Read the US Navy's 1975 guide to christening ships

Read the US Navy’s 1975 guide to christening ships

Manual uncovered in the CIA archives outline’s the long history of the practice, from ancient Babylon to Prohibition-era US

Written by
Edited by Jessie Gomez

A copy of the US Navy’s 1975 guide to “Christening, Launching, and Commissioning” ships uncovered in the Central Intelligence Agency’s archives offers a fascinating history of the surprisingly rich tradition of ruining a perfectly good bottle of champagne.

Page 6 of Champ
Page 6 of Champ

According to the guide, the practice can be traced all the way back to the ancient Babylonians …

transforming into a more secular affair in the Jacobean era of England …

and gradually becoming the sort of thing that wouldn’t be out of place in Vegas.

As the guide points out, champagne is the modern standard, though other types of “christening fluids” can be used …

which was particularly important during that critical period in US history where champagne was hard to come by.

In case you were wondering, one of the two ships christened with water was sunk in WWII, and the other was used as a target during atomic testing at Bikini Atoll.

Read the full guide embedded below:

Image via Wikimedia Commons