We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea…we are going back from whence we came.
-John F. Kennedy
Massachusetts residents are rightfully proud of their rich historical heritage; from the Pilgrims to Lexington and Concord, the state has been home to some of the country’s most significant figures and events. In the context of such a wealth of history, it is perhaps understandable that the Bay State’s unique and important maritime heritage is often overlooked. This is unfortunate, for that heritage is noteworthy indeed. The Massachusetts coast was the site of a remarkable number of significant events, developments, and people in U.S. maritime history, including the first lighthouse to be built in what is now the United States, the country’s first lifeboat and dedicated lifesaving organization, the construction and launch of the first U.S. Revenue Cutter, the greatest lifesaver in U.S. history, the first communication station that allowed wireless transmissions across the Atlantic and out to the ships plying its waters, and the first Coast Guard air station.