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An interesting little ceremony took place way back in 1937 that was destined to play a vital role in transoceanic travel although at the time most people did not realize its importance.

Midway and Wake, coral atolls way out in the middle of the Pacific are separated even from each other by 1200 to 1600 hundred miles and from any other commonly-known geographical location by two to five thousand miles. So, when Clipper passengers started flying in and out of these bases, the designations "Wake Island, Pacific Ocean" and "Midway Island, Pacific Ocean" were not very meaningful for purposes of geographical location. So the little ceremony had to do with the raising of sign posts. The spots had been determined by celestial sights so that hereafter travelers passing back and forth would know exactly where they were. The signs read:


United States Territory
Latitude 28° 13'1" N
Longitude 177° 22'25" W

Airline Distance To:

San Francisco . . . .
Honolulu, T.H.   . . . .
Wake Island . . . . . .
Manila, P.I.  . . . . .
3790 miles
1380 miles
1252 miles
4423 miles

United States Territory
Latitude 19° 18'40" N
Longitude 166° 35'20" E

Airline Distance To:

San Francisco . . . .
Midway Islands . . . .
Guam . . . . . . . . . . .
Manila, P.I.  . . . . . .
4942 miles
1252 miles
1561 miles
3171 miles

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