Celebrate 100 Years of the USS Arizona launch at the AZCM

Arizona Capitol Museum has silver service and part of the ship’s hull

For Immediate Release
June 16, 2015

For More Information Contact:

Charlie Knight,  Director
Arizona Capitol Museum
Phone: (602) 926-3806

Kim Crawford
Communications Manager
Phone: (602) 926-3810
[email protected]

PHOENIX – 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, Ariz. 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 travelled 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, just across the street from the AZCM, rests one of the ship’s gun barrels that had been removed for relining previous to Pearl Harbor, but saw action on the USS Nevada at D-Day covering Utah beach.

The AZCM is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and entry to the museum is free. Free parking is available in Wesley Bolin Plaza at 17th avenue and Washington street. For more information call 602-926-3620. The AZCM is a branch of the Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State; www.azlibrary.gov/AZCM.

About the AZCM

The Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, helps Arizonans know and obtain information about their government, their state and their world. We provide expertise to empower informed decisions. The Arizona Capitol Museum connects people to Arizona government – past and present. Using new technology to increase the interactivity of exhibits, the AZCM has brought the history of Arizona into the 21st Century. Housed in the historic state capitol, entry and parking to the AZCM are free. For more information about our exhibits, or to schedule a tour, visit us online at www.azlibrary.gov/AZCM.