Fans Hop Aboard Historic SS United States for Tour

Supporters of America’s Flagship, the SS United States, from across the country joined SS United States Conservancy President Susan Gibbs and author and illustrator David Macaulay for a tour of the ocean liner in Philadelphia June 8, 2019. Photo Credit Kyle Ober, SS United States Conservancy

SS United States, which once hosted celebrities, world leaders, tourists and immigrants, welcomed guests passionate about saving the ship. Although rarely seen by the public, six supporters of the SS United States Conservancy from six states came onboard the historic ship for a tour led by author and illustrator, David Macaulay.

Macaulay, the best-selling author of The Way Things Work and dozens of other titles, recently released Crossing on Time: Steam Engines, Fast Ships, and a Journey to the New World. After five years in the making, this illustrated book depicts Macaulay’s childhood voyage to America on board the fabled SS United States and explores the ship’s technological significance as the fastest ocean liner ever built.  

Every supporter on the tour received a signed copy of Macaulay’s book and participated in a champagne toast on board where Duke Ellington once performed. American icons such as Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Harry Truman, Marlon Brando and others rode the ocean liner.  

The Conservancy, the national preservation organization that saved the ship from scrapping in 2011, is currently collaborating with a New York-based real estate development firm to explore transforming the ship to a stationary, mixed-use development and museum complex.

In 2017, money was raised with the goal of reaching $500,000 by July 4 to protect the SS United States. The historic vessel was part of a Cold War plan to create the world’s fastest ship. It is still the fastest to this day.  

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