2020 NMHS 57th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia – Postponed to May 2021
Following CDC guidelines and prohibitions on large gatherings, and with the health and safety of our staff and members foremost in our thoughts, the NMHS 57th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia this May has been postponed.
The event will be rescheduled, likely next year in May, when we can ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for all. We look forward to hosting the meeting again in Philadelphia. We’ll enjoy presentations and tours of Independence Seaport Museum, USS Olympia, Battleship New Jersey and the Museum of the American Revolution, and we hope to be joined again by our esteemed panel of presenters from SS United States Conservancy, the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild and the Historic Naval Ships Association.
Note that per our bylaws, we will hold our annual Business Meeting, albeit in telephone conferencing and online formats, on 9 May 2020. Please be on the lookout in the next few weeks for details.
If you have already registered for the Annual Meeting, we will be reaching out to you directly. If you have made a hotel reservation at Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing, we remind you to cancel your stay by calling (215) 521-6537.
The Board of Trustees and program chair Walter Brown are delighted to invite members of the National Maritime Historical Society to join us for an informative and entertaining activity-packed annual meeting in Philadelphia. NMHS chairman Ronald Oswald encourages you to join us in this fantastic maritime location, in this wonderfully historic city, and for the fabulous presentations and activities we’ve planned for the meeting.
For NMHS to flourish and grow, it is important that its leaders and members gather to share ideas to chart the Society’s course into the future. This support and interaction has kept us vital for more than half a century, and it is never more important than right now. We look forward to seeing you in Philly!
Annual Meeting Highlights & Schedule
To kick off the weekend, on Friday, 8 May, join us at 12 PM for a half-hour ferry ride across the Delaware river to Battleship New Jersey, where we’ll enjoy lunch on the fantail and a tour of the battleship’s 16-inch gun turrets and other weapons systems, the Admiral’s and Captain’s cabins, communications center, navigational bridge, wardroom, berthing areas, and more.
The 57th annual business meeting will be held on Saturday, 9 May at Independence Seaport Museum on historic Penn’s Landing along the Delaware River. We will enjoy continental breakfast during morning registration at 8 AM, with the business meeting immediately following at 9 AM.
At 10:30 AM, leaders from the local maritime heritage community will give presentations highlighting maritime history and activity in and around Philadelphia. We’ll hear from Independence Seaport Museum president John Brady on the museum and its efforts to restore the 1892 cruiser USS Olympia, Admiral Dewey’s famous flagship from the Battle of Manila Bay.
Frank DeGiulio, vice president of the board of SS United States Conservancy will share some of the ship’s stories and the Conservancy’s plans for her future. The storied liner is berthed just down the river at Pier 82. Melissa Black-Simmons, president of the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild, will tell us about the 1901 barquentine Gazela Primeiro and the Guild’s maritime educational programming. Gazela and the 1902 tug Jupiter are berthed a stone’s throw from the museum along Penn’s Landing. We’ll also hear from Tyler Putman, Gallery Interpretation Manager at the Museum of the American Revolution, and from Philip Rowan, chief executive officer of Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial on this impressive 887-foot long, 45,000-ton decorated 1942 battleship.
After a 12:30 PM luncheon in the ballroom of the museum, from 2-4 PM attendees will have the opportunity to experience one of the nation’s largest maritime art and artifact collections in North America in exhibits that explore themes such as Philadelphia’s connection to the founding of the United States Navy, Olympia’s military and humanitarian roles in World War I, and much more. John Brady and museum docents will lead tours onboard cruiser Olympia, and access will be provided to the WWII submarine Becuna, both docked a short walk from the museum. The Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild has also invited attendees to climb aboard and tour Gazela.
Following the day’s events, at 6 PM you are invited to celebrate the 125th anniversary of cruiser Olympia’s commissioning at the Independence Seaport Museum 2020 Waterfront Gala where, we are delighted to announce, NMHS president Burchenal Green will be honored with the 2020 Independence Seaport Museum Award for Maritime Preservation in honor of her commitment to protecting America’s historic ships and promoting our maritime heritage. We hope you will support the museum’s critical preservation work that helps keep Olympia afloat and to honor our president and the Society.
On Sunday, 10 May, join us for a 10 AM guided tour of the Museum of the American Revolution, where the ideas, events, and legacies of our nation’s revolutionary beginnings are explored through innovative and interactive exhibits.
Registration & Sponsorship
The fee to attend all the weekend’s activities, including Friday lunch and tour of Battleship New Jersey; Saturday continental breakfast, business meeting, presentation, lunch and all museum and ship tours; Saturday evening gala; and Sunday tour of the Museum of the American Revolution, is $400 per person.
Individual day/event pricing is also available. The Friday round-trip ferry, lunch and tour of Battleship New Jersey is $40. The fee to attend the Saturday business meeting, including breakfast, lunch and all the presentations and museum tours, is $75 per person. Registration for the Independence Seaport Museum 2020 Waterfront Gala, discounted for annual meeting attendees, is $300. Sponsorship opportunities at the $5,000 Underwriter, $2,500 Sponsor and $1,250 Donor levels are also available and encouraged.
Please click here for sponsorship information and to register, or call (914) 737-7878 Ext. 0.
We have booked a block of rooms on the waterfront at Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing, adjacent to Independence Seaport Museum and ideally located within walking distance of all the weekend’s activities. Rooms are reserved from 7–10 May at the rate of $219/night, plus applicable taxes. Garage parking is $35 per vehicle per night. The room block is set aside for reservations under the group name “NMHS” until 9 April, or until all the rooms have been booked. Reservations can be made online by clicking here or by calling (215) 521-6537. The Philadelphia waterfront is a popular destination in May, and we encourage you to make your reservations right away.