1978 29¢ Sandy Hook Lighthouse
Issue Date: April 14, 1978
City: Atlantic City, NJ
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Engraved
Perforation: 11 x 10 ½
Sandy Hook Lighthouse
Sandy Hook Lighthouse, located on New Jersey’s Sandy Hook peninsula at the entrance to New York Harbor, is the oldest functioning lighthouse in the United States. Funds for building the lighthouse were raised by means of a lottery organized by New York City businessmen. The lighthouse first shined its light in the summer of 1764. At that time, it burned an oil lamp. An updated lens was installed in the tower in 1856. At the time of this writing, the lighthouse still functioned. Its longevity is a testimony to its builder, Isaac Conro.
During the American Revolution, Colonial forces extinguished the light so as not to aid British warships entering New York Harbor. The British used make-shift lamps to re-light the tower, prompting Colonial forces to mount an unsuccessful naval bombardment against the tower. After the war, President George Washington personally wrote to the lighthouse keeper to ask him to re-light the tower until Congress could appropriate necessary funding. Although the lighthouse and the living quarters for its keeper have been updated, the light has remained in service ever since.