To mark the 230th birthday of the United States Coast Guard, we’re looking back at the history of the “always ready” service. Due to New York’s position as one of the country’s largest ports, the Coast Guard has ensured its safety and security for more than two centuries, and today they have the largest presence of any military service branch in New York City. We will share stories of the Coast Guard fighting U-boats in both World Wars, hunting bootleggers during Prohibition, and ensuring the safe navigation of the harbor for everybody from container ships to kayakers. We will also be joined by Coast Guard veteran Ramon Ortiz, who served aboard the icebreaking tug USCGC Sturgeon Bay and in Coast Guard Sector New York.
“Mind the Light, Kate.” From 1890 to 1919, Kate Walker honored this request from her dying husband as he was taken from their home, the lighthouse on Robbins Reef just off Staten Island’s North Shore in New York Harbor. Megan Beck, Curator at the Noble Maritime Collection, joins us to share the story of this remarkable woman who saved dozens of shipwrecked sailors while raising a family alone on a tiny island in the middle of the world’s busiest port. We’ll also get a peek inside this rarely visited site for a glimpse at the Noble Maritime Collection’s ongoing restoration project.
This year during Fleet Week New York, we will be visited by more than a dozen ships and units from the US Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Military Sealift Command, and Royal Canadian Navy that will be berthed at locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the Bronx. Here’s a brief guide to some of the units that will be in town, and be sure to check out the full schedule of events on the official Fleet Week NYC website.
Manhattan Pier 88
USS Kearsarge open for visitors May 25, 26, 27, and 29, 8am–5pm