tv U.S. Coast Guard Founding CSPAN September 20, 2015 1:15pm-2:01pm EDT
guard 225 years ago with the urging of alexander hamilton. the ceremony includes washington and hamilton reenactors, a declaration of u.s. coast guard day, and the performance of "semper paratus," the coast guard marching song. the alexander hamilton awareness society hosted this 45 minute event. >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen. i am your mc for today's event. on behalf of the superintendent, shirelymckenney, -- mckenney, i would like to welcome you to the celebration honoring the 225th anniversary of the founding of the united states coast guard. [applause]
many historic events took place in this building on this site, and today, we are celebrating one of the most significant, the establishment of the revenue marines. 225 years ago today by president george washington, and treasury secretary alexander hamilton. that has become the coast guard of today. our program will include an appearance by both the president, george washington, and secretary treasury, alexander hamilton. [applause] who will discuss the importance
to the nation's security and financial stability of this new agency. we will also hear about the state of the nation in 1790, as a new federal government sought to establish itself. later this afternoon, there will be presentations on the second floor of this building describing the early history of the united states coast guard. and the dramatic story of the sinking of cutter alexander hamilton in world war ii and its recent discovery. i also would like to thank the
united states coast guard art program for their special exhibit of coast guard paintings that will open here tomorrow. you can see several examples today after the ceremony. before we go on, i would like to take a moment to thank the people and organizations who worked so hard to put this event together. the alexander awareness society president, the u.s. coast guard sector new york public affairs guard district director. i would like to recognize captain michael day, commander, u.s. coast guard sector, new
new-- new york,, door -- york, commodore -- i must also give special thanks to the coast guard first district brass quintet for providing their musical talents today. as appropriate throughout the ceremony, i will advise you when to stand or to be seated. as a reminder, please silence your cell phones for the duration of the ceremony. military guests will remain uncovered throughout the ceremony. also, taking photographs is permitted and highly encouraged. again, military manners, please
remain uncovered throughout the ceremony. those not in uniform may choose to place your right hand over your heart during the playing of the national anthem. will the guests please rise for the presentation of colors and remain standing for the national anthem? >> forward, march. holt. -- halt. left face. present arms. >> ♪ oh say, can you see by the
dawn's early light? what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight? o'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming and the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night, that our flag was still there o, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave?
you may be seated. lori sutton, commissioner for veterans affairs, will present a proclamation on behalf of the mayor of new york city. captain day receives the proclamation. [applause] ms. sutton: thank you for your leadership as our host today at this special event, the 225th anniversary of the coast guard. mr. president, mr. secretary, thank you so much for joining us this morning. i know it has been a difficult
several years leading to this moment, 225 years ago, and i want to thank you for your leadership, for your perseverance, for your faith and your vision, that our country could grow into the vibrant democracy that it ntinues today, that experiment in democracy that still depends upon the efforts of every one of us working every single day as our brother, mr. franklin, said at philadelphia when he was asked, are you creating a monarchy? or a republic? and he said, a republic, if you can keep it. so, thank you for being here today. captain day, thank you so much for your leadership in making our united states coast guard the absolute exemplar of protection for our liberties, of
our coastline, of our maritime defenses, and we also want to recognize today leaders from the united states coast guard auxiliary, as well as -- as a look around the room -- citizens of our great country, our great city, and, since new york has now become the capital of the world, ic members -- fellow global citizens from around the world. so on behalf of mayor bill de blasio, mayor of new york city, i am truly privileged to bring you these greetings and is proclamation today. -- and this proclamation today. office of the mayor, city of new york, proclamation. as a coastal city, new york's storied maritime history has
been shaping the life and culture of the five boroughs for centuries, and therefore, we owe the men and women of the united states coast guard an incredible debt of gratitude for the ways they have helped to protect our shorelines and safeguard our ports and waterways. the coast guard is our nation's oldest federal sea service and its members have remained deeply committed to maintaining our safety and security, both at home and abroad. we are proud to join the coast guard as it celebrates its 225th anniversary and marks this milestone occasion in new york city. today's celebration will not only honor the united states coast guard's incredible legacy of service to our country, but will also pay tribute to the support of friends, family
members, and loved ones of those who put their own lives on the line to guarantee our safety. it is important for us to take time to read dedicate -- re-dedicate ourselves to the coast guard's core values of honor, respect, and devotion to duty. i am proud to join with new yorkers in applauding the members of the coast guard and salute them for their 225 years of excellence. now, therefore, i, on behalf of bill de blasio, mayor of the city of new york, do hereby proclaim tuesday, august 4, 2015, in the city of new york as united states coast guard day. congratulations, captain day. [applause]
[applause] host: ladies and gentlemen, the year is 1790. a fledgling nation is fighting for survival and trying not to lose the unique independent spirit and ideals that drove our founding fathers and our first citizens. at this time, it is my distinguished pleasure to invite president george washington and secretary of treasury alexander hamilton to sign a law creating the marine and providing the united states with the firm foundation to become the longest standing constitutional
democracy in the world. [applause] pres. washington: thank you, indeed, for that introduction. sec. hamilton: very kind of you. general, i -- we have been in office together in philadelphia, but i don't think i have seen you in uniform, here, in new york, since the days of the war. pres. washington: indeed. sec. hamilton: of course, you know how the war went and the battles went in and around new york. they went brilliantly -- the continental army, not at all. -- not too well at all. no offense to general washington. we had to retreat, we had to retreat the length of your -- york island or the manhattan island i guess, you say in your day. crossing the river into new jersey.
