THE PRESIDENCY: U. S. S. Williamsburg

At Norfolk Navy Yard last week shipwrights swarmed over a rakish gunboat, reconverting her into a presidential yacht for Harry Truman. She was the U.S.S. Williamsburg, lately with the Atlantic Fleet, before that a high-speed convoy flagship based in Iceland.

When she is commissioned, in about two months, the Williamsburg will be the sixth in her line. In the Republic's first struggling century, U.S. Presidents went yachtless. But in 1893, as the head of a rising naval power, Grover Cleveland took to cruising aboard the gunboat Dolphin. McKinley sailed in the Sylph, and by the time Roosevelt I took over...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

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 TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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