This Day in U.S. Coast Guard History - March 1

Tuesday, March 01, 2011
1876- Nuova Ottavia, an Italian vessel, grounded near the Jones Hill North Carolina Life-Saving Station.  The rescue attempt by the crew of that station resulted in the loss of seven surfmen, the first deaths in the line of duty since the service began using paid crews in 1870.  Among the dead was African-American Surfman Jeremiah Munden, the first African-American surfman to die in the line of duty.
 
1902- The first regular light stations in Alaska were established at Southeast Five Finger Island and at Sentinel Island.  Both were on the main inside passage between Wrangell Strait and Skagway.
 
1927- The U.S. Lighthouse Service put into effect a system of broadcasting radio weather reports by four lightships stationed along the Pacific Coast.
1933- In the interest of administrative economy and efficiency, the 13th and 14th Lighthouse Districts were consolidated with the 15th Lighthouse District.  Also, the aids to navigation on the entire Mississippi River system were placed in charge of a civilian lighthouse engineer as superintendent.  This relieved the Army engineers detailed for that duty.  The offices at Rock Island, Illinois and Cincinnati, Ohio were discontinued and all the river work was placed under a single office at St. Louis, Missouri.
 
2003- Administrative control of the Coast Guard transferred to the newly created Department of Homeland Security from the Department of Transportation, where it had served since 1 April 1967. 
 
(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)

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