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Baltimore Museum of Industry and Project Liberty Ship Team Up to Share Story of Shipbuilding in Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ)  -- The Baltimore Museum of Industry will present a free online program in partnership with Project Liberty Ship at 7 p.m. June 24. The program uses material from the BMI's collections and archives to tell the story of how Baltimore became a shipbuilding power that produced the S.S. John W. Brown, one of Baltimore's most historically significant artifacts.

This program is part of the BMI's Bethlehem Steel Legacy Project, a multi-year initiative to document and preserve the stories of the local steelmaking giant and the surrounding community. At its height, its Sparrows Point mill was the largest steel producer in the world, making steel for bridges, buildings, and railroads. Many locals don't know that Bethlehem Steel also built ships, museum officials said in a statement.

A total of 384 Liberty Ships were built at Bethlehem's Baltimore-Fairfield yard during World War II. After the S.S. John W. Brown's service in World War II and a long stint as a New York City public maritime trade school, she returned to Baltimore in 1988, where Project Liberty Ship volunteers restored her to operating condition.

The S.S. John W. Brown continues to be of service in the city where she was launched by educating people about how American industry fueled victory in World War II, the merchant mariners and naval personnel who sailed Liberty ships, and the 35,000 men and women shipbuilders at Bethlehem Steel.

The 1-hour program will feature:

  • The Shipyards of Bethlehem Steel in Baltimore: BMI Volunteer Ken Jones provides a brief history of Bethlehem Steel's Baltimore shipyards;
  • A Peek at the Plans: BMI volunteer Bob Pratt shares highlights from the BMI's collection of 35,000 ship plans;
  • All Hands on Deck: Volunteers from the John W. Brown share the history of the Brown's service and give viewers a glimpse of what they can see this summer when they are able to visit the World War II vessel in person;
  • Glimpse the Next Generation of Historians: Harford County seventh-grader Sophia, one of the Brown's youngest volunteers, encourages young viewers and students to learn about World War II history through a series of YouTube videos. Sophia's last name was not provided in a statement from the museum.

This online program is free to attend. Advanced registration is required.



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