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NEWPORT NEWS (AP) -- An ancient naval tradition has become a part of the Navy's next nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

Newport News Shipbuilding workers welded a time capsule into the flight deck room aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford on Thursday. The capsule carries commemorative Navy coins, the aviator wings of the ship's first commanding officer and a piece of sandstone that was used in construction of the White House.

The items were placed underneath the ship's island during a January ceremony, but were removed so the 555-metric-ton structure could be welded onto the ship's flight deck. The tradition began with ancient Greek and Roman mariners placing coins underneath ships' masts.

The welding occurred in advance of what would have been former President Ford's 100th birthday on Sunday. The ship will be christened in November.

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