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Naval Academy, Annapolis Celebrates Navy’s 237th Birthday

Posted on: October 12, 2012 08:00 EDT by Webmaster

The U.S. Naval Academy and the city of Annapolis is celebrating the Navy's 237th birthday with events and Navy birthday specials throughout downtown Annapolis this week.

Select businesses from the Annapolis Business Association will offer Navy-themed birthday discounts and specials from Oct. 10-14 at stores on Maryland Avenue, Main Street and along West Street's Gallery Row in historic downtown Annapolis.

Flyers announcing the businesses participating in the birthday celebration are available at the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau, the Naval Academy Visitors Center and at select locations downtown. Some specials include blue and gold food and drink specials and Navy gear discounts.

The Brigade of Midshipmen honored the Navy birthday with a cake-cutting ceremony in King Hall Oct. 12. The cake-cutting ceremony is a long-standing tradition in the U.S. Navy, with the first slice made by the oldest and youngest members within the command.

The midshipmen also saluted the City of Annapolis with a tribute parade on Worden Field at the Naval Academy, with Mayor Josh Cohen, Gov. Martin O'Malley and Adm. Kirkland Donald.

The Navy has recognized Oct. 13 as its birthday since 1972, when the tradition was authorized by then-Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo R. Zumwalt. Since then, each CNO has encouraged a Navy-wide celebration of the event to encourage pride and professionalism in the naval service.

This year, the celebration of the Navy birthday coincides with the bicentennial commemoration of the War of 1812, a war vital to the development of the U.S. Navy.

"This is our legacy and this is our tradition – bold people, innovative people, and brave people, who are willing to carry the fight to the enemy," said Chief of Naval Operations Vice Adm. Jonathan Greenert in his birthday message to the fleet. "This continued in the civil war, it continued in World War I, in World War II, the Vietnam War, and this is the tradition legacy that you are riding today."

The Navy traces its origins to the establishment of the Continental Navy on Oct. 13, 1775 when the Continental Congress authorized two armed vessels to search for ships delivering munitions to the British Army.

During the American Revolution, the Continental Navy continued to grow, operating as many as 20 warships at one time. After the war, Congress sold the remaining ships in the Continental Navy and released the seaman and officers from service. The Consitution, ratified in 1789, included a provision for Congress to establish a standing navy.

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