Lighthouses are wondrous things — beautiful, yet incredibly useful. On National Lighthouse Day, August 7, we celebrate how these scenic, historic structures comforted travelers throughout the centuries. In 1789, the U.S. Congress passed an act securing the protection of all lighthouses under federal support.
If you ever visit a lighthouse, you’ll understand the serenity and stability they represent to viewers on land. While lighthouse technology has evolved over time, lighthouses were once widely used to mark dangerous reefs, shorelines or harbors. Today, we imagine how a lighthouse’s beacon of light offered hope to those seeking land in the midst of stormy seas and dark nights.
When is National Lighthouse Day 2021?
National Lighthouse Day is celebrated on August 7, 2019.
National Lighthouse Day Activities
Visit your local lighthouse
National Lighthouse Day calls for lighthouses, when possible, to be open to the public. If you're within driving distance to a coast, today's the day to make a trip to one of these beautiful structures.
Help preserve a lighthouse
The American Lighthouse Organization is dedicated to preserving and protecting these historic structures. If you visit a lighthouse, consider making a small donation to its operating organization in order to continue providing public access.
Paint a lighthouse
Lighthouses are beautiful and they make for great artwork. Paint or photograph a lighthouse and give your pic to that relative who has a collection of lighthouse postcards.
Why We Love National Lighthouse Day
They've been a beacon of light even before electricity
Originally, burning coal or even fires were used as the "lamp" or the source of light in a lighthouse. Lighthouses later made use of oil-burning lamps and finally, electric lamps in 1875.
The structures continue to stand the test of time
Located on coasts and cliffs, lighthouses are subject to storms, high winds and other extreme conditions. Yet, many remain viable and strong, even today. America's oldest operational lighthouse is the Boston Lighthouse on Little Brewster Island in Boston Harbor, MA built in 1716.
Lighthouses are beautiful
The cylindrical shape, coupled with the scenery of the surrounding coast or bay, makes lighthouses a popular photographic destination. It's no surprise — there's a quiet comfort in seeing a lighthouse standing tall on the edge of the ocean.
National Lighthouse Day dates