October 28, 1874 Henry Garnett Shirley, who became the first president of AASHO (officially renamed AASHTO in 1973), was born in Jefferson County, West Virginia. He graduated from the Virginia Military Institute with a degree in civil engineering in 1896, and went on to serve as commandant and professor of military science at Horner Military... Continue Reading →

August 30, 1890 The U.S. Congress appropriated $75,000 for the construction of a vessel for the U.S. Lighthouse Board. This vessel was Amaranth, and she would serve for more than a half-century throughout much of the Great Lakes region as a lighthouse tender. Lighthouse tenders provide various kinds of support to the individuals serving at... Continue Reading →

August 23, 1917 A private motorboat named Natoma was commissioned into the U.S. Navy about four-and-a-half months after the United States entered World War I on the side of the Allied Powers. Natoma had been designed and built in 1913 as a vessel for Charles H. Foster, president of the Cadillac Motor Car Company of... Continue Reading →

April 18, 1917 Less than two weeks after the United States entered World War I on the side of the Allied Powers, a private motorboat designated as Patrol No. 4 was commissioned for service in the U.S. Navy. This vessel was owned by a Virginia resident named Guy Norman and, three days after her commissioning,... Continue Reading →

March 14, 1918 The first seagoing American ship made out of concrete was introduced. This ship, a steamer called SS Faith, was launched from Redwood City, California. Concrete ships had been around since 1848, when one was built in France. In addition, the first ocean-worthy vessel of that type made her debut in Norway in 1917. SS... Continue Reading →

March 7, 1889 Pioneering naval aviator Godfrey de Courcelles Chevalier was born in Providence, Rhode Island. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1910 and then embarked on a comparatively short-lived but significant aviation career.  Chevalier, who would be described in one news account as “one of the navy’s most daring aviators,” took to the... Continue Reading →

Approximately 12,000 Native Americans served in the U.S. military during World War I. These servicemen, according to records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, included more than 2,000 who were in the U.S. Navy. One of those Navy sailors was Joseph Lewey (sometimes spelled as Lewy), a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe in Maine. He... Continue Reading →

September 7, 1918 USS Falcon (AM-28), the third U.S. Navy vessel bearing that name, was launched at the yard of the shipbuilding firm collectively known at the time as the Gas Engine & Power Company and Charles L. Seabury Company. (That shipbuilding firm had been formed by the merger of the Gas Engine & Power... Continue Reading →

August 5, 1917 Four months after the United States entered World War I on the side of the Allied Powers, a motorboat known as Riette was commissioned into the U.S. Navy at the New York Navy Yard in the northwest section of Brooklyn. (That shipyard is now officially called the Brooklyn Navy Yard.) Chief Boatswain’s... Continue Reading →

August 3, 1921 The one-time German ship SS George Washington embarked on her first voyage as an American ocean liner. This reconditioned ship left Hoboken, New Jersey, just before two o’clock in the afternoon for European destinations that included Plymouth, England; Cherbourg, France; and Bremen, Germany. That transatlantic trip took place a little over two-and-a-half years after... Continue Reading →

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