Time for birthday cake! From the US Coast Guard's website (link),
The Coast Guard's official history began on 4 August 1790 when President George Washington signed the Tariff Act that authorized the construction of ten vessels to enforce federal tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling. Known variously through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as the "revenue cutters," the "system of cutters," the Revenue Marine and finally the Revenue Cutter Service, it expanded in size and responsibilities as the nation grew.
The U.S. Coast Guard Pipe Band in New York City
Public Domain (link)
The service received its present name in 1915 under an act of Congress that merged the Revenue Cutter Service with the U. S. Life-Saving Service. The latter consisted of dozens of stations placed around the nation’s coastlines that were manned by dedicated crews willing to risk their lives to save those in peril on the sea, a role that meshed well with the Revenue Cutter Service’s core missions. Also, the legislation creating this “new” Coast Guard expressly stated that it "shall constitute a part of the military forces of the United States," thereby codifying the service’s long history of defending the country along side the nation's other armed services.
Coast Guard Lighthouse at the foot of Diamond Head
The Coast Guard began maintaining the country's aids to maritime navigation, including lighthouses, when President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the transfer of the Lighthouse Service to the Coast Guard in 1939. In 1946 Congress permanently transferred the Commerce Department's Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation to the Coast Guard, which placed merchant marine licensing and merchant vessel safety under its purview. The nation now had a single maritime federal agency dedicated to saving life at sea and enforcing the nation's maritime laws.
MH-65C Dolphin in flight.
Public Domain (link)
I am giving away Coast Guard swag to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about the Coast Guard - do you know any Coast Guard veterans? Seen the Coast Guard in action? Read a good story about the Coast Guard?
2. Comments are open through Saturday, August 6, 10 pm in Baltimore.
3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, August 7.
Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City