April 12, 1792 The Second U.S. Congress authorized the creation of a pioneering lighthouse in New York. The actual construction of this lighthouse, which is located at the easternmost point of Long Island in the hamlet of Montauk, finally took place four years later. Montauk Point Lighthouse was the first lighthouse built within the state... Continue Reading →

January 18, 1865 The foundation stone was laid for a lighthouse on Amédée Island, a part of what was then the French dependency of New Caledonia in the southwest Pacific Ocean. (New Caledonia was reclassified as an overseas territory of France in 1946.) Amédée Island is located about 15 miles (24 kilometers) from the present-day... Continue Reading →

The Wampanoag people were a long-established confederacy of several Native American tribes in present-day Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Many of the Wampanoag people are now enrolled in two federally recognized tribes in Massachusetts: the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Tribal Council, based in the town of Mashpee on the southeastern coast of mainland Massachusetts; and the Wampanoag... Continue Reading →

November 6, 1818 In northwestern Pennsylvania, a lighthouse in the borough (now city) of Erie began operations when keeper John Bone lit the oil wick in the new structure. The lighthouse had been built on a bluff overlooking Lake Erie and was specifically located across the water from Presque Isle, a seven-mile (11.3-kilometer)-long peninsula that... Continue Reading →

August 30, 1929 Lightship 115 (LV-115) of the U.S. Lighthouse Service was launched in Charleston, South Carolina. As one of the lightships built to serve as navigational aids in waters too deep or otherwise unsuitable for lighthouses, LV-115 was stationed beginning in 1930 at one of the most dangerous places along the entire Atlantic coast... Continue Reading →

August 14, 1930 Construction on the lightship now known as Chesapeake was completed by the Charleston Drydock & Machine Company in Charleston, South Carolina. As one of the more modern floating lighthouses built to serve as navigational aids along U.S. coastal waters, Lightship 116 was equipped with state-of-the-art features for lightships during that era. Lightship... Continue Reading →

July 31, 1910 In Minnesota, Split Rock Lighthouse began operations in a high-risk area on the North Shore of Lake Superior. The new structure’s oil-vapor lamp was first lit on that Sunday evening by keeper Orren “Pete” Young. A one-time sailor, Young served as keeper at the lighthouse until retiring at the mandatory age of... Continue Reading →

July 13, 1858 A new lighthouse began operations at Cape Borda on Kangaroo Island in the colony (present-day state) of South Australia. Cape Borda Lightstation was built to help guide ships being pushed along by the strong “Roaring Forties” trade winds in that part of the world and – via the Investigator Strait between Kangaroo... Continue Reading →

  June 1, 1854 The original Alcatraz Island Lighthouse in California’s San Francisco Bay began operations. The lighthouse was first lit at sunset by head keeper Michael Cassin. The lighthouse, which was the first active one on the Pacific coast, had been authorized in response to the urgent need to safely guide an ever-growing number... Continue Reading →

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