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Visiting The Potomac: Franklin Roosevelt’s Presidential Yacht

Early in September we took a trip back in time to nearby Jack London Square where we were given a marvelous tour of FDR’s famous yacht. We were part of a small tour group which first saw a short video of FDR’s various times on the converted Coast Guard cutter (1936 through WWII). According to a wonderful 91-year-old tour guide, FDR used the ship frequently as a quick retreat from the hectic activities of the White House. Famous guests included Winston Churchill and King George VI and his wife (parents of the now deceased Queen Elizabeth II). The boat was modified to accommodate the President due to his handicap paralisis of his legs. In addition to cruising the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, FDR travelled the Atlantic coast to the Bahamas and up to Newfoundland on the ship. The U.S.S. Potomac was actually a very modest ship for a head-of-state when compared to England’s Britannia and the huge, ostentatious yachts of even private citizens. Still, a visit to the ship is well worth the modest $10 fee per person. If you really want to experience the Potomac in its full glory, take a 2-3 hour guided cruise on her for about $75 a person. Just look up the ship’s WEB site for cruise dates and full information.

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