Category Archives: History

Repost: The Battle of Stonington, CT 1814 — Rocket’s Red Glare, Bombs Bursting in Air

Two hundred and two years ago this week, in a three day battle, the militia at Stonington, CT drove off a four ship Royal Navy flotilla during the War of 1812.  Here is lightly edited repost about the battle from July … Continue reading

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LILAC: Flower of the Delaware — A Coast Guard Day Presentation, August 6th

The Lilac Preservation Project is hosting “LILAC: Flower of the Delaware, A Coast Guard Day Presentation” on Thursday, August 4th, at 6:00 PM on the historic lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25, the foot of West Street and N. Moore … Continue reading

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The Viking Longship that Sailed to Chicago in 1893

The replica Viking longship Draken Harald Hårfagre successfully crossed the Atlantic and made it to the the Pepsi Tall Ships Chicago 2016 festival, which took place this weekend, despite challenges associated with paying Great lakes pilotage fees.  Building a replica … Continue reading

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Black Tom — 100 Years Ago Today, the Night New York Harbor Exploded

At around 2 a.m. on the Sunday morning of July 30, 1916, one hundred years ago today, explosions on Black Tom Island rocked New York harbor. The blasts lit the night sky and shook the earth with the force of … Continue reading

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Andrea Doria Lifeboat Launching—60 Years Later

On July 25, 1956, the Italian Line passenger liner Andrea Doria was approaching the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, bound for New York City, when she collided with the eastbound MS Stockholm of the Swedish American Line and sank. Now 60 … Continue reading

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Mary Rose Open for Public Viewing After 471 Years

Four hundred and seventy one years after it sank in the Solent in 1545, King Henry VIII’s flag ship, Mary Rose, is now, once again, accessible to the viewing public at the Mary Rose Museum in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, … Continue reading

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John W. Griffith’s Headstone Unveiled in Linden Hill Cemetery

Yesterday, one hundred and thirty four year after his death, a headstone was unveiled at the grave of John Willis Griffiths, a gifted American naval architect who is often referred to as the “Father of the Clipper Ship.”  Although Griffiths … Continue reading

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Fourni Archepelago, an Underwater Graveyard of Ships in the Aegean

An area off the Fourni archepelago, a group of 13 islands between the islands of Samos and Icaria in Greece, is known as a graveyard of ships.  In June, underwater archaeologists discovered 23 ship wrecks during a survey period of … Continue reading

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The Star Spangled Banner & the Battle Of Fort McHenry

Here is a lightly modified repost from two years ago that seems appropriate for July 4th. At around 6AM, Sep 13, 1814, the British Royal Navy began a fearsome bombardment of Fort McHenry at the mouth of Baltimore harbor. The … Continue reading

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The Summer of the Shark, Jersey Shore 1916 — the Birth of “Jaws”

One hundred years ago today, Americans learned to be afraid of sharks. On the evening of July 1, 1916, Charles Vansant, 25, of Philadelphia was on vacation with his family at the beach-side resort town of Beach Haven on the New Jersey … Continue reading

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The “New” Panama Canal — Looking Forward and Looking Back

History was made yesterday at the Panama Canal when the container ship COSCO Shipping Panama transited the newly expanded canal.  The ship carried over 9,000 TEU and has a beam of 158′ and is 984′ long, longer and significantly wider than was … Continue reading

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A Song for a Sunday Morning — Tom Munch Sings We Build the Ships

Singer/songwriter Tom Munch plays his original song about the last great historic wooden schooners of Maine in the early 20th century. The photos are historic shots of the Wyoming and other ships built at Percy and Small shipyard in Bath, Maine … Continue reading

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The Legacy of the Sailor Poet Gorch Foch, Killed in the Battle of Jutland

Johann Wilhelm Kinau was one of the more than 8,000 sailors who died in the Battle of Jutland just over 100 years ago. Kinau was 36 when he was killed while serving as a lookout on the German light cruiser … Continue reading

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The Mulberries Battle the Storm — June 19, 1944

Seventy-two years ago today, during the early days of the Allied invasion of Europe, the sea would prove to be as formidable an enemy as the Germans. A storm, the worst in 80 years, came close to wiping out the … Continue reading

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Remembering the General Slocum Disaster of June 15, 1904

One hundred and twelve years ago today, the disaster on the General Slocum resulted in one of the largest loss of life in New York City prior to the attacks of 9/11/01. At around 9AM on June 15, 1904, approximately 1,350 passengers, … Continue reading

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Bom Jesus — More Gold From Shipwreck on a Beach of Diamonds

Once again, the media is reporting a story of the discovery of a shipwreck which sounds very familiar. Recently, the Independent reported: “The wreckage of a 500-year-old Portuguese ship filled with gold coins has been unearthed by miners in a … Continue reading

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Headstone To Honor Legendary Naval Architect John W. Griffiths

On Saturday, July 23rd, the National Maritime Historical Society will unveil a headstone at the previously unmarked grave of legendary naval architect John W. Griffiths. The ceremony will take place in Queens at the Linden Hill United Methodist Cemetery at … Continue reading

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The Death of Lord Kitchener & the Sinking of HMS Hampshire

One hundred years today, on June 5, 1916, Lord Horatio Herbert Kitchener, the British Secretary of State for War, drowned when the HMS Hampshire sank in the North Sea off the Orkneys. Of the 655 crewmen and 7 passengers, including Lord Kitchener, aboard … Continue reading

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On the 100th Anniversary — Jellicoe & the Battle of Jutland

The Battle of Jutland, which was fought 100 years ago today, was one of the greatest modern sea battles and arguably, changed the course of World War I.  In the battle, 250 ships, manned by 10,000 sailors fought for 12 … Continue reading

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On Memorial Day — Remembering the US Merchant Mariners of WWII

What was the most dangerous service in World War II? The Army, the Navy, the Marines?  In fact, it was the Merchant Marine. 1 in 26 mariners serving aboard merchant ships in World WW II died in the line of duty, suffering … Continue reading

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