30 April 2009
29 April 2009
28 April 2009
27 April 2009
26 April 2009
25 April 2009
On this day in 1938, Mary Pickford and Samuel Goldwyn arrived in New York aboard the RMS Queen Mary. While in England, the two had met with Douglas Fairbanks and Alexander Korda regarding the reorganization of United Artists, the motion picture production company all of them, as well as Charlie Chaplin, owned, and which was founded in 1919 by Pickford, Chaplin, Fairbanks [pictured] and D.W. Griffith.
24 April 2009
23 April 2009
22 April 2009
Among other notables aboard the RMS Queen Mary on this day in 1939 was Italian symphony conductor, Arturo Toscanini, along with his wife and their two grandchildren. At this time, the maestro was conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra, created especially for him by David Sarnoff. Not only did it serve as the house orchestra for NBC, concerts conducted by Toscanini, as well as some of his peers, could be heard weekly on the radio between 1937 and 1954.
21 April 2009
On this day in 1939, Spencer Tracy and wife, Louise Treadwell (he wouldn't meet Kate until three years later on Woman of the Year), departed for England aboard the RMS Queen Mary. In late August, Tracy's Stanley and Livingstone, in which he played Henry M. Stanley, would be released in the United States, the only film in which he starred that year.
20 April 2009
19 April 2009
18 April 2009
On this day in 1936, the RMS Queen Mary was undergoing speed trials off the Scottish coast, causing twelve-foot waves to break on the Isle of Arran, a mile away. Traversing a measured course five different times, the giant liner reached varying speeds, the fastest being 32.84 knots, or 35 miles-per-hour.
Here is an account from a shipworker aboard the Mary at the time.
17 April 2009
16 April 2009
15 April 2009
14 April 2009
13 April 2009
12 April 2009
On this day in 1955, British heavyweight champion, Don Cockell, arrived in New York aboard the RMS Queen Mary. He would soon head to the West Coast where he was slated to fight Rocky Marciano for the world heavyweight title. The bout would go nine rounds, with Marciano winning by a technical knock-out--which would be contested by the British Boxing Board of Control who thought Rocky didn't fight fair. Cockell himself, however, never made any complaints. His opponent said of him, "He's got a lot of guts. I don't think I ever hit anyone any more often or harder." Ouch.
11 April 2009
10 April 2009
09 April 2009
08 April 2009
On this day in 1959, singer and comedienne, Sophie Tucker,departed New York aboard the RMS Queen Mary. Sophie, who had been born to a Jewish family in tsarist Russia, was on her way to Isreal, where a youth center had been named in her honor.
07 April 2009
On this day in 1937, the eldest brother of Japan's Emperor Hirohito, Prince Chichibu, departed New York aboard the RMS Queen Mary with his consort, Princess Chichibu, and attendents. The couple had arrived from Montreal the previous day, taking part in a reception, as well as a hosted luncheon and dinner. Despite their busy schedule, they also managed to fit in a bit of sightseeing.
The prince was on his way to England to represent Japan at the coronation of King George VI, who was succeeding his brother, King Edward VIII, after his abdication in December to marry the American divorcee, Wallis Simpson.
06 April 2009
On this day in 1939, Yankee Doodle Dandy George M. Cohan arrived home on the RMS Queen Mary after a stay in England, during which, according to him, he saw "twenty six plays in twenty days." The best of the lot? Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw's,
05 April 2009
New York Times headline on this day in 1936:
THE 'QUEEN MARY' HAILED AS RADIO UTOPIA; Superliner's Ultra-Modern Equipment Can Talk Across the Seven Seas
Here is an account from a former Queen Mary "telephonist" who worked aboard the ship in 1955.
04 April 2009
On this day in 1872, Gilbert Bayes was born in London, England. Bayes, the son of a painter and etcher, created the carved gesso panel, Unicorns in Battle,* above the main fireplace in the Queen Mary's first class lounge. He also created The Sea King's Daughter, one of four bronze statuettes that occupied a niche in each corner of the room. Today, the statuette may be seen in the Queen Mary's art gallery on R deck.
03 April 2009
02 April 2009
Aboard the RMS Queen Mary on this day in 1938 were Mr. and Mrs. John Jacob Astor III*. The pair, after having spent several months in Europe, which included passing part of the winter in Switzerland, intended to stay at the St. Regis Hotel upon their arrival in New York City.
The elder John Jacob Astor [pictured with Mrs. Astor around 1912] perished on the Titanic; his wife, the former Madeleine Talmadge Force, pregnant with their son, survived the sinking.
*Though in the 1930s press he was referred to as John Jacob Astor III, in reality, because of other relations with the same name, he was the J.J.A. VI and his father was J.J.A. IV. (The true John Jacob Astor III was born in 1822 and died in 1890).Source:
01 April 2009
In the cold, rainswept evening of one day and the brave, bright morning of the next, first the 35,739-ton Mauretania and then the 81,235-ton Queen Mary, both in grim war-grey, moved down the Hudson estuary and out on the seas for war service—somewhere.
Everyone and his aunt speculated: where? For the Mauretania's, crew, new white uniforms had been bought. Did that argue trans-equator service? Any British crew signed on for more than six months is customarily provided with whites. So The Maureen was ready for a six-month hitch at least. Five days after leaving New York, the Mauretania had reached the Panama Canal.
About Mary there were no clues except that she needs her bottom scraped and cannot get through the Panama Canal. Chances were Canada had some men & munitions to be carried before another Australian contingent would be ready or needed, so Halifax seemed a likely spot to send the swift* Mary first. Germany might be launching another U-boat wave (see col. 1), but nothing last week would have better suited the fighting British heart, as well as Mr. Chamberlain's political necessities, than a gesture of defiance.
*To fill out the two ships' skeleton crews, 770 officers and men were imported in the Antonia but did not set foot in the U. S.
*Queen Mary is capable of 32 knots, Mauretania of 22. Maximum for a submarine, on the surface, is 19 knots.