Custom House celebrates National Maritime Day

May 22 marks the 85th anniversary of National Maritime Day, which recognizes the importance of U.S. maritime history, and the Custom House Maritime Museum, located at 150 Bank St. in New London, is hosting several events in conjunction with that.

Historian and author John Laurence Busch will offer a presentation on "New London's Moses Rogers Builds the First 'Steamship' in History" at 4 p.m. Sunday. He will explain why the proposition of making the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean on a "steamship" was met with a mix of skepticism and fear. He will then show how Captain Moses Rogers addressed those concerns by designing and building the first example of globalized high technology. The presentation is based on Busch's book "Steam Coffin: Captain Moses Rogers and The Steamship Savannah Break the Barrier." Donation is $12, $10 for New London Maritime Society members. Register at or call (860) 447-2501.

A ceremony celebrating National Maritime Day will take place at noon May 22 at Fort Trumbull Park. It's free and open to the public. All past and present members of the U.S. Merchant Marine are invited back to the Custom House after the event for a chowder lunch (donated by Captain Scott's Lobster Dock) and dessert.

And there is an online exhibition about the U.S. Maritime Service Officers School and its origins at Fort Trumbulll in New London. Created by New London Maritime Society librarian Brian Rogers, the exhibition can be seen at


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