National Maritime Day Commemorations in stories and pictures

1941 Maritime Day Events

1944 Maritime Day Events

1945 Maritime Day Events

1946 Maritime Day Events

1947 Maritime Day Events

1954 Maritime Day Events

President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Maritime Day Message to the American People in 1941

For Release after 1:00 P.M., Thursday, May 22, 1941

Excerpt of Remarks by Captain Macauley, Member of United States Maritime Commission, at National Maritime Day Ceremonies Aboard SS American Seaman, Navy Yard, Washington, DC. May 22, 1941.

"Today, in the western world we face a crisis which depends on the control of our seas for a favorable solution. A heartening and reassuring factor is that the most important figure in this hemisphere has a knowledge of maritime problems and an understanding of those who follow the sea usually possessed only by professionals. Through the medium of a letter to Chairman [Emory S.] Land of the Maritime Commission the President has sent a Maritime Day Message to all Americans. It is my privilege to read it:

'Dear Admiral Land:

'I am glad of an opportunity to send a Maritime Day message to the American people. Today, as never before in our history, our Merchant Marine is vital to our national welfare. I do not mean vital merely in the conventional sense that it makes an important contribution but in the stranger sense that it is a crucially decisive factor in our continued existence as a free people.

'If we are going to keep away from our shores the forces that have convulsed the Old World and now menace the New, the job will be done in large measure by the ships and the sailors of the Merchant Marine and by the working men who build the ships and supply them. If they fail, the whole effort fails. And earnest, hardworking Americans, who spend the best part of their lives providing for the security and happiness of those they love, know that precious security and happiness depend exactly on the success of that effort.

'I know the effort will not fail; that more and faster ships will be built, manned by trained American seamen, and that they will carry through the open waters of the Seven Seas implements that will help destroy the menace to free peoples everywhere.

Very sincerely yours,

(Signed) Franklin D. Roosevelt'

Suggestions for Shipyard Events for Maritime Day 1944 -- Public Relations Department of U. S. Maritime Commission

Plans are under way for a nation-wide celebration of Maritime Day on May 22. This date commemorates the voyage of the SS. SAVANNAH, first ship to use steam propulsion on an ocean voyage. When the SAVANNAH sailed for England on May 22, 1819, she opened a new era in ocean transportation. Today thousands of American ships steam over the oceans of the world carrying cargoes to our armies and our Allies.

Maritime Day this year will be dedicated to the men who sail these ships through hazardous waters, and will do special honor to more than 5,500 seamen who have lost their lives in the line of duty since the war began.

Admiral Land is inviting the entire work force of Maritime shipyards and factories engaged in the Maritime Commission program to join in this salute to the seamen. A brief and simple ceremony which will not interfere with production would be most appropriate. The following five-minute program, to be carried out just before the lunch hour for each shift, is suggested for every yard and factory working on Maritime contracts:

The Program
1. One-minute whistle blast.
2. Announcer, speaking over public address system (or if no P.A. system, addressing individual groups) says:

"Our American Merchant Marine - 125,000 officers and men ­ delivers the weapons of victory to the battle fronts of the world. Without their valiant service the ships we make here would mean nothing. More than five thousand five hundred of these merchant seamen rave been lost in action against the enemy."

3. Bugler blows "Taps."

4. Announcer:

"Fellow americans--give them your answer! Must these men, rendering valiant service on the seven seas wait for things we must build? Must our fighting men suffer for the lack of tools with which to fight? We must not fail them. Let's give them tools to win. That must be our answer."

5. Whistle blows for lunch.

It is expected that this salute to the dead of the Merchant Marine will also be observed by all war production plants through the cooperation of War Production Drive Headquarters, and the incentive divisions of the Army and Navy.

1945 Maritime Day Events
New Orleans Maritime Day 1945 reviewing stand
New Orleans. On famed Canal Street, the Propeller Club
erected this ship as a reviewing stand for Maritime Day 1945

1946 Maritime Day Events
Eloys Langhoff, New Orleans Miss Maritime Day 1946
Miss Eloys Langhoff, New Orleans "Miss Maritime Day" 1946

First place float in 1946 San Francisco Maritime Day parade
Tampa streetcars advertise 1946 Maritime Day event

First place winner in the 1946 San Francisco Maritime Day parade was the Women's Organization for the American Merchant Marine, Inc.
Streetcars in Tampa, Florida advertised the 1946 Maritime Day celebration on banners prepared by the Propeller Club, Port of Tampa

Cadets at Pass Christian hold memorial service Maritime Day 1946 May Department store Baltimore has Maritime Day display 1946
Cadets at Pass Christian Cadet Basic School hold memorial service on Maritime Day 1946 for their shipmates who died in the line of duty The window of the May Department store in Baltimore, Maryland 1946 Maritime Day

1947 Maritime Day Events
Virginia Phillips Maritime Day Queen San Francisco 1947
San Francisco Mayor Roger D. Lapham left and Vice Admiral William W Smith,
Chairman of the U.S. Maritime Commission escort Miss Virginia Phillips, Maritime Day Queen,
to the reviewing stand for the 1947 Maritime Day parade

1954 Maritime Day Events
Cadets on parade New York Maritime Day 1954
Kings Point and Fort Schuyler cadets on parade in Rockefeller Plaza, New York on
Maritime Day 1954 during a spectacular sponsored by the American Merchant Marine Institute

Maritime Day Proclamations and Celebrations

Press Release, U. S. Maritime Commission, May 22, 1941
"National Maritime Day, May 22, 1946" The Propeller Club of the United States
1946 Proceedings, American Merchant Marine Conference
1948 Proceedings, American Merchant Marine Conference
We'll Deliver: Early History of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, 1938-1956, C. Bradford Mitchell, Kings Point, New York: U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association, 1977
The Victory Fleet: A Digest of Production News, Division of Public Relations, U. S. Maritime Commission, April 24, 1944, Vol. II, No. 43

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