National Submarine Day


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National Submarine Day

National Submarine Day, on April 11th, honors the day the United States Navy acquired its first modern commissioned submarine. On April 11, 1900, the Holland VI became the Navy’s first modern submarine.

Designed by Irish-American inventor John Phillip Holland in 1896, he launched the Holland VI on May 17, 1897, at Navy Lt. Lewis Nixon’s Crescent Shipyard in Elizabeth, New Jersey.  The United States Navy later purchased the Holland VI on April 11, 1900. As the Navy’s first commissioned submarine, it was renamed USS Holland (SS-1).

The U.S. Navy’s first submarine was the Alligator, 1862.

Submarine history runs deep in the United States. During the Revolutionary War era, David Bushnell built America’s first submarine, the Turtle. The submersible made several attempts to sink British ships but never succeeded. At the time, the U.S. Navy did not exist so, the Turtle is not the Navy’s first submarine. The first known U.S. Navy submarine was the USS Alligator. It’s also the fourth United States Navy ship of that name. The Alligator was active during the American Civil War.

Elsewhere in the world, Submarine Day is celebrated on March 17th.

National Submarine Day History

In 1969, Senator Thomas J. Dodd (D-Conn.) introduced a bill (S. 2690) to the U.S. Senate to designate April 11th as National Submarine Day. While the bill may have passed the Senate, and introduced to the House in 1970 (H.R. 7998), no record of a proclamation from President Richard Nixon is found. Despite that, beginning in 1970, veteran organizations, U.S. Navy service members, and many other organizations recognized the day, commemorating the Navy’s first modern commissioned submarine.


  1. The subway

    The submarine is also a type of sandwich made with a long roll of bread, meats, vegetables, and spreads.

  2. Women aren’t allowed

    Women cannot be assigned to submarine crews because of the limited habitability and privacy onboard a submarine.

  3. Nuclear future

    Many of John Holland’s ideas couldn’t be applied to the submarine at the time and they had to wait for nuclear power to include them in the design.

  4. The first submarine

    The first known submarine was created in 1620 by Cornelius Drebbel.

  5. Leagues above the rest

    The German epic film “Das Boot” by director Wolfgang Peterson is considered by many as the best submarine film ever made.


Year Date Day
2021 April 11 Sunday
2022 April 11 Monday
2023 April 11 Tuesday
2024 April 11 Thursday
2025 April 11 Friday

National Submarine Day

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