On April 28, 1988, Rhode Island Senator John H. Chafee proposed to Congress a joint resolution marking August 7, 1989 National Lighthouse Day in honor of the 200th Anniversary of the signing of the Act for the Establishment and Support of Lighthouse, Beacons, Buoys, and Public Piers and the commissioning of the first Federal lighthouse. The resolution passed the Senate on July 26, 1988 and it passed the House on October 21, 1988. On November 5, 1988 President Ronald Reagan signed the Bill into public law.
Senator Chafee’s goal was to open lighthouse grounds to the public where possible. Though his Bill was passed, it was only recognized for that year. In 2013, a Senate Resolution was passed stating that August 7, 2013 was National Lighthouse and Lighthouse Preservation Day, but it was only recognized for that specific day. Lighthouse groups, however, still celebrate August 7th as National Lighthouse Day and despite getting denied, they still advocate to Congress to mark August 7th as National Lighthouse Day.
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