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Navy Day is the original day that was established in celebration of the United States Navy. Although this celebration was officially replaced by Armed Forces Day (Third Saturday in May for the U.S.) in 1949, the celebrations of Navy Day continue on, especially within the members of the Navy itself. 

Additionally, research undertaken in the 1970s showed the ‘true’ birthday of the US Navy to be October 13th, and the birth date of this branch of the armed forces was officially changed on record. However, the entrenched celebration still holds sway, and October 27th is still generally celebrated as Navy Day.

History of Navy Day

The Navy League of the United States is a nonprofit, civilian organization that was created in 1902 under the assistance of Theodore Roosevelt to support the American sea services. It was the Navy League who founded the idea of Navy Day back in 1922. At that time, October 27th was suggested as a date for celebrating Navy Day because it recognizes the birthday of one of the Navy’s supporters who was Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1897, Theodore Roosevelt.

Before 1949 the U.S. Navy would send its ships to various ports for Navy Day, with 1945 having a large celebration. The current president at the time (President Harry S. Truman) reviewed the fleet in the New York Harbor, and there are even pictures of ships docked along the Hudson River for the celebrations.

Navy Day was last officially observed on October 27th, 1949, after which Louis A. Johnson directed that the U.S. Navy’s participation in such events would occur in May, On Armed Forces Day. He was the secretary of the newly created Department of Defense during that era. However, since the Navy League is a civilian organization, it was not affected by this decision and they continued to organize events that take place on the original celebration of Navy Day!

How to Celebrate Navy Day

Take a look at some of these interesting ideas for celebrating and enjoying Navy Day:

Learn More About the US Navy

One excellent way to show appreciation for and celebration of Navy Day is to get a bit more educated about some different facts and aspects of the US Navy. Review some of them and feel free to share with friends, family members or coworkers to raise awareness and show support for the day. Get started with a few of these fun facts about the US Navy:

  • In recent years, the US Navy has more than 300,000 men (80%) and women (20%) who serve as active personnel all throughout the globe, making it the largest navy in the world.

  • All members of the US Navy who work on nuclear submarines are recruited as volunteers and are never forced to do this job that can be claustrophobic as well as super technical.

  • The first Admiral of the US Navy, David Farragut, was the son of a Revolutionary War hero and was, himself, a veteran of the Civil War and the war of 1812. He joined the navy at the young age of nine years old!

  • The history of the mascot of the US Naval Academy, Bill the Goat, hails from the early 1900s.

Thank a Member of the Navy

Show some love and appreciation to a current or retired member of the US Navy by thanking them for their service in celebration of Navy Day. Whether it is simply mentioning it to a neighbor in passing, writing out a card or taking a naval friend out for coffee or a meal, Navy Day is the ideal time to remember that the folks from this branch make up a larger part of the protection of the United States. And that is certainly worth a big “thank you”!

Visit a Navy Museum

The United States Navy has fourteen different museums located throughout the country that house artifacts and tell the story of this sea-faring branch of the service. Here are just a options for planning a trip to visit a museum in celebration of Navy Day:

  • National Museum of the US Navy located in the Washington Navy Yard, District of Columbia.
  • Puget Sound Navy Museum situated in Bremerton, Washington.
  • US Navy Seabee Museum in Port Hueneme, California.
  • National Museum of the American Sailor can be found in Great Lakes, Illinois.

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