It's not every day that the deployment of a navigational aid is attended by great fanfare, but that's what happened on 15 December 1961 at the U.S. Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland. That afternoon, the Coast Guard launched a grand experiment for the world of tomorrow: the new Atomic Buoy.
Wait--the new what?
Eight years earlier, on 8 December 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower stepped to the podium in the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York City to deliver an address on a topic that had been weighing heavily on the minds of many for the past eight years: atomic warfare. By 1953 atomic weapon stockpiles were increasing daily. To help assuage public fears, Eisenhower made a proposal for the peaceful use of atomic energy:
It is not enough to take this weapon out of the hands of the soldiers. It must be put into the hands of those who will know how to strip its military casing and adapt it to the arts of peace.