A Legislative and Corporate History
From the Files of Bill N. Muster
and Richard C. Simonton

Muster & Simonton Delta Queen documents index - click here.
Delta Queen legislative and coroprate timeline - click here.

Summary: After winning the three-year exemption, the Delta Queen retired for winter drydock and layup repairs. The 1971 season began late (April 16) with two cruises chartered by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

When the Delta Queen last left Cincinnati, Oct. 12, 1970, it was to be her last trip. Therefore, her return to Cincinnati April 29 was considered a gala event. The day was proclaimed "Delta Queen Day" by Mayor Willis Gradison and he awaited her arrival with a red carpet. On the river, a flotilla of pleasure boats and fire boats sending plumes of water into the air greeted her, and a helicopter hovered over head. Boy Scouts showered balloons from a bridge and a local florist supplied 1,000 flowers which were showered on the boat. She was honored with a 21-gun salute, a color guard, and a 70-piece band with majorettes, and other musical bands.

Media reported the festivals and grand receptions in every town the boat visited throughout the year. Muster kept in touch with legislators advising them of the public's enthusiastic response to the Delta Queen.

On Aug. 6, Senators Taft, Saxbe, and Scott introduced S 2470, asking for the boat's permanent exemption to the 1966 Safety at Sea law. (Similar bills were introduced in the House.) Shortly after S 2470 was announced, the US Coast Guard and Rep. Garmatz each publicly decried the move and vowed that they would block any legislation favoring the Delta Queen.

In September, Garmatz and USCG Chief of Marine Safety Admiral Rae tried to discredit the Delta Queen. Each wrote letters to constituents and colleagues claiming that Greene Line Steamers did not make promised repairs to the boat during winter layup. Their allegations spurred negative editorials in several newspapers. Muster vigorously defended the Delta Queen by writing to legislators explaining the situation. He also wrote rebuttals to Admiral Rae and Coast Guard officials.

Muster pointed out that the original list of repairs was promised when the boat was being considered for a permanent exemption. However, that legislation was killed in the Merchant Marine conference committee. Muster cited a Nov. 25 letter to Rep. McCulloch, outlining proposed improvements if a three-year extension could be given. Muster pointed out that they not only complied with these promises, but exceeded them in many areas.

As the year ended, the Delta Queen went into winter layup for further repairs and improvements. In order to comply with pollution laws, an elaborate sewage treatment plant was installed on the boat.

MISC.: On Sept 27, the Delta Queen opened its own Post Office, thus reviving steamboat mail service. It became a public relations event attended by the media, supporters, and some congressmen.

Capt. Wagner appeared on "What's My Line" TV game show in March. In July, the paddle wheel and monkey rudders were damaged when the boat went aground on a sandbar. General improvements in company operations included: new office facilities, better crew uniforms, and more souvenirs for gift shop. An antique Una-fon was added to the boat's calliope at the beginning of the year.

Read the highlights for this year or skip to 1972

Jan. 1971:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, layup, new office, Trudell letter.

DQ Supporters: Letters of support with replies from Muster.

Save DQ: Correspondence with various legislators; with Kohler; thank-you letter with list of congressmen; Calliope tabloid with story of reprieve and cover letter. Statement (for press) on DQ improvements; Itineraries for 1971.

News Clippings: AP on exemption; UPI on NASA fireproofing, other layup repairs; misc. articles on exemption; editorials in Chicago Tribune and States Item; several brief mentions; Waterways Journal, "Safety Improvements of Delta Queen Outlined"; Times Picayune on Sullivan; Lafayette Daily Advertiser on Cajun Country Park; letter to the editor from Elmer M. Grade.

Feb. 1971:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, unions, insurance, new office, Trudell, liquor license; financial; documents regarding Muster/Blake bonus and loan to GLS.

Layup: Correspondence with Avondale Shipyards; budgets; invoices.

Congress: Acknowledgements and thanks for SOS certificates.

Save DQ: Correspondence with various media and legislators; with Mooney regarding Save DQ ("I still have trouble believing that we ever won the battle to save the Queen. . . I have wanted to sit down and make notes of the different events that occurred and how they were surmounted."); with Pantowich regarding Muster history in GLS, regarding DQ depreciation; with supporters; with Discover America; Calliope tabloid.

News Clippings: Waterways Journal editorial; articles on layup work; Deming interview on DQ; Boats and Harbors, back cover photo; German article; brief mention; AP on Nixon signing bill.

March 1971:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, media, congress, supporters, SOSs, DQ record, unions, insurance; layup dispute, budget; pollution laws in Iowa, etc.; misc.; Una-fon information; new brochure; financial statement; misc. legal.

