Navy Day on October 27th salutes all of the military personnel who have served, both past and present, in the United States Navy.
The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy currently stands as the largest, most powerful navy in the world, with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage. The service engages over 340,000 personnel on active duty and more than 71,000 in the Navy Reserve.
Throughout the Revolutionary War, the Navy’s importance grew. Today, the United States maintains 40 naval bases across the country, including the world’s largest Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk, Virginia.
Below the sea, submarines became a part of the Navy during World War II. While experiments began in the late 1800s and during the Civil War, they did not join a large part of the Navy inventory until World War II. At that point, subs became necessary for surveillance and rescue, even though they were also armed.
With the advent of the airplane, the Navy became vital stations for the Airforce as well. As a result, the Navy modified ships into floating landing strips. Today, joint Naval and Airbases such as Pearl Harbor-Hickam provided necessary fleets of the sea and air defense.
Theodore Roosevelt and the Navy
Between 1922 and 1972, the Navy celebrated its birthday on October 27th in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt’s birth. He elevated the U.S. Navy to a premier fighting force. During his term as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, he built up the power and strength of the U.S. Navy. Roosevelt’s pursuit of the naval aircraft advanced the U.S. Navy. As president, Roosevelt was the first president to submerge in a submarine and also the first to fly. His support of the Navy led the former Secretary of the Navy, John F. Lehman, to say, Theodore Roosevelt, “was one of the architects of our modern Navy.”
HOW TO OBSERVE #NavyDay
Recognize Naval service members and their dedication to their country. Visit a Naval museum to learn more about the Navy’s history. Discover more about naval training, the types of ships in our fleets, and where they sail around the world. Use #NavyDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL NAVY DAY HISTORY
The Navy League of the United States organized the first Navy Day in 1922, choosing October 27th to honor the birth of President Theodore Roosevelt.
Navy Day received particular attention from President Warren Harding. Harding wrote to the Secretary of the Navy Edwin Denby:
“Thank you for your note which brings assurance of the notable success which seems certain to attend the celebration of Navy Day on Friday, October 27, in commemoration of past and present services of the Navy. From our earliest national beginnings, the Navy has always been and deserved to be an object of special pride to the American people. Its record is indeed one to inspire such sentiments, and I am very sure that such a commemoration as is planned will be a timely reminder.”
In 1949, the Department of Defense Secretary Louis A. Johnson directed the United States Navy’s participation on Armed Forces Day in May. Although, as a civilian organization, the Navy League was not affected by this directive and continued to organize Navy Day celebrations as before.
Then, in the 1970s the “birthday” of the Continental Navy was found to be October 13, 1775. CNO Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt worked with the Navy League to define October 13th as the new date of Navy Day. However, Navy Day in the United States remains primarily recognized as October 27th.
October 27th Celebrated (And Not So Celebrated) History
New York City opened its first subway. Operated by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT), the system soon became the largest transit line in the United States.
The U.S. Patent Office issues patent number US51766A to Fred Waller for the invention of an aquaplane – the first water ski.
Benjamin O. Davis becomes the first African American to achieve the rank of general in the United States Air Force when he was promoted to brigadier general. Five years later, he would also become the first African American promoted to major general. Following his retirement, Davis received the rank of full general (four stars) from President Bill Clinton.
In the midst of the space race, NASA tests its first Saturn I rocket. The rocket is significant because its power put the first Americans into orbit around the Earth.
In a thrilling game against the Seattle Seahawks, Cowboy Emmitt Smith broke the all-time rushing record previously held by the Bear’s Walter Payton. Despite his fourth-quarter 11-yard drive, the Seahawks would win the game 17-14.
The Boston Red Sox break the curse of the Bambino when they win their first World Series in 86 years. During the 100th World Series, the Red Sox sweep the St. Louis Cardinals in four games.
October 27th Celebrated (And Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Captain James Cook – 1728
The explorer set out on several expeditions during his sailing career. His first major expeditions took him to the eastern coast of Australia, a first for a European. There Cook named the area New South Wales, claiming it for Britain. On his final voyage, Cook sought the elusive North-West Passage. While exploring Hawaii, he was killed in a fight with the islanders.
Isaac Merritt Singer – 1811
The inventor is best known for his design and manufacture of the sewing machine.
Theodore Roosevelt – 1858
In 1901, Teddy Roosevelt became the 26th President of the United States after the assassination of President McKinley. As the youngest president ever in the Nation’s history, Roosevelt took a progressive stance and led with vigor. In 1904, he was elected to a second term.
John M Mack – 1864
In 1900, together with his brothers, Mack established the Mack Brother’s Company to manufacture heavy-duty trucks.
Emily Post – 1872
Born Emily Price, the New York City socialite turned columnist with advice on a variety of subjects. However, the one she’s best remembered for is offering advice on etiquette.
Margaret Rousseau – 1910
Rousseau became the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in chemical engineering. During her career, she designed the first commercial penicillin production plant.
Ruby Dee – 1922
The actress and civil rights activist is known for her roles in films such as A Raisin in the Sun, Jungle Fever, and American Gangster.
Dolores Moore – 1932
As a professional baseball player in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, Moore played infielder and earned an MVP nod. She also played professional basketball for a time. During the filming of the 1992 film, A League of Their Own, Moore consulted with the actresses on set.
Sylvia Plath – 1932
The poet and author is best known for her novel The Bell Jar.
John Cleese – 1939
The actor and comedian is best known for co-founding Monty Python. He has also starred in films such as A Fish Called Wanda, The Swan Princess, and two James Bond films, Die Another Day and The World is Not Enough.