When the first nuclear-powered merchant ship N.S. Savannah was christened and launched on July 21, 1959, First Lady Mamie Eisenhower served as the sponsor. Plans are being made to replicate those events this year on Saturday and Sunday, July 18-19. The 50th anniversary events will occur at N.S. Savannah's layberth at Canton Marine Terminal Pier 13, Baltimore, Maryland. This will be the first time the 596-ft. ship will be open for general tours since she sailed from Patriots Point, Charleston, SC, in 1994.
Savannah's gangway will be open at 9:30 on Saturday morning in Baltimore Harbor with morning colors conducted at 10:00 at number 6 hatch (main mast) with the National Anthem, and the raising of the ship's 1959 ceremonial 49-star flag to the gaff. The launching ceremony will be repeated from 3:00 – 4:00 pm. A harbor salute of whistles and artillery is being arranged to coincide with the actual launch time of 3:55 pm – keyed by Savannah’s own recently restored air horn. With replacement part recently arrived, the ship's horn, a Leslie SuperTyfon, will sound for the first time in over 35 years.
A tugboat parade will form a procession past the Savannah at noontime on Saturday. The 1902 vintage Tug JUPITER from Philadelphia, present in the port when Savannah was launched, will take to the head of the column as the guest of honor and will lead the parade of over 20 boats. The 450 foot long Baltimore-based liberty ship JOHN W. BROWN will moor across from N. S. Savannah while Tug JUPITER will nestle near Savannah's bow. Attendees may partake in free-admission tours at Canton Marine Terminal Pier 13 on Newgate St. General public times for the BROWN are the same as for N.S. Savannah: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Sunday. This is a rain-or-shine event.