Oakland in Alameda County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
USS Potomac endured a long decline, with many adventures and many owners, until 1981, when she was purchased by the Port of Oakland for $15,000. The Port spearheaded a cooperative effort with organized labor, maritime corporations, and volunteers to complete a $5 million restoration. USS Potomac received the designation of National Historic Landmark in 1990 and opened to the public in 1995.
Today, the Association for the Preservation of the Presidential Yacht Potomac operates this beautifully restored vessel as an active testament to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who led America out of the Great Depression and through World War II. The Association, run almost exclusively by a group of over 90 dedicated volunteers, offers a variety of educational programs
Erected by Potomac Association.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #32 Franklin D. Roosevelt series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1934.
Location. 37° 47.721′ N, 122° 16.777′ W. Marker is in Oakland, California, in Alameda County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Clay Street and Water Street. The marker is located on the waterfront of Jack London Square, in a pedestrian area, about 50 feet south of where Clay Street dead ends. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Oakland CA 94606, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. History of the Transbay Ferry (a few steps from this marker); Evolution of a Marine Terminal (within shouting distance of this marker); Charles P. Howard Terminal (within shouting distance of this marker); The Port of Oakland (within shouting distance of this marker); Estuary Industry (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Jack London (about 700 feet away); Oakland's First Wharf (about 700 feet away); Live Oak Lodge U.D (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oakland.
More about this marker. In addition to the text described above, it also contains a series of historical photos depicting the ship(counterclockwise from top left):
1)A shot of the ship cruising.
2) "April 8, 1936 - FDR aboard the converted USS Potomac."
3) "September 1937 - A fishing expedition off of Block Island, RI."
4) "1937 - King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth, board USS Potomac."
5)"1964 - Elvis Presley bought USS Potomac for $50,000 and donated the ship to St. Jude Hospital."
6) "1981 - USS Potomac sinks in San Francisco Bay."
7) "1982 - USS Potomac at her worst."
8) A shot of the ship cruising San Francisco Bay, with San Francisco and the Oakland Bay Bridge in the background.
In addition, the marker has a sidebar on the right containing information on tours, cruises on the USS Potomac information, and how to contact the Potomac Association.
Regarding USS Potomac.
The USCG Electra was built by the Manitowoc Ship Building
The US Navy took over the ship in November 1935, and subsequently renamed the USS Potomac, with the ship becoming the Presidential Yacht for President Roosevelt.
Because FDR was a paraplegic and afraid of being trapped in a fire, he preferred the all-steel Potomac over the other Presidential Yacht, the Sequoia, which was constructed of wood.
The Potomac was decommissioned in 1945, and transferred to the State of Maryland in 1946, where she served with the Tidewaters Fisheries Commission, until being sold into private ownership in 1960, after which she served as a ferry in the Virgin Islands and as a floating FDR museum.
Elivs Presley purchased the Potomac in 1964 and gave it to St. Jude Children's Hospital to sell as a fund raiser.
The ship eventually became involved in drug smuggling and was seized by US Customs in 1980.
In 1997 the ship sank while moored off Treasure Island and was subsequently refloated, and then sold to the Port of Oakland, after which it underwent and extensive restoration.
Also see . . . Presidential Yacht Potomac. The Potomac Association's series of pages of the history of the USS Potomac. Includes pictures. (Submitted on May 16, 2009.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 26, 2018. It was originally submitted on May 16, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 2,496 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 16, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 26, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. 6. submitted on May 16, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.