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History of USNA

History Timeline

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Secretary of the Navy A. P. Upshur's report on the condition of the Navy addresses the deplorable state of education of naval officers. Little or no attention has hitherto been paid to the proper education of naval officers. For many years the young midshipmen were left to educate themselves and one another. Their schools were held in receiving ships and cruising vessels, in the midst of a thousand interruptions and impediments, which render the whole system of little or no value.

December 1

Midshipman Philip Spencer and two bluejackets are hanged at the yardarm of the small brig Somers for what is perceived by the captain, Commander Alexander Slidell MacKenzie, to be a mutiny. The incident becomes a catalyst for founding the Naval Academy.

March 11

George Bancroft of Massachusetts, outstanding historian, educator, and energetic administrator, becomes Secretary of the Navy, appointed by President Polk.

May 1

Secretary Bancroft requests four professors at the successful Philadelphia Asylum school to make a report of the instruction and procedures there for the planning of a new school.

June 25

Naval Board of Examiners submits recommendations for a naval school at Annapolis.

September 3

Fort Severn, Annapolis, Maryland, a nine acre tract of land called Windmill Point, is transferred from the War Department to the Navy Department. Commander Franklin Buchanan is placed in command.

October 10

At 11:00 a.m., the superintendent, Commander Franklin Buchanan, assembles the 7 professors (3 civilians, 4 officers) and some 50 midshipmen in one of the classrooms and declares the school open. Buchanan will later command the Confederate forces at Mobile Bay.

The original Naval School course covers five years, with the first and last being spent at the school and the three intervening years being spent at sea.

January 15

First midshipmen's ball is held.


Midshipmen Spirit Club presents the school's first theatrical production, "Lady of Lyons."

May 13

War with Mexico declared. An orderly system of advancing the date of commissioning is established. Before the end of the war, 90 officers will be furnished to the Navy. The school's successful adjustment to war needs may well have been the proof of its value to the Navy that was needed to justify its existence and silence the skeptics. Various war trophies will be located at the Naval Academy. Guns on the Academy grounds bear such colorful names as "Biter", "Grumbler", and "Last Argument of the King."

August 10

Congress recognizes the existence of the school by voting $28,200 "for repairs, improvements and instruction at Fort Severn."

January 21

Second naval ball is held in the newly completed mess hall, library/lyceum.

March 15

Commander George P. Upshur becomes superintendent.

First acquisition of adjacent land--six acres, purchased for $14,105 added to school.


Midshipmen erect their first monument to Midshipmen Henson, Clemson, Pillsbury, and Shubrick who were lost in the Mexican War.

Instigated by Professor Henry Lockwood, a West Pointer, the Academic Board adopts military drill at the Naval School. Angry midshipmen are aroused to new heights for they know the old maxim of the day: "A messmate before a shipmate, a shipmate before a stranger, a stranger before a dog, but a dog before a 'sojer' (soldier). "

Professor Lockwood is hanged in effigy from the school's flagstaff for inventing "Midshipmen P-rades."


A process of reorganization, designed chiefly to avoid interruption of and fragmentation in the education of midshipmen, is undertaken:

  • School is placed under the Chief, Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrography.
  • Post of Commandant of Midshipmen is created. Incumbent serves as executive officer and instructor in tactics and seamanship.
  • Uniform is designed for acting midshipmen.
  • USS Preble is assigned to the academy as a ship for annual summer cruises making an uninterrupted four-year course possible.
July 1

Commander Cornelius K. Stribling becomes superintendent.

School is renamed the United States Naval Academy.

A consecutive four-year course of study is adapted.


Department of Drawing is established


The Preble makes a foreign summer cruise.

First foreign navy visit to the Naval Academy -- Royal Dutch Navy frigate Prince of Orange.

August 31

Appointments to the Naval Academy come under the control of Congress.


Construction of gas works completed. Naval Academy becomes one of the earliest institutions in U.S. to have central heat and light.

Department of Astronomy, Navigation and Surveying is established.

May 7

First Naval Academy Band arrives.

November 1

Commander Louis M. Goldsborough becomes superintendent.

