June 3rd, 1999
S.S. United States placed on National Register of Historic Places -
Today, June the 3rd, 1999, we have made history. The SS United States was given the highest recognition as a National Treasure, by placement on the National Register of Historic Places. This has been a year and a half battle on the part of the foundation. No less than three historic commissions were involved and hundreds of hours of time were dedicated to this effort. To be recognized by the National Register for any site is an honor, but for the site to be less than 50 years of age, and recognized, is a statement. She had to meet the highest criteria of national significance and therefore was given the closest scrutiny. What this says for us is that we as admirers of this great ship were not over stating her importance to our nation's history. At this juncture in the campaign to save this treasure, I must point out that this designation, however important, will not in itself save the SS US. Her current owner can legally do anything to her he wants. But what it does give us is the power of awareness and the leverage needed for fund raising and legislative action. Of the 60,000 sites listed on the National Register, less than 2 percent have ever qualified that were less than 50 years in age. We have accomplished a great thing. My thanks go out to all of you who have dedicated your time and money to this effort. Now the battle to save the Big U really begins.
Robert Hudson Westover
SS United States Foundation