Library Catalog - Kentucky Historical Society

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Object Name Bottle, Christening
Catalog Number 2013.35.1
Date 08/11/1990
Material(s) Steel/Glass/Cotton
Dimensions H-11.5 Dia-3 inches
Description This bottle was used to christen the ballistic missile submarine, USS Kentucky (SSBN-737). The outer container is made of stainless steel and is perforated with star-shaped holes around the body of the bottle. The inside is lined with a steel mesh. The bottom of the container is attached with four screws. A navy blue twill ribbon is attached at the top of the neck. The ribbon holds three ribbons in place that drape down the side of the container. Those three ribbons are red, white, and blue. Broken glass remains inside the container. The broken glass is the remains of the bottle that once contained bourbon which was used in this christening ceremony. The container is engraved with information about the company, sponsor, and date of ceremony. The side of the container is heavily dented on one side from use.
Notes This bottle was used to christen the ballistic missile submarine, USS Kentucky (SSBN-737). Carolyn Pennebaker Hopkins was the sponsor of the USS Kentucky (SSBN-737) and therefore christened the ship in 1990. Representative Larry Hopkins, a member of the Intelligence and Armed Service committees, was instrumental in the naming of the submarine. The remnants of the bottle that christened the battleship USS Kentucky (1898) is part of the KHS collection.

Though it is Navy tradition to christen a vessel with Champagne, Mrs. Hopkins asserted that Kentucky bourbon would be used to christen this vessel. It was determined that rather than selecting one bourbon for the honor that several bourbons from different Kentucky distillers would be blended.
Collection Carolyn and Larry Hopkins Collection
Event Christening, USS Kentucky
People Hopkins, Carolyn Pennebaker
Hopkins, Larry
Subjects Ceremonial objects
Submarine boats
Search Terms USS Kentucky, SSBN 737
Distilling industries