On October 11, 1896, Richard Etheridge, a former slave from Roanoke Island, earned his stripes as a Surfman and the Keeper of the United States Life Saving Station #17 on Pea Island. That night in October, Richard Etheridge convinced his team of men to swim voluntarily into deadly waters during a hurricane to save a distressed ship of eight seamen aboard the E.S. Newman. Under Etheridge’s orders, the endangered crew of the E.S. Newman were brought to shore safely.
Richard Etheridge was a slave who was able to buy his way to freedom after the Civil War, before becoming a valued member of the Second North Carolina Colored Volunteers. After serving in the Union Army for three years, he returned to Roanoke to learn the ways of a shipman. He joined the surfmen in 1874 and was assigned to a “checkerboard” crew on Bodie Island (it was called checkerboard because it included both blacks and whites).
Etheridge knew he had to train twice as hard as any other member of the Station because he was black. By 1880, Etheridge was promoted to Keeper of USLSS #17 upon recommendation. On his first day, many white surfmen walked away from the station. Soon after, racists burned the station down to the ground. This did not stop Etheridge. He pushed his men to train hard, not giving way to the setback of discrimination.
The crew under command of Keeper Etheridge saved many crews during their years at the Pea Island watchtower. Some of them were the J.W. Gaskill and the Rosa Cora in the Pamlico Sound. Many of the ships they rescued were those that were believed to be too dangerous to reach by other nearby stations.
Etheridge died from disease carried by mosquitoes in 1900.
For many years, there was no distinction given to the men of the Pea Island Watchtower and USLSS #17. Then in 1996, the U.S. Coast Guard posthumously awarded Keeper Richard Etheridge and his surfmen the Gold Lifesaving Medal.
Although there is no mention of the surfman’s dedication to his crew or to the U.S. Coast Guard on his tombstone, his life is told in the book “Fire on the Beach” by David Zoby and David Wright.
One of the many Life-Saving Service Stations like that run by Etheridge is now a landmark called the Chicamacomico Life-Saving State Historic Site in Rodanthe, N.C.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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