August 3, 1916 In Washington State, the snag steamer Swinomish became the first ship to pass through a complex of locks for the section of the Lake Washington Ship Canal at the west end of Salmon Bay and between the Seattle neighborhoods of Ballard and Magnolia. (A snag steamer is a vessel built to clear... Continue Reading →

July 21, 1946   An aviation milestone took place with the first official U.S. assessment of the adaptability of an all-jet aircraft to shipboard operations. For that assessment, U.S. Navy (USN) Lieutenant Commander James J. Davidson piloted a McDonnell XFD-1 Phantom fighter jet as it made a series of successful catapult-free takeoffs from and landings on... Continue Reading →

July 20, 1934 In California, construction began on a new bridge that would cross the Sacramento River and connect the state capital of Sacramento in Sacramento County with the city of West Sacramento in Yolo County. This vertical lift bridge was built to replace the M Street Bridge, which was owned by the Sacramento Northern Railway.... Continue Reading →

July 7, 1902 Two months after being christened, the sailing vessel Preußen – named in honor of the German kingdom and state of Prussia – was completed at the Joh. C. Tecklenborg shipyard in the German Empire’s seaport of Geestemünde (now part of the city of Bremerhaven in the Republic of Germany). Preußen, which is... Continue Reading →

June 26, 2009 The cruise ship MS Azura, which had been built by the Trieste-based company Fincantieri S.p.A. at its shipyard in the town and comune of Monfalcone in northern Italy, was launched with a great deal of fanfare. (Fincantieri is the largest shipbuilder in Europe and the fourth largest in the world.) Azura was... Continue Reading →

June 22, 1942  Less than seven months after the U.S. entry in World War II, construction began on one of the U.S. Navy tugboats that would serve in that global military conflict. This vessel was USS Kiowa, which was named after a Native American tribe of the Great Plains. Kiowa was constructed by the Charleston... Continue Reading →

June 16, 1936 The vessel George W. Campbell was placed in active service as a cutter of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). This vessel was one of the first of the USCG’s Treasury-class cutters to be commissioned. Those cutters were each named after former U.S. secretaries of the treasury. USCG’s affiliation with the U.S. Department... Continue Reading →

In 2008, Christine Igisomar became the first Chamorro woman to graduate from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. (The Chamorros are indigenous Pacific Islanders from the Mariana Archipelago.) Igisomar followed in the footsteps of Juan T. Salas, who was the first Chamorro man to graduate from that military service academy; he graduated from there in 1968,... Continue Reading →

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 →

February 13, 1959 President Carlos P. Garcia of the Republic of the Philippines issued an executive order designating a new yacht as the flagship (lead ship) of the Philippine Navy. This designation took place not long after the vessel had undergone a two-day series of sea trials. The sea trials were conducted under Philippine Navy... Continue Reading →

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