Digest>Archives> Jul/Aug 2012

Wickie’s Wisdom

The National Lighthouse Day That Isn’t

By Timothy Harrison


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The lighthouse on Little Brewster Island in ...

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The signing of the Decalaration of Indepence, in ...

On August 7 of this year, many lighthouses and lighthouse groups around the United States will symbolically celebrate National Lighthouse Day, but National Lighthouse Day does not appear on any calendars, other than perhaps those issued by lighthouse groups or lighthouse aficionados. Why? Because it’s never been made official.

Every year for the past twenty years I have written an editorial, sometimes more than once, about the fact that National Lighthouse Day is still not an officially recognized national day of anything designated by the federal government of the United States of America. Over the years, I have also written to senators and congressmen and encouraged lighthouse groups and others to do the same, yet the movement to make National Lighthouse Day official has never materialized. For the life of me I can’t understand it. It certainly can’t be that controversial for Congress to make National Lighthouse Day official.

Let’s review the facts. On November 5,1988 the 100th Congress of the United States passed a Joint Resolution called Public Law 100-622 designating August 7, 1989 as National Lighthouse Day in honor of the 200th anniversary of Congress approving, on August 7, 1789, an act for the establishment and support of lighthouses. But Public Law 100-622 is very specific; it reads: “That the day of August 7, 1989, is designated as National Lighthouse Day.” This means that National Lighthouse Day was official only in the year of 1989.

This could easily be changed by Congress. All Congress needs to do is pass an amendment to Public Law 100-622 that could read, “That the day of August 7, 1989 and every August 7 hereafter is to be designated as National Lighthouse Day.” That’s a total of six additional words and one number that could be added to Public Law 100-622 to officially make every August 7 National Lighthouse Day. How difficult could that be? Once it became official, National Lighthouse Day would also appear on calendars, along with Flag Day, Groundhog Day, Thanksgiving Day and others.

On the other hand, if Congress did not want to amend Public-Law 100-622, it would seem to me that a totally new joint resolution declaring every August 7 as National Lighthouse Day should easy for Congress to accomplish. Who could possibly oppose it? After all, nearly every state has lighthouses. Lighthouses are non-political, or at least they should be. Lighthouses were built for one purpose only – to save lives. Who could be against saving lives? Lighthouses are also among the oldest standing historic structures in the United States and Congress passes all kinds of legislation to protect, designate, and fund historic sites, some of them being lighthouses.

Let’s all join together and write, call, e-mail, and use the social media to convince Congress to officially make every August 7 as National Lighthouse Day.

That’s my opinion and I welcome yours.

This story appeared in the Jul/Aug 2012 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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