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Battleship New Jersey Celebrates 75th Anniversary

Author: David Madden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — 76 years ago, Pearl Harbor was attacked, drawing the United States into World War II.

The Battleship New Jersey held its traditional ceremony to mark that occasion, along with the 75th anniversary of a coinciding event you might not know about.

One year to the actual moment Americans learned of the Japanese attack, the Battleship New Jersey was launched from the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

Crowd gathered to celebrate the battleship’s anniversary. (credit: David Madden)

The timing was no mistake. It was meant to boost the spirits of a wounded nation at the time.

Battleship curator Jason Hall remembered how the launching didn’t exactly occur as planned.

“She slid down the ways, hit the Delaware River, flew across the Delaware River, ran aground in the state of New Jersey. Normally that’s a bad omen. They spun it. They said ‘Well, she just went over to kiss her namesake state,'” Hall recalled.

Jason Hall speaking. (credit: David Madden)

One tugboat used that day to pull the Battleship out returned to mark the occasion. They fired off newly installed so-called “pom pom guns” that were on board the Battleship back in the day, guns that brought down many an enemy aircraft.

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