334 BC – The Macedonian army of Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus
760 – 14th recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet
1570 – First atlas ‘Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’ (Theatre of the World), published by Abraham Ortelius in Antwerp with 70 maps
1803 – First public library opens in Connecticut
1807 – Former Vice President Aaron Burr is tried for treason in Richmond, Va and acquitted
Savannah under steam and sail power
1819 – First steam propelled vessel to cross Atlantic.
SS Savannah was an American hybrid sailing ship/sidewheel steamer built in 1818 and notable for being the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. During her month-long crossing she managed to use her steam engine for 80 hours on and off before running out of fuel off the coast of Ireland.
A little history:
Savannah was built as a sailing packet at the New York shipyard of Fickett & Crockett. While still under construction Captain Moses Rogers persuaded Scarborough & Isaacs, a wealthy shipping firm from Savannah, Georgia, to purchase the vessel, and fit her with an auxiliary steam engine and paddlewheels in addition to her sails.
On May 19, a advertisement appeared in the local paper announcing the date of departure as May 20. But it was impossible to entice passengers to take the trip aboard such a novel vessel.
Savannah’s departure was delayed for two days after one of her crew returned to the vessel from a local pub in a highly inebriated state, fell off the gangplank and drowned. In spite of this delay and the fact that still no passengers came forward, the ship would make her historic voyage purely in an experimental capacity. This appears similar to Elon Musk’s recent blast into space where the only cargo was his Tesla sports car, as most companies felt the new rocket was too risky to place an expensive satellite aboard on her maiden voyage.
On May 22, Savannah commenced her historic voyage under both steam and sail bound for Liverpool. Several days later, on May 29, the schooner Contract spied a vessel “with volumes of smoke issuing”, and assuming it was a ship on fire, pursued it for several hours but was unable to catch up. Contract’s skipper eventually concluded the smoking vessel must be a steamboat and expressed his admiration as “a proud monument of Yankee skill and enterprise”.
On June 2, Savannah, sailing at a speed of 9 or 10 knots, passed the sailing ship Pluto. After being informed by Captain Rogers that his novel vessel was functioning “remarkably well”, the crew of Pluto gave Savannah three cheers, as “the happiest effort of mechanical genius that ever sailed the western sea.”
On June 18, after running out of fuel for her engine, she sailed past Cork and made her way to Liverpool.
The New London Gazette of Connecticut later reported in the following terms:
“On approaching the city, Savannah was cheered by crowds thronging the piers and the roofs of houses. The ship made anchor at 6 p.m. The voyage had lasted 29 days and 11 hours, during which time the vessel had employed her engine for a total of 80 hours.”
In January 1820, after great fire swept through the city of Savannah, Savannah’s owner, having suffered financial harm due to the fire was forced to sell the ship. The ship’s engines was removed and resold for the sum of $1,600 which was preserved and was displayed at the New York Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1856.
After that, the ship was used as a sailing packet, operating between New York and Savannah, Georgia, until running aground along the south shore of Long Island on November 5, 1821, and subsequently breaking up.
It would be 20 years before steamships began making regular crossings of the Atlantic, and another American-owned steamship would not do so until 1847. In 1838, two British sidewheel steamships, SS Great Western and SS Sirius, made it across the Atlantic under steam power alone.
1826 – The HMS Beagle departs on its first voyage
1906 – Wright Brothers patent an aeroplane
1915 – Lassen Peak erupts with a powerful force, and is the only mountain, other than Mount St. Helens, to erupt in the continental US during the 20th century.
1931 – Canned rattlesnake meat first goes on sale in Florida
1964 – LBJ presents “Great Society”
1973 – President Nixon confesses his role in Watergate cover-up
2004 – The town of Hallam, Nebraska, is wiped out by a powerful F4 tornado that broke a width record at an astounding 2.5 miles wide
2010 – Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus’ remains are reburied in Frombork Cathedral, Poland after a 200 year search for his tomb
1813 – Richard Wagner, Leipsig Germany, composer
1844 – Mary Cassatt, US, Impressionist painter
1859 – Arthur Conan Doyle, UK, author
1907 – Laurence Olivier, England, actor
1950 – Bernie Taupin, lyricist (writes with Elton John)
337 – Constantine the Great, Emperor of Rome (306-37) dies at 47
1885 – Victor(-Marie) Hugo, French writer (Les Miserables), dies at 83
1967 – Langston Hughes, American poet
1990 – Rocky Graziano, boxer/writer/actor
Edited from various sources including historyorb.com, the NYTimes.com and many other Google searches
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