This Day in Coast Guard History – July 21
1944-The attack and liberation of Guam commenced. Participating vessels included the Coast Guard tender CGC Tupelo and the Coast Guard-manned Navy warships included Cor Caroli, Aquarius, Centaurus, Sterope, Arthur Middleton, LST-24, LST-70, LST-71 and LST-207.
1947- President Truman signed H.R. 3539, which became Public Law No. 209, authorizing the Coast Guard to construct a suitable chapel for religious worship by any denomination, sect or religion at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London.
1952- The CGC Mackinac, enroute from New York to Ocean Station ECHO, and the SS Gripsholm, removed 45 of the 49 persons on board the SS Black Gull, which had caught fire in a position south of Block Island, Long Island, New York.
1997- The USS Constitution, "Old Ironsides," set sail in Boston Harbor for the first time in more than a century. Prior to this her Navy crew received training in sailing a square rigger aboard Eagle. The Coast Guard then enforced security and safety zones around the Navy frigate during her brief voyage around the harbor. More than 800 Coast Guard personnel, 10 cutters, three helicopters and 81 small boats were involved in the operation.
1999- Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., agreed to pay a record $18 million criminal fine and pled guilty to 21 felony counts for dumping oil and hazardous chemicals in U.S. waters and then lying about it to the Coast Guard. The investigation began in October of 1994 when Coast Guard officials noticed an oil slick behind the ship Sovereign of the Seas as it approached San Juan, Puerto Rico. Between the day Coast Guard officials first boarded the ship and when they again boarded it four days later, crewmen had removed a bypass pipe which they had been using to dump hazardous material from the ship.
(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)