SS Jeremiah O'Brien is a Liberty ship built during World War II and named after the American Revolutionary War ship captain Jeremiah O'Brien. Now based in San Francisco, she is a rare survivora of the 6,939-ship armada that stormed Normandy on D-Day, 1944. Jeremiah O'Brien, SS John W. Brown, SS Hellas Liberty are the only operational Liberty ships of the 2,710 built; the SS Jeremiah O'Brien is a class EC2-S-CI ship, built in just 56 days at the New England Shipbuilding Corporation in South Portland and launched on 19 June 1943. Deployed in the European Theater of Operations, she made four round-trip convoy crossings of the Atlantic and was part of the Operation Neptune invasion fleet armada on D-Day. Following this she was sent to the Pacific Theater of Operations and saw 16 months of service in both the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean calling at ports in Chile, New Guinea, the Philippines, India and Australia; the end of the war caused most of the Liberty ships to be removed from service in 1946 and many were subsequently sold to foreign and domestic buyers.
Others were retained by the U. S. Maritime Commission for potential reactivation in the event of future military conflicts. Jeremiah O'Brien was mothballed and remained in the National Defense Reserve Fleet in Suisun Bay for 33 years. In the 1970s, the idea of preserving an unaltered Liberty Ship began to be developed and, under the sponsorship of Rear Admiral Thomas J. Patterson, USMS, the ship was put aside for preservation instead of being sold for scrap. In a 1994 interview printed by the Vintage Preservation magazine Old Glory, Patterson claimed the ship was steamed to her anchorage in the mothball fleet, placed at the back of the list for disposal which undoubtedly contributed to her survival. An all-volunteer group, the National Liberty Ship Memorial, acquired Jeremiah O'Brien in 1979 for restoration. At that time, she was the last Liberty at the anchorage. Amazingly, those who volunteered to resurrect the mothballed ship were able to get the antiquated steam plant operating while she remained in Suisun Bay.
After more than three decades in mothballs, Jeremiah O'Brien's boilers were lit. The ship left the mothball fleet on 21 May 1980 bound for San Francisco Bay and thousands of hours of restoration work, she was the only Liberty Ship to leave the mothball fleet under her own power. The Jeremiah O'Brien moved to Fort Mason on the San Francisco waterfront just to the west of Fisherman's Wharf to become a museum ship dedicated to the men and women who built and sailed with the United States Merchant Marine in World War II, she was named a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1984 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986. Licensed to carry tours around San Francisco Bay, it was suggested that the ship be restored to oceangoing specification. After efforts in securing sponsorship, this was accomplished in time for the 50th "D-Day" Anniversary Celebrations in 1994. In 1994 the Jeremiah O'Brien steamed through the Golden Gate bound for France.
She went down the West Coast, through the Panama Canal, crossed the Atlantic for the first time since World War II. Stopping first in England she continued on to Normandy, where Jeremiah O'Brien and her crew participated in the 50th Anniversary of Operation Overlord, the allied invasion of Western Europe, she was the only large ship from the original Normandy flotilla to return for the event. Docked today at Pier 45, she makes several passenger-carrying daylight cruises each year in the San Francisco Bay Area, occasional voyages to more distant ports such as Seattle and San Diego. Footage of the ship's engines was used in the 1997 film Titanic to depict the ill-fated ship's own engines; the engine is similar to the engines on board the RMS Titanic, both were triple expansion marine steam engines, albeit the Titanic's engines were four cylinders as opposed to three. The ship is restored and most areas are open to the public, including the engine room and cargo holds. Modernization has been kept to a minimum and involves systems related to safety and navigation.
