This Day in Maritime History highlights the connections between SF Maritime NHP Collections and maritime historical events through the year.
This Day in Maritime History, March
March 1, 1946US Navy Reserves dog Jay J. Jib, assigned to the USS Henrico, earns a paycheck of "54 bones." You can view a photo gallery of Jay J. Jib's official Navy documents from our collections.
March 2, 1849H.W. Chittenden, enroute to San Francisco on the bark Croton, writes about passengers getting drunk and dealing with hangovers. Read more about his sea journal held by the Park in collection SAFR 14299 via the links to blog posts under "Croton" on our Sailing Ships and SF Maritime Collections page.
March 6, 1937While steaming through the Golden Gate in a thick curtain of fog, the Frank H. Buck is rammed head-on by the Dollar Line's luxury liner President Coolidge as it is leaving the fog-free Bay. Captain R.W. Kelly attempted to steer the Frank H. Buck into the strong ebb in hopes of being able to beach her. Instead her bow becomes wedged in the rocks at Land's End. Meanwhile, Captain K.A. Ahlin holds the bow of the President Coolidge firmly in the hole of the Frank H. Buck's bow in order to keep her afloat until all hands, including the ship's dog, can be rescued. The Frank H. Buck sinks alongside the Lyman Stewart, her sister ship which was built right after her on the same ways.
March 15, 1886Hugh Mulzac, the first African-American merchant marine naval officer to command an integrated crew during World War II, is born in Union Island, St. Vincent Island Group, British West Indies. He will become an American citizen and earn his captain's rating in 1918, but racial prejudice will prevent him from commanding a ship until 1942. He later writes A Star to Steer By, and many will read of him in the comic book Heroes in Dungarees: the story of the contribution of American Merchant Seamen to the War Effort!
March 20, 1875Harper's Weekly publishes a half-page engraving titled "Chinese Fishermen in San Francisco Bay."
March 24, 1970Eppleton Hall (built 1914; tug) arrives at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco after an 190 day voyage from Newcastle-upon-Tyne England under the command of Scott Newhall.
March 26, 1773Nathaniel Bowditch is born. He will author the American Practical Navigator, one of the most influential books on navigation ever published.
March 28, 1931Mary Tornich Janislawski graduates from the Sperry Gyroscope school, becoming only the second woman to hold this distinction--the first was Amelia Earhart.
March 29, 1912The last entry in South Pole explorer Robert Falcon Scott's diary entry reads:
Since the 21st we have had a continuous gale from W.S.W. and S.W. We had fuel to make two cups of tea apiece and bare food for two days on the 20th. Every day we have been ready to start for our depot 11 miles away, but outside the door of the tent it remains a scene of whirling drift. I do not think we can hope for any better things now. We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far.
Last updated: April 26, 2018