By Patricia L Johnson
The United States Navy will be celebrating its 239th birthday on October 13, 2014. Please be sure to wish any current Navy personnel and all Navy Veterans a Happy Day when the 13th rolls around.
The following resolution, written by the Continental Congress, established our United States Navy and was taken from the Naval History & Heritage Command website. The Naval History & Command website is currently in the process of being redesigned, so it may not be readily accessible, but is an excellent resource for naval history.
The question of which came first, the chicken or the egg seems to also apply to the birth of the United States Navy. The Marines have always used a birth date of November 10, 1775, which was earlier than the inconsistent dates [March 27, 1794, and April 30, 1798] the Navy provided when questioned about its beginnings. In fact, for fifty years, from 1922 until 1972, the U.S. Navy celebrated “Navy Day” on October 27th to correspond with President Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday.
It was finally determined the Continental Congress established the Continental Navy on October 13, 1775 by providing for two warships. The Continental Congress then established the Continental Marines on November 10, 1775, a little less than a month later, by providing legislation for “two Battalions of Marines’.
No date had been recognized as the Navy’s birthday until 1972, when Admiral Zumwalt, Chief of Naval Operations and Vice Admiral Edwin B. Hooper, Director of Naval History, authorized October 13 as the date to observe the Navy’s Birthday.
The birthday for the Marines had been established by the Marine Corps Commandant in 1921.
© 2014 Patricia L Johnson