STARS AND CELEBRITIES AT SEA DURING THE 1920s and 1930s

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 SS President Roosevelt. 

The SS President Roosevelt was a passenger liner of the United States Lines that was involved in a famous heroic rescue of the crew of the British ship Antinoe in the Atlantic Ocean in January 1926. The captain of the ship, George Fried, was given a ticker-tape parade in Manhattan in honor of his heroism.

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Helen Keller aboard the S.S. President Roosevelt with Polly Thomson, Anne Sullivan Macy, and Captain Van Beck, 1932.

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Newspaper photo announcing the departure of the U.S. Olympic team to Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1928, aboard the S.S. President Roosevelt. 

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General Douglas McArthur and aide on board the S.S. President Roosevelt, July 1928.  Sailing with the U.S. Olympic team to the 1928 events in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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Johnny Weismuller and Tom Biddison on board the S.S. President Roosevelt, July 1928.

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U.S. Lacrosse team sailing to Europe for the Olympics aboard the S.S. President Roosevelt – “dressed up for the parade,” July 28, 1928.

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A watercolor of the SS President Roosevelt which served the US Lines from 1922-39. 

The SS President Roosevelt and her sister the SS President Harding were typical ships of the 535 class (Harris Class Transports) which were created for trooping and cargo duties during WWI by the US Shipping Board through the Emergency Fleet Corporation. They never saw service in the war (WW I) — they were created for although both vessels were around when hostilities broke out “over there” once more.

The President Harding was sold to Belgian interests when they were still neutrals and was sunk in 1940 by German aircraft.

The President Roosevelt became one of the most decorated troop transports of WWII as the Joseph T. Dickman and participated in every theater of the war.

Photos: LOUIS S. NIXDORFF 1928 OLYMPIC GAMES COLLECTION and author’s collection.

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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.

One comment

  1. My father worked for APL for a number of years. I have several items from the cruise ships including menus from the SS President Roosevelt. Trips:
    May 6, 1965 En route Honolulu, Hawaii Italian Restorante
    May 6, 1965 En route Honolulu, Hawaii Aloha Kakou
    May 12, 1965 En route to Yokohama, Japan Teahouse of the August Moon
    January 8, 1966 En route to Honolulu Une Soiree Bohemienne
    January 11, 1966 En route to Honolulu An Evening in Alta California
    January 13, 1966 En route to San Francisco Aloha Kakou

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