RMS Queen Mary
The RMS Queen Mary is the last remaining of the great North Atlantic ocean liners built in the 1930s. It was built in Southampton, England by the Cunard Line company and sailed for the first time in 1936. Despite the effects of the Great Depression, the company made the Queen Mary as luxurious as possible (the depression did delay its construction). During WWII, the Queen Mary served as an American troop transport. She returned to passenger service after war. She sailed until 1967 when age and the onset of jet airplanes started to take over trans-Atlantic travel. She arrived in Long Beach on December 9, of that year. Given her long and distinguished history, she was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. It is now a hotel, wedding venue and attraction; a museum and various tours are offered as well.
Backstory and Context
When the United States joined the war, Winston Churchill gave the U.S. military control of the Queen Mary to be used as the previously mentioned troop transport. The ship was stripped down to make room for the troops and the outside was painted a grey, prompting her to be given the nickname, the "Grey Ghost." In all, over 800,000 soldiers were transported on 72 trips that covered 569,000 miles (16,000 soldiers could fit on board at one time). After the war, the Queen Mary was restored for passenger service. Not long after her arrival in Long Beach, some of the machinery and propellers were removed, rendering her permanently docked.