Navy Day is the original day to celebrate the U.S. Navy, and though this celebration officially was 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 Navy itself. Additionally, research undertaken in the 1970s showed the ‘true’ birthday of the US Navy to be October 13th, and the date was officially changed – however, the entrenched celebration still holds sway, and October 27th is still generally celebrated instead.
History of Navy Day
The 27th October was suggested as a date to recognise 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 (President Harry S Truman) reviewed the fleet in the New York Harbour, and there are pictures of ships docked along the Hudson River for the celebrations.
Navy Day was last officially observed on October 27th 1949 when 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.
The Navy League was not affected by this decision as it is a Civillian Organisation, and they continued to organise events as before.