1859 - The sloop of war Constellation captures the American slaver Delicia off Kabenda, Africa.
1861 - Congress authorizes the Medal of Honor, the Nation's highest military award, for Naval enlisted personnel. In 1915, legislation made naval officers eligible for the award. Legislation in 1942 made the Medal of Honor an award for combat heroism only.
1942 -USS Seadragon (SS 194) sinks Japanese submarine I 4 between New Britain and New Ireland while I 4 is engaged in a resupply mission to Guadalcanal.
1951 - The first helicopter lands on board a hospital ship, USS Consolation (AH 15).
1968 - Apollo 8 launches with Capt. James A. Lovell, Jr. as Command Module Pilot. During the mission Lovell is one of the first two people to see the far side of the moon. The mission lasts six days and three hours and includes 10 moon orbits. Recovery is executed by HS-4 helicopters from USS Yorktown (CVS 10).