MARITIME UNIONS HELP KILL THE AMERICAN PASSENGER SHIP – SS AMERICA LEAVES 100s OF PASSENGERS STRANDED IN 1963.

SS AMERICA – Didn’t sail in Sept 1963 – because of a strike.

Cruising the Past: The Maritime Unions – corrupt leaders, under gangster control, along with the JET, helped kill American passengers ships.  Maritime strikes were endless throughout the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.  The workers demanded more wages, shorter hours and guess what?  All American passengers ships disappeared in the 1970s.  Thousands of jobs were lost.  The unions would strike at the height of the season.  Alaska Steamship was the first to discontinue passenger service in the early 1950s because of labor problems.  The other lines such as Grace, US Lines, American Export Lines, Matson – soon went out of business.  Now there’s one ship operating in Hawaii – but the American crews were so poorly trained they had to bring in foreigners.

Passengers on SS America departing after ships voyage cancelled when Maritime Union charged engineer with bigotry. (Photo by Truman Moore//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Passenger on SS America disapointed after ships voyage cancelled when Maritime Union charged engineer with bigotry. (Photo by Truman Moore//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Passengers on SS America in lounge after ships voyage cancelled when Maritime Union charged engineer with bigotry.  Photo: Truman Moore/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

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About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.

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