At about 1030 (local time) on March 28, 1968, the National Science Foundation's new research ship began sliding down the ways at the Harvey F. Gamage shipyard in South Bristol, Maine. At that moment, the ship's sponsor, Mrs. Leland J. Haworth, wife of the Foundation's director, cracked the traditional bottle of champagne against the vessel's bow and proclaimed, "In the name of the United States, I christen thee Hero.
The event, which culminated several years of ship design and construction, was witnessed by many local citizens and about two dozen distinguished guests. In addition to Mrs. Haworth, they included Representative Peter N. Kyros (D. Maine); Dr. Leland J. Haworth, Director of the National Science Foundation; Dr. T. O. Jones, Director of NSF's Environmental Sciences Division; Mr. Thomas Pross, U. S. Maritime Administration; Mr. Stanley Potter, the ship's designer; and Mr. Harvey F. Gamage, her builder.
Following an inspection of the ship, a luncheon was held at the Naval Air Station, Brunswick, Maine, for the distinguished guests. Mrs. Haworth was presented with a plaque (carved from South American greenheart, the same kind of wood with which the vessel is sheathed) evidencing her sponsorship of the new ship. Congressman Kyros was the principal speaker
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