SS United States E-Newsletter

June 27, 2011
The Albert Oehrle Orchestra at the SSUSC summer gala

The Albert Oehrle Orchestra playing at the SS United States Conservancy summer gala, June 24, 2011

Photo by Greg Shutters

Latest News from the SS United States Conservancy

Greetings to all of our members and supporters!


We are still basking in the afterglow of our spectacular event on Friday at the Corinthian Yacht Club.  While a full report will be shared soon, we wanted to assure our friends from around the nation and the world that the celebration achieved its goal of raising funds and sustaining our momentum: We are now more determined than ever to save the SS United States for future generations! 


The Conservancy has other events planned, including one on the immediate horizon this Wednesday, June 29, in Washington, DC. (For details, see below.)


We continue to spread word far and wide about the SS United States, from a major article in one of Germany's leading newspapers - Sueddeutsche Zeitung - to New York's Citi Field.  We have now reached the milestone of 3,000 "Friends" of the SS United States Conservancy's Facebook page.  Thank you so much for all of your help in our outreach efforts, and please keep spreading the word among your friends, colleagues and family members!


As always, to make a tax-deductible donation in support of the Conservancy's predevelopment and historic preservation efforts, please click here.


Thank you so much for your support, and long live the SS United States


In this issue:

gala SS United States Conservancy's Event "Relive an Evening
Aboard the SS United States" A Smash Hit!

Guests of the summer gala

Guests of the Conservancy's summer gala gather at the Corinthian Yacht Club, July 24, 2011  

Photo by Greg Shutters


The SS United States Conservancy's summer gala, "Relive an Evening Aboard the SS United States," held on Friday was a smash hit!  Some 140 friends and patrons dined and danced the evening away at the Corinthian Yacht Club just outside Philadelphia, enjoying cuisine based on the ship's first class menu and foxtrotting to the jazzy strains of the Albert Oehrle Orchestra.

A full report with photos and video footage will be shared in the coming days, but we didn't want to wait another day to thank everyone who attended and supported the event.  The Conservancy is profoundly indebted to the dozens of people who contributed in so many ways, including:

  • Philanthropist H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest and former National Football League coach Dick Vermeil, Honorary Gala Committee Co-Chairs
  • Steven Ujifusa and Richard Walkup Jr., Gala Committe Co-Chairs
  • Mark L. Byers and Andrea Spahr, Wilmington Trust, (Lead Sponsor)
  • Alix Rockwell Jacobs, Event Planner
  • All of our generous silent and live auction donors, including:
    • Noted maritime artist Jim Flood, who donated a stunning original painting - "Sunset Departure" - to the Conservancy.  Jim traveled from Florida to hand-deliver his masterpiece and a gorgeous giclee print was featured in the live auction. 
    • Narragansett Beer
    • Brooks Brothers
    • Barrel Oak Winery
    • Curtis Institute of Music
    • Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild
    • Luxury Liner Row
    • Frank DeGiuilio, Esq., and Palmer Beizup and Henderson
    • Mario Alvarez-Garcillan
    • Project Liberty Ship
    • Dr. Susan Fino
    • Lloyd Reynolds
    • Atlantic Logistics
    • Hon. Thomas and Penelope Watkins
    • Christie's
    • Nautiques
    • Contintental Limousine, LLC
    • Steamship Historical Society of America
    • Philadelphia Distilling
    • David Fine
    • Ered Matthew from Cabin Class Collectibles who donated a gorgeous five-foot long illuminated model of the SS United States to the Conservancy for display.  The model, lit up in all its glory, presided over the evening's buffet table.

At the event, the Conservancy made a passionate plea for a $1 million fundraising campaign to bolster plans for a world-class museum and develop a detailed historic preservation plan.  The Conservancy also announced plans to create a digital model of the ship accessible through the Internet.  This "Paint the Ship" initiative will enable audiences to pan and zoom into the SS United States from every angle as well as sponsor and personalize their own virtual sections and components of the ship and share them through social and traditional networks.  In this way, hundreds of thousands of people around the nation and around the world will be able to participate in the vessel's "virtual restoration."  This, in turn, will help raise the funds for the ship's physical restoration.  Ultimately, this "virtual fundraising ship" will become one of our permanent museum exhibits.


Let's keep the ball rolling...literally! To make the "Paint the Ship" project and the $1 million Historic Preservation Fund a reality, we need your help!  Please make a tax-deductible donation to the SS United States Conservancy: your name and/or the name of your organization will be listed on the website and as other promotional materials. The following link will provide you the opportunity to donate: 

 dc_and_nyWashington DC and New York Events Planned

Washington, DC Event this Wednesday, June 29


Please join us in Washington, DC this Wednesday for drinks and discussion about pressing the cause of the SS United States in the national capitol region!  Even if you have never attended a Conservancy event before, please consider stopping by to connect with our growing community of supporters.  We are laying the groundwork to organize a Washington, DC chapter and are grateful that Seth Levey has volunteered to help with our planning and outreach.  We're also delighted that Phelps Hobart of the Pacific Merchant Marine Council will be joining the gathering all the way from San Francisco.  The event will be held at the Caucus Room, located at 401 9th Street, Washington DC, 20004.  If you would like more information or would like to confirm your plans to attend, please contact Seth Levey at or by phone at (540) 875-9304.