June 10

First graduation exercise is conducted in the new chapel at noon as members of the class of 1854 (6 graduates) complete a full formal course of instruction at the Naval Academy.


New hospital is built for $13,000.

September 15

Captain George S. Blake becomes superintendent.


First approved midshipmen's association, the Lawrence Literary Society, is organized.

The Japanese bell is presented by Mrs. Matthew C. Perry. It had been given to Perry by the regent of the Loo Choo (Ryukyu) Islands during his expedition to Japan.


Rev. William Whiting, a clergyman of the Church of England, composed the "Navy Hymn" (Eternal Father, strong to save) after passing safely through a violent gale on the Mediterranean Sea. Music was written by John Bacchus Dykes of England.

First foreign national to attend the Naval Academy, the Frenchman Pierre d'Orleans, Duc de Penthievre.

Stars above anchors on collars first designate midshipmen for academic achievement.


Herndon Monument is erected. It commemorates Commander William Lewis Herndon, who went down with the mail steamer Central America in a storm off South Carolina in 1857. After making every possible effort to save the ship, Herndon left the quarterdeck long enough to don his full dress uniform, in which he returned to his post to meet a seaman's death.


Tripoli Monument is moved to the Naval Academy from Washington.


Midshipmen Choir is established.

April 12

Civil War Begins.

April 21

Troops of the U. S. Army under General Benjamin F. Butler land at the Naval Academy.

April 25

Frigate USS Constitution carries Academy Midshipmen to Newport, R. I.

May 13

Classes reconvene in Newport.


USS Santee arrives at Newport, Rhode Island, following refit at the Boston Navy Yard, to serve as a school ship for the Naval Academy. She will continue to serve the Academy until 1912.


Schooner-yacht America is assigned to the Naval Academy.


Graduation exercises in chapel are followed by baseball match between 1st and 2nd classes.

Original Maryland Governor's Mansion is purchased for $25,000 and converted into library and offices.


June Week festivities and ceremonies organized.

Boat clubs for 1st and 2nd classes introduce crew races.


Strawberry Hill, 67 acres across College Creek, is purchased.

Figurehead of USS Delaware, later to be known as " Tecumseh," arrives from Norfolk.

New red brick, Victorian Gothic, chapel is completed.

Second chapel is dedicated by Chaplain George W. Smith.


An additional 46 acres across College Creek are purchased.

Naval Academy class rings are adopted as a new tradition.

Navy crew meets Quaker City Boat Club in first outside sports competition.

New Quarters dormitory is completed.

Natural Philosophy (Science) building is completed.

The midshipmen battalion, commanded by a cadet lieutenant commander, is organized into four companies, each commanded by a cadet lieutenant.

December 1

Commodore John L. Worden becomes superintendent.


Midshipmen color competition, the Color Parade, and the "Color Girl" ceremony are initiated.


First black midshipman, James Conyers, reports. He will resign November 1873.

October 9

U. S. Naval Institute is founded in the Lyceum for "the advancement of professional, literary, and scientific knowledge in the Navy."


First course in mechanical engineering offered in the United States is established.

September 22

Rear Admiral Christopher R. P. Rodgers becomes superintendent.


Albert A. Michelson (USNA 1873) first accurately measures the speed of light with $10 worth of apparatus along the seawall.

July 1

Commodore Foxhall A. Parker becomes superintendent. His brother, William H. Parker, had been superintendent of the Confederate Naval Academy during the Civil War.


The Naval Academy is awarded a gold medal at the Paris Universal Exposition for the best system of education in the United States.

August 2

Rear Admiral George B. Balch becomes superintendent. The previous superintendent, Commodore Foxhall A. Parker, had died during June Week.

December 11

The first Naval Academy football game results in Naval Academy~ 0, Baltimore Athletic Club~ 0.


First natatorium is built, one story brick, 34 by 62 feet, with slate roof.


Midshipmen march in President James A. Garfield's inaugural parade.

June 10

President James A. Garfield attends graduation and becomes the first president to give commencement address.

June 13

Rear Admiral Christopher R. P. Rodgers becomes superintendent for second time.

