This Day in History: August 4, 1790
From Then...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, referred to as "cutters," 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," and finally the Revenue Cutter Service, it expanded in size and responsibilities as the nation grew.
U.S. Revenue Cutter Bear, circa 1890 on Patrol Off Alaska.
Painting by James A. Mitchell, III.
|United States Coast Guard|
The United States Lighthouse Service merged into the United States Coast Guard in 1939. It was responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of all lighthouses and lightvessels in the United States.
In 1946, the functions of the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection were absorbed by the U.S. Customs Service and the U.S. Coast Guard thereby abolishing the bureau.
Finally, in 1967, after 177 years in the Treasury Department, the Coast Guard was transferred to the newly formed Department of Transportation.
To celebrate this day, make sure to take a moment to commemorate the Coast Guard. Be on the look out for festivals, parades, and other events in your area. For example, if you live in Michigan, you can attend the Coast Guard Festival in Grand Haven—America's own "Coast Guard City." Typically it is the largest community celebration of a branch of the Armed Forces in the nation.
Each day, the men and women of the 35,000 plus active duty Coast Guard, 8,000 Reservists, and 32,000 Auxiliarists provide services over 3.4 million square miles of Exclusive Economic Zones.
Happy US Coast Guard Day!
Thank you for your service!