San Pedro, California has added to its historic appeal with the addition to its docks of the naval ship USS Iowa. The Iowa made its way through Los Angeles Harbor on Saturday, June 9th with a ship full of celebrants ranging from sailors who had served on board to dignitaries, military families, lots of media, and even Los Angeles mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa.
The ship was launched in 1942 from New York Naval Yard in Brooklyn, New York, and was commissioned for service the following year. It spent 20 years in service and 50 years as part of the reserved fleet and was host to three presidents. Most notably it transported Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the Tehran Conference to meet with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin.
The Iowa is predominantly run by a well-versed and enthusiastic group of volunteers who will be a vital part of making the Iowa a floating interactive museum of history. Along with being a museum, the ship will feature experiences to include field trips, summer camps, and leadership programs for children. The Iowa will open to the public on July 7, 2012, but will be celebrating July 4th by inviting veterans who have served on board in a commemorative ceremony to include fireworks.