Wednesday 21 July 2021

ns savannah

Though following the first civil application of nuclear-power for civil maritime purposes after the atomic-fueled ice-breaker Lenin (see also), the first cargo and passenger liner, a flagship for the US president’s “Atoms for Peace” initiative (see previously), was launched on this day in 1959 by First Lady Mamie Eisenhower. With several educational ports of call in US coastal cities, the vessel was a demonstration project on the safe and responsible harnessing of nuclear energy, including exhibits on the preservation of food through irradiation, x-rays and other medical diagnostics and other emerging technologies—like the microwave oven, and had the state rooms and galley and the other amenities of a regular cruise ship with swimming pool, promenade deck and lounge all decked out with Atomic Age styling. 

In 1964, the ship crossed the Atlantic for the first time, stopping in Southampton, Dublin, Bremerhaven, Hamburg and Rotterdam on an international good will tour. Ultimately decommissioned in 1971, the Savannah is now a museum ship moored at Pier 13 in Baltimore, Maryland and can be visited by the public.