- U.S. Virgin Islands
A sharply wedged sundial marks the point at which each day in the United States begins.
Sitting on the end of the island of St. Croix is an angular stone monument that marks the easternmost point (by travel) of the United States territory. Known as Point Udall, the site’s monument is actually a sundial that acted as the azimuth for the first U.S. sunrise of the new millennium.
The point is named after the Secretary of the Interior who served under John F. Kennedy, Stewart Udall, and was simply marked as a geographic point of interest until 2000. As part of the country’s millennial celebration, the Millenium Monument was installed. The stone sundial was placed to help mark what would be the first appearance of the first sunrise of America at the turn of the century. The monument consists of four angular wedges that jut up from the ground around a central pole. The wedges are made of a composite material of smaller stones joined by cement. After serving as the measuring constant for the country’s glorious first sunrise, the sundial was left and continues to tell solar time to this day.
Interestingly, the Point Udall in St. Croix is not the only site to bear the name. In fact the westernmost point in the United States in Guam is also named Point Udall, although its name comes from a different source. Guam’s Point Udall was named after Morris Udall, the brother of the St. Croix’s point’s namesake. The Guam point was renamed in 1987 to match its eastern counterpart. As President Bill Clinton later noted at Morris Udall’s funeral, the days in the United States both begin and end at Point Udall.
Know Before You Go
Free admission. The most popular time to visit is at sunrise! Note that there is spotty cell phone reception on the far east end of the island.
Content originally created for Atlas Obscura.
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