November 14

Captain Francis M. Ramsay becomes superintendent. He is the first superintendent who is an alumnus (class of 1856) of the Naval Academy.


Graduates are authorized to enter the U. S. Marine Corps. Legislation is passed that designates the student officers as "naval cadets."

Congress limits the number of Academy graduates who can be taken into the Navy.

The distinction between cadet engineers and naval cadets is abolished in both name and training. Up to this year, some 135 cadet engineers have been furnished to the fleet.


The U. S. Naval Academy Graduates Association is founded--will be renamed the U. S. Naval Academy Alumni Association in 1931.

September 9

Commander William T. Sampson becomes superintendent.


Studies of electricity and metallurgy are begun.


By act of Congress the age limit for midshipmen is raised from 14 to 15 years minimum and 18 to 20 years maximum.


The Navy "N" varsity athletic letter is introduced.

June 13

Captain Robert L. Phythian becomes superintendent.

November 29

The Naval Academy football team first plays and defeats the United States Military Academy 24-0.


The Naval Academy Athletic Association is founded by Commander Colby M. Chester.


The colors of the Naval Academy are designated blue and gold. This ends the tradition of each class selecting its own colors.


Bill the Goat makes his debut as Navy's mascot.

Midshipman Joseph M. Reeves (USNA 1894) invents the first football helmet.


The yearbook, Lucky Bag, is first published.

November 15

Captain Philip H. Cooper becomes superintendent.


The Board of Visitors, of which Robert Means Thompson is a member, condemns the Academy's inadequate facilities and recommends new buildings to replace those erected during the administration of Admiral Porter. Mr. Ernest Flagg, an eminent New York architect, develops an architectural and topographical master plan for a new academy. He and Robert Thompson prepare a comprehensive plan for rebuilding the entire Naval Academy.

Thompson Trophy for best all-round athlete is established.


The Board of Survey endorsed the Flagg grand Beaux Arts style plan to rebuild the Naval Academy.

April 23

The Spanish-American War begins. At the outset of the war, 2,307 midshipmen had graduated from the Naval Academy. Dewey, Sampson, and Schley are among graduates who win new combat luster for the school.

July 15

Rear Admiral Frederick V. McNair becomes superintendent.

July 16

Following the American naval victory at Santiago, Admiral Cervera and other officers of the Spanish Navy are quartered in Academy buildings as "prisoners of war," though they are soon paroled and spend the summer enjoying the hospitality of Academy personnel and Annapolis society more as guests than prisoners.


A Protocol of Peace is negotiated and hostilities generally cease. Representatives of Spain and the United States sign a formal peace treaty in Paris on December 10, 1898.


Park Benjamin, class of 1867, designs the Naval Academy Seal. This is approved and adopted by the Navy Department. The seal is a hand grasping a trident, below which is a shield bearing an ancient galley coming into action. Below that is an open book, indicative of education. The motto is Ex Scientia Tridens: From Knowledge, Sea Power.

The Army-Navy football game is held for the first time in Philadelphia (Franklin Field). The score was Army 17 - Navy 5.

March 28

Construction begins on Dahlgren Hall, first building of the "New Naval Academy."


The submarine USS Holland arrives at the Naval Academy for training and testing. It is the first "modern" submarine.

March 15

Commander Richard Wainwright becomes superintendent.

The training ship USS Chesapeake (renamed USS Severn in 1905) is assigned to the Naval Academy for midshipmen training for seven years.

July 1

The designation of student officers reverts from "naval cadet" to "midshipman" at the Academy.

November 1

119 midshipmen become sick, 6 seriously ill, resulting in a board of investigation. The conclusion is milk poisoning.

November 6

Captain Willard H. Brownson becomes superintendent.


New Marine Barracks is built which will later be named Halligan Hall.

The Brigade expands from four to eight companies.

March 7

Dahlgren and Macdonough Halls are completed.


The coast squadron of the North Atlantic Fleet, comprising two battleships, four monitors, and seven destroyers, embarks some of the midshipmen. This sets a pattern for the standard midshipmen's cruises in ships of the fleet, which actually will begin in 1912.

