This Day in Coast Guard History – Oct. 28

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

1919-Congress passed the National Prohibition Enforcement Act, otherwise known as the Volstead Act, on this date.  The Volstead Act authorized the enforcement of the 18th Amendment, ratified on 29 January 1919.  The Act authorized the Coast Guard to prevent the maritime importation of illegal alcohol.  This led to the largest increase in the size and responsibilities of the service to that date.

1943-Choiseul, Treasury Islands landing (Coast Guard-manned LST-71 was in second echelon November 1, 1943).

1991-Thousands of Haitian migrants began fleeing their homeland after the overthrow of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, prompting one of the largest SAR operations in Coast Guard history.  Cutters and aircraft from as far north as New England converged on the Windward Passage.  In the first 30 days of the operation, Coast Guard forces rescued more than 6,300 men, women, and children who left Haiti in grossly overloaded and unseaworthy vessels.  75 Coast Guard units ultimately took part in the massive SAR operation and by the end of the year over 40,000 Haitian migrants were rescued.

(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)

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