New York City Events in the Works 


The Conservancy will be participating in the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance's City of Water Festival on Saturday, July 16. This event will be held on Governors Island in New York Harbor and on Liberty State Park in Jersey City, plus also at additional waterfront locations scattered through the five boroughs of New York City. The City of Water Day is a fabulous event that attracts thousands of visitors every year.  Stay tuned for more details!


The SS United States Conservancy and the NY Islanders are teaming up to help save the SS United States.  Proceeds of every ticket sold by the Conservancy to the "Charity of the Game" night this fall will support the Conservancy's efforts to save the SS United States.  We will keep you posted as this exciting initiative develops! 

   media_outreachMedia and Outreach: From Germany to Citi Field 


Major Press Hit in the German Media


Sueddeutsche Zeitung, one of Germany's leading daily newspapers, ran a full-page story on the SS United States and the SS United States Conservancy's efforts to save her. Under the headline, "America Shall Not Die," reporter Christian Wernicke explored the ship's plight and historical signficance, including the ship's ties to Bremerhaven, Germany, one of her regular ports of call. You can see a PDF of the article HERE.  



Conservancy's Executive Director At Citi Field  


Dan McSweeney in Mets Dugout

Conservancy Executive Director Dan McSweeney in the Mets' Dugout


During recent orders at Headquarters Marine Corps, the Conservancy's executive director, Dan McSweeney, supported Fleet Week 2011 in New York.  McSweeney, a major in the Marine Reserves, was asked to throw the first pitch at Citi Field in a Mets vs. Pirates game.  "All week long, people were interested in hearing about both the Marines and the SS United States, my 'day job,' McSweeney said.  "It was a great experience and reinforced my belief that New Yorkers and our military personnel proudly remember our great ship of state and want to help save her."



Conservancy President Interviewed on "Radio Once More"


Susan Gibbs was a featured guest on Andrew Fielding's weekly "Live Show" on the Internet radio program, "Radio Once More."  The show focuses on Old-Time Radio and nostalgia-oriented programming.  Host Fielding wrote a book about early network television ("The Lucky Strike Papers") that included several pictures of the S.S. United States.  Fielding's late mother, Sue Bennett, was one of the singers on the TV show "Your Hit Parade," and the last telecast of the show's 1951-1952 season took place on the ship (five days before its maiden voyage). 

artistsSS United States Continues to Inspires Artists

Daniel Hoffman's Contemporary Sculpture


Daniel Hoffman piece 


Artist Daniel Hoffman created a piece inspired by SS United States that is now on display at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art in Wilmington, Delaware.  The artist explains, "The piece originated through an exploration of stories of family members that I never met.  I was told stories about them, and I found myself left with constructed memories that I never experienced.  In trying to capture the feel of those constructed memories, I found myself turning to animation.  I made rotary flipbooks consisting of drawings of those relatives sitting still.  The result was an image that combined a feeling of motion and rest simultaneously.  This process made me think of the SS United States that I had seen for years.  It seemed to embody the notion of great potential for motion and rest at the same time.  I shot one minute of video and used printouts of the frames to construct a long animation machine.  I fixed it so that machine is unusable, but viewers can look at the frames that make up the video."


Hoffman's piece will be on display at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art until August 14th. 200 South Madison Street, Wilmington, Delaware.

More information about the show can be found here:



Maritime Artist Mike Ralph's "Liners of Light" Series
SS United States painting by Michael V. Ralph

Copyright � Michael V. Ralph

Maritime artist Michael V. Ralph has joined the collective effort to save the SS United States!  Mike has been painting liners for many years and has developed his own theme called "Liners of Light," featuring various ocean liners and steamships during the evening.  His paintings have been collected by Malcom Forbes and other prominent collectors as well as hosted in several shows by Frank Braynard at the American Merchant Museum on Long Island, New York.  Mike visited the SS United States many times in port in New York in the 1960s and knew her well.  He was fortunate enough to record many details during his exploration of the ship in the 1980s, and this assisted him in the creation of som stunning new paintings of the Big U.
Please stay tuned for information on how to order copies of these "Liners of Light" prints.  Mike has very generously offered to donate a portion of the proceeds from each sale to the SS United States Conservancy!  Mike has been a longstanding and generous contributor to the SS United States Group on Yahoo (the largest online archive on the SS United States) and we thank both Mike and the Yahoo Group - particularly Carl Weber and Kevin Fucillo - for their ongoing support!
For the latest news about the SS United States,
please visit our website,


Please visit our bookstore on 

Please support our efforts to save the SS United States by visiting our store


SS United States Conservancy

P.O. Box 32115

Washington, DC 20007



Join Our Mailing List
Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter