AMERICAN SCENE: A New Queen Reigns on the River

Once they were the undisputed mistresses of the world's greatest commercial waterway. They still evoke memories of a long-departed era that Mark Twain —whose very nom de plume is derived from navigation terminology of the day —described in Life on the Mississippi. Today the great paddle-wheeling river steamboat is a species almost as endangered as the whooping crane—and likewise protected by the Government. The last wooden-decked steamboat, the 50-year-old Delta Queen, plies the 1,500 miles of river from Cincinnati to New Orleans under a special congressional exemption from the federal safety-at-sea...

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