USS North Dakota
Would you like to be part of a once in a lifetime official event? Then mark your calendar for the christening of the USS North Dakota on November 2nd in Groton, Connecticut.
For the second time in its history, North Dakota will have a namesake boat protecting the nation and promoting the state in ports around the world. Construction of the USS North Dakota, a nuclear submarine, began on March 2, 2009, and the boat is expected to take to the waters as an official part of the U.S. Navy Fleet in 2014.
Note a submarine is called a boat, not a ship!
You can participate in a 4-day tour November 1 through November 5 and receive an official invitation from the United States Navy to attend the christening ceremony. Join North Dakota state officials and members of the Congressional delegation for a reception the evening of November 1. Then be part of the christening ceremony November 2, as well as local touring to see Naval-related facilities including the Nautilus and Submarine Force Museum.
The group will stay at the Mystic Marriott in Groton, Connecticut, for two nights. This is a delightful full-service property and all tour participants will be invited to the special reception to be held at the hotel.
After two days and nights in Groton, participants will travel by motor coach to Newport, Rhode Island. They will see the row of historic mansions overlooking the sea and tour the area’s most famous residence known as The Breakers. The Breakers is the grandest of Newport’s summer “cottages” and a symbol of the Vanderbilt family’s social and financial preeminence in turn of the century America. The structure is a 70-room villa in the Italian Renaissance style, inspired by 16th century Italian palaces. It is an ornate and sumptuous home with a fabulous ocean view.
Accommodations for the two nights in Newport are at the traditional and attractive Hotel Viking, which has an indoor pool, spa and fitness center.
A committee chaired by former North Dakota Attorney General and Navy veteran Robert Wefald is coordinating our state’s participation in the event, which has promotional support from the North Dakota Legislature.
The first USS North Dakota was a training vessel used during World War I and never participated in armed conflict. It was commissioned in 1910.
The construction of the new USS North Dakota is taking approximately five years, involving nearly 1,000 people per day at a total cost of $2.8 billion. The keel laying took place in May, 2012, at Quonset Point, Rhode Island, with a number of North Dakotans on hand for the event.
The boat is being built by General Dynamics Electric Boat based in Groton, Connecticut, a company founded in 1899.
The boat’s motto, displayed on a crest, is “Strength from the Soil, Reapers of the Deep.” The motto has a double meaning: it represents both the fighting spirit of the submarine warrior and the ties to the state’s farm heritage of reapers.
More information about the USS North Dakota christening tour at the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce, 701-223-5660, which is working with the USS North Dakota Committee.