retreating is a dismal business at best, but there is no place better to retreat to than new jersey. we retreated the length of new jersey, crossing the river into pennsylvania. what happens on december 25? i heard someone say christmas. christmas happens every year, you godless heathens -- i will be more specific. what happened on december 25, 1776? that's right, we re-crossed the delaware. i tell you my favorite-- a few days later, -- [indiscernible] he sought to entrap us in trenton, and general washington was able to have a slip away and we take them at princeton instead. i don't suppose any of you would know this, but before the war, i had applied to the college of
new jersey and princeton, and been denied. when the 40th and 55th regiment fell back on the hall, i got into the college of trenton with cannons. but i did not, of course, attend the college of new jersey at princeton. you ought not to invade with cannons if possible. but i attended, in those days, king's college, or columbia you call it in your day. where i am told i am afforded their most famous draft house. -- most famous dropout. a fire at lexington and concord, we listed in a militia that very day. we used a march at the churchyard. -- to march at the churchyard. i'm very often asked, and i don't know about you general, why we feel we need such a strong federal government.
why we need a system of taxation? if i can, i'd like to take you back to the retreat to new jersey. it was my custom at that time to walk alongside the cannons. i could not help but notice in -- notice the tracks in front of me. the horses, the cannons, and the footprints of the men. very often shod. cold goes through leather like that. once leather becomes completely saturated due to inclement weather, it becomes very dry and brittle. the men would tie the shoes on their feet, but ultimately they would fall away. and we would be looking at their footprints in the snow and the muck. because skin itself is nothing
that, too,eather, begins to open up. we would be looking into bloody footprints in the snow and the muck. we saw it more throughout the war, correct me if i'm wrong. pres. washington: indeed. sec. hamilton: i have asked myself, why have we coming to such desperate straits? men give me some credit for genius. all the genius i have lies in this. when i have a problem in front of me, i plumb the problem into its very depths. then the results of my reflection, some men call the fruits of genius. it is not. it is the fruit of labor. when i plumb the problem into its depths, what was the result? the result, why we could that properly sustain our troops, it was the government. the government we had at the time and the lack of taxation. what was the government at the time? it was the articles of confederation.
there was no executive branch. there was no judiciary. it was solely a legislature. just take a moment and imagine that, if you will. yes, a legislature that did not even have the power to collect its own taxes. taxes in those days were all collected by the individual states, and passed on to the federal government. i suppose you know how that worked. it didn't, rather. when you start a war, in the precept of that war is that you don't want to pay taxes, had you impose one? you don't. and it comes back over and over -- comes back to taxation over and over again. when general washington became president washington, he appointed myself secretary of treasury. in those days, we were, at that time, $80 million in debt. can you imagine? $80 million in debt. assumption of the war debt, and
sell the bonds on the open market, which we have every right to do. despite what jefferson says. likewise, we should establish a bank, as we have every right to do, despite what jefferson says. but then it came to the selection of taxation, and how we should tax. we must tax taxes in order to pay for the military and all sorts of things. in order to do that, what i thought was best to do was to tax goods that are not necessarily needed by the common man. pernicious luxuries, if you will. like french brandy. french wine. french linen. not that i have anything against the french. there were many, of course, who sought to evade our attempts to place tax on those goods coming
into the country. we had a choice where we should collect these taxes. should it be from a single origin? it was deemed that it was -- to try and apply a tax later. so we must have a point of entry. those who wish to serve their own individual ends rather than serve the public good and would dispute the notion they would have to pay a tariff on goods coming into this country would very often keep the boats just offshore and bringing small -- bring in small boats to load those goods into our ports. bypassing our ability to tax them. it is for that reason that it became absolutely necessary that we have some system, some system in place where we can put a stop to those who are trying to evade our attempts to tax
them. hence, the need for a system of cutters. to guard our coast, if you will. i encouraged the general and others in office to put forward an act that allowed us to stop ships coming into our ports. there was no law prior to that time that allowed us to do that . end create a and -- series of cutters that we would employ to manage the contraband, hence the revenue. we deemed it best to create 10 ships. pres. washington: yes indeed. sec. hamilton: you know it better than i. county, general. pres. washington: i would like to take a moment to give a round of applause to my secretary here.
