Category Archives: History

Movie Review — Nolan’s “Dunkirk,” Immersive Tour de Force, Incongruous Muddle, or Both?

Originally posted on gCaptain. Reposted with permission. Christopher Nolan’s movie, Dunkirk, opened Friday to rave reviews. The New York Times calls it “a tour de force …both sweeping and intimate.”  The Guardian calls it “utterly immersive” and predicts that the … Continue reading

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Happy 4th of July – A Toast to Madeira, the Wine of the Declaration of Independence and the Liberty Riots

A post from five years ago, which is still fitting for the day. Happy 4th of July!  Those of us in the United States celebrate the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776. Immediately after declaring independence from Great Britain, the representatives in … Continue reading

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TV Vikings, Wrong-Side Rudders and the USS Fitzgerald Collision

Vikings is a History Channel series that follows the exploits of  the legendary Viking leader Ragnar Lodbrok. It is basically lots of fun, with swords and axes flying, supported by a fair share of intrigue and drama, the sort of show that … Continue reading

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Remembering Jacques Cousteau

Jacques Cousteau; the co-developer of the Aqua-Lung, as well as an explorer, author, conservationist, and filmmaker; died twenty years ago today. He opened the eye of millions both to the wonders of the world beneath the sea but also the … Continue reading

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Bikini Atoll and the Sunken Fleet of A Nuclear Graveyard

A fascinating and sobering video about diving on the fleet of ships destroyed by 23 nuclear detonations by the United States between 1946 and 1958 in seven test sites on and near the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands in … Continue reading

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Wreck of USRC/USCGC McCulloch Found — Sank 100 Years Ago Today

Researchers are holding a news conference today to announce the discovery of the wreck of the USRC/USCGC McCulloch, a cutter of the United States Revenue Cutter Service and later the US Coast Guard.  Delivered in 1897,  just before the start of the … Continue reading

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Onrust Returns to the Connecticut River

In 1614, the Onrust, captained by Dutch merchant explorer Adriaen Block, was the first European vessel to explore the Connecticut River. This summer, a replica of Block’s ship is returning to the river in a collaboration between the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, … Continue reading

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Bob Bartlett and His “Little Morrisey” — Voyage to Greenland

Yesterday, we posted about the restoration of the historic schooner Ernestina, ex-Effie M. Morrissey.  Here is a documentary, narrated by the polar explorer, Captain Bob Bartlett, describing a voyage to Greenland in the schooner he refers to as his “Little Morrisey.” … Continue reading

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Restoration of the Ernestina-Morrissey Continues

The restoration of the historic schooner Ernestina-Morrissey is a quiet success story. The schooner, launched in 1894, is being rebuilt in the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard. Arriving at the yard in April 2014, she is expected to be redelivered in 2019. The schooner, the official … Continue reading

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Alexander Hamilton’s Lighthouse

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse marking the shoals which have become known as the “graveyard of ships,” is often referred to as Hamilton’s lighthouse. (The current lighthouse is the second built at the site.) The story goes that when the teen-aged Alexander … Continue reading

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Last Mission of the USS Olympia — Carrying the Unknown Soldier Home

On Memorial Day, an updated repost from six years ago about the last mission of the USS Olympia in 1921, when she carried an American unknown soldier killed during World War I  from a cemetery in France back to the Washington to be in … Continue reading

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USCG Cutter Tamaroa Reefed off New Jersey Coast

On May 10th, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Tamaroa was sunk approximately 26 miles off shore from Cape May, NJ to help develop an artificial reef.  ; Sinking of the USCGC Tamaroa Built in 1943 as USS Zuni, the 205-foot fleet ocean/salvage … Continue reading

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PT-305, U.S.S. Sudden Jerk, Comes Roaring Back, Sudden Jerks and All

The National WWII Museum has fully restored PT-305 and is putting her back in service on Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain. PT-305, nicknamed U.S.S. Sudden Jerk, is the only surviving fully-operational patrol torpedo boat to have seen combat in World War II. … Continue reading

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Remembering the MS St. Louis and the “Voyage of the Damned”

Given the current heated debate over immigration and refugees, this seems like a good time to remember the consequences of when the United States slammed the door on refugees. On Throwback Thursday, here is a revised and updated post from … Continue reading

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Jewel of Muscat — 9th Century Dhow Inspired by Tang Shipwreck

We recently posted about a new exhibit at New York City’s Asia Society featuring artifacts from the wreck of an Arab dhow which sank with a veritable treasure trove of Tang Dynasty goods off Indonesia’s Belitung Island in the 9th … Continue reading

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She Sells Seashells by the Seashore — Remembering Mary Anning

Remember the old tongue twister, “She sells seashells by the seashore?” (Try saying that three times fast.) The tongue twisting seashell seller was inspired by a real woman named Mary Anning, who was an English fossil collector, dealer, and paleontologist, and … Continue reading

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Secrets of the Sea — A Tang Shipwreck and Early Trade in Asia

A new exhibit opens today at the Asia Society Museum in New York City, ‘Secrets of the Sea: A Tang Shipwreck and Early Trade in Asia.‘  The exhibit features a selection of 78 artifacts including ceramics, gold and silver items … Continue reading

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William Liebenow, Decorated WWII PT Boat Skipper, Dies at 97

William “Bud” Liebenow recently died at the age of 97. He served on patrol torpedo boats, PT boats, in both the Pacific and the Atlantic during World War II. He was best known as the commander of PT-157, which rescued Jack … Continue reading

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Carnival’s First Ship — TSS Mardi Gras

Today Carnival Corporation is the largest operator of cruise ships in the world with a combined fleet of over 100 vessels across 10 cruise line brands. Back in 1972, however, it owned exactly one ship, the RMS Empress of Canada, which … Continue reading

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African American Whaling Ship Captains: Part 2 — William Thomas Shorey, the Black Ahab

As we noted in our post yesterday, over nearly three centuries of whaling, some 175,000 men went to sea in 2,700 ships. Of the 2,500 masters who captained whaling ships, at least 63 were men of color. Many of the … Continue reading

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