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2018 Mid-Year Appeal: Working Together to Save Our Nation's Flagship

The Conservancy is hard at work fighting for the future of our nation's irreplaceable flagship, the SS United States. Today, this extraordinary vessel needs your help.

Learn more in this urgent appeal from Conservancy Executive Director Susan Gibbs:

SS United States graphic by Greg Shutters.

Dear Conservancy supporter:

Red, white and blue. Speed, splendor and glory. The story of America’s Flagship, the SS United States, is a story of the nation’s confidence, pride and ambition. The largest, sole-surviving, and greatest ever American ocean liner smashed the transatlantic speed record using only two-thirds of her power. It’s a record that has stood the test of time. The product of a time when our nation’s capabilities were seemingly endless, the ship embodied our “can do” spirit.

The SS United States in her heyday. Photograph courtesy of Charles Anderson.

Together we can do this! We need your help to cover the vessel’s basic expenses as we work to create a future for our nation’s flagship. This majestic “Lady in Waiting” offers a remarkable preservation and redevelopment opportunity: With over 500,000 square feet of unique space, the ship is ready for conversion into a spectacular historic, waterfront destination and museum. Despite ongoing interest in the ship’s redevelopment, we must continue to pay the ship’s dockage, security, insurance, and maintenance costs as restoration plans advance. Because of these financial pressures, your response to this urgent appeal is crucial.

Our “Lady in Waiting” on the Big Screen. The inspiring story of America’s Flagship was showcased in the 2008 documentary, SS United States: Lady in Waiting. The award-winning film aired on public television stations nationwide to great acclaim and impressive ratings. But her story didn’t end with the final fade out. Since that time, her saga of perseverance has continued, and new chapters of hope and determination still need to be told. Because the film has been such an invaluable asset in helping educate the public about the ship’s legacy and potential, a portion of your donation will be used to update the story and introduce the nation’s flagship to new audiences.

Building and Sharing our Museum Collection. The Conservancy is building an extraordinary collection of art, artifacts and historical documents from America’s Flagship. They will eventually be displayed in our future ship-board museum, which will highlight the vessel’s storied past, mid-century modern art and design, American maritime history and the great transatlantic liner era. We need your support to continue building and curating our collections, as well as developing exciting new digital exhibitions.

The SS United States at her Philadelphia berth today. Photograph courtesy of Ryan Smith.

In the words of Conservancy flagship donor Jim Pollin, “There is no doubt in my mind that if the Conservancy can continue to keep the ship afloat that a viable option for her future will be developed....I’m just so proud to be part of a team trying to keep her alive.” The SS United States continues to make us all proud. She is a symbol of who we are when we are at our very best. She is a symbol of people like you who are convinced that our history is worth saving.

Please affirm your commitment to America’s Flagship by making your donation today. Thank you so much for your consideration and support.

Susan L. Gibbs Executive Director SS United States Conservancy


This urgent mid-year appeal will also be going out to the Conservancy's members and supporters by mail, including a special SS United States postcard designed by graphic artist Greg Shutters. Not on our mailing list? Become a Conservancy member today.

Help us spread the word about America's Flagship — CLICK HERE for a printable copy of this letter to share with your family, friends and community.

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