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How American Lighthouses Shaped A Newborn Nation11:30
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Workers moving the Gay Head Lighthouse, which settled into its new location Saturday, May 30, 2015. (Charles Krupa/AP)
Workers moving the Gay Head Lighthouse, which settled into its new location Saturday, May 30, 2015. (Charles Krupa/AP)
This article is more than 4 years old.
Brilliant Beacons by Eric Jay Dolin. (Courtesy W.W. Norton & Company)
Brilliant Beacons by Eric Jay Dolin. (Courtesy W.W. Norton & Company)

This year, the Boston Lighthouse is celebrating its 300th anniversary. The beloved beacon was first lit in September 1716, and has been guiding ships, attracting visitors and capturing the public's imagination ever since.

But the lighthouse is more than just a romantic structure in the American landscape.

The success of the U.S. economy could not have been achieved without the help of the iconic structures, according to Eric Jay Dolin. Dolin is the author of the new book, "Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse."

He says to look at a lighthouse is to see an instantaneous sense of history. And as he writes, "They quite literally lit the way for the United States."

Guest

Eric Jay Dolin, author of "Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse." He tweets @ericjaydolin.

This segment aired on July 11, 2016.

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