This Day in Maritime History, October

This Day in Maritime History highlights the connections between SF Maritime NHP Collections and maritime historical events through the year.

January -- February -- March
April -- May -- June
July -- August -- September
October -- November -- December

Black and white photograph of Meiggs in suit, seated
Henry Meiggs (1811-1877)

(Public domain photo from Archivo Fotográfico de la Universidad de Chile - Web/VerContenido.aspx? GUID=123.456.789.000&ID=60534)

October 3, 1854

Heavily in debt and his forgery and accounting malfeasance about to be discovered, Henry Meiggs, builder of Fisherman's Wharf, slips away in the middle of the night on the bark American. This and other stories are told in "Crab is King": the colorful stories and the fascinating history of Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. Also some favorite Wharf recipes.
Color oil painting of the port view of the tanker with decks awash
The Lyman Stewart on the rocks at Lands End after the collision (SAFR 12246)

(NPS photo)

October 7, 1922

Heavy swells, strong tidal currents, and a thick fog bank are contributing factors when the tanker Lyman Stewart, outbound along the northern side of the main shipping channel at the Golden Gate, collides with the Walter A. Luckenbach, inbound from New York. The Luckenbach hits the Lyman Stewart on her port bow creating a deep cut through which water rushes taking the bow down. Captain CJ Cloyd attempts to steer the Lyman Stewart toward the shore but she grounds in the rocks off Lands end and her hull is ripped open on the jagged rocks. All 38 crew members on board the Lyman Stewart are rescued.
Centered typography with logo over signatures
Certificate of course completion (HDC1649 (SAFR 23806), Series 1.  Teaching Career, 1935-1967 (bulk 1937-1967) Box 16, folder 4
File Unit 04.  Membership cards, certificates and licenses, 1931-1956)

(NPS photo)

October 12, 1956

Mary Tornich Janislawski successfully completes the Optimum Navigation Course given by Headquarters, 1502nd Air Transport Wing Heavy (Mats) of the Dept. of the Air Force.
Typography in front of a black and white portrait of Eugene O'Neill turned to his left
The Research Center's DVD copy of PBS' American Experience documentary about Eugene O'Neill

October 16, 1888

Able-bodied seaman Eugene O'Neill is born--he will go on to earn the 1936 Nobel Prize in Literature as well as multiple Pulitzers for his writings. Seven of his maritime plays were collected in The Long Voyage Home.
Back cover of book with black & white portrait of Mulzac in uniform at top, book description, and list of other books from publisher
Back cover of Research Center's copy of Hugh Mulzac's book A Star to Steer By

October 17, 1942

Captain Hugh Mulzac, the first African American captain in the US Maritime Administration to command an integrated crew, boards his historic command, the liberty ship Booker T. Washington, for the first time.
Face of the Ancient Mariner as a blue and white engraving in an oval on cream woven book cloth
Title page of the Research Center's Peter Pauper Press edition

October 21, 1772

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, author of one of the most famous maritime poems, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," is born in the Devon village of Ottery St. Mary.
Color oil painting of broadside of vessel to the coast, port bow on rocks, in surf
Oil painting by Mattner Southard (SAFR 12247)

(NPS photo)

October 22, 1927

Tanker Coos Bay beached at Lands End in San Francisco, California.
Typography below black and white engraving of broadside view of the vessel on cream paper
Invitation to the launch ceremony at Union Iron Works

(NPS photo)

October 26, 1893

Miss Daisy Ainsworth, ship's sponsor, christens the Navy's newest battleship, USS Oregon (BB-3) in a launching ceremony at San Francisco's Union Iron Works.
Red lettering and stick figure on black background
Cover of Research Center's copy

October 27, 1832

Francis A. Thompson, captain of the Roxana, writes to his mother about his journey round Cape Horn: "For five weeks I was beating and banging off that horrid place. It seems as though all the furies of the infernal region were let loose. Tremendous gales, snow and hail continually, night eighteen hours; sun nine degrees high and sometimes not seen for a week...Any person thinking there is pleasure in going to sea, I would advise them to double Cape Horn the season I did; I think they would change their opinion." (5-6).
Color oil painting of the port view of the tanker with decks awash
Lyman Stewart on the rocks (SAFR 12246)

(NPS photo)

October 31, 1914

Union Iron works launches the tanker Lyman Stewart.

Last updated: September 28, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

2 Marina Boulevard, Building E, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94123


(415) 561-7000
The public information office is open from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. PST during weekdays and we will respond to all messages within two business days.

Contact Us