This Day in History: 08/03/1958 - Nautilus Reaches North Pole

This Day in History: 08/03/1958 - Nautilus Reaches North Pole

The Nautilus nuclear sub travels under the North Pole, the space shuttle Columbia launches, Jesse Owens wins his 4th gold medal at the Berlin Olympics, and the Statue of Liberty reopens after 9-11 in This Day in History video. The date is August 3rd. The Statue of Liberty is on Liberty Island and was designed by sculptor, Frederic Bartholdi.


The USS Nautilus, one of the most famous vessels in US history, is decommissioned on this day in 1980 after over 25 years of service. The ship is converted into a museum ship and returned to the Thames River in Gorton CT where it was first launched.

The Nautilus was constructed under the direction of Navy Captain Hyman Rickover (eventually Admiral Rickover) a brilliant engineer regarded as a fanatic by his detractors. Consider his 1986 obituary from the New York Times, “He attacked Naval bureaucracy, ignored red tape, lacerated those he considered stupid, bullied subordinates and assailed the country’s educational system.”

Rickover boards the Nautilus in NY Harbor

A classic example of his maneuvering.

The Atomic Energy Commission was persuaded to create a Reactor Development Division and within it a Naval Reactors Branch. To head the branch it came up with Captain Rickover.”

Wearing both hats, the captain sometimes wrote letters to himself asking for certain things he would then answer the letters in the affirmative. Thus there was virtually always agreement between the Navy and the Atomic Energy Commission.

He was responsible for the design and production of the world’s first nuclear powered engines. He also delivered the sub years ahead of schedule.

The Nautilus was launched into the Thames River in January of 1954 and commissioned September 30, 1954. Displacing 3,180 tons it was larger than preceding subs and could remain submerged for almost unlimited periods because the atomic engine needed no air and only a small quantity of nuclear fuel. The reactor produced steam that drove propulsion turbines.

Early on the USS Nautilus broke numerous records. In May of 1955, the submarine headed south sailing from New London to Puerto Rico, the transit was the longest ever by a submerged submarine and achieved the highest sustained submerged speed. In 1958 she recorded her famous voyage under the North Pole. In the spring of 1966, she again entered the record books when she logged her 300,000th mile underway.

The Nautilus was decommissioned on this day in 1980 and two years later, in recognition of the submarine’s unique place in history, it was designated a National Historic Landmark. With this status in place, Nautilus was converted to a museum ship and returned to Groton. It is now part of the US Sub Force Museum.

Other Famous Nautilus’

Star Trek – The USS Nautilus (NCC-31910) was a Federation Miranda-class starship that was in service with Starfleet in the late 24th century. The Nautilus fought in the Dominion War. In late 2374 she saw action at the First Battle of Chin’toka where she, along with the USS Hood and USS Tian An Men, assisted the USS Defiant in destroying the orbital weapon platforms’ shared power generator. (DS9: “Tears of the Prophets”)

Captain Nemo and 󈬄,000 Leagues Under the Sea”


Historical Events in August 1958

    Philip Kapleau, Zen teacher, 1st awakening under Yasutani Roshi American athlete Glenn Davis breaks his own world record by 0.3 (49.2) in 400m hurdles in Budapest, Hungary US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Johnston Island Indians' right fielder Rocky Colavito makes his pitching debut, hurling 3 hitless innings, Detroit 3, Cleveland 2 Canadian Football League plays 1st game (Winnipeg 29, Edmonton 21) Cleveland Indian Vic Power steals home twice in 1 game KLM Superconstellation crashes west of Ireland, killing 99 25th NFL Chicago All-Star Game: All-Stars 35, Detroit 19 (70,000) Soviet Marshal Bulganin resigns as director of State Bank World's 1st Moon probe, US's Thor-Able, explodes at T +77 sec

Historic Publication

Event of Interest

Aug 18 Fidel Castro makes a speech on Cuban pirate radio Rebelde

Boxing Title Fight

Aug 18 Floyd Patterson TKOs Roy Harris in 13 for heavyweight boxing title

    United Kingdom issues regional stamps (N Ireland, Scotland & Wales) Perez Prado "Mambo King" receives one of the 1st gold records TV game show scandal investigation starts US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands Verne Gagne beats Edouard Carpentier in Omaha, to become NWA champ NAACP Youth Council begin sit-ins at Oklahoma City Lunch counters Cubs use 1st baseman Dale Long as their 1st major league lefty catcher since 1906 KUT-FM in Austin Texas begins radio transmissions Toronto's Boyd Carter (15 yards) and Dave Mann (116 yards) combine for CFL record for the longest punt return in 15-14 win over Montreal Alouettes in Toronto Great Britain performs atmospheric nuclear test at Christmas Island People's Republic of China resumes bombardment of the Quemoy and Matsu islands in the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis Marie Ashton completes playing piano a female record 133 hours Sergei Popov wins Stockholm marathon (2:15:17.0) (WR) 19th Venice Film Festival: "Rickshaw Man" directed by Hiroshi Inagaki wins Golden Lion