June 3

Cornerstone of present chapel laid by Admiral of the Navy George Dewey. The chapel was designed in the shape of a Greek cross to seat 1,600 worshippers.


Chaplain H. H. Clark writes the first Reef Points, the "Plebe's bible." It is published by the local YMCA.

July 1

Rear Admiral James H. Sands becomes superintendent.

John Paul Jones's body is brought to the Academy by the American Squadron under command of Rear Admiral Charles D. Sigsbee, accompanied by the French cruiser Julien de la Graviere.

April 24

Body of John Paul Jones moved to Dahlgren Hall for grand commemoration ceremony. President Theodore Roosevelt delivers principal address.

December 1

The Naval Academy song "Anchors Aweigh" is sung for the first time at the Army-Navy football game. Written by Lieutenant Charles A. Zimmerman, bandmaster of the Academy and choir director, the song is dedicated to the class of 1907. Zimmerman composed a piece of music each year for the graduating class.

First and second wings of Bancroft Hall are completed.


Mahan Hall Library and the academic group of buildings are completed. English, History, and Government move into Maury Hall; Science moves into Sampson Hall.

Masqueraders theatrical group is established.

Dr. Albert A. Michelson (USNA 1873) becomes the first American to win the Nobel Prize in physics.

Carl T. Osburn (USNA 1907) will be the winner of 5 gold, 4 silver, and 3 bronze Olympic medals in rifle (1912,1920, and 1924).

July 15

Captain Charles J. Badger (USNA 1873) becomes superintendent.

May 28

First service held in new chapel.


A two-year School of Marine Engineering is established at the Naval Academy for post- graduate study. Shorter courses for ordnance specialists and naval constructors will start in November 1912 and February 1913, respectively. Programs consolidated in 1913 into U. S. Naval Postgraduate School at Annapolis.

June 2

Bronze doors of chapel are unveiled. Designed by Miss Evelyn B. Longman; presented in memory of class of 1868.

June 10

Captain John M. Bowyer becomes superintendent.

June 17

Old Fort Severn is demolished.


The Naval Academy football team is undefeated and unscored on. Thomas Starr King II, team captain, misses part of season with typhoid fever. He will be one of 29 midshipmen with this disease. The need for a safe milk supply will be the reason for establishing the Naval Academy Dairy.


First naval aerodrome established at Greenbury Point and experimental flights tried at USNA. In 1913 it is moved to Pensacola, Florida.

May 15

Captain John H. Gibbons becomes superintendent.

September 7

LT John Rodgers makes the first flight from USNA.


Congress approves commissioning graduates on graduation day and ends previously required two year sea service as passed midshipmen.


Graduation hat toss tradition begins.

September 30

Former Spanish cruiser USS Reina Mercedes arrives as station ship to replace USS Santee.

January 26

John Paul Jones is laid to rest in crypt of the chapel

February 1

The U. S. Naval Postgraduate School is established at Annapolis, Maryland. The Marine Barracks building in which the school is located will be named Halligan Hall in honor of the school's first director, Commander John Halligan, Jr.

February 7

Captain William F. Fullam becomes superintendent.

September 20

Captain Edward W. Eberle becomes superintendent.


The Academy undertakes the indoctrination of 2,569 men for commissioning in the U. S. Naval Reserve Force.

Two new wings, 3 & 4, are added to Bancroft Hall.

March 29

The class of 1917 graduates, two months early. A similar pattern of early graduation will be established in World War II, with the class of 1941 graduating in February vice June.

April 6

U.S. enters WWI. By order of the superintendent the following message is published and posted at evening roll call: "Sixteen ALNAV -- The President has signed Act of Congress which declares that a state of war exists between the United States and Germany."

February 12

Captain Archibald H. Scales becomes superintendent.


Luce Hall, new Navigation Department building, is completed.

Navy crew wins gold medal at Olympic Games held in Antwerp, Belgium.

July 5

Rear Admiral Henry B. Wilson becomes superintendent.


New bandstand, later named for Bandmaster Charles Zimmerman, is built across from the chapel.


Naval Academy plays University of Washington in the Rose Bowl to a 14-14 tie.

