National Maritime Day - May 22
- 2017 22 May
The SS SAVANNAH left MAY 22, 1819, from Savannah, Georgia, and 25 days later arrived in Liverpool, England, completing the first trans-Atlantic voyage by steamship. To pay tribute to the American Merchant Marine, President Franklin Roosevelt designated MAY 22, 1933 National Maritime Day. On May 20, 1986, Ronald Reagan stated: "When steam-powered vessels began to eclipse sailing ships in the latter part of the 19th century, it was largely the result of pioneering work by two Americans, John Fitch and Robert Fulton." In "The Thorny Road of Honor," 1856, Hans Christian Anderson wrote: "We are in America, on the margin of one of the largest rivers, an innumerable crowd has gathered, for it is said that a ship is to sail against the wind and weather...The man who thinks he can solve the problem is named Robert Fulton. The ship begins its passage, but suddenly stops. The crowd begins to laugh...Then suddenly...the wheels turn again...the ship continues its course...The builder of the bridge and earth-between Providence and the human race." Reagan said June 11, 1981: "The future's always looked bleak til people with brains and faith...found a way to make it better, people like Robert Fulton."