March 18, 1854: Androscoggin County is formed from parts of Cumberland, Oxford, Kennebec and Lincoln counties. Maine’s 14th county, the second-smallest in area after Sagadahoc, is the location of Maine’s second-largest city, Lewiston.

March 18, 1989: The USS Philippine Sea, a Flight II Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser manufactured by Bath Iron Works, is commissioned in Portland.

The ship later takes part in 1999 in supporting NATO Operation Allied Force by launching Tomahawk cruise missiles against military targets in the former Yugoslavia. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., the vessel launched missiles that year against al-Qaida and Taliban military sites in Afghanistan.

The cremated remains of Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon, are buried at sea from the ship on Sept. 14, 2012. Armstrong was a Navy veteran.

The ship remains in service today.

Joseph Owen is a retired copy desk chief of the Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. He can be contacted at:

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