The light was built to aid mariners entering the southern end of the New York Harbor. It was originally called New York Lighthouse because it was funded through a New York Assembly lottery and a tax on all ships entering the Port of New York. The lighthouse has endured an attempt to destroy it as an aid to British navigation by Benjamin Tupper, and a subsequent occupancy of British soldiers during the Revolutionary War.

Almost two years after the State of New York ratified the U.S. Constitution, the lighthouse was transferred to federal authority. George Washington wrote to the Senate on April 5, 1790, "I have directed my private secretary to lay before you copies of three acts of the legislature of New York … An act for vesting in the United States of America the light-house and the lands thereunto belonging at Sandy Hook". The lighthouse is located on the grounds of Fort Hancock.

In 1990, the U.S. Postal Service issued a 25 cent stamp featuring the Sandy Hook Lighthouse.

According to wikipedia