When the SS United States sailed across the cover of Newsweek magazine in 1952, she was called the "Fastest, Toughest & Most Beautiful". Newsweek's story began with breathless eyewitness reporting: "An offshore breeze tugged at the braided sleeves of a half-dozen men on the bridge of a great ocean liner this week as she threaded the white-flecked narrows and glided into New York harbor." (No women were allowed on the bridge or anywhere else on board during the ship's delivery cruise from Virginia to New York because they were thought to bring bad luck. Hence, the female artists and designers whose work resulted in making the ship so "pleasing and livable" had to wait until the ship reached New York.)
Newsweek assured its readers that the ship was fast, but did not say how fast; that was a highly classified secret. The ship was a warning to the world that "the United States can deliver its fighting men farther and faster than any other nation."
Today, against all odds, America's Flagship - and Newsweek's "most beautiful" cover girl - remains afloat. Join our mission today and help us save her!
Susan Gibbs is the Executive Director of the SS United States Conservancy. To learn more about the Conservancy and its efforts, visit ssusc.org.
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