One hundred and ten years ago this week, on October 7, 1904, tens of thousands of people lined the Seattle waterfront and watched from boats on Elliott Bay as the hull of the USS Nebraska -- the only battleship ever built in Washington -- slid down the ways at the Moran Shipyard. Seattleites had more than enough reason to be proud of the vessel -- its construction was buoyed by $100,000 in community aid.
Five years earlier, Seattle shipbuilder -- and former mayor -- Robert Moran submitted the lowest bid to build one of three new battleships for the U.S. Navy, but at a cost that was $300,000 more than the government was willing to pay. Knowing how important the contract was to Seattle, Moran offered to cover two thirds of the overage himself, if local businesses and individuals could raise the other $100,000. That they did, without hesitation.
Reprinted from historylink.org