National Lighthouse Day
National Lighthouse Day is a holiday that’s celebrated on August 7th every year and is a holiday that’s been celebrated for over 231 years. This is a day on which people can celebrate the light source that has guided many ships safely to shore.
The lighthouse is a tower with a light source burning brightly on top of it and it’s been used as a signal beacon for over two thousand years and has been used in North America since 1716. However, it was on this day in 1789 that the U.S. Congress officially approved the act that allowed for the construction and maintenance of lighthouses all over the coastline of the United States.
The History of National Lighthouse Day
Although the first lighthouse was officially built in colonial America in 1716, it wouldn’t be until the United States became a nation upon itself and passed the Lighthouses Act Of 1789 by which their construction, maintenance, and upkeep were codified into law.
This allowed the United States to build a network of lighthouses that helped to make trade along the coastline and on rivers, inlets, and harbors a lot safer. It was such an important act that two hundred years later, on August 7th, 1989, the U.S. Congress officially designated this date as National Lighthouse Day.
Interesting Facts About Lighthouses
Even though some people might look at lighthouses as merely fancy towers with lights on top of them, their importance throughout history is well documented. And not only were they important, but they were also interesting structures. That’s why we’ve dug up some interesting facts about lighthouses that will inspire more people to learn about these wonderful structures.
The First Lighthouse Was The Lighthouse Of Alexandria
The first known lighthouse that was ever created was the Pharos Of Alexandria—also known as the Lighthouse of Alexandria. This lighthouse was constructed by Ptolemy I and his son Ptolemy II sometime between 300 and 280 B.C.
This lighthouse stood 450 feet high and was considered to be one of the Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World. Between 956 and 1323 it was damaged by three subsequent earthquakes and eventually became an abandoned ruin. It was torn down and its remnants were used to build the Citadel of Qaitbay at the same site.
The Oldest Lighthouse Still Standing Is In Spain
The oldest lighthouse that’s still standing is La Coruna in Spain. This lighthouse was constructed in 20 BC by the Romans. It’s known as the Tower Of Hercules or Torre de Hercules in Spanish. It’s been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009.
Celebrating National Lighthouse Day
The best way to celebrate National Lighthouse Day is by visiting some of the lighthouses that currently exist. Some of the lighthouses that can still be found in the U.S. include Boon Island Light, Sakonnet Light, New London Harbor Light, and Whipple Point Light.
It’s also a good day to learn more about lighthouses by watching a documentary or reading a book on the subject. And if you happen to snap a good photo of a lighthouse on this day, you can always share it via social media using the hashtag #NationalLighthouseDay.