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Newport News Shipbuilding Honors Little Rock Nine

Arkansas Keel Laying Thelma Mothershed Wair

HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division welcomed media to the shipyard on Friday, Nov. 18 for a media day ahead of the keel authentication ceremony for Virginia-class submarine Arkansas (SSN 800).

Media outlets from Virginia and Arkansas toured the event site and talked with NNS leadership, shipbuilders, the commanding officer of PCU Arkansas, and members of the Little Rock Nine, Arkansas’ sponsors.

The Little Rock Nine made history in 1957 as the first African American students to attend all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, declaring racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional.

To learn more about Arkansas (SSN 800), visit HII.com/SSN800. Photos from the event are available at HII.com.

Check out coverage from WTKR, WVEC, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and the story from the Daily Press below.

Members of Little Rock Nine mark milestone for new Virginia-class submarine Arkansas

(By Caitlyn Burchett, Nov. 18, 2022)

NEWPORT NEWS — Five members of the “Little Rock Nine” gathered Friday at Newport News Shipbuilding in preparation for the keel authentication ceremony of a new Virginia-class attack submarine that will pay homage to the group.

As sponsors and honorees of submarine Arkansas (SSN-800), their initials will be etched into the hull of the ship Saturday, representing the resiliency the Navy expects from its latest nuclear-powered attack submarine.

“Their characteristics of endurance and stick-to-itiveness are going to be part of this submarine and her crew forever,” said Jennifer Boykin, President of Newport News Shipbuilding.

Click here to read the full story from the Daily Press.

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Note: The six minute video that begins the ceremonial keel laying for Arkansas (SSN 800) includes copyrighted materials from HII/Newport News Shipbuilding and others.

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