DQ PR: Press release regarding DQ new season/drydock; information and press release for Cincinnati Historical Society presentation; Blake speech to Cincinnati executives; plans for Cincinnati DQ welcome.

News Clippings: Vicksburg Evening Post, several articles on new boat; The Commercial Appeal, DQ in war days; Cedar Rapids Gazette, on DQ trips to Iowa; Clarion-Ledger town talk column; AP on 1971 cruise schedule; Natchez Democrat DQ to visit Natchez; travel advice; Cincinnati Post, Library of Congress acquires DQ film; Travel Tours Newsletter cover photo and tour promotion; pollution; Info. USA, French article; Minnesota Progress on reprieve; Chicago Tribune on reprieve with color photo page one; Family Week Sunday magazine, cover photo, travel article; Waterways Journal, new boat.

April 1971:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, safety inspection, pollution; layup invoices, budget; USCG regarding life rafts; corporate minutes regarding ship safety; Una-fon wiring diagram.

American Heritage, article on congressional battle; Vicksburg Evening Post, editorial; Spanish article.

DQ Day: Flier for Cincinnati Historical Society; "We the People Saved the DQ," by Muster; Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce press release regarding DQ Day; correspondence etc.; invitation list; GLS press release regarding DQ improvements, Steamboat race, NASA fire proofing, DQ return to Cincinnati; correspondence with congressmen; Wagner race challenge to Bell of Louisville.

News Clippings: Steamboat race coverage (DQ lost), including New York Times, AP, Indiana Daily Herald; "Queen Afloat Again," etc., including Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Examiner, UPI (photo of Muster and James Biddle reflected in plaque), Blanche magazine, Vicksburg Evening Post, Evansville Press;Natchez Democrat.

May 1971:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, safety inspection, pollution, Nashville welcome; documents regarding IRS/Muster bonus; legal regarding Beatty storage; layup dispute correspondence and invoices.

New Boat: Vic Tooker notes; suggestions to Hinckley (reasons for locating passenger's dining room on main deck).

DQ PR: Notes for speech; Chief Justice Earl Warren passage ticket; correspondence with congressmen regarding promised repairs, improvements; misc. correspondence with legislators, media.

News Clippings: DQ reprieve stories, including The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Bon Voyage magazine, Awareness (NASA newsletter); New London Record; The Milwaukee Journal Sunday magazine, cover photo. Saturday Review magazine, travel story.

June 1971:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, congress and other SOS, layup disputes, USCG, DQ film, comment sheet excerpts, itineraries, unions, pollution, Seapax sewer, USCG report on DQ/bridge collision.

New Boat: Misc. correspondence Muster, Hinckley.

News Clippings: Saturday Review, "How the Queen was Saved," parts II and III; Carte Blanche letters; Preservation News, "DQ Comes Home"; Marietta papers on DQ visit.

July 1971:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, Beatty storage, layup disputes, USCG, hull insurance, linen, ICC regarding extend permit, new office, unions, Una-fon information.

Save DQ: Letter from Garmatz ("I have not taken a ride on the Delta Queen, nor do I intend to do so. I have too high a regard for my personal safety"); correspondence regarding permanent exemption; Calliope tabloid including articles on DQ homecoming, new season.

New Boat: Correspondence.

News Clippings: "Coast Guard Adamant on Delta Queen," ("The Coast Guard said Monday it would fight any new effort by Cincinnati's Delta Queen for permanent exemptions from the Sea-Safety Law.")

Aug. 1971:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, union agreement, layup dispute, ICC extended permit, Post Office, Seapax sewer, USCG, crew uniforms, supporters, engineers' manual; information regarding damage to paddle wheel, repairs, financial forecast; corporate minutes.

Save DQ: Correspondence with congressmen (Muster to Taft: "Your prompt action in sponsoring a bill to permanently exempt the Delta Queen is deeply appreciated by all of us."); history of DQ for Silver Platter brochure; Sen. Scott statement; press release on S 2470; S 2470 ("To . . . exempt certain vessels operating on inland rivers."; list of congressmen; "Background on DQ Legislation"; Congressional Record: Taft on S 2470; letter to legislators ("We were extremely pleased to hear that Senators Taft, Saxbe and Scott have sponsored").

Misc. PR: "One of the loneliest jobs" a book introduction by Dick Perry; bio-data Muster and Blake; draft press release regarding Post Office; special thanks to Capt. Wagner for handling paddlewheel repair emergency.

