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Home > October 2010 > Happy 235th Birthday, U.S. Navy!
Happy 235th Birthday, U.S. Navy!
Seperator
Posted: 10/13/2010 9:51:57 AM


Photo credits: U.S. Navy

Today, we wish the United States Navy a very happy 235th birthday!  The U.S. Navy traces its roots to the American Revolution.  On October 13, 1775, the Continental Congress passed a resolution authorizing the procurement of two ships, each “to carry ten carriage guns, and a proportionable number of swivels, with eighty men.”  These ships were dispatched to intercept vessels that were supplying munitions to the British.
 
Establishing a navy was a bold move for the rebellious colonies.  Some members of the Continental Congress were unwilling to approve such a risky endeavor.  Their adversary, the British Royal Navy, had the most powerful fleet in the world.  During a debate, one member of the Continental Congress said that it was "the maddest Idea in the World to think of building an American Fleet."  But by October 1775, George Washington had taken a few ships under his command to intercept enemy supply vessels.  With these ships already operating in the name of the colonies, navy supporters persuaded reluctant members of Congress to approve two more vessels.  Within days of the October 13 resolution, Congress created a Naval Committee to direct the operations of the new navy.
 
The Continental Navy grew in strength and influence.  It numbered 20 active warships at its maximum strength, with over 50 ships serving in the Navy over the course of the war.  Navy ships seized enemy vessels, conveyed diplomats and correspondence to Europe, and carried supplies.   The Continental Navy was disbanded at the end of the war in 1783, and the United States remained without a Navy for more than a decade.  However, the Continental Navy established the history and tradition carried on by the United States Navy today.
 
Two hundred years after the founding of the Navy, Intrepid played a central role in the Navy’s birthday celebrations.  She served as an exhibit ship during the 1975 Navy bicentennial.  Thousands of visitors explored the decommissioned aircraft carrier and enjoyed exhibits created just for the occasion.  The celebration of the Navy’s 200th birthday gave Intrepid her first experience as a public exhibit and educational institution, a mission she continues as the centerpiece of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.



Photo credits: U.S. Navy



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