In March of 1794, the House of Representatives and the Senate passed the “Act to provide a Naval Armament.” It authorized the President to acquire six frigates, four of 44 guns each and two of 36 guns each, by purchase or otherwise. In addition, it specified how many crew members would be necessary and what their pay and daily rations would be.
Read more about the New U.S. Navy
Senate Draft of an “Act to provide a Naval Armament” March 18, 1794; Records of the U.S. Senate; Record Group 46
The Navy’s Neptune Party
As a morale boost, a ship will celebrate a sailor’s first trip across the equator with a Neptune Party also known as a Line Crossing Ceremony. At the party crew will dress up in silly costumes and it often includes some head shaving.
Sailors who had heads clipped in bizarre designs during Neptune party aboard the USS Saratoga (CV-3)., 02/1944
Have you ever participated in a Line Crossing Ceremony?
Relatively speaking, how many hours did you work Mr. Einstein?
During World War II, Albert Einstein worked as a part-time Federal employee developing underwater weapons for the U.S. Navy. This is his time card for July 1943 through June 1944.
Time Card for Albert Einstein, 07/01/1943 - 06/30/1944
On January 23, 1920 a message was sent to all units in the First Naval District announcing that the war in which the Central European powers and the United States were involved would now be known as the World War.
Circular Letter No. 20-20: The European War Shall be Designated as the World War, 01/23/1920
Army and Navy Battle for the First Time
On November 29, 1890 the first Army-Navy football game was played at West Point. The United States Naval Academy defeated the United States Military Academy 24-0. (And by 1899 they were already talking smack.)
Photograph of some of the action on the field during the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia, attended by the President and Mrs. Truman. 12/02/1950
In the 1950 game in this photo Navy upset undefeated Army by a score of 14-2.
United States Navy Memorial Dedication
Dedicated 25 years ago today, our neighbor, the United States Navy Memorial, opened on October 13, 1987.
An elevated view of the dedication ceremonies for the US Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue at Eighth Street, 10/13/1987
(If you’ve been to Washington lately, you’ll notice that the neighborhood around the National Archives looks quite a bit different now.)
On July 24, 1915, the top-heavy passenger ship SS Eastland rolled over while docked in Chicago. 844 passengers and crew were killed in the incident. Later the US Navy bought the salvaged ship. It was restored and modified to make it a gunboat and renamed the USS Wilmette.
Photograph of The Eastland (upside down) on Chicago River, Chicago., ca. 07/24/1915
70th Anniversary of the Battle of Midway, June 4-6, 1942
Navy fighters during the attack on the Japanese fleet off Midway, June 4-6, 1942. In the center of the picture, a burning Japanese fleet is visible.
Although the caption of this photo states these are fighters, they are likely U.S. Navy Douglas SBD-3 “Dauntless” dive bombers, which accounted for the loss of many of the Japanese ships during this critical battle.
The USS Ticonderoga carries a deck full of aircraft on May 11, 1964. The Ticonderoga was built during World War II and modified over the years to carry newer aircraft. The “Big T” saw action off the coast of Vietnam and provided air support during the Gulf of Tonkin incident three months later.
"Lieutenant Commander Dorothy Ryan checks the medical chart of Marine Corporal Roy Hadaway of Calera, Alabama aboard the hospital ship USS Repose off South Vietnam. Miss Ryan, from Bronx, New York, is one of 29 nurses aboard the hospital ship selected from 500 volunteers of the Navy Nurse Corps.” 04/22/1966
Taken on February 10, 1944, this is one of a collection of photographs of salvage operations at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard taken by the shipyard during the period following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
NASPH #120337- 10 Feb 1944. USS Utah- Salvage; Aerial view from offshore showing ship in about 90 degree position during righting operations, 02/10/1944
More photos of salvage operations at Pearl Harbor »