SS UNITED STATES TO BE SCRAPPED.

SS UNITED STATES TO BE SCRAPPED.

The SS United States Conservancy says the SS United States, may soon be scrapped. It says the ship’s current owners, Genting Hong Kong through its subsidiary, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), are currently collecting bids from scrappers.

The SS United States was listed for sale in February, 2009. While NCL offered the Conservancy first right of refusal on the vessel’s sale, the Conservancy says it has not been in a financial position to purchase the ship outright. However, the Conservancy has been working diligently to lay the groundwork for a public-private partnership to save and sustain the transatlantic liner for generations to come.

It’s the Captain’s Dinner Night. And it is the one night that Judy Garland left her stateroom. Pictured: Sid Luff and his wife Judy Garland with a friend John Carlyle at right. 1956 1st Class Dining Room – SS UNITED STATES

The Conservancy understands that Genting and NCL are reluctant to continue covering the significant costs associated with maintaining the vessel in its current berth in Philadelphia. It adds that it appreciates the good care the vessel has received since its purchase in 2003 with the stated intention of returning the ship to seagoing service.

The Conservancy has begun discussions with NCL with the intent of covering some of the fees associated with maintaining the ship in Philadelphia so it can finalize plans for repurposing the ship as a stationary attraction at a large metropolitan waterfront.

Actor Burt Lancaster boards the SS UNITED STATES with family in the 1950s.

The Conservancy has launched a new “Save Our Ship” (SOS) national campaign. It is offering a “Plank Owner” certificate for tax-deductible donations of at least $25 via its new donor website: www.ssusplankowner.org.

“This is both a patriotic and a practical effort,” said Conservancy Executive Director Dan McSweeney, whose father emigrated from Scotland to America to serve as a crewmember aboard the vessel. “We’re absolutely committed to saving one of the most important symbols of America in the 20th century, but we’re also talking about creating hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs when this ship is refurbished and becomes a stationary attraction in a large U.S. city. We must save this irreplaceable American icon and continue the process of establishing a public-private partnership to re-purpose her.”

New York City Campaign Kick-off and Film Screening

A special screening of the award-winning American Public Television documentary, SS United States: Lady in Waiting, will be held at the National Academy Museum (1083 Fifth Avenue, at 89th Street in Manhattan) on Thursday, March 11th, 7 p.m., followed by a reception and call to action.

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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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