Did You Know?
From the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 3 – The President, 1938-1943 Compilation:
Whereas Public Resolution 16, 76th Congress (53 Stat. 746), approved May 15, 1939, provides in part:
“That the week commencing August 7, 1939, is hereby designated as Lighthouse Week in commemoration of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the enactment by the first Congress of the United States of the ninth Act of said Congress, which was approved by President George Washington on August 7, 1789, and laid the foundation of the United States Lighthouse Service by providing that all expenses in the necessary support, maintenance, and repairs of all lighthouses, beacons, buoys, and public piers to render navigation safe and easy should be paid for by the Treasury of the United States. During said week all Government officials are hereby directed to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings, and are requested in appropriate manner to celebrate the enactment and approval of said Act.
“Sec. 2. That the President of the United States is hereby requested, by appropriate proclamation, to call attention of all citizens of the United States to said event and to request the cooperation of all citizens, communities, civic organizations, States, municipalities, counties, public agencies, churches, and schools in an appropriate recognition of the devoted, efficient, faithful, and splendid work of the Lighthouse Service for one hundred and fifty years in the safeguarding of life and property upon the sea.”
“Now, Therefore, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do call upon the officials of the Government to observe the provisions of the aforesaid public resolution, invite the attention of all citizens of the United States to the celebration of Lighthouse Week commencing August 7, 1939, and request the cooperation of communities, civic organizations, States, municipalities, counties, public agencies, churches, and schools to recognize in an appropriate manner the devoted, efficient, faithful, and splendid work of the Lighthouse Service for one hundred and fifty years in the safeguarding of life and property upon the sea.
“IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
“DONE at the City of Washington this 19’’ day of July, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and thirty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-fourth.
“Franklin D. Roosevelt
By the President:
Secretary of State”
Why is August 7 important?
It was on this day in 1789 that Congress approved an Act for the establishment and support of lighthouse, beacons, buoys and public piers. In Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the signing of the Act and the commissioning of the first Federal lighthouse, Congress passed a resolution which designated August 7, 1989 as National Lighthouse Day.
And though National Lighthouse Day is celebrated annually by lighthouse organizations nationwide, Congress has yet to designate August 7 as the date our country officially recognizes in perpetuity the importance of America’s lighthouse heritage.