It is a fascinating, somewhat eerie stretch of water just 40 miles south of the nation’s capital. That would be the historic Ghost Fleet of the Potomac, home to 200 wrecks which have stood like sentinels for decades in the shallows, their hulls clearly visible just below the water’s surface — many bristling with the huge, peg-topped rusty nails of another era. Larger corroding hulks still stand above water level. These boats were towed there decades ago; some were sunk, others burned — ultimately creating a graveyard that covers 14 square miles.
But there is some happy news for this fragile spot. The Ghost Fleet is now one of a dozen endangered sites around the nation that have won a skirmish in the battle against the passage of time. The National Trust for Preservation reported Monday that this unusual location is now on its list of America’s “biggest preservation wins.”
Located in Mallows Bay in Maryland, the Ghost Fleet is the largest and most varied collection of historic shipwrecks in the Western Hemisphere, a quirky collection of some 200 boats representing over three centuries of maritime heritage. Two years ago, the preservation organization named the fleet a National Treasure. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration designated the fleet a national marine sanctuary earlier this year.
The graveyard has a complicated history. Many of the sunken ships date from World War I, left there by a salvage company in 1931. The collection grew during World War II, as did interest in recovering potentially usable metal for the war effort. Meanwhile, a bustling ecosystem had developed among the many huge hulls — home to birds, fish, turtle, otters and assorted invertebrates.
‘The House Committee on Government Operations, considering for the first time the ecosystem that had developed, declared that the removal of the ships was unnecessary, and the Ghost Fleet has been providing a habitat for plants and animals in Mallows Bay ever since,” advises the National Trust. “The Ghost Fleet is the perfect spot for heritage tourism, and it has potential for new archaeological discoveries and opportunities for scientific research.
The group also designated 11 other sites as the most spectacular preservation wins from the last year. They include the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami; the 1926-era Delta Queen passenger steamboat; the Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in Chicago; Cooper Molera Adobe, built in 1827 in Monterey, California; the historic neighborhoods of Philadelphia; the childhood home of singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone; the neo-Gothic Lyndhurst Mansion, built in 1838 in Tarrytown, New York; Herndon Home Museum in Atlanta, Georgia; the Ocmulgee National Monument of Macon, Georgia — considered sacred to several federally recognized American Indian tribes — and “Communities of the 710” neighborhoods of Pasadena, South Pasadena and East Los Angeles.
WHAT TRUMP WOULD HAVE TOLD NIXON
The impeachment hearings continue with wall-to-wall coverage — and some thoughts of the past. Many observers recall President Nixon’s experiences with impeachment that ultimately led to his resignation from office on Aug. 8, 1974, before a live television audience of 120 million people.
The current president has a thought or two about that according to Ed Cox, the husband of Nixon daughter Tricia Nixon Cox and son-in-law to the 37th president. Mr. Cox is also is a pointman for President Trump’s reelection campaign, acting as national coordinator of the Trump Victory Fund.
Mr. Trump and Mr. Cox had a recent conversation about Nixon’s last moments in office.
“President Trump told me that he himself was going to fight through all of the impeachment. He’s a fighter. He told me that. He also said that President Nixon should have fought all the way through to the end too. But it was a different time back then,” Mr. Cox told Fox News on Monday.
“President Nixon had both houses against him. The Democrats drove it, and they wanted to dispose of a very powerful president who had a great reelection in 1972, the first Republican landslide since the 1920s. The Democrats wanted to get back the power, and that is what they did,” recalled Mr. Cox.
“Plus President Nixon had a terrible economy. It fell off the cliff. Trump’s got a great economy. And that’s why he is going to do well in 2020,” he added.
MEMO TO SOCIALISM FANS
“Americans’ reaction to the term ‘socialism’ remains more negative than positive in new Gallup polling, while solid majorities continue to view capitalism and free enterprise positively,” reports a new Gallup poll released Monday.
It found that 57% of the public give a thumbs down to socialism, 39% have a positive opinion. Gallup says these ratings have remained steady for the last nine years.
“Americans’ ratings of capitalism have not changed and are about the inverse of socialism’s ratings, with roughly 6 in 10 viewing capitalism positively. Americans are even more positive toward ‘free enterprise,’ with 87% evaluating that term positively,” says the survey analysis. “The poll finds majorities of Americans holding positive views of three aspects of capitalism: small business (97%), entrepreneurs (90%) and big business (52%).”
Fox News continues to reign supreme in the ratings when it comes to the ongoing impeachment hearings. Fox News drew a peak of 3.1 million viewers last week, besting not only its cable news rivals — but the “Big Three” broadcast networks as well. ABC, NBC and CBS all trailed Fox News.
The winning streak is likely to continue.
The leading cable news network will continue to present extensive live coverage surrounding the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s open impeachment hearings on Tuesday and Thursday. Things fire up at 8:30 a.m. EST on both days.
Anchors Bret Baier and Chris Wallace will lead coverage from Washington; Martha MacCallum, Bill Hemmer, Sandra Smith, and John Roberts contribute from New York City. Throughout the day, such learned analysts as Dana Perino, Juan Williams, Ken Starr and Andrew McCarthy will offer additional legal commentary throughout the special programming. Also on duty: Anchor Harris Faulkner, correspondents Kevin Corke and Mike Emanuel at the White House, plus Chad Pergram, Griff Jenkins, and Gillian Turner from Capitol Hill.
POLL DU JOUR
• 97% of Americans have a positive view of small business.
• 90% have a positive view of entrepreneurs.
• 87% fell that way about free enterprise, 60% say the same of capitalism.
• 52% feel positive about big business.
• 39% fell positive about socialism.
• 38% feel positive about the federal government.
Source: A Gallup poll of 1,525 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 3-15 and released Monday.
Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin
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