Centennial Corner: July, August have Navy highlights for the Centennial

In the history highlight, Larry Strawther somehow avoided losing his voice this week after conducting two Main Street walking tours and a presentation to the First United Methodist Church after their regular service on Sunday.

Larry and members of the Centennial Committee and others conducted a dress rehearsal on Wednesday for some Centennial Committee and some city staff, then led over 100 people down Main Street on Saturday.

He and his docents stayed another 45 minutes answering questions and autographing copies of his book.

Larry said, “At least 75 percent of the tour group was from out of town although a large number had lived here at one time.”

He continued, “One of the best things for me is that some of the people had their information and personal experiences, so I even got a chance to learn new things about the town.”

Larry’s most commonly asked questions: “How long does the tour take?”  It runs about an hour and fifteen minutes.

“Is there a charge?” No, it is put on at no cost by the Centennial Committee and sponsors for the benefit of residents and visitors. Moreover, finally, “Where do we meet to start?”

He replied, “Just show up at the Bay Theatre at 11:30 sharp because there is a lot to cover!”

As to the incredible opportunity at the Naval Weapon’s Station Seal Beach, it is going to be a guided missile destroyer, the USS Milius DDG-69.

The USS Milius is an Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided missile destroyer of the United States Navy. Her namesake is Commander Paul L. Milius of U.S. Navy squadron VO-67.

Tours will begin on Saturday Aug, 1, at 10 a.m. and cars will enter through the Liberty Gate, which is between Pacific Coast Highway and Electric Avenue closest to where the ship is docked.

Please note this is not the Main Gate.

Cars will be allowed in until 2:30 p.m., at which point the tour line will be cut off and only those who are in line at that time will tour.

Sunday, Aug. 2, the tours begin again at 10 a.m. and continue until 1:30 p.m., when the line closes for new additions.

Simply, if you want to enjoy the tour, you will need to get there as early as possible to the opening time for the gate.

There will be USS Milius keepsakes, softgoods and other branded items for sale along with some food and refreshments.

These sales go to benefit the Navy’s Health, Morale and Welfare funds along with the USS Milius.  Please be advised that the ship is not accessible to the handicapped, and persons attending the tour must be able to stand for long periods and climb steep stairways.

More information on the ship can be found at .

For more information, contact the Naval Weapons’ Station public affairs at gregg.smith@navy.mil or Scott Newton at 562-537-3955.