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In 1935, a Charter to form a Society whose objects were determined to be the aiding, advancing, assisting, encouraging, promoting, and otherwise supporting the development of the Port of Philadelphia; cooperating to that end with other ports in furthering the American Merchant Marine and such other national and local projects as may be of benefit to the Port of Philadelphia; and promoting sociability developing a fraternal spirit and interchanging information and ideas among men engaged in marine activities in the Port, was applied for. And on December 4, 1935, was signed by Judge Alessandroni, of the Court of Common Pleas No. 5; thus establishing the Port of Philadelphia Maritime Society.

On Thursday, December 12, 1935, in the Locust Room of the Penn Athletic Club at 6:30 pm, the first meeting and dinner of the Port of Philadelphia Maritime Society was called to order. The Charter of the Society was presented and unanimously accepted by the members, along with the Constitution and By-Laws.

Through the years there have been changes to both the Constitution and the By-Laws of the Society, and in 1985, realizing the need to expand its efforts into supporting all of the ports both within and outside of the City limits, the Port of Philadelphia Maritime Society changed the name of its Charter to the Ports of Philadelphia Maritime Society, thus expanding their Charter to include the ports of the Delaware River and Bay.

Over the years, the Port of Philadelphia Maritime Society has continued to be a proactive presence for the Port of Philadelphia and the Merchant Marine Industry.