This Day in Coast Guard History – Jan. 29
1919-Ratification of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The amendment prohibited the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcoholic beverages. Its enforcement was authorized by the National Prohibition Enforcement Act, otherwise known as the Volstead Act on 28 October 1919. The Coast Guard was tasked with the prevention of the maritime importation of illegal alcohol. This led to the largest increase in the size and responsibilities of the service to date.
1945-The Coast Guard-manned attack cargo vessel USS Serpens exploded off Guadalcanal due to unknown causes. Only two men aboard survived. This was the single greatest Coast Guard loss of life in history.
1980-Local authorities in the Tijuana, Mexico area requested Coast Guard assistance in evacuating flood victims stranded by the rising waters of the San Miguel River. Two HH-3F helicopters from Air Station San Diego transported 180 persons to safety during the two-day operation.
(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)