Houston Ship Channel Celebrates 100 Years

Photo: Louis Vest/OneEighteen via Flickr
Photo: Louis Vest/OneEighteen via Flickr

The Houston Ship Channel celebrated 100 years of service this week with a rededication ceremony of the opening of Houston’s deep-water port.

Hundreds of guests, including elected officials, members of the International Longshoremen’s Association, Houston Pilots, U.S. Coast Guard, current and former Port Commissioners, industry stakeholders and others, attended the Houston Ship Channel Rededication at Brady’s Landing, overlooking the Houston Ship Channel, on Monday, November 10, exactly 100 years to the day of the original ceremony in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson fired a cannon by remote control from his office in Washington D.C.

Katherine Lee Stacy, the great-great-granddaughter of Miss Sue Campbell, daughter of then-Houston May Ben Campbell and who took part in the original dedication ceremony by tossing a floral offering, reenacted the christening event. The tradition continued Monday, with Stacy tossing her own floral wreath from the bow of the MV Sam Houston.

“I christen thee Port of Houston, and hitherto the boats of all nations may come and receive hearty welcome,” proclaimed Stacy, as a cannon salute fired by members of the Sons of the Republic of Texas marked the beginning of a new century for the Channel.

Former Port of Houston Authority Executive Director Tom Kornegay, who serves as chairman of the Promote Houston Ship Channel Centennial 2014 Board of Directors, gave welcoming remarks.

“This is a great day,” Port Chairman Janiece Longoria said as she served as Master of Ceremony. “We gather to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the opening of the Houston Ship Channel, a remarkable achievement that came into being from great visionaries that refused to be stopped by any obstacle. I have often observed that visionary thinking and partnership go hand in hand, and when a bold idea is powered with effective partnership, there is no limit to what can be accomplished. And the Houston Ship Channel and the Port of Houston are one of the great examples of this principle in action.”

Chairman Longoria stated that as a direct result of great visionary thinking, coupled with effective partnership, the Port of Houston is now home to the largest petrochemical complex in the nation and the second largest in the world; Houston has grown to be the fourth largest city in the nation and the premier metropolitan exporting region in the nation; and Texas has been the leading state for exports for over a decade.

Monday’s event culminated three months of activities recognizing the Houston Ship Channel’s Centennial.

More on the Houston Ship Channel Centennial can be found HERE.