Floating museum
USS Iowa shows off history with new exhibits
New exhibits are being added to the USS Iowa during USS Iowa 1the Spring 2014 season, which means the ship now will be displaying artifacts from each of the time periods of operation. There also will be first-hand accounts of life on board the USS Iowa.

The ship is a verteran of World War II, Korea and the stand-off with the Soviet Union known as the Cold War. The ship is now open for public tours in San Pedro, near Long Beach.

Two new exhibits will be featured. "The World's Greatest Fighting Ship" will feature artifacts and personal accounts from people who served on the ship. The "Battleshiop of Presidents" is a collection of photographs and materials depicting the time spent on board by many U.S. Presidents. In addition, new compartments will be opened up for public viewing. These include the Marine Guard Shack, Command Master Chief stateroom and the Bakery.

A trip to the USS Iowa is the perfect family adventure -- it's great for Dads who love military stuff, but also has plenty of wow factor for the kids in the family. Mom will be fascinated by the history of the ship and its contribution over the years to keeping our country safe.

The ship was built in 1940 and actually was in service for more than 50 years. It once had the Navy's biggest guns and was the fastest battleship the United States had. The ship was only made a floating museum in recent years and is located adjacent to the Los Angeles cruise ship terminals.

When you tour the USS Iowa, you follow in line along a pre-determined route that takes you through many areas of the ship. Along the way, museum representatives answer questions you may have, and will also provide fun anecdotal information. At the end of the tour you exit through a gift store so plan on doing a little shopping while you're there and taking home souvenirs for the kids to relive this field trip many times over.

Senior citizens might have some trouble navigating the narrow passageways and stairs on the ship if they have mobility problems. Generally, if you can climb a 10-foot ladder, you should be able to complete the tour without any problems.

The areas covered in your tour are interesting and it's easy to envision what life on board this fighting ship must have been like. You'll get to see the ship's bridge and command center as well as gun turrets and every-day living quarters of the sailors. You'll see where several sailors were killed in a famous accident in which a gun turret exploded in 1989.

The USS Iowa hosted many more presidents than any ship in U.S. history including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and H.W. Bush.
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