April 10-12

The new natatorium is dedicated. It is said to be the largest indoor tile pool in the United States. The bronze figure of Cupid on the south wall once adorned the swimming pool on the Hamburg-American liner Vaterland. After U. S. entry into the First World War, the vessel was seized and became the USS Leviathan.


The Department of Physical Training is established.


Second-class ring dance becomes a tradition.

Midshipmen Drum and Bugle Corps founded.

Navy gymnastics team is named National Champion for the sixth consecutive year.

February 23

Rear Admiral Louis M. Nulton becomes superintendent.


"Navy Blue and Gold," composed by organist and choirmaster J. W. Crosley, is first sung in public. It will become a tradition to sing this alma mater song at the end of every football game, and on Graduation Day.

Navy wins National Collegiate Football Championship title.

June 16

Rear Admiral Samuel S. Robison becomes superintendent.


The Secretary of the Navy gives his approval for graduates to compete for Rhodes scholarships. Six graduates are selected by the Rhodes Scholarship Committee.

April 19

Hubbard Hall boathouse is dedicated. It is named for Rear Admiral John Hubbard (USNA 1870), first Navy crew stroke.

October 30

The Naval Academy curriculum is accredited by the Association of American Universities.

May 1

Rear Admiral Thomas C. Hart becomes superintendent.

May 25

President Franklin Roosevelt signs into law an act of Congress providing for the Bachelor of Science degree for Naval, Military, and Coast Guard academies.

July 8

An act of Congress extends to the superintendent authority to award the Bachelor of Science degree to all living graduates.

June 18

Rear Admiral David F. Sellers becomes superintendent.


The Reverend Charles B. Carpenter presents Admiral David Glasgow Farragut's Prayer Book (used on board his flagship Hartford during the Civil War). It is encased in the chapel.

February 1

Rear Admiral Wilson Brown becomes superintendent.


Chaplain William N. Thomas introduces the "Prayer of a Midshipman," which he has written at the graduation service for the class of 1938.


Naval Academy Museum building, later named Preble Hall, is dedicated.

The Dispensary building is completed. This will later be used for Foreign Languages and will be named Leahy Hall. Still later it will house the Candidate Guidance Office.


Reserve officer training is re-established for WW II. A total of 3,319 are commissioned.

Wings 5 & 6 are added to Bancroft Hall.

February 1

Rear Admiral Russell Willson becomes superintendent.

December 7

The Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. The Rev. Peter Marshall, chaplain of the U. S. Senate, is the guest preacher in the Naval Academy Chapel.

January 31

Rear Admiral John R. Beardall becomes superintendent.


Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools grants accreditation.

January 15

Rear Admiral James L. Holloway, Jr., becomes superintendent.

June 3

Wesley A. Brown becomes the first African-American graduate.

April 28

Vice Admiral Harry W. Hill becomes superintendent.

September 2-4

First open house held for parents of plebes -- origin of Plebe-Parents Weekend.

November 21

The Postgraduate School moves from Annapolis to Monterey, California.


Navy 8-oared crew win gold medal at Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland, and are National Intercollegiate Champions.

August 4

Vice Admiral C. Turner Joy becomes superintendent.


Tradition of mandatory Sunday afternoon "tea fights" resumes.

August 12

Rear Admiral Walter F. Boone becomes superintendent.


Tradition of greasing Herndon Monument for plebe climb to exchange plebe hat for midshipman's is started. This signals the start of graduation events.

March 15

Rear Admiral William R. Smedberg, III becomes superintendent.


Academy's first field house, later named for Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey, is completed.

June 27

Rear Admiral Charles L. Melson becomes superintendent.

September 26

The Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium is dedicated. There are dedicatory letters from President Eisenhower, Vice-President Nixon, Secretary of Defense McElroy, Secretary of the Navy Franke, Chief of Naval Operations Arleigh Burke, Commandant of the Marine Corps R. McC. Pate, and Naval Academy Superintendent C. L. Melson. Neil McElroy's letter is headed "Non Sibi Sed Patriae," words that are inscribed over the doors of the chapel. He cites "the spirit of Annapolis where service is 'Not for self, but for country.'"

