Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pop History Moment: The US Navy Was Founded

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On this day in 1794 the United States Navy was founded, as a replacement for the Continental Navy. The first of the vessels of the Continental Navy - Hannah, which was launched at Beverly, Massachusetts, in September 1775 - was even paid for out of George Washington's own pocket!

After passage of the Naval Act of 1794, six frigates were ordered and built: USS United States, USS President, USS Constellation, USS Chesapeake, USS Congress, and USS Constitution. The last of these - nicknamed 'Old Ironsides' - famously saw action during the First Barbary War, and is still in existence; it remains moored at Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston Harbor and today serves as a museum thanks to the efforts of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
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