This Day in Coast Guard History – Dec. 16
1831-Secretary of Treasury John McLane ordered Revenue cutters to conduct "winter cruises." The USRC Gallatin became the first cutter "directly authorized by the government to assist mariners in distress."
1960- A United Airlines DC-8 with 83 passengers on board collided with a TWA Super Constellation carrying 42 in the New York City area. Coast Guard helicopters, working with the aircraft of the Army, Navy and New York Police Department, transported the injured passengers from the Constellation's wreck on Staten Island to a nearby hospital. Coast Guard vessels also searched the New York harbor area. The debris they picked up was used by the Civil Aeronautics Board in its determination of the cause of the mishap.
(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)