31 March 2010

Rock and Roll Not Here to Stay

From The Miami News on this day in 1958:

Liner Stable Now
Rock and Roll Taken Out Of Queen Mary

The Associated Press

SOUTHAMPTON, England, March 31 - Marine engineers took the 81,237-ton steamship Queen Mary out to sea and deliberately rocked her as hard as they could.

They said today that they had just about taken all the seasickness out of the luxury liner.

After an overhaul costing $1,400,000, the Mary will resume her trips across the Atlantic Wednesday on the first real run with her new stabilizers. She is due in New York April 7.

The designers predicted the ship will not roll more than 3 degrees - that is 1 1/2 degrees each way. The saving in smashed dishes alone should amount to thousands of dollars a year.

In her 23 years at sea the Queen Mary has ploughed through some ferocious weather, and on occasion has rolled 30 degrees.

The big vessel was taken off Land's End for the trials yesterday, and astonished skippers of other craft reported there seemed to be a drunken driver at the wheel.

The ship was made to roll, by erratic steering and by the twin stabilizers - two fin-like protuberances under the water on either side.

Rolls of 9 degrees were attained and then, with adjustment of the stabilizers, the vessel was brought to an even keel within seconds.

30 March 2010

Safer On Board

From The Pittsburgh Press on this day in 1949:

In Danger Unless We Act, Briton Says -

Pickets Hurl Tomato As Bevin Arrives in U.S. to Sign Pact

Foes of Anti-Semitism Say Name of Foreign Secretary Should Be Spelled 'S.O.B.'

NEW YORK, March 30 (UP) - British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, arriving today in this country to sign the North Atlantic Pact, was the target of a tomato.

It was hurled from a group of jeering pickets today as he left the liner Queen Mary.

The tomato missed its mark.

The three youths were arrested on disorderly conduct charges after mounted police rode their horses onto the sidewalk to force the hooting crowd back. No one was hurt.

Anti Anti-Semitism

Nearly 800 pickets, sponsored by the Joint Commission to combat Anti-Semitism, had marched before the pier at which the Queen Mary arrived.

When the foreign secretary left the ship only about 30 remained. They said they were college students and that their picketing was "spontaneous" and unsponsored.

As police sirens heralded the departure of the Bevin limousine, the youths stormed a protective line thrown up by 30 policemen. They shouted:

"How do you spell Bevin? 'S.O.B.'"

Several of the youths were roughed up in the clash with the policemen. A few of them reached the curb as Mr. Bevin's car passed. Police said some of the youths were carrying eggs but didn't throw them.

Students Arrested

Those arrested included Robert Newman, 19, a mail boy, Brooklyn, and Harry Hirsh, 17, Brooklyn, a student at Samuel Tilden High School. Police said others in the group identified themselves as students at New York colleges.

Mr. Bevin said aboard ship that if the North Atlantic nations just "sign a pact and then stand back, we will be in great danger."

"Do you mean the pact needs implementation?" He was asked.

"Exactly," Mr. Bevin replied.

Can Come Together

The British foreign secretary said the Atlantic Pact "has taught the world again that democracy can come together when danger is apparent."

Andrei Gromyko, chief Soviet delegate to the United Nations, also arrived on the Queen Mary.

"Did you have any conversations with Mr. Gromyko?" Secretary Bevin was asked.

"I never disturb a ship and cause any danger," Mr. Bevin replied, smiling.

Secretary Bevin on the Queen Mary in September 1950.

29 March 2010

Peer Perishes

From The Montreal Gazette in 1938:


Yachting Peer Succumbs at Sea Aboard Queen Mary

London (C.P. Cable) - The death of Baron Ashburton, a noted yachtsman, on the liner Queen Mary on Sunday was announced today. He was 71.

Returning from a two-months' visit to New York, he died of a heart attack, Lady Ashburton, the former Frances Donnelly, of New York, accompanied him.

The liner docked at Southampton today. Lord Ashburton was a descendant of Sir Francis Baring, founder of the banking firm of Baring Brothers.

One of his ancestors was Lord Ashburton who in 1842 negotiated with Daniel Webster the Ashburton treaty which ended the boundary dispute between Maine, New Brunswick and Quebec.

The title went to Alexander F. Baring, a director of Baring Brothers and son of Lord Ashburton's first wife who was a daughter of Viscount Hood.

Painting by Sir Thomas Lawrence of the first Lord Ashburton (on left): Wikipedia

28 March 2010


Excerpted from The Pittsburgh Press on this day in 1940:


Now showing at the Warner-Sheridan Square Palace Newsreel and more than 100 other theaters in Western Pennsylvania

NEW YORK CITY - Refugee Liner Queen Mary sails down the Hudson River under sealed orders, a vessel of the King's navy. 