why i neededan see to name him as my secretary of treasury. hip hip? [applause] hip hip? [applause] let's try that one more time. i believe an enthusiastic round of applause. when i say around of applause, perhaps you are unfamiliar with the 18th-century custom. i will say "hip hip," and you will thrust your fists in the air and say "huzzah" like you mean it. let's try that one more time. a round of huzzahs for my secretary of treasury, secretary hamilton. hip hip! >> huzzah! pres. washington: hip hip! >> huzzah! pres. washington: hip hip! >> huzzah! pres. washington: i want to acknowledge the current service, i believe you even recommended a service to guard the coast. sec. hamilton: yes. pres. washington: it was alexander hamilton's wording. i would like to take a moment to
acknowledge the current men and women who serve in uniform at this point. so please, hip hip! >> huzzah! pres. washington: i will briefly name off the first 10 vessels that were built. many of the custom officers in philadelphia and other places -- baltimore, boston -- they suggested perhaps that we could just convert vessels that already existed. but mr. hamilton, in his wisdom, decided that they should be built. and this would also encourage manufacturing here at home. and so the manufacturing took place from newberry port , massachusetts all the way down to savannah, georgia. 10 different independent. sec. hamilton: it was your recommendation, was it not, that the ships be built in their states?
pres. washington: oh, indeed. sec. hamilton: and not exceed the price of $1000. pres. washington: i think you know how that went. [laughter] i would like to acknowledge the first 10 vessels. so, please, i will ask for a round of applause after i get through all of them. you must remember, my memory is not to that good. i am quite old. starting with massachusetts. the massachusetts, yes. the argus. it was patrolling the long island sound. here in new york, you have the vigiliant. delaware bay, you have the general green, one of my favorite generals. indeed. out of baltimore you have the active. out of virginia you have the virginia. in north carolina was the diligent. then you had in a south carolina
-- this one is easy to remember -- south carolina was the name of the vessel. and in georgia, it was the eagle. a round of huzzahs for the first 10 cutters that were built. not all of them came in at $1000, i might add. hip hip! >> huzzah! pres. washington: hip hip! >> huzzah! pres. washington: hip hip! >> huzzah! pres. washington: thank you so much. sec. hamilton: i would like to take a moment. i was perusing my letters the other day, and i couldn't help but notice the charge i wrote when we put the law into effect, which allowed us to stop a good coming goods on the seas into our ports and the creation of the cutter service. i wrote a bit of advice, presumptuous though it might be
-- i would like to share that letter with you, if i may. gentlemen, as you are speedily to enter upon the duties of your station, it becomes proper to point them out to you. accordingly, i have sent you a copy of the act under which you have been appointed on which are contained your powers and the objects to which you are to attend. and i shall such observations as appears to be requisite to guide you the feeling that act. it may be observed, generally, that it will be an impartial manner, province of the revenue cutter to guard revenue laws from all infractions or breaches, either upon the coast, or within the bays, or upon the rivers, or other waters of the u.s. previous to anchoring vessels in the harbors to which they are respectively nestled. hence it will be necessary for you from time to time to pry along the coast in the
neighborhood of your station, and to traverse the different parts of the waters which comprehend, to fix yourself constantly or even generally at what position -- one position in a great measure, defeating the purpose of the establishment. it would confine your vigilance to a particular spot and allow full scope to fraudulent practices everywhere else. it will be your duty to seize vessels and goods in the cases in which they are liable to seizure for breaches of revenue laws when they come under your notice. but all the power you can exercise will be bound in some provisions of the law. and it must be a rule with you to exercise none with which you were not clearly invested. you will perceive that they are only required in respect to vessels belonging wholly or in part to a citizen or citizens, inhabitant or inhabitants of the u.s.
