USS Arizona launching into the East River, well before the ship’s sinking December 7th, 1941.
The largest battleship ever built got a great send-off from Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1915. Named in honor of the most recent state to join the nation, USS Arizona not only served the country but starred in the James Cagney movie Here Comes the Navy before being sunk in Pearl Harbor. But that tragedy was two decades in the future from this spring day. Liquids from two bottles were poured over the prow to christen the ship: one, a sparkling wine from Ohio, the other a bottle of Arizona water (to satisfy the growing number of prohibitionists from the state). Off the ship went, with thousands waving at the battleship’s wake.