27 March 2010


From The Miami News on this day in 1956:

Hermann Field, Ex-Prisoner, Home

New York, March 27 -(AP)-Hermann Field (pictured), former Cleveland architect who spent five years as a Polish prisoner, returned unannounced on the liner Queen Mary today after an absence of nearly seven years. He said that his brother, Noel, another principal in the long mystery of the "disappearing Fields" is "a pretty sick man" in Budapest, Hungary.

26 March 2010

A Sharp Challenge

From the article, "Interpreting The War News" by Associated Press staff writer, Kirke L. Simpson, published in the Daytona Beach Morning Journal on this day in 1940:
The intensified British patrol of the Skagerrak-Kattegat outlet from the Baltic to the North Sea has a more important purpose than any mere tightening of the economic net about Germany.

By sending the huge liners Queen Mary and Mauretania to sea, the British threw down a sharp challenge to nazi daring. And the British believe that it was through neutral Scandinavian waters fringing Skagerrak and Kattegat--Danish on one side, Swedish and Norwegian on the other--that the only two German surface sea-raiders of this war stole out to rove the Atlantic.

Closing the main door to the Baltic against egress of a nazi pocket battleship or swift cruiser to hunt distant seas for the two British merchant queens probably is the major British purpose in probing Danish and Norwegian coastal contours with submarines and small surface craft. The sinking, or driving ashore, of a few small German cargo craft is a far less important matter than baring that road for a nazi successor to the scuttled Graf Spee or the less successful Deutschland.

25 March 2010


From the St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Florida, on this day in 1939:

Morgan 'Chatters' As Usual

NEW YORK. - (AP) - J.P. Morgan was as talkative as usual when he sailed in the Queen Mary yesterday for a spring vacation at his London home.

His comments on the state of the world:

Politics - Nothing to say.
Finance - Nothing.
Weather - Nothing.
Europe - Nothing.
James J. Hines' conviction - Not interested.

Morgan did say that it did not "necessarily follow" that his going to Europe at this time meant that he believed there might be no war.

He said he was going for the purpose of mapping a trip on his palatial yacht Corsair, recommissioned in February.

24 March 2010


From The Miami News on this day in 1949:

Queen Mary's Anchor Thrills British Worker On Way to United States - He Cast It

NEW YORK, March 24. - The first group of British factory workers being sent here by the ECA to compare manufacturing processes, sailed from Southhampton [sic] this week on the Queen Mary. Leonard Ray, a 58-year-old foundry worker, was among them, and this was his first time aboard a ship. When he boarded the Queen Mary a guided offered to show him around the vessel. But Ray already knew what he wanted to see first: he headed directly to the prow of the ship, and stared in admiration at the anchor. "Does an anchor fascinate you?" the foundry worker was asked..."This one does," he said. "I cast it."

23 March 2010

Honeymooners On Board

From The Pittsburgh Press on this day in 1938:


By the United Press

NEW YORK, March 23 - Hope Chandler, one of Broadway's prettiest nightclub entertainers, and David Whitemire Hearst, 21-year-old son of publisher William Randolph Hearst, were married today in Grace Church,where the bridegroom's father and mother were married 35 years ago.

After the wedding, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Coley, the bride's stepfather and mother, gave an informal reception aboard the Queen Mary, on which the couple will go to Europe for a six weeks' honeymoon in London and Paris.

Mr. and Mrs. Hearst will live in Baltimore, Md., where he is employed by the Baltimore News, one of his father's newspapers.

22 March 2010

In A Hurry

From The Glasgow Herald on this day in 1940:


Enough supplies for three months' voyage


New York, Friday.

Reports were current in New York to-day that the British liner Queen Mary, which was said to have been sighted off the New Jersey coast yesterday, is heading for Bermuda.

The Queen Mary put to sea yesterday morning a few hours after the Mauretania had sailed. There has been no news of the Mauretania since her departure.

Seamen had thought that both liners would head for Halifax (Nova Scotia) to take aboard defensive armament before sailing for Australia via Cape Horn to act as transport ships for ANZAC troops bound for the war zones.

The Queen Mary is reported to be carrying enough supplies for a three months' voyage.

The s.s. Berkshire, which arrived in Boston from Baltimore to-day, reported that she had passed the Queen Mary at midday on Thursday off the New Jersey coast. The seamen said the Queen Mary was proceeding in a south-easterly direction, traveling at a "terrific speed," which they estimated at 35 knots. - Associated Press and Exchange Telegraph.

