Thought most lighthouses have been retired today, these buildings once guided ships to ports and kept them safe from shallows and reefs. The signal light high above the ground had to be kept lit by the keepers that often lived isolated from the rest of the world on small islands or on the coasts where towns could not be built. By an act of Congress, the operation of lighthouses on, or near, American soil was taken over by the government on August 7th, 1789. There are numerous stories that go along with these structures now, haunting and stories of heroes and, of course, all those stairs to climb.
How to celebrate – Visit one of the many lighthouse’s in the US. Read about the history of the lighthouse. Climb to the top of a lighthouse and then imagine this is what a keeper had to do several times a day.