it is understood that by inhabitant, it is intending any person residing in the united states, whether citizen or foreign. the reason of the limitation is that citizens or residents foreigners are supposed to know, be acquainted with the laws of the country. but that foreign citizens residing in foreign countries have not the same knowledge, and consequently ought not to be subjected to penalties in regard to a thing which they may not know to be necessary. but since you cannot be presumed to know before hand what vessels are owned in whole or part by citizens or inhabitants, it will of course be your duty to demand the manifests of all it is currently and report those from which you do not receive them to the direct collector of the district for which they are bound, and you will, at the end of every month, pursuing the division at the end of the year of the calendar, send me an abstract of your records. i would like to admonish you to keep careful eye upon the motions of coasting vessels,
without however, interrupting or embarrassing them unless some strong ground of suspicion requires that they be visited and examined. i have no nudist to you -- now noticed to you the immediate execution of your duties. it will be incumbent upon you to make yourself acquainted with all the revenue laws which concern foreign commerce and all of the coasting trade, a knowledge of the whole spirit and tendency of which cannot be but a useful guide to you and your particular career. you will observe that the law contemplates the officers it covers in certain places, remaining on board of vessels until they arrived at their places of destination. it is that so many officers have been assigned to each cutter. it will be a be expected that a regular journal will be kept it in each cutter. as is practiced in sea voyages and that all occurrences
relative to the execution of the law and conduct of the vessels will come under their notice, be summarily noticed therein, and that a copy of this journal to the end of each month be regularly forwarded to the secretary of treasury. it has also occurred at the cutters may be rendered an instrument of useful information. concerning the coast, inlets, bays, and rivers of the u.s., and it will be particularly acceptable if the officers improve the opportunity that they have, as convenient with the duties they are to perform, in making such observations and experiments in respect to the objects that may be useful to the interest of navigation, reporting the results from time to time to the secretary. while i recommend, in the strongest terms, to the respective officers, activity, vigilance, and from this, i feel
-- vigilance, and firmness, i feel that their department -- deportment may be marked with prudence, moderation and good temper. upon these last quality, it depends a success, usefulness, and continuance of the establishment with which they are included. they cannot be insensible that there are some pre-possessions against it. and that the charge with which they are entrusted is a delicate one. and it is easy, by mismanagement, to produce serious and expensive clamor, discussed, and odium. -- disgust, and odium. they will always keep in mind that their countrymen are freeman, and as such, are of a domineering spirit. there will, therefore, refrain from whatever has the semblance of haughtiness, rudeness, or insults. if obstacles occur, they won't
-- will remember they are under the protection of the law and can meet with nothing disagreeable in the execution of their duty, which these will not severely represent. represent -- reprehend. this reflection and a regard to all the good of the service will at all times presumes a spirit of irritation or resentment. they will endeavor to overcome difficulties, if any are experienced, by a cool temperate perseverance and moderation, rather than by vehemence or violence. the foremost style of conduct will recommend them to the present of the united states, while the reverse of it, any single instance of outrage or intemperate or improper treatment of any person with whom they have anything to do in the course of their duty will meet with his appointed displeasure. and will be attended with
correspondent consequences. the foregoing observations are not dictated by any doubt of the prudence of any of those to whom they are addressed. these have been selected with so careful and attention to character as to afford the strongest assurance that their conduct will be that of good officers and of good citizens. thus, in an affair so delicate and important, it has been judged most advisable to listen to the suggestions of caution, rather than of those of confidence. and to put all concerns on their guard against those to which even good and prudent men are occasionally subject. it is not doubted that the instructions will be received as it ought to be. and will have its due effect. apprised of what you will communicate this to your officers, to your orders,
particularly all your officers, and will implicate upon your men a correspondent disposition. i am your obedient servant, secretary of the treasury, alexander hamilton. in the vein of general washington, i would like at this moment to ask you all to join me in a loud and hearty huzzah, three of them to the wonderful revenue cutter service. hip hip, huzzah! hip hip, huzzah! hip hip, huzzah! thank you very much for your kind attention. [applause] >> it's tough to top that. there will be a round today, so if there are any questions, you may ask. i was talking to alexander
hamilton when he came in. i mentioned some anti-federalists lived in a neighborhood, a man by the name of aaron burr. we have security looking for burr and his colleagues so that they don't come in. once again, thank you president washington and secretary hamilton. now from the very beginning of the revenue marine to the west -- to the u.s. coast guard today, our keynote speaker is commander of the new york sector captain michael day. ,sector new york is the largest coast guard operation field command, almost 3100 active-duty civilians, reserves, auxiliary coast guard forces, spread over three small boat stations. two aides, eight cutters, 10 auxiliary divisions, execute all coast guard operations from
sandy hook, new jersey through the port of new york and new jersey, up the hudson river, just south of lake champlain and up the east river to long island sound and the connecticut border. captain michael day was commissioned in 1991, has served all over this great nation, including the strategy policy for the chairman of joint chiefs of staff, commanding officers of the pacific strike team in california, deputy sector commander of san francisco, california. notably, captain day serves as chief of waterways oversight in the port of new york and new jersey in response to the terrorist attacks on september 11, 2001. and was designated the coast guard on scene commander to evacuate lower manhattan, where
he worked as part of a team of civilian marines in coordinating the response of over 100 civilian vessels and evacuating over 500,000 people on 9/11. now, captain day. [applause] captain day: thank you. thank you. mr. president, mr. secretary, on behalf of the coast guard, i thank you and the national park service for honoring the coast guard today on our 225th birthday. i bid a special welcome to the friends and port partners who have joined us. your instruction to the offices of the revenue cutter service is still required reading to the officers.