Australian soldiers aboard Queen Mary - Australian Government Archives (public domain)

21 March 2010

A Majestic Addition

From The Montreal Gazette on this day in 1936:

Captain George Gibbons...has been appointed "second captain" of the Queen Mary. He will be in joint control of the ship with Captain Sir Edgar Britten, her commander. Captain Gibbons was recently master of the Majestic.

20 March 2010

Igcognito in Tourist Class

From Time on this day in 1939:

Back to Europe tourist class on the Queen Mary, after a few months spent practically incognito in the U. S., sailed the Dame and Seigneur of Sark (Mrs. & Mr. Robert Woodward Hathaway*). Their realm: a tiny Channel island of 600 people, smallest self-governing state of the British Empire, which was chartered in 1565 by Queen Elizabeth and has never had automobiles, politics, divorces, income taxes or crime waves. Said the Dame of Sark: "The last crime trouble we had was several years ago, when a 14-year-old girl ran off with some article from a clothesline. We told her not to do it again. There is a little jail, but I suppose it would be rather hard to get the door open now."

19 March 2010

No Comment

From the St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, FL, on this day in 1940:

Queen Mary To Become Troop Ship

British to Use Vessel On Australian Run

NEW YORK - (AP) - Secret preparations to make Australian troop transports of Britain's 81,000-ton liner Queen Mary and its 35,000-ton new Mauretania were under way here last night.

Both opulently built for the luxury trans-Atlantic trade of peacetime, they have been lying here idle under dirty gray camouflage paint, the Queen Mary since the outbreak of the war and the Mauretania for some three months.

The British admiralty's decision to put them in the troop service was not made known officially, but the intention was disclosed with the arrival late in the day, aboard the British steamer Antonia, of 770 officers and men to supplement the skeleton crews which have been manning the Mary and Mauretania at their quiet piers.


(In London, the admiralty would not comment).

While the owners, the Cunard-White Star line, acknowledged the presence of an additional corps of seamen, a spokesman declined to discuss the job assigned them, saying:

"If the ships are to be placed in service as Australian troopships you could hardly expect us to admit it at this time."

United States customs said, however, that because of information that the Britishers would be transferred by today to the Queen Mary and Mauretania it had not been necessary to inspect their  baggage.

No information was available as to when the vessels might leave, but the circumstances suggested a departure within a month.

Their route could and probably will take them out of the path of German danger - through the Panama canal or alternatively around the Cape of Good Hope, through the Pacific and Indian ocean waters to Australia.

A little more than a month ago - on Feb. 12 - the British landed at Suez, Egypt, a great army of New Zealanders and Australians.


The departure of the $25,000,000 Mary, and the less showy but newer Mauretania would leave here the biggest of all merchant vessels - the 85,000,000-ton Queen Elizabeth, a $27,500,000 British investment which reached here on March 7 after running the gantlet of the north Atlantic on a strange maiden voyage.

The Mary was at sea when Britain declared war last September 3 and upon her arrival here the following day she was moored - ostensibly "for the duration."

Troops boarding Queen Mary - Australian National Archives (Public Domain)

18 March 2010

Pearl White, Passenger

From the Palm Beach Post on this day in 1937:


New York World-Telegram: When the Great Garbo comes back to look us over 20 or 30 years from now, doubtless it will be an event, but we feel quite sure it won't be so stirring as the return of Pearl White on the Queen Mary the other day.

For when Pearl White was giving us her "Perils of Pauline" in the ancient, silent flickers, and they were PERILS, too, she was the one and only. No rival might aspire to be compared with her. That was the advantage of being in upon the ground floor, in the cradle of an industry. Miss Garbo and the other grand dames of the movies now have to share their laurels.

The ship news reports unkindly remarked that Miss White had gained a few pounds, and the cameras proved it. But in the memory of Pearl White extra poundage has no place. She'll always be slim and youthful and always undaunted in the affectionate memory of those who waited impatiently for the next reel of her serial to be unwound. The art goes on. But Pearl White remains.

Photo of Pearl White:

17 March 2010


Jacqueline Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy were on the Queen Mary this day in 1965 to wish former British ambassador Lord Harlech and his wife bon voyage. Lord Harlech was close friends with President Kennedy.

16 March 2010

A Landing at Plymouth

From The Glasgow Herald on this day in 1937:



Thousands of people used Plymouth Hoe as a natural grandstand yesterday to watch the arrival of the Queen Mary on her first visit to the port. The liner was given a civic welcome.