Instant Ramen

Aug 25 Momofuku Ando markets the first package of precooked instant noodles (Chikin Ramen)

    Clark Griffith says Senators will probably accept offer to move to Minnesota US performs nuclear test at South Atlantic Ocean USSR launches Sputnik 3 with two dogs aboard American baseball player Nellie Fox sets record for consecutive games without striking out (98) US Air Force Academy's permanent site opens in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Event of Interest

Aug 29 George Harrison joins The Quarrymen (Lennon-McCartney-Best-Sutcliffe)


August 3: It was 101 years ago today that Germany and France declared war on each other

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This Day in History: 3rd August

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2005: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad becomes President of Iran

Engineer and teacher Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected as president despite being relatively unknown in Iran.

He won 62 per cent of the vote with the slogan "It's possible and we can do it".

He was in office until August 2013 and was considered a controversial figure because of his alleged flagrant attitude to human rights.

1914: Germany and France declare war on each other

Germany declared war on France just two days after doing the same on Russia.

Then hours later, France declared war on Germany and prepared its troops to move into Alsace and Lorraine.

The country had forfeited these provinces to Germany in an 1871 settlement to end the Franco-Prussian War.

In 1914 Germany and France declared war on each other

1990: UK temperatures reach a record 37.7C in Leicestershire

It is 25 years since the mercury soared to a record 37.7C in Leicestershire on one particularly hot summer day.

1958: The USS Nautilus submarine becomes the first to travel under the North Pole

The USS Nautilus, which was 319 feet long, travelled nearly 1,000 miles under the Arctic ice cap to reach the North Pole.

It was at a depth of about 500 feet before ending its journey at Iceland after four days.

Commander William R. Anderson told his crew of 111 officers and four civilian scientists: "For the world, our country, and the Navy &ndash the North Pole."

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1958: The Billboard Hot 100 all-genre singles chart premieres

When Billboard launched its all-genre singles chart, it quickly became influential &ndash so powerful, in fact, that the company discontinued its Best Sellers In Stores chart a few months later.

It is ranked by radio airplay, audience, sales data and streaming figures.

In 1999 Thierry Henry signed for Arsenal

1999: Arsenal sign Thierry Henry for a record fee

Arsenal signed Thierry Henry from Juventus for £11million as a replacement for Nicolas Anelka.

Henry said: &ldquoI've literally had to go back to school and be re-taught everything about the art of striking."


U.S. Launches First Nuclear Submarine

US #BK279 – America’s first preside booklet honoring a century of US Navy submarines. Click image to order.

On January 21, 1954, the USS Nautilus, the world’s first operational nuclear-powered submarine, was launched.

Accounts of boats submerging in the water date back to the 1560s, though the first verifiable vessel was designed and built in 1620.

US #2838e honors the role of submarines in World War II. Click image to order.

Patents for submarines and submersible boats were submitted in the 1700s, and in 1800, Robert Fulton designed a human-powered submarine, also called the Nautilus. Improvements and advances in technology followed and by the 1900s, most submarines were diesel-powered. Submarines were used widely in both World Wars, but their dependence on diesel fuel limited the amount of time they could be under water.

In July 1951, Congress approved the creation of a nuclear-powered submarine for the US Navy. Hyman G. Rickover, known as “Father of the Nuclear Navy”, oversaw the Nautilus’ planning and construction.

US #3373-77 includes a Los Angeles Class sub named for Hyman G. Rickover. Click image to order.

On June 14, 1952. President Harry S. Truman visited the Connecticut boatyard to lay the keel, signaling the start of construction. Building the Nautilus took about a year and a half. Once it was completed, the Navy held a special launch ceremony on January 21, 1954. First Lady Mamie Eisenhower broke the customary bottle of champagne on the ship’s bow. She was the first president’s wife to ever christen a US Navy submarine.

