Monday, June 16, 2014

56 Years Ago: The Columbia

Sure, sure…everyone knows that this weekend marked the 55th Anniversary of the high-tech Monorail, Matterhorn, and Submarine attractions at Disneyland. Today, I am going to celebrate the decidedly low-tech 56th Anniversary of the christening of the Columbia, which occurred on June 4, 1958. With the Mark Twain needing a little assistance with all the guests wanting to see the Rivers of America, Walt Disney decided to build another large ship, so he asked Joe Fowler (Disneyland’s construction supervisor and a former naval admiral) to pick a historic sailing ship for inspiration. Fowler recommended the first American sailing ship to go around the world: the Columbia Rediviva.

Today's post features three images from the USC Digital Archives. Rear Admiral Joseph Fowler and Walt Disney pose with Vice Admiral and Mrs. Alfred C. Richmond (presenting a gift Bible to ship).

Let's zoom in for a look at those name tags, shall we?

An overhead angle:

I'll bet Mrs. Richmond (aka Gretchen) could have had a great pitching career with that arm!

Well done, Columbia; here's to AT LEAST another 55 glorious years! You don't look a day over 20!

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