June 22

Rear Admiral John F. Davidson becomes superintendent.

Joseph Bellino (USNA 1961), is awarded the Heisman Trophy.


Wings 7 & 8 are added to Bancroft Hall.

Mitscher Hall is completed. This is used initially as the Brigade Library and Assembly Building. It will later become the Chaplain's Center.

The Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference is begun.

August 18

Rear Admiral C. C. Kirkpatrick becomes superintendent.

June 26

A. Bernard Drought becomes Academic Dean Protem, the first civilian to hold this position. He will be designated Academic Dean on 1 July 1964.

July 3

The U. S. Naval Academy is officially designated a National Historic Site by the Department of the Interior pursuant to the Historic Sites Act of August 21,1935. Notification was made to the Secretary of the Navy by the Secretary of the Interior's letter dated August 21, 1961.

Roger Staubach (USNA 1965) is awarded the Heisman Trophy. He is the only winner of the Thompson Trophy three years running.


The number of companies in the brigade is increased to 36.

January 11

Rear Admiral C. S. Minter, Jr., becomes superintendent.

June 12

Rear Admiral Draper L. Kauffman becomes superintendent.


Ricketts Hall is completed to house enlisted personnel and is dedicated by Senator Daniel Brewster of Maryland. It will later become offices for the Naval Academy Athletic Association.

Professor Samuel Massie becomes the first African-American faculty member.

June 28

Rear Admiral Lawrence Heyworth, Jr. becomes superintendent.

July 20

Rear Admiral James F. Calvert becomes superintendent.

Majors program begins with new academic year

May 10

Dedication ceremony is held for Michelson Hall.


June Week Dedication Parade tradition begins to honor retiring faculty and staff.

June 4

First designated engineering degrees are granted to qualified graduates of the class of 1969.

October 17-18

Dedication ceremony for Chauvenet Hall is held.


Lieutenant Commander Georgia Clark becomes first woman officer instructor.

Dr. Rae Jean Goodman becomes first civilian woman faculty member.

June 16

Vice Admiral William P. Mack becomes superintendent.

June 30

Compulsory chapel attendance is ended by decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.


Major library facility complex is completed and named for Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz (USNA 1905).


Engineering Studies Complex is completed and named for Admiral Hyman G. Rickover (USNA 1922).

August 1

Rear Admiral Kinnaird R. McKee becomes superintendent.

August 8

Congress authorizes women to attend service academies.

July 6

The class of 1980, including 81 women midshipmen, is inducted.

August 24

Hydromechanics Laboratory at the Naval Academy is dedicated.

June 7

President Jimmy Carter (USNA 1947) is the graduation speaker.

August 28

Rear Admiral William P. Lawrence becomes superintendent.


"June Week" renamed "Commissioning Week" because graduation is now in May.


Elizabeth Anne Rowe becomes first woman graduate.


Lejeune Hall with new Olympic-size pool opens.

April 15

The mess hall is dedicated as King Hall wardroom, named for Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, Chief of Naval Operations during World War II.

August 22

Vice Admiral Edward C. Waller becomes superintendent.


Macdonough Hall and Scott Natatorium are renovated. Isherwood, Griffin, and Melville Halls are razed.

August 31

Rear Admiral Charles R. Larson becomes superintendent.

May 24

Kristine Holderied (USNA 1984) becomes the first woman to graduate first in the class.

August 19

Rear Admiral Ronald F. Marryott becomes superintendent.

July 30

The Computing Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB) forwards its final report and grants accreditation for the Computer Science program.


Rear Admiral Virgil L. Hill, Jr., becomes superintendent.


Alumni Hall is dedicated.

Midshipman Juliane Gallina (USNA 1992) becomes first woman brigade commander.

June 15

Rear Admiral Thomas C. Lynch becomes superintendent.

January 29

The first genderless service assignment is held. All billets are open equally to men and women with the exception of special warfare and submarine duty.

August 1

Admiral Charles R. Larson becomes superintendent. He previously served as superintendent from 1983 to 1986.

