Queen Mary sailed on her maiden voyage on 27 May 1936 and captured the Blue Riband in August of that year; she lost the title to the SS Normandie in 1937 and recaptured it in 1938. With the outbreak of World War II, she was converted into a troopship and ferried Allied soldiers for the duration of the war. Following the war, Queen Mary was refitted for passenger service and along with Queen Elizabeth commenced the two-ship transatlantic passenger service that the two ships were initially built for. The two ships dominated the transatlantic passenger transportation market until the dawn of the jet age in the late 1950s. By the mid-1960s the ship was aging and though still among the most popular transatlantic liners, was operating at a loss.
After several years of decreased profits for Cunard Line, Queen Mary was officially retired from service in 1967. The ship left Southampton in 1968 for the last time and was sailed to the port of Long Beach, California, United States, where it remains permanently moored. Much of the machinery including the propellers and boilers were removed, and the ship now serves as a tourist attraction featuring restaurants, a museum, and hotel. The ship is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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