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WATCH: Remembering the SS United States' Maiden Voyage

On the anniversary of the record-breaking voyage of America's Flagship, we are thrilled to share this clip with you from the award-winning 2008 American Public Television documentary "SS United States: Lady in Waiting."

Courtesy of Mark B. Perry and the SS United States Conservancy West Coast Chapter.

On the day of her departure, July 3, 1952, the ship was fully booked with 1,700 passengers, including Vincent Astor, Margaret Truman, and Sara Roosevelt. As the SS United States glided past Lower Manhattan, captained by Commodore Harry Manning, those standing on the decks could see a large banner hanging from a skyscraper at 21 West Street. It read: "Good Luck. SS United States. Gibbs & Cox."

During the voyage, ship designer William Francis Gibbs stood a near-constant vigil on the bridge, carefully monitoring the Big U's fuel consumption and speed. When the ship tore past Bishop 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, achieving an astonishing average speed of 35.59 knots, with a sailing time of 3 days, 10 hours, 40 minutes.

The SS United States is greeted by a flotilla of tugs on her maiden voyage.

Courtesy of the Mark Perry Collection.

On the anniversary of the SS United States' triumphant maiden voyage, we remember an era in which America's Flagship powerfully symbolized the nation's confidence, ambition and technological know-how. Against all odds, she remains afloat today, ready to take her place one more as a proud icon of our collective strength, our can-do spirit and the values that unite us.

Interested in owning a special limited First Edition copy of "SS United States: Lady in Waiting," packed with over 30 minutes of special features, and all at a discounted price? CLICK HERE to place your order.


You can play a vital role in ensuring a brilliant second act for this global ambassador and All-American record-breaker. CLICK HERE to make your donation today, and join the fight to save the fastest and greatest ocean liner the world has ever known.

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