January 13

The kickoff 150th anniversary celebration is held in Alumni Hall. "An Evening Under the Stars" features a Naval Academy Band/Glee Club concert, the premiere showing of a documentary film, U. S. Naval Academy; 150 Years in Annapolis, and introduction of academy astronauts.

March 12

Lieutenant Commander Wendy Lawrence (USNA 1981), mission specialist in the space shuttle Endeavor, is first USNA woman graduate to make space flight.

May 12

Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center dedication ceremony.

October 10

150th anniversary celebration of the USNA.

Postage stamp commemorating Naval Academy's founding issued in Annapolis.

June 4

Rear Admiral John Ryan becomes superintendent.


Hoping to save 25 cents a gallon by buying milk commercially, the Naval Academy closes it dairy farm.

September 23

Freedom 7, America's first space capsule is placed on display at the visitor center as the centerpiece of the "Grads in Space" exhibit. The late Rear Admiral Alan B. Shepherd, class of 1945, flew Freedom 7 116.5 miles into space on May 5, 1961. His historic flight marked America's first step in the "space race".

September 11

The Academy loses 14 alumni in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The Academy is placed under unprecedented high security.

November 4

Dedication of the new 16,300 square-foot Glenn Warner Soccer Facility that will house the Navy Men's and Women's soccer teams.

June 7

Vice Admiral Richard J. Naughton is sworn in as the Naval Academy's 57th superintendent.

January 11

Colonel John R. Allen, NA '76, USMC, becomes the 79th Commandant of Midshipman and the first Marine to serve in the position

December 10

Former President Jimmy Carter, NA Class of 1947, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.
(Photo Credit: The Carter Center/Knudson Photos.)

June 5

Vice Admiral Charles W. Moore, NA '68, became Acting Superintendent

August 1

Vice Admiral Rodney Rempt, NA '66, became the 59th Superintendent


Information Technology became a new academic major

September 19

Hurricane Isabel produced a severe storm surge that flooded most of the waterfront buildings leaving damages costing millions of dollars to repair and replace

Captain Charles J. Leidig, Jr., NA 78, became 80th Commandant of Midshipmen


Navy football won the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy for the first time since 1981 (and retained it for the next seven years)

May 28

990 members of the Class of 2004 are graduated and commissioned. General Richard B. Myers, USAF, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, becomes the first Air Force officer to speak at a Naval Academy graduation.

December 30

Navy beat New Mexico, 34-19, to win the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco


Captain Bruce E. Grooms, NA '80, became the 81st Commandant of Midshipmen and the first African-American in the position.


Commodore Uriah P. Levy Chapel and Center dedicated


Arabic and Chinese became new academic majors


Captain Margaret D. Klein, NA 1981, became the 82d Commandant of Midshipman and the first woman in the position


Thornton D. and Elizabeth S Hooper Brigade Sports Complex dedicated adjacent to the Naval Academy Golf Course

June 8

Vice Admiral Jeffrey L. Fowler became the 60th superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy

November 3

Navy beat Notre Dame, 46-44, on the gridiron for the first time since 1963, in among the oldest continuous annual football rivalries

November 27

Annapolis Conference dealing with Middle East peace held in Memorial Hall with over forty delegates from Israel, Arab countries, United Nations, and major powers in attendance including President George W. Bush.

May 10

Wesley Brown Field House dedicated, containing an indoor football field that can be converted to a state of the art foot racing track.

May 22

Midshipman Victoria Moore, 20th Company, became the first woman to command the Color Company (second set) and selected her father as the color honoree, only the second male in that role since the custom began in 1871

May 22 August 28

U.S. Naval Academy Museum rededicated after a complete renovation.

September 12

David Robinson, Class of 1987, became the first service academy basketball player alumni inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.


Future Cyber Warfare classes are announced and a prospective building or center is planned at $100M estimate for 2014.

March 8

Record number of applications to USNA, 17,416, for class of 2014

May 7

Eleven women selected for submarine training and prospective duty on submarines

August 3

Vice Admiral Michael H. Miller became the 61st superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy


New class of YPs, YP 703, began arriving


Major news magazines list U.S. Naval Academy as no. 3 for best value for a college education, no. 5 for undergraduate engineering, no. 6 for mechanical engineering, no. 7 for electrical engineering, no. 9 as most desirable school, no. 14 for liberal arts, and no. 17 for best overall college.

