Sailing past an icon

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The battleships USS Iowa embarked on its final voyage last Saturday, steaming past San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge and creating this memorable photo.

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The last remaining World War II battleship left the Port of Richmond, crossed San Francisco Bay and then passed under the historic Golden Gate Bridge amid a festive celebration of the bridge’s 75th birthday.

One day later an extravagant fireworks and music display celebrated the bridge’s anniversary.

The Iowa is bound for the Port of Los Angeles, where it will become an interactive naval museum. The U.S. Navy recently transferred ownership of the Iowa to the non-profit Pacific Battleship Center, which has been renovating the vessel in preparation for operating it as an interactive floating museum in the Port of Los Angeles.

The Iowa is more than 15 stories high, 887 feet long and weighs more than 45,000 tons. It’s known as the Battleship of Presidents because it hosted Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

“This is the final journey for the USS Iowa on open water,” says Robert Kent, president of the Pacific Battleship Center. “We thank the citizens of the San Francisco Bay area, and Richmond in particular, for their interest and support of the preservation of the Battleship of Presidents.

Public ticket sales for the July 7 grand opening and beyond began this week. To purchase tickets online, visit www.pacificbattleship.com and click on the Visit USS Iowa photo link.