Liberty ship List of Liberty ships Nash – last surviving D-Day Army ship Victory ship ^a The tugboat Nash, another National Historic Landmark ship located in Oswego, New York, is another survivor of the D-Day fleet, as is the battleship USS Texas near Houston, Texas. Butowsky, Harry A.. "National Register of Historic Places Inventory—Nomination Form / SS Jeremiah O'Brien". National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-09-16."Accompanying Photos". National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-09-16. "National Liberty Ship Memorial". "Photo site of the Jeremiah O'Brien". "SS Jeremiah O'Brien". Historic Naval Ships Association. Archived from the original on 2007-10-14
Leonard Parker Moore was a literary agent. A partner of Christy & Moore and of the Lecture Agency, Ltd. his clients included George Orwell, Gordon Campbell, Mary Butts, Georgette Heyer, Carola Oman, Marco Pallis, Catherine Cookson, Jane Mander, Ruby M. Ayres, Gareth Jones, Wilfred Grenfell, Ruth Collie. Injured in the leg in the First World War, Moore worked as a journalist before becoming a literary agent, he was the brother of the novelist Henry Moore. It was in a letter to Moore, in November 1932, regarding the future publication of Down and Out in Paris and London, that Eric Blair first came up with the pseudonym "George Orwell". According to the historian Daniel J. Leab, some 500 of Orwell's letters to his agent have survived, of which nearly 100 were acquired by the Lilly Library in 1959. Shelden, Michael George Orwell: Ten Animal Farm Letters to His Agent, Leonard Moore
Versoaln is a white Italian wine grape variety, grown in the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol wine region of northeast Italy. In the commune of Tisens, in South Tyrol, one of the world's oldest vines is a Versoaln vine planted at Katzenzungen Castle, dated to be at least 350 years old by the viticulturists at the University of Göttingen.. According to legend, the Versoaln vine is named after the French royal Palace of Versailles, home to King Louis XIV from where the vine was brought to Katzenzungen Castle by Grafen Schlandesberg. However, ampelographers doubt the validity of this origin theory due to lack of historical evidence as well as DNA evidence showing a connection between Versoaln and any known French wine grape variety. Ampelographers note that the root of Versoaln's name in the local dialect of South Tyrol means "to secure with a rope" and could be a reference to the viticultural practice of trellising where the canopy of the vine is secured by rope or wires to a trellis. Another theory is that the name is derived from verdolen, which means "green" in the local language, describes the deep green color of the berries before veraison.
Similar to the German/Italian grape variety Trollinger, Versoaln has the tendency to produce large berries of thick-skinned grapes in large, irregularly shaped bunches that can put a great strain on the vine if not properly managed by vine training and pruning. The vine tends to bud midway through the budding period of the growing season and is considered a "mid-ripening" variety. Versoaln is susceptible to the viticultural hazards of sour rot and the fungal infections of downy and powdery mildew. While once planted throughout the South Tyrol region, Versoaln was on the verge of extinction until viticulturists with the Laimburg Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry and Free University of Bozen-Bolzano started propagating cuttings from the single, 350+ year old Versoaln vine planted at Katzenzungen Castle; as of 2012, there were 100 new vine plantings of Versoaln in cultivation. According to legend, the Versoaln vine planted at Katzenzungen Castle was a cutting taken from a Versoaln vine planted at the palace of Versailles in the Île-de-France region of north-central France.
The vine was brought to northeast Italy by a former owner of Katzenzungen Castle, Grafen Schlandesberg. While ampelographer doubt the details of that origin story, today the Katzenzungen Versoaln vine is considered to be one of the oldest and largest vines in the world. Dated by Martin Worbes of the University of Göttingen in Germany to be at least 350 years old, the vine has been measured to cover a length of 350 square metres. Among the few grapevines in the world that are older than the Katzenzungen vine is the 400+ year old Žametovka vine growing in the Slovenian town of Maribor; the vine is maintained by viticulturists from the Laimburg Research Centre and has been used to propagate new Versoaln vines to keep the variety from being lost to extinction. Wine is still being made from the Katzenzungen vine with fruit harvested from the old vine added to the fruit taking from the newer plantings of Versoaln. Between the Katzenzungen vine and the newer plantings, around 500 bottles of Versoaln wine a year is produced in specially numbered bottles.
According to Master of Wine Jancis Robinson, Versoaln tends to produce a dry wine with notable acidity levels and aromas green apples and apricot flavor notes. Over the years, Versoaln has been known under a variety of synonyms including: Versailler, Weiss Versoalen and Weisser Versailler