On this day in Alabama history: SS Selma was laid to rest

On this day in Alabama history: SS Selma was laid to rest
The concrete ship SS Selma, photographed soon after launch. The ship was constructed using an experimental design aimed at conserving steel during World War I. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, photo courtesy of the National Hurricane Center)

March 9, 1922

A private company towed the SS Selma to a specially dug channel near Pelican Island, Texas, and laid it to rest. Built by F.F. Ley & Company in Mobile, the Selma was one of 12 experimental concrete ships completed by various contractors during World War I. Weighing 7,500 tons, the 434-feet-long ship launched on June 28, 1919 — the same day World War I officially ended — and soon entered service as a private oil tanker on the Gulf Coast. The ship suffered a 60-foot crack in its hull after striking a jetty in 1920, and no facilities had the ability to repair concrete hulls. The ship now lies as a permanent fixture in the harbor in Galveston, Texas and is the Official Flagship of the Texas Army National Guard.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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