||On September 30, 1954, the USS Nautilus became the first nuclear-powered submarine. It would be just one in a long line of firsts for this unique, pioneering vessel.
The history of the USS Nautilus (SSN 571):
- Captain Hyman G. Rickover, USN, lead a team of engineers at the Naval Reactors Branch of the Atomic Energy Commission in the development of a nuclear propulsion plant
- July 1951 - Congress authorized construction of the first nuclear powered submarine
- December 12, 1951 - The Navy announced the ship would be named Nautilus, making her the sixth ship to bear the name.
- June 14, 1952 - President Harry S. Truman laid her keel at the Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, Connecticut.
- January 21, 1954 - First Lady Mamie Eisenhower broke a traditional bottle of champagne across the bow and the Nautilus slipped into the water.
- September 30, 1954 - The Nautilus became the first nuclear powered ship in the United States Navy.
- January 17, 1955 - The Nautilus ordered the ship's lines cast off and issued the memorable and historic message, "Underway on nuclear power."
- July 23, 1958 - The Nautilus left Pearl Harbor in top secret Operation Sunshine. It was to be the first crossing of the North Pole by ship.
- August 3, 1958 - Commander William R. Anderson, USN, announced to his crew, "For the world, our country, and the Navy--the North Pole." With 116 men aboard, NAUTILUS had accomplished the "impossible," reaching the geographic North Pole--90 degrees north.
- May 1959 - The Nautilus entered Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, for the first overhaul of a nuclear powered vessel. After having the second fuel core replaced, the Nautilus was declared fit for service.
- August 1960 - The Nautilus was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea to become the first nuclear powered submarine assigned to the Sixth Fleet.
- April 1966 - The Nautilus set a new record by logging her 300,000th mile underway.
- April 1979 - The Nautilus left Groton, Connecticut for her final voyage.
- May 26, 1979 - The Nautilus reached Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California.
- March 3, 1980 - The Nautilus was decommissioned after nearly a half a million miles.
- May 20, 1982 - The Nautilus was declared a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior.
- July 6, 1985 - The Nautilus arrived in Groton, Connecticut, after being subjected to an historic conversion.
- April 11, 1986 - The Nautilus was opened to the public as a museum in Groton, Connecticut.