Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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March 28th
American Ships Abroad
On March 28, 1800, the frigate USS Essex became the first American warship to round Africa’s Cape of Good Hope as it sailed on a mission to escort merchant ships returning from the Dutch East Indies. Since the early days of the republic, American vessels have been venturing across the seven seas.

In 1819 the SS Savannah made the first transatlantic crossing by a steam-powered ship. Rigged with sails, the Savannah used an auxiliary steam engine to turn paddle wheels part of the way. As it approached the Irish coast, with smoke billowing from its stack, a rescue ship rushed out to meet it, assuming it was on fire.

Between 1826 and 1830 the sloop-of-war USS Vincennes became the first American warship to circumnavigate the globe, leaving New York City and traveling west by way of Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope.

In 1957 the Coast Guard cutters Spar, Storis, and Bramble became the first American ships to circumnavigate the North American continent, traveling through the elusive Northwest Passage along the way.

In 1958 the submarine USS Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole. As it sailed beneath the Arctic icepack, it broadcast the famous message “Nautilus 90 North.”

In 1960 the USS Triton became the first submarine to make a submerged circumnavigation of the globe, traveling 41,500 miles in 84 days. The Triton carried a plaque bearing an image reminiscent of Ferdinand Magellan’s vessel and the motto Ave nobilis dux, iterum factum est (“Hail noble captain, it is done again”).
American History Parade
1776
Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza finds the site where the Presidio of San Francisco is later built.

1797
Nathaniel Briggs of New Hampshire patents an early washing machine.

1920
Some 380 people are killed by 38 storms in the Midwest and South in the Palm Sunday tornado outbreak of 1920.

1979
America gets a scare when the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania malfunctions; thousands flee, but no one is injured.
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb
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