Good news: Delta Queen coming back

Published 12:01 am Friday, December 7, 2018

This week President Trump very likely did three or four things that you either love or that you despise. That seems to be the way of the world these days. But he also did a simple, but important, act that will help our area.

If you cast political and policy preferences aside, we all should agree that the president did something great for Natchez — he’s putting the historic Delta Queen steamboat back on the river.

After a decade of being stuck at various docks due to a federal law that barred wooden vessels from carrying passengers, Trump signed into law Tuesday a piece of legislation that should authorize the Delta Queen to cruise again on the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

Email newsletter signup

First put into operation in 1927, the Delta Queen’s history is impressive. She served as a naval ship during World War II. The National Historic Landmark boat has carried a number of famous passengers, including presidents Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter.

She was sidelined when a long-time exemption to a law regarding the safety of wooden ships was allowed to expire. Unlike an ocean-going vessel that could have a fire far from the safety of shore, the Delta Queen’s route along the nation’s rivers never puts it far from safety.

Thus the exemption was needed and the Delta Queen remains a safe way to travel.

The company that owns the Delta Queen is already working on renovations and expects her to set sail again in 2020, as she celebrates her 93rd birthday.

The Delta Queen’s return will be welcome in Natchez and we hope and pray she will regularly stop here.

The Delta Queen is unique. She’s an original, classic part of Natchez and the river.

And we’ll be looking forward to the day she returns.