March 31, 1791 U.S. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton contracted with architect John McComb Jr. to design the first version of Cape Henry Lighthouse on Virginia’s Atlantic shore and at the southern boundary of the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay. (At the time, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Lighthouse Establishment was responsible for all lighthouses in the United... Continue Reading →

March 17, 1817 In the northern region of the present-day Republic of Ireland, a new lighthouse first went into service at the end of a peninsula known as Fanad. (At that time, the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland were merged together as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; this sovereign state remained... Continue Reading →

January 9, 1926 Less than 20 months after construction on it had begun, a new lighthouse was completed in the western region of what is now the State of Libya. At the time of this lighthouse’s completion, the area of present-day Libya was an Italian colony known as Italian Tripolitania. Italian Tripolitania was unified with... Continue Reading →

December 19, 1918 Construction began on a lighthouse within the region of Tierra del Fuego that is part of Argentina. Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse was specifically built on an islet in the Beagle Channel as a navigational aid for vessels sailing to and from Ushuaia, which is one of the world’s southernmost cities. The islet where... Continue Reading →

December 9, 1892 A large amount of money was unexpectedly made available for the funding of a new lighthouse in northwestern France. The disbursement of this money for a lighthouse was one of the provisions in the will of a noblewoman who had died two months earlier at the age of 77. Adélaïde-Louise Davout, Marquise... Continue Reading →

November 5, 2011 Better late than never . . . In southeast Australia, a lighthouse at Cape Wickham on King Island in the state of Tasmania was officially opened 150 years after first going into the service. This ceremony finally took place in 2011 because, during preparations to commemorate the lighthouse’s sesquicentennial, it was discovered... Continue Reading →

September 16, 1861 A new lighthouse went into service on a huge rock located in False Bay (a body of water in the Atlantic Ocean) and near Simon’s Town in the present-day Western Cape province of the Republic of South Africa. (At the time of the lighthouse’s debut, this region was part of the British... Continue Reading →

August 27, 1943 In the midst of World War II, the ship Cape Leeuwin was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to assist with Australia’s efforts on behalf of the Allies in their fight against Japan. A lighthouse tender, HMAS Cape Leeuwin had been designed and built nearly two decades earlier to provide supplies and... Continue Reading →

August 8, 1303 In the eastern Mediterranean basin, a violent earthquake – and the major tsunami it triggered – led to widespread destruction and death throughout the region. The best-known casualty of these natural disasters was the longstanding lighthouse in Alexandria, Egypt, that had achieved renown as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient... Continue Reading →

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