News Clippings: Editorials: Chicago Tribune, Cincinnati Enquirer; misc. travel/entertainment articles; Muster/Blake on cover of Rays, Cincinnati Rotary Club; Garmatz: "Committee Chairman Vows to Snag Delta Queen Bill," Cincinnati Enquirer; AP, "Paddlewheeler Wears Space Program Paint"; Waterways Journal, DQ accident; cover story, Cincinnati Bell Bulletin; DQ revived, Elks magazine.

Sept. 1971:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, unions, layup dispute, Post Office, engineers' manual, paddle wheel repairs, crew uniforms, ONA graphics, Seapax sewer, National Trust for Historic Preservation regarding postage stamp

Congress: Correspondence regarding DQ parties, misc.; HR 10926 (McCulloch); HR 10696 (Snyder), HR 10631 (Schwengel); memo about Garmatz testimonial dinner.

USCG: Correspondence and rebuttal to Admiral Bender (Muster to Kohler and others: "Admiral Bender and his Chief of Marine Safety, Admiral Rae, both of whom granted me an audience last spring, seem to have adopted a personally vindictive attitude toward the Delta Queen.").

Misc. PR: Press release and correspondence regarding DQ Post Office; correspondence and clipping on pollution laws; ICC application.

News Clippings: Steamboat races (DQ vs Border Star set for Feb; DQ vs Belle of Louisville set for May); DQ Post Office, including Los Angeles Times, Cincinnati Enquirer, AP; new legislation; photo/caption in San Francisco Examiner travel section; Rays Cincinnati Rotary Club, "What Happened Last Thursday."

Oct. 1971:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, unions, St. Paul, layup schedule, Seapax sewer, steamboat race; SATW Connie Award; financial.

Congress and USCG: Correspondence on DQ repairs, Post Office, pending legislation; Rep. Keating statement and press release ("Keating Wades in to Save the DQ "); Muster's reply to Admiral Rae ("Your recent letter to Rep. Keating implied that the Delta Queen was somehow in default on its promises to improve and upgrade the safety factors"); letter from Garmatz ("Knowing what I do about the boat, I consider it to be a floating firetrap. . . I am enclosing, for your enlightenment, a list of safety improvements which the owners promised to make. . . but which had not been accomplished as of April 20").

News Clippings: Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, front page color photo, "Gov. Ray Leads Push to Build Second Delta Queen in Dubuque"; Muscatine Journal, front page photo/caption, "Crowd Packs Riverfront for Delta Queen"; Cincinnati Post, "Delta Queen Delinquent on Safety."

Nov. 1971:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, unions, Iowa DQ supporters, layup, new boat, steamboat race; corporate minutes regarding Seapax sewer and layup; sales forecast.

Congress: Mailing to legislators ("We sincerely appreciated your sponsoring legislation to get us a permanent exemption. We intent to justify your confidence"); other correspondence with legislators.

News Clippings: Bye & Bye, Japanese magazine, color photo story.

Dec. 1971:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, layup, personnel, supporters, Seapax sewer,ICC, unions, crew uniforms; press release regarding DQ as Mardi Gras hotel; ONA press release; information regarding congressional cruise; balance sheet and financial statement.

Congress and USCG: Correspondence on DQ repairs, 1971 season.

News Clippings: Ads.

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, personnel, environmental assessment; FCC application; Una-fon wiring diagram; new boat financial projections.

Save DQ: Notes regarding congressional strategy; Garmatz re-election letter; misc. correspondence and form letter to congressmen; list of legislation and congressmen; press release regarding Don Deming; "A Permanent Exemption for DQ," by Muster; Muster bio-data; Muster slide show script; Mark Twain quote; list of DQ PR exposure in 1971; story of DQ ("Twenty-three years ago when Tom Greene first brought the Delta Queen to the Mississippi and Ohio River Valley there was plenty of talk and a great deal of it was skeptical about this ugly duckling from California.").

News Clippings: S & D Reflector, extra issue, DQ photo front cover, story by Fred Way, Jr, "Incredible Journey"; 1971 Marine Catalog, DQ front cover; Jet Profiles, trade magazine, article on ONA and DQ; ONA Horizons newsletter, "Long Live the Queen"; McCulloch "Won't Run in 1972"; Johnny Cash quote on DQ; ASTA Travel, Shipline; Blake story on DQ; list of media coverage; New Orleans States Item, editorial; UPI on Garmatz (not on DQ); AP, DQ loses steamboat race, DQ summer schedule.

Summary: Bill Muster produced a film called, Delta Queen, My Time Machine, and entered it in the Public Relations Society of America Film Festival. During the last four months of 1972, the film played on numerous TV shows and at least 100 private showings for groups, clubs, churches, and so on. The boat also received numerous articles and other media coverage throughout the year.

