Each year on May 22nd, the United States celebrates National Maritime Day, a holiday in observance of the contributions of the men and women of the U.S. merchant marine, as well as the U.S. maritime industry and the benefits it brings to the country in terms of transportation, jobs, goods, recreation and national security.
The date May 22 is significant because it marks the day that the SS Savannah in 1819 departed on the first successful voyage by a steam-powered ship across the Atlantic, quietly sparking a new age of maritime travel and transport.
National Maritime Day was first declared by Congress in 1933, but the holiday took on a special significance in World War II when members of United States Merchant Marine transported necessary supplies and services to troops abroad, all while suffering an extraordinarily high casualty rate.
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