Annapolis celebrates birthdays of U.S. Navy, U.S. Naval Academy, and U.S. Marine Corps
Date: October 12, 2015
October 13, 2015 - Today state, county, and city leaders, joined by U.S. Naval Academy Superintendent VADM Ted Carter and Commandant of Midshipman Colonel Stephen Liszewski, gathered for a breakfast celebrating the 240th birthday of the U.S. Navy (October 13, 1775), the 170th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. Naval Academy (October 10, 1845), and the 240th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps (November 10, 1775). Among the morning's speakers was Robert C. Clark, President and CEO of Historic Annapolis. His remarks at the event clearly showed how proud Annapolis is to be a Navy town:
We’re here today to celebrate the establishment of America’s Navy 240 years ago, but we’re also just 3 days past the 170th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. Naval Academy. Those are impressive milestones, to be sure, but as President of Historic Annapolis, I feel it’s my duty to remind everyone that Annapolis itself was already 80 years old when the Continental Congress established the Navy in 1775, and 150 years old when the Boat School dropped anchor on the outskirts of town in 1845. Not that this is any sort of seniority contest … I’m just trying to keep things in the proper historical perspective.
Just like Annapolis and its citizens, the naval service in general and the Academy in particular have a keen sense of their own history. Many visitors to the Yard enter by way of the gate named for Commodore John Barry, who held the first numbered commission authorized by President Washington. Their tours often take them to the crypt of John Paul Jones, to the solemn splendor of Memorial Hall, and to the captivating exhibits on display in the Naval Academy Museum. The centerpiece of the oldest group of academic buildings is named for 19th-century naval historian and strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan. Statues of Jim Stockdale and Bill Lawrence and buildings named for Wesley Brown and Chuck Larson inspire today’s midshipmen to pursue lives of service before self. Navy football fans wave historic “Don’t Tread on Me” and “Don’t Give Up the Ship” flags as they cheer the team on to victory at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Annapolis is obviously very proud to be a Navy town and the home of the Naval Academy. And the Navy has returned the favor, naming four ships in honor of Maryland’s capital city: the first was a gunboat commissioned a year before the Spanish-American War, followed by a World War II frigate, a Cold War era escort carrier, and a Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine. Despite the threat of rising sea levels, we trust that the next USS Annapolis won’t be the city itself, cut off from its peninsula and set adrift down the Chesapeake Bay and out to the Atlantic Ocean.
For many Americans, “Annapolis” and the “Naval Academy” mean the very same thing—and that’s all to the good. At Historic Annapolis, we’re happy to share this wonderful town with our good neighbors just over the wall and all those who tirelessly patrol on, under, and over the water. And judging from the enthusiastic support we’ve received from so many Navy folks through the past sixty-plus years—whether as volunteers, donors, members, or trustees—it’s clear that the warm feelings are mutual.
A hearty “happy birthday” and “bravo zulu” to the United States Navy and the Naval Academy. Historic Annapolis salutes you for your dedicated service to our city, state, and nation!
The event, held at Carrol's Creek Cafe, was hosted by the City of Annapolis and Annapolis Partnership and was sponsored by Historic Annapolis, Alpaca International and Eyes on Main.