37. 1968, Ship Naming Ceremony of the Merle M. McCurdy
@ Kent State University
Description“A Fruitful Life and Much Loved” ~ Epitaph in memory of Merle as inscribed on his gravestone. George M. Steinbrenner, then President of the American Ship Building Company, later owner of the New York Yankees, and friend of Merle, announced that he would name a ship for his fallen friend, the “Merle M. McCurdy”. A significant and honored event, it was the first ship on the Great Lakes Fleet to be named for an African American. Steinbrenner stated the following on the occasion: “We feel this is a most appropriate gesture, and one of which the entire Great Lakes industry should be proud. This ship should serve to remind many people, that this ideal which McCurdy exemplified is in fact a real one and that it is our duty to see that such opportunities are always available regardless of race, creed, or color.” Photo features from left to right Bernie Stuplinski, Merle’s former Chief Assistant, Theodore Garrison, Brenda (McCurdy) Garrison, Merle Garrison, Cathleen Drew, Sharon Drew, Rosie McCurdy, and Myrna (McCurdy) Drew. Source Ship Will Carry Name of Merle McCurdy. (1968, November 26). Baltimore Afro-America, p. 28.