National Defense: One Day: 14 Ships

On one day last week 14 new merchant ships slid down U.S. ways, in shipyards from Quincy, Mass, to Portland, Ore. It was the record single-day launching since World War I.

The occasion—dubbed Liberty Fleet Day—was reminiscent of World War I in more ways than one. The nation the launchings were aimed at was the same: Germany. The reason for the ballyhoo was the same: to get the U.S. public behind a program designed to build more ships than German U-boats can sink. Said Franklin Roosevelt in a recorded speech broadcast at each yard:...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!