we talk about it, we try to live up to those comprehensive and insightful instructions that you gave. still a subject for new officers and older officers to think about. are we living up to the ideals that you set? i thought that was important to mention to you. the coast guard was brought into existence through the efforts of alexander hamilton, america's first secretary of treasury. and one of the nation's founding fathers. during the revolutionary war, he was a visionary whose ideas and policies laid the groundwork for commercial and financial system of this country today. hamilton believed in a strong federal government to not only regulate industry, but to promote its growth. from here at federal hall, the nation's first capital, he put his policies into effect. my comments today he was standing here today, but we know he is standing here today. looking across the street at the new york stock exchange, i think you would be highly satisfied. were he to cast his gaze over all new york city, he would
certainly recognized what has become of the city of his day, when central park was used for a sheep pasture. but he would recognize the city is vital and vibrant as a nation itself. he will be proud of what we the people have done in the past 2 and 1/4 centuries. but i doubt he would be complacent. hamilton called for the creation of the coast guard, known as the revenue cutter service, because our nation faced peril and needed the resources to overcome the dangers inherent with being a free and sovereign country. if you look around today at the u.s. and the world we live in, there has been no fundamental change. our country cannot afford complacency. these are still perilous times. the nation still needs resources to deal with those perils. the u.s. coast guard is one of the vital instruments of our nation. we are the smallest of the armed forces, and the service with the most diverse mission is set. -- mission set. then as now, we rely up people
to meet the challenges we encounter every single day. it is our people, the men and women of the coast guard, who stand at watch, so that others may rest easy. it is our people who are the bedrock upon which the coast guard is built. then as now, the coast guard's maritime guardian is a role that we take pride in, as we have done for the past 225 years. and for those 225 years, the coast guard has met challenge after challenge, as had the nation itself. that we are equal to any challenge is because of the people. i look with pride upon the men and women who wear the coast guard uniform. they have answered the call to serve. to be the nation's shield and its swift and sure sword. we are proud to serve our nation , never more so than on the anniversary of the birth of the u.s. coast guard. once again, thank you for having us, and we are very honored. thank you. [applause]
host: every military service has a song. this song identifies and glorifies the heritage and values. during the playing of this service song, any current of former member of that service stands for the duration of that song to honor the particular service and recognize as a member. the coast guard's song is named after the coast guard's motto, "semper paratus," or "always "alwayso go ladies -- ready." ladies and gentlemen, "semper paratus."
the coast guard hamilton torpedo by german u-boats starting at 12:30. that will be on the second floor. the other highlight in this building -- we have the actual bible that george washington used when he was sworn in as president of the united states. that is in the gallery right over here. once again, i thank you for coming. george washington and secretary hamilton will be here if you have any questions. but please enjoy this space. and make sure you take in the program at 12:30 on the second floor conference room upstairs. thank you and have a nice day. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, >> you're watching american weekend, every
weekend on c-span3. to join the conversation, like us on facebook. @cspanhistory. >> welcome to cincinnati on american history tv. with support from our time spend partner, we will the next hour exploring the history of a place nicknamed the queen city. the liking and ohio rivers, it was the first major american city founded after the american revolution. we will visit the underground railroad freedom center, and later we will travel to the boyhood home of our president william howard taft. but we begin with a visit