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Sunday, September 30, 2018

September 30th...This Day in History (USS Nautilus commissioned + others)

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USS Nautilus commissioned 1954


The USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear submarine, is commissioned by the U.S. Navy.

The Nautilus was constructed under the direction of U.S. Navy Captain Hyman G. Rickover, a brilliant Russian-born engineer who joined the U.S. atomic program in 1946. In 1947, he was put in charge of the navy’s nuclear-propulsion program and began work on an atomic submarine. Regarded as a fanatic by his detractors, Rickover succeeded in developing and delivering the world’s first nuclear submarine years ahead of schedule. In 1952, the Nautilus‘ keel was laid by President Harry S. Truman, and on January 21, 1954, first lady Mamie Eisenhower broke a bottle of champagne across its bow as it was launched into the Thames River at Groton, Connecticut. Commissioned on September 30, 1954, it first ran under nuclear power on the morning of January 17, 1955.

Much larger than the diesel-electric submarines that preceded it, the Nautilusstretched 319 feet and displaced 3,180 tons. It could remain submerged for almost unlimited periods because its atomic engine needed no air and only a very small quantity of nuclear fuel. The uranium-powered nuclear reactor produced steam that drove propulsion turbines, allowing the Nautilus to travel underwater at speeds in excess of 20 knots.

In its early years of service, the USS Nautilus broke numerous submarine travel records and in August 1958 accomplished the first voyage under the geographic North Pole. After a career spanning 25 years and almost 500,000 miles steamed, the Nautilus was decommissioned on March 3, 1980. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1982, the world’s first nuclear submarine went on exhibit in 1986 as the Historic Ship Nautilus at the Submarine Force Museum in Groton, Connecticut.

(More Events on This Day in History)

LITERARY
1928
Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and best-selling author, is born
On this day in 1928, Eliezer “Elie” Wiesel, the human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize-winning author of more than 50 books, including “Night,” an internationally acclaimed memoir based on his experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, is born ...

CIVIL WAR
1864
Battle of Poplar Springs Church (Peeble’s Farm)
In an attempt to cut the last rail line into Petersburg, Virginia, Union troops attack the Confederate defense around the besieged city on this day in 1864. Although initially successful, the attack ground to a halt when Confederate reinforcements were rushed into place from ...

GENERAL INTEREST
1938
Munich Pact signed
British and French prime ministers Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier sign the Munich Pact with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. The agreement averted the outbreak of war but gave Czechoslovakia away to German conquest.In the spring of 1938, Hitler began openly to support the ...

GENERAL INTEREST
1962
Riots over desegregation of Ole Miss
In Oxford, Mississippi, James H. Meredith, an African American, is escorted onto the University of Mississippi campus by U.S. Marshals, setting off a deadly riot. Two men were killed before the racial violence was quelled by more than 3,000 federal soldiers. The next day, ...

GENERAL INTEREST
1399
Henry IV proclaimed
Henry Bolingbroke is proclaimed King Henry IV of England upon the abdication of King Richard II.Henry was the eldest surviving son of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster. While his father was away in Spain, Henry joined other lords in opposing King Richard II’s rule. Richard later ...

GENERAL INTEREST
1955
James Dean dies
On this day in 1955, movie star James Dean dies at age 24 in a car crash on a California highway. Dean was driving his Porsche 550 Spyder, nicknamed “Little Bastard,” headed to a car race in Salinas, California, with his mechanic Rolf Wuetherich, when they were involved in a ...