November 4-6

Navy wins the prestigious John F. Kennedy Cup Regatta, which involved three days of 10 off shore races.

December 21

CBS Television aired the Emmy Award winning documentary "Game of Honor" about the Army-Navy football competition over the past 120 years.

April 15

Professor and Midshipmen did an archaeological dig on the site of Fort Madison that had been built across the Severn River in 1808, and defended Annapolis during the War of 1812, along with the Naval Academy's original site, Fort Severn which is currently the position of 5th wing Bancroft Hall.

May 29

Largest class to date in history of USNA graduated— 1,099. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, was the featured speaker at graduation in Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. It is the first time in history that the number one graduate was a foreign national - from Singapore. The occasion marked the 100th anniversary of the post-graduation hat toss begun in 1912.


Cyber security is announced as a new major.

March 26

"Seas, Lakes, and Bay: The Naval War of 1812" exhibition celebrating the 200th anniversary of the war had its formal grand opening in Mahan Hall, an evening complete with fireworks and a full moon over the central yard.

October 1

The Federal government, including the Department of Defense, was shut down with Naval Academy civilian employees, including civilian faculty, sent home for the remainder of the week. Classes were continued by the faculty members in uniform. Most civilian employees reported back to work on Monday, October 7, but certain activities were curtailed for another two weeks. The Navy-Air Force Academy home football game was threatened with cancellation, but it was played on scheduled.


Naval Academy Midshipmen collected 37,000 pounds of food for the annual Harvest for the Hungry campaign.

January 16

Naval Academy announced the addition of a new major in nuclear engineering with nine members of the Class of 2016 signed on as the first to concentrate in the new major.

April 18

Ground was broken for the new $41M Naval Academy health clinic at the Naval Support Activity Annapolis at North Severn. Builder is Turner Construction Co. Clinic to replace facility currently in former USNA Hospital (1907) and be ready by March 2016.

July 1

Michelle Howard, NA ’82, promoted to Admiral and assigned as Vice CNO. She became first USNA woman alumnus to achieve all grades of admiral.

January 23

Vice Admiral Walter E. “Ted” Carter Jr became the 62nd superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy

December 19

$120 million approved for the new USNA cyber center

April 25

Mitchell A. “Mitch” Harris, class of 2008, becomes the first alumnus since 1921 to play major league baseball, as pitcher for St. Louis Cardinals.

May 20

Captain Katie Higgins, USMC, class of 2008, becomes the first female Blue Angel piloting “Fat Albert,”.

October 2

Buchanan House dining room and the Administration Building named for Admiral Charles R. Larson, NA Class of 1958, the 51st and 55th Superintendent.


As part of the Great Green Fleet program, a new water treatment plant at Naval Support Activity came online saving 130 million gallons of water per year and reducing impact of run off on Chesapeake Bay.

May 10

New interactive exhibit for visitors opened in Halsey Field House

October 21

Ground broken for Hopper Cyber Operations building.

August 2

USNA named as #1 Public College by Forbes America's Top Colleges.

October 31

U.S. Senator John McCain, NA Class of 1958, suffering from brain cancer, delivered a dramatic patriotic speech to the entire Brigade in Alumni Hall.


USNA Museum contractor uncovers sixty-one historic 19th century captured enemy flags in the huge Mahan Hall glass-covered wall cases which are remarkably preserved because of their being in the dark since the early 1920s


U.S. Senator John McCain is laid to rest in the USNA cemetery.


Future USS Sioux City Commissioned at USNA


Hopper Hall 'Topping Out' Ceremony is held as the last beam is placed on the building during construction.


The Nuclear Submarine USS North Dakota visits the Naval Academy.


Replacement of the copper on the dome of the U.S. Naval Academy Memorial Chapel begins.

July 26

Vice Adm. Sean S. Buck becomes Superintendent.

November 21

U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen, faculty, and staff tour Royal navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08), anchored in the Chesapeake Bay. This marks the first port visit of a British ship to Annapolis since the 1950s.

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