This Day in Maritime History, October
October 3, 1854Heavily 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.
October 7, 1922Heavy 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.
October 12, 1956Mary Tornich Janislawski successfully completes the Optimum Navigation Course given by Headquarters, 1502nd Air Transport Wing Heavy (Mats) of the Dept. of the Air Force.
October 16, 1888Able-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.
October 17, 1942Captain 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.
October 21, 1772Samuel 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.
October 22, 1927Tanker Coos Bay beached at Lands End in San Francisco, California.
October 26, 1893Miss 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.
October 27, 1832Francis 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).
October 31, 1914Union Iron works launches the tanker Lyman Stewart.
Last updated: September 28, 2017