The Duke Launches a Battleship
Lisa Paul shares this story of John Wayne christening a ship at BIW.
An executive at the Bath Iron Works, the shipyard that has been producing US Navy vessels for over 100 years, told me about the time John Wayne was invited to christen a battleship. He smashed the champagne bottle over the hull, which was supposed to signal the hydraulics to release the ship down the ramp and into the water. Nothing happened. In as superstition-riddled an industry as the maritime world, this is the greatest bad juju — pretty much a curse on a ship for all time. There was a horrified pause. Then the Duke reached out with one long arm and gave the bow of the ship a shove. It slid down the ramp to thunderous applause. [Link]