National Maritime Day May 22nd 2012 | Veteran Owned Business Military Observance Announcement

May 22nd is National Maritime Day, first declared so by Congress in 1933, the date that the American steamship Savannah set sail from Savannah, Georgia on the first ever transoceanic voyage under steam power.

SS Savannah was an American hybrid sailing ship/sidewheel steamer built in 1818.  She is notable for being the first steamship in the world to cross the Atlantic Ocean, a feat that was accomplished from May to June 1819, although only a fraction of the distance was covered with the ship under steam power; As the ship was too small to carry much fuel, the engine was intended only for use in calm weather when the sails were unable to provide a speed of at least four knots.  In order to reduce drag and avoid damage when the engine was not in use, the paddlewheel buckets were linked by chains instead of bars, enabling the wheels to be folded up like fans and stored on deck. Similarly, the paddlewheel guards were made of canvas stretched over a metal frame which could also be packed away when not required.  The whole process of retracting the wheels and guards took no more than about 15 minutes.  Savannah is the only known ship to have been fitted with retractable paddlewheels.

National Maritime Day’s observance honors the contributions of the American merchant marine, civilians who have defended the freedom of the United States since 1775, and who executed the largest sealift the world has ever known during World War II.

Observance of National Maritime Day also honors the maritime industry and the benefits it brings Americans in terms of transportation, jobs, goods, and recreational opportunities.
Veteran Owned Business would like to thank the hard working seagoing service members of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard who protect over 3.4 million square miles of US exclusive economic zones and beyond.  In addition to protecting the ports, waterways, and coast of the United States, these service members also provide marine safety, search and rescue, aids to navigation, living marine resources (fisheries law enforcement), marine environmental protection, and ice operations to all vessels in US waters.

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