Statement of Significance (as of designation - May 20, 1982):
The brainchild of Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, the USS NAUTILUS was the world's first nuclear propelled submarine. Her propulsion system is a landmark in the history of naval engineering and submersible craft. NAUTILUS' nuclear plant enabled the boat to remain submerged for weeks, even months. NAUTILUS demonstrated her capabilities in 1958 when she sailed beneath the Arctic icepack to the North Pole, to broadcast the famous message "NAUTILUS 90 North." See: www.ussnautilus.org/ussnautilus/history.htm.