The US Coast Guard celebrated a milestone this weekend. It was the organization's 217th birthday. Back on August 4, 1790 Congress authorized the construction of ten vessels to enforce tariff and trade laws, prevent smuggling and protect the collection of the federal revenue. US Coast Guard Petty Ofc. Travis Dobbins said, "[We're] very, very proud. It's a very proud day for us and for our service." Responsibilities of the Coast Guard have increased over the years. They later began to include humanitarian missions, such as helping mariners in distress. During the past two centuries the Coast Guard has saved more than one million lives.
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