It once was known as the world's greatest naval ship, but starting July 7 the USS Iowa becomes the region's newest museum.
The World War II battleship, which has hosted U.S. Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, was towed from San Francisco Bay to Los Angeles in May. July Fourth ceremonies decommissioned the naval battleship and after a ribbon-cutting ceremony July 7, the museum and memorial will open every day, except Thanksgiving and Christmas, for tours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The museum highlights the contributions of the battleship and its crew at critical moments in American history, according to the nonprofit Pacific Battleship Center. The Iowa, which served in World War II, the Korean War and the Cold War, is 14 stories high, 887 feet long and displaces more than 45,000 tons.
Visitors touring the battleship will see Iowa's 16-inch main gun battery Turrets 1 and 2, the captain's cabin and a bathtub that was added for President Roosevelt when he traveled across the Atlantic Ocean aboard the USS Iowa in the height of World War II in 1943 to meet with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin in Tehran; they changed the course of history when they decided to open a second front against Nazi Germany.
The tour also includes a five-inch-gun mount, heavily armored bridge and defense mechanisms and weapons such as Tomahawk cruise missile launchers and Harpoon cruise missile canisters.
WHERE: Pacific Battleship Center 250 Harbor Blvd., Berth 87, San Pedro
WHEN: Opening to the public July 7, 9 a.m-5p.m.
PHONE: 877-4-IOWA-61 (877-446-9261)
TICKETS: Adult, $18; youth, $10; senior and military, $15; free for children under 6 and residents of the state of Iowa with valid state-issued ID.