Item #M7943 pictures other US submarines. Click image to order.

The Nautilus was commissioned into the Navy that September and the following January entered service with its commander stating, “Underway on nuclear power.” As the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, the Nautilus quickly broke all existing underwater speed and distance records.

Cambodia #1379-83 includes a stamp honoring the Nautilus. Click image to order.

In April 1958, the Nautilus began “Operation Sunshine,” aimed at becoming the first submerged ship to travel under the North Pole. On the first attempt, the sub was unable to find enough space between the bottom of the ice and the ocean floor. But the second try was successful.

US #1128 honors the 50th anniversary of Admiral Robert Peary’s voyage to the North Pole and the journey of the USS Nautilus under the polar ice. Click image to order.

On August 3, 1958, the Nautilus reached the pole. The crew encountered more difficulties – navigation became difficult once the submarine approached the 85-degree longitude mark (the North Pole is at 90 degrees). Magnetic compasses and other instruments became inaccurate. But with the use of specially designed equipment, they were able to complete the mission. To reward the success of the journey, the entire crew was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation – the first one presented during peacetime.

US #1128 – Plate Block First Day Cover. Click image to order.

The Nautilus was decommissioned in 1980 and designated a National Historic Landmark two years later. Today it lives on a submarine museum in Groton, Connecticut.

Click here to see a video of the Nautilus’ launch and here for photos and more about the sub.


U.S. Launches First Nuclear Submarine

On January 21, 1954, the USS Nautilus, the world’s first operational nuclear-powered submarine, was launched.

Accounts of boats submerging in the water date back to the 1560s, though the first verifiable vessel was designed and built in 1620.

U.S. #2838e honors the role of submarines in World War II.

Patents for submarines and submersible boats were submitted in the 1700s, and in 1800, Robert Fulton designed a human-powered submarine, also called the Nautilus. Improvements and advances in technology followed and by the 1900s, most submarines were diesel-powered. Submarines were used widely in both World Wars, but their dependence on diesel fuel limited the amount of time they could be under water.

In July 1951, Congress approved the creation of a nuclear-powered submarine for the U.S. Navy. Hyman G. Rickover, known as “Father of the Nuclear Navy”, oversaw the Nautilus’ planning and construction.

U.S. #3373-77 includes a Los Angeles Class sub named for Hyman G. Rickover.

On June 14, 1952. President Harry S. Truman visited the Connecticut boat yard to lay the keel, signaling the start of construction. Building the Nautilus took about a year and a half. Once it was completed, the Navy held a special launch ceremony on January 21, 1954. First Lady Mamie Eisenhower broke the customary bottle of champagne on the ship’s bow. She was the first president’s wife to ever christen a U.S. Navy submarine.

The Nautilus was commissioned into the Navy that September and the following January entered service with its commander stating, “Underway on nuclear power.” As the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, the Nautilus quickly broke all existing under water speed and distance records.

Cambodia #1379-83 includes a stamp honoring the Nautilus.

In April 1958, the Nautilus began “Operation Sunshine,” aimed at becoming the first submerged ship to travel under the North Pole. On the first attempt, the sub was unable to find enough space between the bottom of the ice and the ocean floor. But the second try was successful.

U.S. #1128 honors the 50th anniversary of Admiral Robert Peary’s voyage to the North Pole and the journey of the USS Nautilus under the polar ice.

On August 3, 1958, the Nautilus reached the pole. The crew encountered more difficulties – navigation became difficult once the submarine approached the 85-degree longitude mark (the North Pole is at 90 degrees). Magnetic compasses and other instruments became inaccurate. But with the use of specially designed equipment, they were able to complete the mission. To reward the success of the journey, the entire crew was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation – the first one presented during peacetime.

The Nautilus was decommissioned in 1980 and designated a National Historic Landmark two years later. Today it lives on a submarine museum in Groton, Connecticut.

Click here to see video of the Nautilus’ launch and here for photos and more about the sub.


55 years ago, the American nuclear submarine reached the North Pole

On the 3d of August, 1958 the world's first submarine with a nuclear reactor "Nautilus" with a crew of 116 men under the command of William Anderson went to the North Pole.

For the first time "Nautilus" sailed in 1954 in the presence of the President of the United States Eisenhower. Unlike diesel-electric counterparts, the submarine had a new power plant, housing design, the location of equipment and facilities. "Nautilus" with a displacement of 4000t was equipped with a nuclear power plant that provides power to 13,800 horsepower and allows a speed of over 20 knots. The submarine could swim month without rising to the surface.

