PEARL HARBOR (HawaiiNewsNow) - A symbol of an important piece of American history will be celebrated on Saturday for the anniversaries of two of its major milestones.
Exactly 70 years ago on Wednesday, the USS Missouri officially became ready for combat after Margaret Truman -- the ship's sponsor and daughter of President Harry Truman -- christened the battleship. Navy leaders, government officials and workers gathered at the Brooklyn Navy Yard to watch the "Mighty Mo" slide into the East River and commence its military career which spanned three wars in over five decades.
Fifty-five years later, the USS Missouri officially made Hawaii its home when the Battleship Missouri Memorial opened its gangplank in Pearl Harbor to showcase the history-making achievements of the retired battleship.
"January 29 represents a new beginning for the USS Missouri, first in its service to America starting 70 years ago and today as a distinguished memorial honoring the commitment made to protect America's freedom," said Michael A. Carr, President and COO of the Battleship Missouri Memorial, in a media statement. "In the 15 years since the Battleship Missouri Memorial opened, we are continually making improvements to a historical tour experience that carries special significance here in the midst of Pearl Harbor."
The "Mighty Mo" -- stretching three football fields long and 20 stories tall from keel to mast -- also served as the site where Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Adm. Cheester Nimitz and the Allied Forces accepted Imperial Japan's surrender to end World War II and restore peace on Sept. 2, 1945.
The day-long anniversary celebration will include historical exhibits, activities, reenactments and music. A new exhibit -- featuring construction photos and never-before-seen footage taken by a Brooklyn Navy Yard worker -- is expected to launch onboard.
Battleship Missouri Memorial
Feb. 1, 2014
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Free to Hawaii residents, as well as to members of the military, and members of the Battleship Missouri Memorial and Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.
General admission is $25 per adult and $13 per child (ages 4 to 12).
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