Much of the documentation relates to the everyday workings of the corporation, including personnel, inventory, labor disputes, customer relations, tax, legal, and financial matters, and various government regulations.

In May, Sepax, Inc. filed suit against Greene Line Steamers for non-payment of a $85,000 debt to install sewage equipment. Upon returing to Cincinnati May 5, federal a US marshal "arrested" the riverboat and its captain. A subsequent article appeared in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

Rep. Hungate, who opposed the Delta Queen exemption, made statements implying that GLS did not pay its bills. He submitted the Globe-Democrat article, along with his comments, to the Congressional Record. A rebuttal and supporting correspondence from Muster followed. Muster explained that they had a legitimate complaint against Sepax, because the equipment didn't work.

During the year, Greene Line Steamers held several campaign parties to honor Rep. Sullivan, congressional friend of the Delta Queen (April 14 and Oct. 30 in St. Louis). A turning point in the battle to save the Delta Queen came when Rep. Garmatz, the Delta Queen's greatest foe, announced he would not run for re-election. His position as of chairman of the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries was later filled by Sullivan. Delta Queen officials felt this would improve the boat's chances for an extension or permanent exemption from the Safety at Sea Act in 1973.

One bill for the boat's permanent exemption failed in August, but new legislation was immediately introduced by other senators. There was no major campaign to save the boat during 1972, besides PR and safety improvements. However, Blake and Muster laid plans for the 1973 campaign as the boat went into winter layup in Cincinnati.

MISC.: In February, the Delta Queen made its first trip up the Arkansas River and raced with the Border Queen. In October, the government issued a Tom Sawyer commemorative stamp. Guests at a ceremony on the Delta Queen had the opportunity to buy a first day cover with steamboat cancellation. The city of Hannibal, Mark Twain's home town, also held celebrations. In October, a minor fire broke out in the boiler room. Muster assisted in putting out the fire and the boat suffered minimal damage.

Read the highlights for this year or skip to 1973

Jan. 1972:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, insurance, boat model; ICC and USCG regarding permit extension; legal agreement with Sandars.

Layup: Invoice and correspondence regarding repairs, improvements and Seapax sewer installation.

Unions: Misc. correspondence and documents regarding unions.

Save DQ/PR: Correspondence with Congress, USCG, supporters, media, Fred Way (about S & D article; new boat); Mardi Gras promotion and flier to travel agents; summary of DQ promotion; press release regarding Don Sandars, ONA; Save DQ slogans for 1972; Congressional Record, remarks by Reps. McClory and Chicago Tribune article.

News Clippings: DQ sewer; Chicago Tribune article by Edward J Wojtas, that garnered 1,500 inquiries.

Feb. 1972:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, ICC and USCG, boat model; corporate minutes.

Insurance Information and correspondence regarding insurance claims, general insurance information.

Unions: Misc. correspondence and documents regarding unions.

Layup: Invoice and correspondence regarding repairs, improvements and Seapax sewer installation.

PR: Information on steamboat races; general media correspondence; preliminary plans for film; Congressional Record with Chicago Tribune article.

New Boat: Correspondence with Fred Way and CW Stoll; estimates.

News Clippings: Garmatz decides not to run for congress, Washington Post, other newspapers; Arkansas Gazette, DQ first trip up Arkansas River.

March 1972:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, DQ record, passenger comments, boat model, insurance, ICC, unions; correspondence with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, supporters.

PR/Congress: Correspondence with Rep. Sullivan, other legislators; with media; press release on Kenny Howe; film script.

New Boat: Correspondence with Fred Way and others.

April 1972:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, insurance, Muster/Blake salaries, St. Louis landing, new boat, unions; correspondence with friends, media, National Trust for Historic Preservation, supporters.

Layup: Seapax dispute, other invoice and correspondence regarding repairs.

Congress: Letter on status of DQ mortgage application; HR 14373 (Baker: "To exempt from certain deep-draft safety statutes a passenger vessel operating solely on inland rivers."); Calliope tabloid with stories on congressional battle, etc.

News Clippings: AP on steamboat race and Cincinnati welcome; The Detroit News, incorrect article on river travel, new DQ; list of air times for "America"; Visitus, South Seas travel newsletter with front page photo and information on DQ.

May 1972:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, insurance, office rental, unions, legal, media, friends, supporters, ICC.

Layup: Information and correspondence regarding layup repairs.

Congress: General correspondence; negative article and Congressional Record comments by Hungate;Congressional Record.

