Happy New Year, guys!

New Year’s Day off Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii, 1 January 1912:

A boat from USS South Dakota (Armored Cruiser No. 9) alongside the embarkation ladder of USS Maryland (Armored Cruiser No. 8), paying a traditional New Year’s Day call. The boat appears to be rigged as a brigantine, probably purely for decoration.

Photographed by McDaniel. Courtesy of Lloyd Harmon. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Catalog #: NH 50361

It was customary to exchange visits among ships in the same harbor on New Year’s Day. Note the caption: “14 Saluting Gun Crews Man Your Batteries!”

This is just shy of the 15-gun salute required of an Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, pointing to the fact that a somewhat lesser figure– perhaps Father Time or Baby New Year– has just arrived.

Regardless of who was on the launch, let’s hope this year will be better than the last…

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