Today in Keys History Jan. 9

Construction of the first Sand Key lighthouse began on this date in 1827.

1827: Construction began on the first lighthouse on Sand Key. It was completed in 70 days.

1854: During the year 1853, 28 ships wrecked on the Florida Reef and another 29 ships arrived in distress. The total salvage awarded by the courts and by arbitration was $174,350.09. The expenses on the vessels, cargoes and repairs totaled $185,750.00.

1856: William Hackley, a 50-year-old married attorney, recorded in his diary: Rose at 5 and walked on the beach, returned home and bathed. At 8:30 a.m. barometer 29.46.5, thermometer 71.5, wind northeast 1, clouds 1. Made copies of my accounts and swore to them before Winer Bethel, Justice of the Peace, and enclosed them to the Secretary of the Interior. Paid Walburg with a Treasury Warrant of $50.00 for the watch I bought of him P.m. read Huc’s “Travels in China” and President’s message.

1897: May Johnson, 20-year-old single school teacher recorded in her diary: Bright I arose at 7:40, dressed, cleaned upstairs, did washing, wrote to Maggie W., did ironing, dressed, went to San Carlos to a circus with Earle, Charlie, Fritot, took us in a box, Bertha, also, had a fine time, Earle disgraced me, ha!, from there went to Mrs. Sewell’s, to Curry’s, to La Brisa, had a pleasant time, came home, read awhile, came to bed.

1929: Dr. W.J. Mayo was impressed with Key West during his visit.

1946: The U.S. Navy announced that a submarine squadron consisting of one tender and 10 submarines would be based in Key West. The ships had a total of 1,200 personnel.

1953: Key West was hit by a severe storm with winds of 55 mph downtown and rain of 3.38 inches.

1955: Bill Mauldin, who won fame in World War II with his cartoon titled, “Up Front With Mauldin,” was a weekend guest at the Casa Marina Hotel.

1956: President Dwight D. Eisenhower left Key West after a 12-day stay to recover his health.

1957: Movie star Leslie Carron was a house guest of Playwright Tennessee Williams.

1966: Bishop Coleman F. Carroll dedicated St. Peter’s Mission on Big Pine Key.

1970: Alfred L. Rahming, a city employee, was given the Air Force Exceptional Service Award for Heroism for saving Teresa Tucker from drowning.

1973: Kermit H. Lewin was named by the County Commission to head the new Planning Department.