The Chapel Hill Historical Society has recently provided for digitization a photo album and the preserved champagne bottle from the christening of the S.S. Chapel Hill Victory in 1944. The photo album pictures the christening event and also provides information on the making of Victory and LST ships during World War II in the Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard in Baltimore, Maryland. Betsy Bowman, pictured above and below, was the sponsor for the S.S. Chapel Hill Victory, and so she was invited to Baltimore to perform the christening on December 4, 1944.
Before the christening took place, the sacrificial bottle of champagne was placed in a brightly colored bag so that no pieces of glass would be lost during the christening. The bottle was then smashed against the bow of the ship, and the S.S. Chapel Hill Victory was ready to be launched! After the ceremony, the champagne-covered bag was allowed to dry, and is now in the care of the Chapel Hill Historical Society.