No attempt had been made to set up a new record for the Atlantic crossing, but the liner anchored to scheduled three miles off the port at 11 o'clock, the time given when she left New York last Wednesday. Three hours later the first special train, with more than 200 passengers, had left the docks on what was expected to be a record-breaking journey to Paddington.

During the voyage, the Queen Mary encountered bad weather and gales, but she maintained an average speed of 26.73 knots, completing the trip in 4 days 11 hours 58 minutes.

The liner was accorded a civic welcome by the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Alderman W.R. Littleton, who, accompanied by representatives of local bodies, went on board to greet the captain, Commodore R.V. Peel.


Commodore Peel said that it was fitting that the queen of the seas should call at the queen of the Southern Coast ports, a port which he knew well when he was in command of the Mauretania.

Sir Thomas Brocklebank, a director of the Cunard White Star Line, returned after making a round voyage in the Queen Mary to gain ideas to be embodied in the construction of the sister ship, No. 582. He spent eight days at sea visiting every department in the ship, from the engine-room to the bridge.

Among the passengers was Sigismund Levanasky, the Russian aviator, who is on his way to Moscow from San Francisco to complete arrangements for a flight from Moscow to San Francisco via the North Pole.

15 March 2010

On the Waterfront

Excerpted from The Montreal Gazette in 1936:

Two Others Wounded by Shotgun Fire in New York

New York, March 15 - (AP) - Gang rivalry for control of labor on the new city docks now used by the French liner Normandie and being completed for the British liner liner [sic] Queen Mary, was blamed by police tonight for an early morning street shooting in which three men were wounded, one fatally.

Police attributed the shooting to a longshoreman's feud.

WPA Guide Etching - TOLLROADNews

14 March 2010

The Social Stream

From the column "Catches in the Social Stream" in the Palm Beach Daily News on this day in 1937:

Lord and Lady Plunkett [pictured at Waterloo Station] are arriving Monday for a few days' visit with her mother, Miss Fannie Ward, and her husband, Mr. Jack Dean. They will leave the latter part of the week for New York to sail on March 24 on the Queen Mary for the coronation ceremony.

13 March 2010

Fashionably On Time

Arriving in New York on the Queen Mary this day in 1953: Irish fashion designer Sybil Connelly (pictured shipboard, modeling one of her hats).

12 March 2010


From The Sydney Morning Herald on this day in 1937:


British Shipping Prestige.


Mr. Norman Wilson, a member of the Legacy Club, who addressed the club yesterday on some experiences during his recent European tour, said that before the liner Queen Mary broke the Transatlantic record in four days seven hours the prestige of British liners on that run was at stake. 

Many American travellers [sic], Mr. Wilson said, were disappointed when the Queen Mary failed to come up to expectations, so far as breaking the record was concerned, and they were changing from British to French ships on the Transatlantic route. Therefore, all British people were thankful when the Queen Mary recaptured the record.

Mr. Wilson was a passenger on the Queen Mary during the vessel's record-breaking voyage.

11 March 2010

A New Bridge Deck

An ad from The Pittsburgh Press newspaper on this day in 1938:

Orders taken now for the new Five-Suit Bridge Deck

2 decks, $3


All America will be playing the new bridge game with the "Royals" - the new extra suit with the green crown symbol. There are 65 cards in the new deck - each player is dealt 16 cards instead of 13! The quantity will be limited, so order yours today to avoid disappointment.

Boggs & Buhl, Stationery, First Floor

10 March 2010

A Palm Beach Story

From the Palm Beach Daily News on this day in 1938:

Miss Elizabeth Irving Chase arrived yesterday to be the guest of her mother, Mrs. Irving Hall Chase, at El Palmar for the remainder of the season. She arrived in New York on Monday from England aboard the Queen Mary and came to Palm Beach immediately. Commander and Mrs. Warden Gilchrist are also members of the house party.

09 March 2010

Suspect on Board

From The Evening Independent, St. Petersburg, FL, on this day in 1937:

Gun Dealer Held in Redwood Case

Hackensack, N.J., March 9 - AP - A New York gun dealer, identified by Prosecutor John J. Breslin Jr. as Moe Saraga, was held without bail today as a material witness in the killing of R. Norman Redwood, New York "sandhog" union leader.

Breslin said Saraga was the last known possessor of one of the pistols used to kill Redwood in front of his Teaneck home, Feb. 19. He was taken off the Queen Mary when it docked in New York early today, Breslin said, was rushed to the Wadsworth avenue [sic] police station - New York headquarters of the special police bureau set up to find the Redwood killers - and then brought to Hackensack.

