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 →

Kilauea Point Lighthouse was dedicated on the island of Kauai, part of the then-Territory of Hawaii. The concrete structure was built to serve as a navigational aid for the ever-increasing traffic of ships in the region. The day-long dedication festivities for the lighthouse attracted a large crowd and featured a luau. The new structure quickly... Continue Reading →

On the southwestern coast of present-day South Africa, a new lighthouse began operations near the city of Cape Town. (At the time of the lighthouse’s debut, this region was a part of the British colony known as the Cape Colony.) While built at Mouille Point, the lighthouse was formally named after the local community of... Continue Reading →

A Brooklyn Daily Eagle article about a Mississippi-based lighthouse -- located 1,256 miles (2,021 kilometers) away from the newspaper’s home base in New York City -- focused on a unique claim to fame held by that navigational aid. “Women Have Guided Biloxi Light for Over Sixty Years,” read the article’s headline. “A woman’s hand has... Continue Reading →

The Montana Standard newspaper featured a tribute to a legendary lighthouse keeper who had died the previous month on faraway Staten Island in New York. “Death recently closed the life of Mrs. Kate Walker, keeper from 1886 to 1919 of the Robbins Reef lighthouse in upper New York harbor,” stated the article. “A little woman,... Continue Reading →

A new lighthouse went into service at Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa and the start of the dividing line between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The Cape Agulhas Lighthouse was the third lighthouse to be built in present-day South Africa. At the time of the lighthouse’s debut, Cape Agulhas was a part of... Continue Reading →

A new lighthouse began operations in the part of central California that is about halfway between the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. Piedras Blancas Light Station, specifically located a little over five miles (8.1 kilometers) west by northwest of the town of San Simeon, has since served as a key navigational aid for... Continue Reading →

Off the coast of mainland Rhode Island, a new lighthouse began operations on the southeastern shore of the Ocean State’s Block Island. This lighthouse, located on 150-foot (46-meter)-high clay cliffs known as the Mohegan Bluffs, was built in response to concerns about the hazardous waters along and near that part of Block Island. These concerns... Continue Reading →

Nearly a year-and-a-half after the U.S. Congress appropriated $25,000 to build a lighthouse on the section of Fenwick Island in Delaware, the federal government paid someone named Mary C. Hall a mere $50 for a 10-acre (4.1-hectare) tract of land for the new structure. This location for the planned Fenwick Island Lighthouse was widely believed... Continue Reading →

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