Connecticut’s Coast Guard Summer
August 4, 2015 Commemorates the 225th Anniversary of the United States Coast Guard and Connecticut is leading the charge on celebrating this monumental occasion.
The United States Coast Guard’s bond with the state of Connecticut runs as wide and deep as Long Island Sound. From the early days Revenue Cutters patrolled the Connecticut coast line upholding the law and protecting the communities and people who made their living from the sea. For over 100 years the future leaders of the Coast Guard have been trained in New London. When it came time to establish a permanent school to educate the future leaders of the service, New London became its home in 1910 when the Revenue Cutter School of Instruction at Fort Trumbull opened its doors. The modern Coast Guard Academy was born in 1915 when the Life Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service merged to become the U.S. Coast Guard. The city’s commitment to the Coast Guard was so strong that when the nascent Academy outgrew its facilities at Fort Trumbull in the 1930s New London presented the Coast Guard with the ground upon which the Academy currently makes its home.
The U.S. Coast Guard Academy is one of just five service academies in the nation educating today’s military leaders. This was recognized formally during President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address when the small coastal city received a shout out of national proportions.
To commemorate our state’s maritime heritage and the Coast Guard’s local prominence, Governor Dannel P. Malloy has designated summer 2015 as Connecticut’s Coast Guard Summer 2015. Upon declaration of the summer Governor Malloy stated, “The longtime presence of the U.S. Coast Guard in New London not only represents our state’s rich maritime heritage but has also led to a strong partnership with the state that has driven economic development, tourism and industry for the region,” said Governor Malloy. “We are proud that the academy and our newest national landmark – the National Coast Guard Museum – call Connecticut home and chose the summer of 2015 to celebrate that partnership while honoring the important role the men and women of the Coast Guard have played throughout our country’s history.”
Major events have already been organized in the City of New London and surrounding towns throughout the summer. Most are family friendly and celebrate Connecticut’s maritime roots and cultural diversity while highlighting our unique partnerships with the U.S. Coast Guard.
For a full listing of events, click here.
Mayors throughout the state are proud to be part of this monumental occasion. Mayor Daryl Finizio of New London said, “New London is thrilled that Governor Malloy has chosen our City as the primary site for this celebration. There’s no better place to celebrate the Coast Guard’s 225th birthday than here in New London.,” he said. “The relationship between the City of New London and the U.S. Coast Guard dates back to 1790, and it continues to grow stronger as we work together to build the National Coast Guard Museum on our waterfront.”
Connecticut’s celebration of the Coast Guard will begin long before the August 4 Birthday, as Coast Guard history isintroduced to New London public schools through the Newspapers in Education program coordinated by The Day.
Newspapers in Education is a cooperative effort of publishers and thousands of schools in the United States where newspapers are used as a tool of instruction. Additional history and educational materials can be found on www.pinterest.com/NewLondonArts/coast-guard-summer if you wish to dig in a little deeper with your kids.
Maritime history and connections to the Coast Guard are everywhere in Connecticut and while there are many special events, tried and true Connecticut experiences are also getting into the celebration.
For example, almost every weekend throughout the summer you can take a boat tour of Connecticut’s lighthouses through Sentinels on the Sound: Summer Lighthouse Weekend boat tours run by the New London Maritime Society. Little known fact: according to the United States Coast Guard, from the top of New London Harbor Light, one can see more lighthouses than from any other place on earth! The seven lighthouses are: New London Ledge, Race Rock, Little Gull Island, Plum Island, Little Dumpling, Montauk and Avery Point. More information about Lighthouse tours can be found at www.nlmaritimesociety.org.
The Mystic Seaport will also be celebrating their longstanding relationship with the Coast Guard throughout the summer. Annually, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy holds the ceremony for the presentation of the class flag at Mystic Seaport. The newest cadets are presented with their flag that will represent them during their four years at the Academy. The Mystic Seaport has planned a celebration on August 4th. For more information visit
Eastern Connecticut is also the future home of the first National Coast Guard Museum in New London, Connecticut. Coast Guard Summer 2015 will help raise awareness for this much needed museum, currently there are 87 military museums throughout the country, but none dedicated to the service men and women of the United States Coast Guard. The museum, slated to open in 2018, will be a premier attraction for all of Connecticut and the entire country. The museum is 25% of the way to its $100 million fundraising goal. To track the progress and learn more visit www.coastguardmuseum.org.
As you plan your family outings for this summer – Connecticut’s Coast Guard Summer events provide fun in the sun while honoring those who remain “Semper Paratus”, ready to protect us day in and day out.