Before the start, the commander of the submarine Anderson got the latest maps of the depths of the Arctic. In addition, he made the flight, the route of which fully coincided with the planned route of "Nautilus".

The transition has been classified under the name "Operation Sunshine." Map of the navigation shows that on July 22, 1958 the submarine sailed off the Pearl Harbor, at top speed, and on the night of July 27, it was already in the Bering Sea. Two days later the "Nautilus" was held in the waters of the Chukchi Sea, and on the 1st of August was under the Arctic pack-ice. On the 3d of August geographic North Pole of our planet has been reached. "Nautilus" was the first submarine in the history which managed to reached this point.

While sailing boat set several records. Thus, the distance underwater 2250km been overcome for 90 hours.

In May, 1959 "Nautilus" came to Portsmouth, where it was carried out refurbishment and restart of nuclear fuel. In August, 1960 submarine joined the U.S. Sixth Fleet and became the first nuclear power boat in the Mediterranean. For 25 years, "Nautilus" was involved in the test programs and naval exercises. The ship made the last transition in May 1979.

Currently, "Nautilus" is moored in the port of Groton at the American Memorial Pier.


This Day in History for August 3

1863 – Governor Seymour ask President Lincoln to suspend draft in NY.

1882 – US Congress passes 1st law restricting immigration.

1900 – Firestone Tire and Rubber Company founded.

1914 – 1st seaworthy ship passes through the Panama Canal.

1921 – 1st aerial crop dusting in Troy, Ohio, to kill caterpillars.

1923 – Vice President Calvin Coolidge becomes 30th US President upon death of President Warren G. Harding.

1941 – Gas (petroleum) sales limited in US.

1953 – Frank Blair becomes news anchor of “Today Show”

1955 – Hurricane Connie begins pounding US for 11 days.

1958 – USS Nautilus reaches North Pole, 1st submarine to achieve submarine transit of North Pole.

1960 – Lee Petty and his sons, Richard & Maurice race against each other for the first and only time at Dixie Speedway in Birmingham, Alabama Richard 2nd, Lee 3rd.

1963 – Allan Sherman releases “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh”

1967 – 45,000 US soldiers sent to Vietnam.

1970 – Hurricane “Celia” becomes most expansive Gulf storm in history.

1977 – Radio Shack issues a press release introducing the TRS-80 computer, within weeks thousands were ordered.

1981 – 13,000 Air Traffic Controllers (PATCO) begin their strike US President Ronald Reagan offers ultimatum to workers: ‘if they do not report for work within 48 hours, they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated.”

1990 – US announces commitment of Naval forces to Gulf regions.

2004 – The pedestal of the Statue of Liberty reopens after being closed since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

2015 – US President Obama unveils his Clean Power Plan to cut greenhouses gases.


On this day in 1986, Microsoft stock became available to the public. It went for $21.00 a share. 2.5 million shares were sold, raising the price to 27.75 and netting the company 61 million initially.

Since then, the highest it has gone was 57.91 on Dec 24th, 1999. Yet with about 10 stock splits and several dividends in 24 years, people definitely got their money’s worth. If you would have purchased 100 shares in 1986 and let those shares ride until today, you would have 102,400 shares of stock at approximately $29 a share.

Let me state that another way. If you spent $2100.00 in 1986 for Microsoft stock, today those shares would be worth $2,969,600.00.


Events in History on August 3

    Deposed Patriarch of Constantinople Nestorius, considered the originator of Nestorianism, exiled by Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II to a monastery in Egypt
    Battle at Saucourt: French King Louis III beats the Vikings Louis VI, "the Fat One," King of France, crowned at the cathedral in Orléans after his half brother prevents him reaching Reims Power of Luik Patriarch murders over 200

Santa María

1492 Christopher Columbus sets sail on his first voyage with three ships, Santa María, Pinta and Niña from Palos de la Frontera, Spain for the "Indies"

    First known letter sent from North America by John Rut while at St. John's, Newfoundland "Peace of the Ladies" (Treaty of Cambrai) made between Holy Roman Empire and the French, negotiated by Louise of Savoy and Margaret of Austria Dutch States-General meet at Valenciennes David Fabricius discovers light variation of Mira (1st variable star) Tokugawa Iemitsu, 3rd Tokugawa shogun, establishes alternate attendance (sankin kotai) feudal daimyōs spend 1 year at Edo Castle (Tokyo) and 1 year at their feudal manor, while their families remain in Tokyo as hostages (Traditional Japanese Date: June 21) 2,000 men VOC-army surrounds the city of Malacca Zorilla's "Bire el Ojo" premieres in Toledo Battle of Allersheim: French defeat Bavarians Viceroy Willem II and Amsterdam reach accord about standing army Nathaniel Bacon publishes "Declaration of People of Virginia"

