Connecticut's Congressman Christopher Shays, Glacier Society Chairman Ben Koether,
Honorary Chairman Captain Philip Porter and Speaker of the House, Denny Hastert
celebrate the passage of House Bill #1450.
(Pictured L to R)

Glacier Society Lauds House for Passage of Historical Legislation

Funding and Restoration of National Treasure Now The Group's Top Priority

BRIDGEPORT, Conn., July 31, 2000 -- The Glacier Society today praised the US congressmen and women who voted to pass historic federal legislation to transfer the USS/USCGC Glacier to the society for restoration and public service. The bill is expected to be approved by the Senate and signed into law by President Clinton shortly.

"Thanks to the bipartisan efforts on Capital Hill and the support of Connecticut's leadership in Washington, America is one step closer to enjoying this historic national treasure as a permanent bastion of polar education and research," said Glacier Society Chairman Bernard G. Koether. "With the help and dedication of our passionate members, supporters, and corporate donors, financing and executing the restoration of the Glacier is now our primary focus."

The House approved the measure on May 18, as an amendment to the Department of Defense authorization bill. The amendment was sponsored by Congressman Christopher Shays, R-Conn. The companion Senate bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn.

"I support the intentions of the Glacier Society to operate the Glacier in Bridgeport (Conn.), as a funtioning museum ship to educate students and the general public about military service and the exploration of the North and South Poles, as well as to honor members of the U.S. Armed Forces." said Shays. "I am hopeful the ship will serve as a major tourist attraction in Bridgeport."

With the assistance of architects M. Rosenblatt and Sons, an active group of volunteers has already begun restoration of the Glacier in San Fransisco, Ca., where the ship is anchored at Suisan Bay on the Sacramento River. Once the ship is restored, the society plans to berth her in Bridgeport Harbor, Bridgeport, Conn., as an operating educational and research vessel.

"We are pleased the bill's passage is giving new life to this distinguished ship," said Capt. P.W. Porter, Jr., honorary chairman of the Glacier Society. "She carried Admiral Richard E. Byrd to the South Pole on his last voyage to Antarctica and was the first ship to make entry to the Bellinghausen Sea."

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