On Tuesday, August 4, the United States Coast Guard celebrated its 225th birthday. The nation’s oldest continuous seagoing military service — which was originally called the Revenue Marine, then the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service — was founded by U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in 1790. Later, the U.S. Lifesaving Service merged with the RCS to form the present day Coast Guard. Hamilton served in George Washington‘s cabinet as the country’s first Treasury Secretary.
On Tuesday, at Federal Hall in lower Manhattan, there was a program featuring ceremonies by re-enactors dressed as Washington and Hamilton and music by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Band Flotilla 22-7. During the prior weekend, America’s Tall Ship, the Coast Guard Barque, sailed into New York harbor and spent three days tied up at Pier 5 in Brooklyn Bridge Park and open to the public.
As we concluded a brief visit and tour aboard the Eagle, we saw Rand Scholet at pier-side with a large placard urging passersby to keep Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, and add a distinguished lady to the $20 Jackson.
Betcha didn’t know that during World War II, Navy sailors often referred to their Coast Guard brethren as members of “Hooligan’s Navy.” One of the more famous Coasties was world boxing champion Jack Dempsey. Dempsey had a CG commission as a commander and served at the then-Manhattan Beach Coast Guard Training Station (present site of Kingsborough College) in Brooklyn, as the physical fitness director.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams held his second annual International Day of Friendship on Sunday which included a Parade of Flags from 80 different nations, marching into the Cadman Plaza Park. While we were in attendance, we spotted Bay Ridge activist and businessman John Abi-Habib carrying the flag of his ancestral home of Lebanon.
The MTA’s Bridge and Tunnels management just became a little slick. They removed the $15.00 toll fee from the big green sign at the 92nd Street entrance to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. I guess local politicians will have to look elsewhere for a suitable backdrop once the toll is raised again!