COMMEMORATING MYSTIC SEAPORT: THE MUSEUM OF AMERICA AND THE SEA IN RECOGNITION OF ITS 75TH YEAR -- (House of Representatives - June 27, 2005)
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Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H. Con. Res. 152 which acknowledges the 75th anniversary of Mystic Seaport: the Museum of America and the Sea. This resolution recognizes the efforts of the staff, volunteers, and trustees of the museum in preserving America's great maritime tradition. Mystic Seaport is also one of the jewels of my home state of Connecticut.
Since the 1600's, the Mystic Seaport has been a center for shipbuilding. Between 1784 and 1919, Mystic Seaport contributed more than 600 vessels to the American maritime enterprise. After the advent of steam power and railroads, wooden shipbuilding began to decline. Three Mystic, Connecticut residents, Edward Bradley, Dr. Charles Stillman, and Carl Cutler created the Marine Historical Association on December 29, 1929 to prevent the disappearance of the American maritime tradition. Today, the Marine Historical Association is known as Mystic Seaport: the Museum of America and the Sea. Since the inception of the Mystic Seaport Museum, it has become the largest maritime museum, and the fourth largest history museum in the nation. The Seaport's membership represents 25,000 people from all 50 states and 30 countries. More than 1,500 volunteers assist Mystic Seaport's 300 employees each year.
Mystic Seaport has helped increase awareness and appreciation of America's maritime tradition. The museum features the largest collection of watercraft in the nation, which includes four National Historic Landmark vessels. The vessels include the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaling ship in the world, and the Sabino, the last coal-fired steam ship still in operation. The Mystic Seaport Museum's Collections Research Center functions as a dynamic resource for maritime research. The G.W. Blunt White Library is one of the leading collections of maritime research material in the world. Recently, the library has assembled a virtual run of the earliest published American ship registers. The Mystic Seaport Museum has made significant contributions in maintaining the cultural integrity of our nation's maritime legacy.
Mystic Seaport was also involved in the construction of a replica of the freedom schooner Amistad, which serves as a floating classroom and monument to those who lost their freedom or their lives due to the transatlantic slave trade. I was privileged to attend the launch of the Amistad in March 2000 at Mystic Seaport with a delegation from the Congressional Black Caucus.
Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me today in honoring Mystic Seaport's role in preserving America's maritime culture. For the past 75 years, Connecticut has been proud to be the home of the Mystic Seaport Museum, which continues to be a vital protector of the Nation's nautical history.
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