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Meet Mary Anne Cox, 3-time SS United States passenger

It's an unfortunate truth is that the vast majority of us never had the chance to travel aboard the SS United States during her heyday. Mary Anne Cox, however, was lucky enough to sail to England three times aboard the Big U.

Her father’s work as a rare book dealer in New Haven, Connecticut occasionally took him to England, and Mary Anne went along for three exciting trips in 1956, 1960, and 1965. As a ten year old in 1956, she won big at Bingo and loved watching the simulated horse races in the ship’s lounge. As a 14 year old, she felt like she was at summer camp at sea, honing her skills in shuffleboard and ping pong, as well as spending plenty of time in the ship’s pool. Later, as a 19 year old, she recalls elegant dinners and dancing every evening of the journey. She was even on one voyage with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and enjoyed watching their pug dogs taking their walks on the sun deck.

Mary Anne also participated in a unique tradition among those making the return trip back to New York:

“My most vivid memory of the food was that everyone at lunch on the first day of the return trip had ordered a hamburger​. Most meals in England, even lunches, were elaborate affairs. A quick "American" meal was hard to come by, so a hamburger was the perfect first meal on the way home. We were heading back to plain "home" cooking. And during that lunch the band played songs recognizing famous US states and cities: "California, Here I Come," "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," "New York, New York," etc.”

Now she is sharing her love of the ship with her children and grandchildren. In her message, she wrote “Best of luck with preserving this icon. You’ve certainly helped to preserve my memories of an enchanted time.” You can help save America’s Flagship for future generations to cherish and enjoy. Donate today here at or on our GoFundMe page!


Did you get the chance to sail aboard the SS United States? We would love to hear about your experiences! Please contact us at

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