On this day in Alabama history: USS Alabama finished pilgrimage

On this day in Alabama history: USS Alabama finished pilgrimage
Commissioning ceremonies in the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia, Aug. 16, 1942. (Naval History and Heritage Command)

September 14, 1964

On this day in 1964, the USS Alabama finished its pilgrimage to its retirement home in Mobile Bay. The battleship was decommissioned in 1947, and then scheduled to be stripped for scrap. However, the state of Alabama mobilized to raise the money needed to create a memorial for Alabama’s veterans. Schoolchildren pooled their lunch money and allowances in a truly statewide effort to raise more than $800,000. The ship needed to be towed more than 5,500 miles, and at one point shimmied through the Panama Canal with less than a foot of clearance on either side. The park officially opened on January 9, 1965.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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