News Clippings: Los Angeles Herald Examiner, photo/caption on front page of travel section; The Washingtonian magazine, DQ included in travel story; steamboat race (DQ loses to Belle of Louisville); AP DQ returns to Cincinnati; Imperial 400 Motel Outdoor World magazine, "Steamboat Nostalgia" incuding DQ; Ann Arbor News, photo of new boat tank tests; Air California, in-flight magazine, "Paddlewheels and Piracy" on Delta King.

June 1972:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, insurance, improvements, boat model, legal, financial, radar, ICC, Cincinnati office, supporters, accident repairs.

Seapax Sewer: Information, correspondence and documents regarding Seapax lawsuit and failure of equipment.

New Boat: Information, press release and correspondence regarding boat model; ONA press release on mortgage insurance application; press release, "New Riverboat Plans Submitted"; inter-office correspondence about new boat; other correspondence; Calliope tabloid with stories on new boat, etc.

Congress/PR: Reply and other correspondence with Hungate; other congressional and legal correspondence.

News Clippings: New boat story, including The New York Times (mention), New Orleans States-Item, Travel Weekly, Travel Age East,Wall Street Journal (ONA story on mortgage), UPI, AP, Travel Trade, Fax Forecast, Travel Agent, San Francisco Examiner, Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Chicago Tribune, Waterways Journal, Baltimore Sun, Washington Daily News.

On pier/bridge accident, including UPI photo, several St. Louis papers, Kentucky Post, Cincinnati Post.

Travel stories and misc.: Plymouth Traveler magazine; other papers.

July 1972:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents on operations, spring cruise brochure, Captain's menus, unions, insurance, radar regulations, pier/bridge collision, new boat, hiring policy, supporters, gift shop.

Film Preview: Guest lists, announcements, correspondence.

Seapax Sewer: Legal documents, correspondence.

Congress/Media: Correspondence with Hungate (regarding plans for new boat); media.

News Clippings: Calendar page with DQ; Chicago Tribune, steamboat non-race with Julia Belle Swain; Collectors News, color front page photo and travel story; more new boat stories with photo, including Detroit News, Los Angeles Times; other misc. articles.

Aug. 1972:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, accident, repairs, other repairs and improvements; gift shop, DQ car wash, flag certificates, new boat, media, union contract, new Captain's menus.

Congress: Press release on new legislation; letter to favorable legislators ("We were extremely pleased to hear that Senators Taft, Saxbe and Scott have sponsored S 2470").

Seapax Sewer: Legal documents, correspondence; statement by Benefiel

News Clippings: San Jose Mercury, DQ carwash; wedding on boat; travel stories; misc.

Sept. 1972:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, unions, repairs, preliminary layup, Calliope tabloid, misc. promotion, media, Mark Twain cruise promotion.

Seapax Sewer: Correspondence and documents regarding Seapax.

New Boat: Correspondence regarding building new boat.

News Clippings: Wall Street Journal, brief mention in a story how businesses react to setbacks.

Oct. 1972:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, boiler room fire report, Tom Sawyer stamp/first day cover and ceremony, insurance, employee complaints, Vic Tooker resignation, party for Rep. Sullivan, supporters; credit agreement with ONA.

Unions: Information regarding SEA union.

News Clippings: Tom Sawyer stamp celebration, Columbus Evening Dispatch, Herald Traveler and Record American.

Nov. 1972:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, legal notes, media, alternate sewage systems, Don Sanders leaves employment, spring brochure/sailing schedule, taxes; press release regarding jazz tour; sales reports, financial forecast.

Complaints: Correspondence and memos regarding passenger complaints; summary of passenger comments.

Layup: Proposed budget, repairs, etc.

Seapax Sewer: Legal documents, correspondence.

News Clippings: Cover photo of calliope on Capital Sunday magazine, story "A night of jazz on the Delta Queen"; ASTA Convention Daily, photo "I'd Rather be a Steamboat."

Dec. 1972:

Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, Sandars dispute, radar certificates, PR for DQ film, layup information, sales reports, general correspondence, financial; suggested slogans for 1973 campaign.

Unions: Misc. documents and correspondence.

Seapax Sewer: Information regarding alternate system, misc. documents and correspondence.

News Clippings: ASTA Travel News magazine, photo of DQ "campaign"; New York Times, photo/story on jazz cruise, other articles on jazz cruise; Playboy magazine, mention in story on Mississippi River; Professional Photographer, wedding photographer.


Misc.: Correspondence and documents regarding operations, passenger comments, financial, employees; story of Illinois trip, copy for record liner, sing along coloring book, script for DQ movie, Quinby article on subway car, summary of 1972 media exposure, story by Captain Wagner: "In My Opinion," job descriptions, souvenir order form.

New Boat: Proposal and correspondence; press release regarding ONA.