Tuesday, May 11, 2010
A Classic Landmark
Queen Mary is a retired ocean liner that sailed the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967 for the Cunard Line. Built by John Brown and Company, Clydebank, Scotland, she was designed to be the first of Cunard's planned two-ship weekly express service from Southampton to Cherbourg to New York, in answer to the mainland European superliners of the late 1920s and early 1930s. After their release from World War II troop transport duties, Queen Mary and her running mate RMS Queen Elizabeth commenced this two-ship service and continued it for two decades until Queen Mary's retirement in 1967. The ship is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is permanently berthed in Long Beach, California serving as a museum ship and hotel. The Queen Mary celebrated the 70th anniversary of her launch in both Clydebank and in Long Beach during 2004, and the 70th anniversary of her maiden voyage in 2006. She was the flagship of the Cunard Line from 1936 until 1945 when she was replaced in this role by the Queen Elizabeth.
After her retirement in 1967, she steamed to Long Beach, California, where she is permanently moored as a tourist attraction. From 1983 to 1993, the Queen Mary was accompanied by Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose, which was located in a large dome nearby.
Since drilling had started for oil in Long Beach Harbor, some of the revenue had been set aside in the "Tidelands Oil Fund." Some of this money was allocated in 1958 for the future purchase of a maritime museum for Long Beach.