Small Town News


Museum opens to honor the USS Arizona

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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While most famous for its sinking at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Dec. 7, 1941, and as a battle cry, "Remember the Arizona" during World War II, the USS Arizona's first launch June 19, 1915 was held with great fanfare out of New York Naval Yard.

The ship's launch was watched by 70,000 spectators and christened by Esther Ross of Prescott with a bottle of the first water to flow over the Roosevelt Dam and champagne.

The completion of the Pennsylvania-class ship took another 16 months at the cost of $ 13 million, which Would be more than $300 million today.

In 1917, a funding effort was launched across the state of Arizona to pay for a silver service to use for entertaining dignitaries as the ship traveled the world serving as a floating embassy. That silver service was removed from the ship prior to its sinking and is on display at the Arizona Capitol Museum in Phoenix as part of "Flagship of the Fleet: The life and death of the USS Arizona."

In addition to the silver service, the exhibit includes an interpreted photographic timeline of the Arizona and features a portion of the ship's hull recovered as part of a salvage operation and an U.S. flag possibly belonging to Commanding Officer Capt. Franklin Van Valkenburgh.

In Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza in Phoenix, just across the street from the Arizona Capitol Museum, rests one of the snip's gun barrels that had been removed for refining previous to Pearl Harbor, but saw action on the USS Nevada at D-Day covering Utah beach.

The museum is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; entry to the museum is free. Free parking is available in Wesley Bolin Plaza at 17th Avenue and Washington St.

Call (602) 926-3620 for more information.

Housed in the historic state capital, the museum connects people to Arizona government — past and present, using new technology to increase the interactivity of exhibits.

Visit the website for more information about exhibits or to schedule a tour.

Copyright 2015 The Camp Verde Journal, Camp Verde, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: July 1, 2015

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