Photo of sandhogs building NYC subway:

08 March 2010

Local News

From the column "Personal Brevities" in the Berkeley Daily Gazette on this day in 1937:

Will Tour Europe

Miss Effie Burton, who has been visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Burton on University Avenue, left last week for Chicago and will go from there to New York where she will sail on the "Queen Mary" for a trip to Europe. She will visit with an uncle and aunt in Dublin, Ireland. Miss Burton is a concert singer and has several engagements to sing abroad.

After her tour, she will return home to Berkeley to make her home.


07 March 2010


From The Milwaukee Sentinel on this day in 1957:


SOUTHAMPTON England (AP) The approach of spring has brought a rash of student derring-do in England. Symptoms:

Two University lads broke into the heavily guarded dockyard here and walked off casually with the flags of the liner Queen Mary.

Recently 13 Manchester U students nailed a Soviet banner atop the 250-foot tower of Britain's Calder Hall atomic power station.

06 March 2010


From the Spokane Daily Chronicle on this day in 1957:


Security is a big word in today's language, peacetime or wartime. Wherever there are big military installations, secret manufacturing projects and hush-hush testing grounds, mum has to be the word on certain things.

That's because a military secret can spring a leak so easily and so many different ways. Capt. Harry Grattidge, former master of the liner Queen Mary, gave an example here last night of the way a leak may develop. The one that almost did could have cost the allies one of the world's biggest liners - loaded with 15,000 American troops.

The Queen Mary was sailing as an anonymous craft from New York to Australia. The course cut through submarine-infested waters of the South Atlantic. The 15,000 troops aboard needed huge supplies of food. A message to Rio ordered 200,000 pounds of mutton, among other things, without identifying the ship.

A young American naval officer spotted that one quickly. Mutton couldn't mean a United States vessel. It had to be a British ship. And 200,000 pounds? The ship had to be an enormous one. Answer: One of the Queen liners.

How unbelievably lucky, said  Captain Grattidge, that the message hadn't been picked up and interpreted that same way by somebody telling submarines where to strike.


05 March 2010


From the "Social and Personal" column in The Montreal Gazette on this day in 1938:

Mrs. Charles Hope, who left on Wednesday for New York to sail by the Berengaria*, has returned home, and is leaving again on Tuesday night for New York to sail by the Queen Mary to join her father, Mr. F. J. Cockburn, at Bordighera, Italy.

*A fire on the Berengaria had put her out of commission.

04 March 2010

Viscountess On Board

From the "Ottawa Social Notes" column in The Montreal Gazette on this day in 1946:

"The Viscountess Hardinge, who has been in Ottawa for several weeks, staying with her mother, Mrs. Hugh Fleming, left today for New York, and will sail for England by the Queen Mary."

03 March 2010


From an article entitled, "NAZI ESCAPE CORRIDOR NOW IS NARROWED" in the Times Daily, Florence, AL, on this day in 1942:

"The Italian radio - perhaps just on a fishing expedition - declared today the 80,733-ton British liner Queen Mary was badly damaged by a torpedo hit off Rio De Janeiro several days ago with 10,000 "North American" soldiers aboard and was trying to reach the Falkland Islands.

"The Falklands, 250 miles east of the southern tip of South America, are the site of a British base.

"There was no confirmation of the report, which the Rome broadcaster attributed to "Argentine maritime circles." The U.S. Navy Department said it had no information or comment.

"The Queen Mary has been reported in various Canadian, Asiatic, African and European ports since grey war-paint was daubed over her black hull and she sailed two years ago as a troopship from the Hudson river waterfront in New York, where she shared attention with the now-capsibed [sic] Normandie. Her vast size, however, prevented her use of the Panama Canal."

02 March 2010

Bad Advices

From the New York Times on March 2, 1930:

SEE BRITISH UNABLE TO BUILD BREMEN RIVAL; Shippers Say Construction Cost of 50,000-Ton Ships Would Prohibit Investment.

"According to advices received yesterday from London, there is no likelihood of the White Star or the Cunard steamship company contracting to build a liner of 50,000 tons or over to beat the North German Lloyd record held by the Bremen since last Summer."

Cruising the Past

01 March 2010

A Long Career

From The Montreal Gazette on this day in 1944:

Southampton, England - (CP) - The man who docked the liner Queen Mary for the first time and who was Southampton's oldest [harbor] pilot, 66-year-old Capt. George Bowyer, died recently from a heart attack.

In 1912 Bowyer was on board the Titanic, guiding her out of Southampton waters.