48-22 3626(40)

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt watches the laying of keel No. 39 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This ship would later be commissioned as the USS Arizona (BB-39). March 16, 1914.

dullshick, Gaspar17 and 2 more people faved this
  • umbry101 4y

    When the keel was being laid, five small boys, all sons of USN officers, were given the honour of placing the first bolts to connect the first plates of the new ship. Each small boy was to put in place a ceremonial nickel plated bolt, which would later be removed and replaced with proper steel bolts, while the nickel plated ones would be kept by the boys as souvenirs.The privilege of placing the first of the five bolts went to three year old Henry Williams Jr who was apparently much more intrigued by the tall figure of Roosevelt than he was by the task of placing the bolt........he went to Roosevelt's side and took his hand, or rather clutched Roosevelt's finger in his own tiny hand, and eagle-eyed press photographers spotted the moment and captured it for posterity, as seen in this charming photo.
    27 years later, on 7 December 1941, as a lieutenant USN, then serving on a destroyer flotilla commander's staff, the same Henry Williams Jr stood on the deck of his ship and watched the USS Arizona burn and sink at her moorings.............one cannot help but wonder what his feelings were at that moment, having been present at Arizona's very beginning and at her very end....................
  • dfouts 3y

    This is such an incredible photo. Excellent quality photo of FDR when he was Asst SecNav.
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Taken on July 23, 2008
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