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Date: January 20, 2003 at 20:17:17
From: Ted Guillaum, [dsc01-nvl-tn-5-67.rasserver.net]
Subject: 1976 Press Release-Naming the MQ


Here is one last press release from 1976. This is on the subject of how the Mississippi Queen was named.

HOW AMERICA’S NEW STEAMBOAT GOT HER NAME

CINCINNATI- Mississippi Queen is the name of America’s newest paddlewheel steamboat. Six and one half decks high, she is the first overnight passenger steamboat to be built since her sister-ship the Delta Queen in 1926. She will make her maiden voyage from Cincinnati in 1976. Congresswoman Leonore K. Sullivan (D-MO), Chairman of the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, christened the new sternwheeler April 30 at the Louisville Public Wharf.
Mississippi Queen was chosen from over 220 different name suggestions including such colorful and nostalgic appellations as Creole Belle, Magnolia Maid, Southern Cross, Jasmine Jewel, Eagle Star, Natchez, Robert E. Lee, River Queen, and Dixie King. The selection process whittled the final choices to three names: Delta Grande, Grand Republic, and Mississippi Queen. Mississippi Queen was chosen for a list of reasons almost as long a the word Mississippi itself. For starter, this is the name most frequently suggested by those who wrote to the steamboat company. And, Captain Fred Way, river historian and dean of river pilots says, “There has never been a riverboat with the name Mississippi Queen.” He adds that he thinks “Mississippi” is a good luck word. The words Mississippi Queen also succinctly describes the new sternwheeler and the geography of her operation. Like the Delta Queen, she will cruise the Mississippi River system which is made up of the Mississippi, the Ohio, the Illinois, the Arkansas, and the Cumberland Rivers. And, Mississippi is an internationally-known word which automatically suggests America’s paddlewheelers throughout the world. Queen recalls the grandeur of the nineteenth century when steamboats ruled the transportation industry. And, finally, Queen serves as a reminder that the Mississippi Queen and the Delta Queen are sister-ships.
Delta Queen II was frequently suggested as a name for the new sternwheeler. Betty Blake, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Delta Queen Steamboat Company, says that the name was rejected for two reasons: “First, the new boat is not a duplicate of the Delta Queen. Second, we feared it might cause people to believe we were retiring the Delta Queen. This is absolutely not true. We intend to continue operating the Delta Queen for as long as Congress grants us exemption from the Safety at Sea Law.”
In October, 1973, The Delta Queen Steamboat Company announced a National Election to help choose a name for the new steamboat. Mr. J. Robert Kirby, Detroit, most accurately predicted the actual returns. He will receive a free cruise for two aboard the Mississippi Queen.


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