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.
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.”
History of Navy Day
The 27th October was suggested as a date to recognize 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 Civilian Organisation, and they continued to organize events as before.