Long before the days of GPS, lighthouses played an integral role in keeping sailors safe on the water. There was no Siri to tell them where to go, they had to fully rely on their wits and Lighthouses.
On August 7, 1789, the U.S. Congress recognized the importance of Lighthouses and passed the Act for the Establishment and support of Lighthouses, Beacons, Buoys, and Public Piers. This act officially put Lighthouses under federal control, attempting to make navigation for sailors more efficient.
Two hundred years later, The United States Lighthouse Society petitioned for August 7, 1989, to be deemed National Lighthouse Day, in honor of the day that Congress signed the Act. This petition only deemed National Lighthouse Day to be a holiday for that specific year.
Then, on August 7, 2013, the Senate resolved that every August 7th be declared National Lighthouse Day. This is still not officially law yet, but the government recognizes August 7th as National Lighthouse and Lighthouse Preservation Day.
This year, Lighthouses from all over celebrate National Lighthouse Day. As Lighthouses are becoming more and more obsolete due to the GPS and modern boating technology, Lighthouses are becoming a lost art.
To keep our Lighthouse shining bright, the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum has just finished a major restoration project within the past few months. It is currently looking as beautiful as ever and we are so excited that it will be in pristine shape for both St. Augustine’s 450th Anniversary and National Lighthouse Day.
Hopefully, through National Lighthouse Day, it will make the public more aware of the importance of Lighthouses and their role in history. This August 7th, stop by the St. Augustine Lighthouse and learn more about lighthouses and their history.