Victory in Battle

1798 Battle of the Nile: British Admiral Horatio Nelson forces the remnants of the French fleet to surrender, concluding a decisive victory for the British who capture or destroy 11 French ships of the line and 2 frigates

Historic Expedition

1804 Naturalist Alexander von Humboldt lands at Bordeaux, France completing his 5 year expedition to Latin America

    HMS Beagle reaches river mouth of Rio Negro Rotterdam-Gouda railway opens The Second Maori War begins in New Zealand Federal fleet bombards Galveston, Texas Governor Seymour asks Lincoln to suspend draft in NY American Canoe Association founded at Lake George, NY, first Commodore William L. Alden Boers signs Convention of Pretoria: Transvaal semi-autonomous US Congress passes 1st law restricting immigration

Event of Interest

1900 Firestone Tire and Rubber Company founded

    British journalist Francis Younghusband visits forbidden city Lhasa Emperor Wilhelm (Germany) meets with Tsar Nicholas (Russia) to discuss Germany's plan to build a railroad to Baghdad the discussion helps move Russia towards Britain and eventually the Triple Alliance French brothers Amadee and Jean Bouyssonie discover the fossil remains of a nearly complete 60,000 year-old Neanderthal man 'Old man of La Chappelle' at La Chappelle-aux-Saints, France

Event of Interest

1923 Vice President Calvin Coolidge becomes 30th US President upon death of President Warren G. Harding

    Last US troops leave Nicaragua (there since 1912) Traffic lights installed at Piccadilly Circus, London

Event of Interest

1934 Adolf Hitler merges the offices of German Chancellor and President, declaring himself "Führer" (leader)

Event of Interest

    Italian troops invade British Somalia Lithuanian SSR is accepted into USSR Seaplane Clare makes 1st British passenger flight to the US Gas (petroleum) sales limited in US German troops conquer Roslavl USSR

Event of Interest

1943 General Patton slaps a US GI in hospital, accusing him of cowardice

Event of Interest

1944 Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp gases 4,000 gypsies

    General Montgomery visits general Dempsey's headquarter Allied troops under Lieutenant-General Joseph Stilwell take Myitkyina, Burma Belgian government of Huysmans forms FDR advisor Alger Hiss accused of being a "communist" Republic Indonesia proclaims cease fire William H Jackson ends term as deputy director of CIA Frank Blair becomes news anchor of "Today Show" 1st VTOL (Vertical Take-off & Land) flown Hurricane Connie begins pounding US for 11 days British offensive against imam Galeb Ben Ali of Oman USS Nautilus reaches North Pole, 1st submarine to achieve submarine transit of North Pole 50 killed in uprising in Guinea-Bissau Niger gains independence from France Lee Petty and his sons, Richard & Maurice race against each other for the first and only time at Dixie Speedway in Birmingham, Alabama Richard 2nd, Lee 3rd 29th Chicago College All-Star Game: Green Bay 42, All-Stars 20, 65,000 at Soldier Field Allan Sherman releases "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh" 45,000 US soldiers sent to Vietnam

Event of Interest

1972 British premier Edward Heath proclaims emergency crisis due to dock strike

    Chozen-ji/Intl Zen Dojo founded by Omori Sogen Roshi, in Hawaii US Senate ratifies the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union to limit the use of missile systems capable of defending against missile-delivered nuclear weapons Flash fire kills 51 at amusement park (Isle of Man, UK) National People's party wins Dutch Antilles National elections 500 drown when 2 river boats collide and sink in China's West River Louisiana Superdome is dedicated Poland and West Germany reach accord about returning ethnic Germans Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 personal computer, within weeks thousands were ordered United States Senate Hearing on MKULTRA. 11th Commonwealth Games open in Edmonton, Canada Fastest jai-alai shot (188 mph), Jose Arieto at Newport Jai Alai, Rhode Island US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Event of Interest

1981 13,000 Air Traffic Controllers (PATCO) begin their strike US President Ronald Reagan offers ultimatum to workers: 'if they do not report for work within 48 hours, they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated'


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