February 16, 1942
Henrietta McCormick Hill, the wife of U.S. Sen. Lister Hill, christened the USS Alabama with a bottle of champagne before the ship launched from Norfolk Navy Yard in Portsmouth, Virginia. The sixth ship named after the state of Alabama by the U.S. Navy, the 680-foot-long Alabama displaced 35,000 tons of water and carried 129 guns. The ship served in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters during World War II as it voyaged 218,000 miles, shot down 22 enemy aircraft and earned 9 Battle Stars for action that included the “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot” and the invasion of Saipan. Today, the ship stands as a museum ship at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
Lister Hill (1894-1984) was a U.S. congressman from Alabama best known for his contributions to health care policy and for sponsoring legislation that created the Tennessee Valley Authority. A Montgomery lawyer before entering politics, Hill was elected president of the Montgomery Board of Education at age 22, served in the U.S. Army from 1917-19 in World War I, and was a member of the U.S. Congress for nearly 46 years. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Alabama Department of Archives and History)
Rep. Lister Hill of Alabama (left) is presented with a silver service tray, as a gift for his marriage to Henrietta McCormick, by Rep. John J. McSwain of South Carolina, on behalf of the members of the House Military Affairs Committee, Feb. 28, 1928. (Photograph by Harris & Ewing, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)
Senator Lister Hill looking at a newspaper with his wife, Henrietta, and their children, c. 1938. (Alabama Department of Archives and History)
The battleship USS Alabama is launched from the Norfolk Navy Yard in Portsmouth, Virginia, on February 16, 1942. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, U.S. Navy)
The battleship USS Alabama (BB-60) is seen anchored in Casco Bay, Maine, in December 1942, where its crew trained before deploying to active duty in the North Atlantic in early 1943. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, U.S. Navy)
Guns are seen on the deck of the battleship USS Alabama (BB-60) during a snowstorm in January 1943. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.