Friday, April 6, 2012

Launch Day-USS Yorktown (CV-5), 1937

This is an April 4, 1937 Associated Press photo of the aircraft carrier Yorktown sliding down the launch way of Newport News Shipbuilding and into the James River. The photo appeared in the April 6, 1937 edition of the New York Times. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt started the process by smashing a bottle of champagne against Newport News Shipbuilding's Hull Number Number 359 and christening the ship.

Reporters challenged Roosevelt to explain if there was a contradiction in celebrating the launching of a warship, while at the same time speaking out against the worldwide march toward war. She replied, "Our country cannot limit weapons by itself. I hope the nations will agree to arms limitations. But until then, we must build our navy to treaty strength in order not to be defenseless against attack."

Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt with Homer Ferguson, President of Newport News Shipbuilding

Once Newport News finished Yorktown, the carrier was homeported at
Naval Operating Base Norfolk.

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