New Exhibit for America’s Flagship

Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia opens display about SS United States.

SS United States

The SS United States was designed with a 101-foot beam so that she could get through the Panama Canal with 2 feet of clearance on either side.Courtesy SS United States Conservancy

Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia is unveiling a new exhibit this month that showcases America's flagship, the SS United States.

The exhibit will run through September 14. It spotlights the heyday of the mid-1900s passenger ship, the ship’s connection to the city and current efforts to save the ship from destruction.

The SS United States was designed by William Francis Gibbs as a symbol of America's post-World War II technological might. The 990-footer shattered the transatlantic speed record on her maiden voyage and played host to movie stars, socialites and royalty, making more than 800 Atlantic crossings. She stopped running in 1969, when air travel became more popular than transit by water.

Learn more about the new exhibit at