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The State of the SS United States

Originally published on HistoryNet.com. Published Online: April 12, 2012 
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When I was in Philadelphia a couple years ago I saw a huge forlorn ship sitting in one of the docks rusting away. Being a Midwesterner with a natural amazement when in the presence of BIG SHIPS, I couldn't help but notice it while driving by on the Interstate. By an amazing coincidence I recognized the ship because as a kid in the 1970's I had often played with a plastic model of the SS United States my father had built. In another ship-related twist I was planning on seeing the USS New Jersey on my trip – though I didn't realize you could see one ship while standing on the other. I've included a picture of the "Big J" and noted how you can see the stacks of the United  States if you know where to look. Sadly I couldn't stop on the highway to take pictures closer to her…

If you have any pictures of the SS United States (either from her service years or in her current berth) you would like to share here, or maybe just a story about your travels aboard ship, please send them to unitedstates@historynet.com with photo/story credits. We'll post the best here.

For now, here is a picture from Wikipedia denoted as Public Domain which I believe gives a good sense of the state of the States. Below is a press release concerning the history of the ship and future plans for the vessel. The linked website has a lot of good photos and intel on this great vessel.

–Brian King
Historynet.com

 

NEW YORK, NY, April 12, 2012– As part of its year-long effort to mark the 60th anniversary SS United States' historic maiden voyage and raise awareness about the greatest American liner ever built, the SS United States Conservancy (Conservancy) has launched a new web feature comparing the TITANIC and SS UNITED STATES. Visitors to the site can see the two ships through a side by side comparison of their dimensions, speed, weight, and safety features.

100 years ago this week, the RMS Titanic left Southampton, England and sailed into history. Today, the vessel is synonymous with mystery, human tragedy, and engineering failures. In contrast,the SS United States, America's flagship from the era of the great trans-Atlantic liners, is still afloat today and symbolizes speed, power and a bygone era of sea travel in grand style.

The new section of the Conservancy's site is a simple way to educate history buffs, Titanic enthusiasts and a whole new generation about the American liner that was larger and faster than Titanic and still holds the trans-Atlantic speed record. In fact, the United States was not only the safest ship ever built, she could travel faster in reverse than the Titanic could go forward.

"The SS United States is the greatest ship that never sank. In her day, the ship was a symbol of American might as well as post-war pride and technological innovation," states Susan Gibbs, Executive Director of the Conservancy and granddaughter of the SS United States' designer, William Francis Gibbs. "It is our hope that the fanfare surrounding Titanic will make more people appreciate this proud American icon. The Titanic is resting at the bottom of the ocean, but we still have a chance to save the SS United States."

The Conservancy, which purchased the 990-foot-long ship last year, is currently raising funds to care for the historic vessel, begin the restoration process and develop portions of her more than 650,000 square feet of interior space into a museum. The group is also engaged in a process to contract with a developer to turn the United States into a stationary, mixed-use destination in a major American port. The United States is currently laid up in Philadelphia.

To learn more about the SS United States visit www.SSUSC.org



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