In the year 1954, the US nuclear submarine Nautilus became the world’s first nuclear powered submarine. It was comissioned as both a defense mechanism and a sign of technological power in a time where the US was competing against Russia to show technological dominance.

The submarine was the first of it’s kind as the ship used nuclear propulsion to keep the submarine submerged for longer periods of time. Furthermore, the submarine could go to depths that had never been reached before, making the submarine the first true submarine.


US submarine Nautilus

 The creation of the submarine opened up several new doors in the world of technology and submarine warfare. Many inventions that followed can be accredited to the invention.

In addition, the ship reinstated technological power back to the US. 1954 was a year where many countries were racing to produce new technology over other nations. This applied to many areas of technological development

There is an interesting link between the US Nautilus and the fictional ship Nautilus portrayed in Jules Verne’s “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”

Later on August 3, 1958 the vessel would become the first submarine to complete a submerged transit to the North Pole.



Class: Nautilus
Type: Nuclear Submarine
Launched: January 21, 1954
At: Electric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut
Commissioned: September 30, 1954

Length: 319 feet
Beam: 27 feet
Draft: 22 feet (surface trim)
Displacement: 2,975 tons (surfaced)
Armament: Six 21-inch torpedo tubes


Domestic Life/Culture/Other Significant Events

Other events that happened in 1954

-In Japan, the film Godzilla was released and became an instant classic.

-Audrey Hepburn starred in the film “Sabrina”

-Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his infamous “I Have A Dream” speech that is argumentively the most important piece of American literature ever produced

Watch his speech here.






If the year 1954 could be scaled on a thermometer from 0 degrees to 100 degrees celsius, the year would rank at a 65 degrees celsius. The invention of the first nuclear submarine re-instated technological and political power in the US. In addition, the creation of the submarine opened up a lot of new doors in the future.




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