest News from the SS United States Conservancy
Greetings members and supporters!
July 3, 2011 marks the 59th anniversary of the SS United States' departure from New York on what was to be her record-breaking maiden voyage. The ship was fully booked with 1,700 passengers, including Vincent Astor, Margaret Truman, and Sara Roosevelt. As the ship glided past Lower Manhattan, passengers standing on the decks could see a big banner hanging from a skyscraper at 21 West Street: "Good Luck. SS United States. Gibbs & Cox." During the trip, Commodore Harry Manning steadily increased speed even as the ship steamed head on into a howling North Atlantic gale. Independence Day was celebrated at sea with a lavish gala dinner and ball. Ship designer William Francis Gibbs stood a near-constant vigil on the bridge, carefully monitoring the ship's fuel consumption and speed. Down in the engine room, Chief Engineer Kaiser kept an eye on his four Westinghouse steam turbines, the most powerful engines ever installed on a passenger ship, capable of 240,000 horsepower.
When the ship tore past Bishop's Rock at 6:16am on the morning of July 7, 1952, she had captured the Blue Riband of the Atlantic from the Cunard liner Queen Mary with an average speed of 35.59 knots, and a sailing time of 3 days, 10 hours, 40 minutes.
The British journal Punch wrote in sadness: "After the loud and fantastic claims made in advance for the liner United States...it comes as something of a disappointment to find them all true."
On the anniversary of the SS United States' triumphant maiden voyage, thank you so much for your ongoing support!
In this issue:
- SS United States Featured on CBS News
- Conservancy's Corinthian Yacht Club Event: Press and Photos!
- SS United States Conservancy's Efforts Profiled in Currents Cover Story
- Braynard's The Big Ship Now Available from Turner Publishing
- Luis Fuentes Pens Moving Testimonial to Big U
- Conservancy's Washington, DC Chapter Launched
- Dr. Sarah Forbes, SS United States Collector and Champion, Dies
In celebration of the 59th anniversary of her maiden voyage, this Sunday, July 3, CBS Sunday Morning will be airing a short piece about the SS United States and her record-breaking trip. The show airs at 9:00 AM ET on CBS. Check your local listings.
In case you miss it, the Conservancy will be posting a link to the video in the upcoming days.
Dancing at the SS United States Conservancy's summer gala (photo credit Kyle Ober)
On June 24, 2011, the SS United States Conservancy hosted a gala that took 150 Conservancy patrons and friends back to a special era in time. "Relive an Evening Aboard the SS United States" was held at the Corinthian Yacht Club just outside of Philadelphia. The honorary gala co-chairs were philanthropist H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest and former NFL coach Richard Albert "Dick" Vermeil. Alix Jacobs, the event planner, paid careful attention to capturing the spirit of the early 1950s: the food was from the ship's first class menu (and included such delicacies as Lobster Newberg), the dress was black tie/1950s festive, and the Albert Oehrle Orchestra played music that would have outdone the great Meyer Davis himself. After dinner, the dance floor was packed with couples partying like it was July 7, 1952. The color guard was provided by the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry, founded in 1774 and the oldest military unit of its kind in America. Guests were greeted by cadets from Valley Forge Military Academy.
Live and silent auction items were donated by top-notch partners such as Philadelphia Distilling, Brooks Brothers, The Curtis Institute of Music, Atlantic Logistics, and Luxury Liner Row. Wine and beer were donated by Barrel Oak Winery and Narragansett Beer. Barrel Oak Winery will be offering two new labels of wine for sale that will benefit the SS United States Conservancy: "Big U Red" and "Hales Trophy White."
The Steamship Historical Society of America presented the Conservancy with a plaque naming the SS United States as their "Ship of the Year."
Among the guests that evening was Jim Green, who had served as a deck steward on the maiden voyage. He was recipient, along with Carl Wesch and Mario Alvarez-Garcillan, of the Conservancy's Blue Riband Award. According to his daughter Heidi McKenzie, Green was moved by the entire evening, and wished that he could board the ship one last time. Wesch, and Alvarez-Garcillian, who traveled to the event all the way from Madrid, Spain, have been tireless champions of the SS United States and the Conservancy's outreach efforts.
The profit netted by the gala will be used fund a comprehensive historic preservation and museum plan for the ship. The Conservancy is now planning similar fundraising events in New York City and Washington, D.C. this fall to further our legacy and outreach development goals.
To see photographs of that fun and memorable evening at the Corinthian Yacht Club, please visit the following sites:
"Social Circuit," The Philadelphia Inquirer, (See photos numbered 18 through 28):
Susan Scovill on the Main Line:
Greg Shutters' album on the Conservancy's Facebook page:
More pictures will appear in Philadelphia Magazine in the coming weeks.
Kudos to the Gala Committee that supervised the production of this event with such energy, enthusiasm, and attention to detail:
Honorary Gala Co-Chairs
H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest
Richard Albert "Dick" Vermeil
Steven B. Ujifusa
Richard L. Walkup, Jr.
Andrew C. Colket
Robert Foley and Mary Payne
Alix Rockwell Jacobs
Jonathan and Bobbie Turner
Hon. Thomas and Penelope Watkins
The Conservancy would like to especially thank Wilmington Trust, the event's lead sponsor and one of the largest financial institutions in the Middle Atlantic region, for making this special evening possible. We would also like to thank our 150 patrons, board members, and friends who attended the gala.
The spirit of the great ship lives on in the people whose lives she touched, and we are eager to share that spirt and her story with countless others in the coming months.
The SS United States was the subject of Currents magazine's cover story in their June 2011 issue. The article, written by Conservancy President Susan Gibbs, outlines the ship's colorful history as well as the Conservancy's efforts to save her. Currents is the official magazine of the American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association.
In THE BIG SHIP: The Story of the S.S. United States by legendary maritime historian Frank O. Braynard is now available! The classic text reveals the fascinating behind-the-scenes story of the design, construction and career of the SS United States.
Now residing in a dry dock in Philadelphia, the "Big U" was once the most glamorous ship in the world. Dignitaries, politicians, and celebrities such as JFK and Jackie, Grace Kelly, Charlton Heston, Judy Garland, Jackie Gleason, Bob Hope, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor regularly graced the decks of the United States. Not only was the SS United States beautiful, she was-and is-an incredible feat of engineering. The ship still holds the North Atlantic westbound speed record.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this reissued edition of Braynard's definitive history-which now includes a gorgeous photo insert of the ship's many celebrity passengers-will go to the Conservancy and their efforts to preserve and restore this great ship.
The volume is now available for purchase via Turner Publishing.
The Conservancy would like to once again thank Advisory Council member Noelle Hollander for her generous support of this effort!
Dr. Sarah Forbes, former Windmill Point Owner, Dies
It is with deep sorrow that the Conservancy learned of the passing of Dr. Sarah Forbes, an early supporter of the Conservancy who hosted the organization's inaugural event, the fondly remembered 2004 SS United States passenger and crew reunion, at her Windmill Point Restaurant in Nags Head, North Carolina. She also conributed an interview to the film, SS United States: Lady in Waiting. Dr. Forbes' impressive collection of fittings and memorabilia from the Big U included the ship's bell. She graciously donated the bell to Christopher Newport University and the rest of her collection to the Mariners Museum in Newport News when the restaurant closed.
Her passion and generosity will always be remembered as we keep her and her family and friends in our thoughts and prayers.
You can read her obituary from Hampton Roads, Virginia's WAVY-TV.
For the latest news about the SS United States,
please visit our website, SSUSC.org
(Message over 64 KB, truncated)