This Day in Coast Guard History – October 20
1892-After ten years of difficult and costly construction, the St. George Reef Lighthouse, built on a rock lying six miles off the northern coast of California, midway between Capes Mendocino and Bianco, was first lighted.
1920-The Superintendent of the 5th Lighthouse District inspected the aids to navigation "in New River Inlet and Bogue Sound, North Carolina by hydroplane in two hours, which would have required at least four days by other means of travel, owning to the inaccessibility of the aids inspected."
1944-Landings on Leyte, Philippine Islands. Many Coast Guard units participated in the landings, which marked the the fulfillment of General Douglas MacArthur's promise to the Filipino people that he would return to liberate them from the Japanese.
1950- President Harry S. Truman issued an executive order "activating" the Magnuson Act, which had been passed by Congress earlier that month. This act, authorizing the president to invoke the Espionage Act of 1917, tasked the Coast Guard with the port security mission.
1978- The cutter Cuyahoga sank after colliding with M/V Santa Cruz II near the mouth of the Potomac River. Eleven Coast Guard personnel were killed.
(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)