Category: History

The Long Blue Line: Bootleggers beware-Prohibition Law Enforcement 100 years ago

A Boston rum runner loaded with liquor after apprehension by the Coast Guard. (Boston Public Library)

Prohibition began on January 17, 1920, under President Herbert Hoover’s administration. To enforce the new laws, a Prohibition Bureau was established and was almost immediately overwhelmed. Despite having a marine division, alcohol smuggling was too lucrative, and therefore too prevalent for the Bureau. The Coast Guard became the go-to resource for enforcement, but there were issues with this solution.

The Long Blue Line: 75 years ago—Service trailblazer and FRC namesake Olivia Hooker took the oath

At 98 years old, Olivia Hooker recalled her experiences as one of the first African American female members in the Coast Guard SPAR program during World War II. Hooker is a native of White Plains, N.Y., and recieved her Doctorate as a school psychologist. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ali Flockerzi.

Dr. Olivia J. Hooker was a pioneer in the history of women and minorities in the Coast Guard and the nation. She believed that her military service taught her “a lot about order and priorities” and “how to better form relationships, and how to deal with people without bias and prejudice.” Despite experiencing hatred and racism in her own life, she devoted her life and her career to serving the needs of her community and her nation.

The Long Blue Line: 140 years ago–FRC hero William Chadwick and the fight for the George Taulane

Rare vintage photograph of William Chadwick, heroic Gold Lifesaving Medal keeper of the Green Island Lifesaving Station, after his retirement from active service. (Courtesy of Morton Bell)

As it has for other enlisted heroes, the United States Coast Guard will be commissioning a new Fast Response Cutter in honor of William Chadwick, recipient of the Congressional Gold Lifesaving Medal. This essay tells the story of Chadwick, including his life, his service in the United States Lifesaving Service and his famous rescue of the George Taulane, which pitted man against Mother Nature.

The Long Blue Line: Buffalo’s “White Hurricane” and the final hours of Light Vessel 82

Light Vessel 82 in Buffalo Harbor not long after it was raised to the surface in September 1915. (U.S. Coast Guard)

LV-82, the most modern lightship of its time in the U.S. Lighthouse Service fleet, disappeared during the “White Hurricane” storm in the Great Lakes in 1913. A year later, the body of Chief Engineer Charles Butler floated to the surface, but the bodies of other crew members were never found.

Legacy of Light: Diamond Head Light guides mariners into Hawaii

The 64-foot-tall Diamond Head Light shines a white light that can be seen for 17 nautical miles away and a red sector light that can be seen for 14 nautical miles away. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew D. Rusich.

Diamond Head Light shines from a U.S. Coast Guard facility on an extinct volcano overlooking one of the most popular beaches in the world. The 64-foot-tall lighthouse shines a white light that can be seen for 17 nautical miles, and to mark the dangerous shoal, a red sector light that can be seen for 14 nautical miles.