“You can add my name to the list of people who immigrated to the United States on the SS America, as I was born on it on November28, 1951, while the ship was enroute to New York from Cobh, Ireland… I really feel that I want to take a trip to the Canary Island to see what remains of my
birthplace.” Marie Lacey (2/27/2000). (Thanks Marie)
New York Daily News: Monday, December 3, 1951.
STORK ADDS COLLEEN TO LINER LIST
The U.S. Liner America, Which left Cobh, Ireland for these shores Monday with 960
passengers on her manifest arrived yesterday with 961–the 961st being petite winsome Marie Teresa Lacey, a 4-day-old colleen born prematurely Wednesday on the high seas.
It was the stork’s first visit to the America, and Marie got a lot more attention than the VIP’s aboard when the ship docked at 9A.M. at pier 61, North River and 21st Street. Even the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which can be pretty sticky sometimes, smiled indulgently and let her come in under the visa of her mother, Mrs. Anne Lacey, a 25-year-old Irish immigrant, and with the same alien status.
POP HUSTLES ABOARD
The moment the gangplank was lowered, the excited father, Martin F. Lacey,32, a rigger who came to the U.S. several months ago and has been living at 436 Front Street, Dunellen, N.J.,was hustled aboard by the line officials to greet his wife and take a first look at his daughter.
From the standpoint of elegance, Marie’s shipboard incubator wasn’t up to luxury-liner standards, having been hastily improvised from a cardboard carton, previously filled with cabbages and potatoes, with a lining of menus from the dinning saloon for insulation, towels and cotton for padding, and a frame over the top through which oxygen could be fed.
But it did the job, and the head waiter and three engineers who made it, under the direction of the ship’s surgeon, Dr Roderick MacPherson, were proud of their handiwork. Dr MacPherson, who officiated at the delivery, was equally pleased.
New York Daily Mirror, December 3, 1951
Irish Wife Arrives Here With Premature Baby Born at Sea
Her new neighbors in Dunellen, NJ gave Mrs. Anne Lacey, 25, a royal welcome as she arrived from Ireland yesterday with her 4 1/2 pound daughter born prematurely at sea aboard the liner America last Wednesday.
Waiting at the pier was the nervous husband and father, Martin F. Lacey, an Irish rigger who came here several months ago to establish a home, the neighbors greeted the mother and baby Marie Teresa with open arms.
Then all the Laceys were escorted to a Dunellen Volunteer Rescue Squad ambulance, equipped with incubator, and with a nurse in attendance were whisked away to Muhlenberg Hospital in Planifield.
Mrs. Lacey, before departing, thanked Dr Roderick MacPherson, ship’s physician who delivered her child- the first birth at sea in the America’s history- and the crewmen who
devised an emergency incubator out of a cardboard box to keep Marie Teresa alive.
Dr MacPherson said the underweight infant could not have survived without the improvised incubator. Now, he said, she has ” A very good chance to live.”
Almost overlooked in the excitement over the Laceys were several distinguished passengers aboard the America, including Vice-Adm Oscar C Badger, returning from the Paris UN session; Charles U Bay, US envoy to Norway, and Selden Chapin, our Ambassador to the Netherlands.
Also aboard was a two-year-old German orphan, a blonde girl who is being adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Zabiela, of 296 Belmont Avenue, West Hempstead, Long Island.