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WATCH: The Christening of America's Greatest Ocean Liner, the SS United States

On June 23rd, 1951, the SS United States was christened by Lucille Connally, wife of Texas senator Tom Connally, in Newport News, VA. Despite the 100-degree heat, thousands of attendees looked on as she christened the ship with a single swing of the champagne bottle at 12:45 p.m.

Lucille Connally christens America's Flagship, the SS United States.

Image by the Associated Press, courtesy of The New York Times online archives.

An estimated 500,000 more watched what was said to be the world's first live telecast of a ship launching. Check out some fantastic news coverage of the launch below:

Newsreel footage by "Universal International News," shared on YouTube by CriticalPast.

The Big U was also a star across the pond! Newsreel footage by "British Movietone News."

Like what you see? Be sure to visit the SS United States Conservancy's Facebook page and give us a 'like' — you can find exciting new content there every day!


This is a crucial time for the SS United States, and you can play a decisive role in securing her future. There are many ways to get involved — you can make a donation today, join one of our amazing regional Conservancy chapters or follow us on Facebook to help spread the word about America's Flagship in your own community.

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