Navy Day is celebrated on October 27 which is right around the corner, marking another great reason to visit a military history museum to learn about America’s military forces.
Yet what many people may not realize is that this date is not actually the birthday of the U.S. Navy, though it unofficially gets called that by many.
Navy Day, which was first celebrated in 1922, is a day of recognition that came about when the history of the Navy came into question and conflict over the actual birthday of this military force was still being contested.
Which Came First?
Though it might seem that the birthday of the Navy would come first, it was actually observance of Navy Day that predated the official birthday of this important military institution.
Why is it different?
In part, the difference in dates is because it was thought for a long time that October 27, 1775, was the actual date when this essential military service was formed based on Congressional documents that coincided with this date.
October 27th was also the birthday of President Theodore Roosevelt, who was a great supporter of the U.S. Navy.
Considering both factors, the Navy League of the United States declared the 27th as Navy Day in 1922 and the day has been celebrated as such ever since.
The Argument Over Continental Navy History
As it would later be discovered as more historical research was performed, the true formation date of the Continental navy was actually October 13, 1775, not the believed October 27 which was the day that the Continental Congress finally signed on the dotted line to make the fleet official.
But that leaves many wondering - why the 13th?
Although there were apparently 11 days of bickering among the members of Congress back in the days of the Navy’s formation on whether this military force was even necessary, it was officially created and designated on October 13th.
Navy Birthday Officially Declared
After much research on the topic of Navy Day and the true birthdate of the Continental Navy by naval historians, this discrepancy was finally laid to rest in 1970 and the decision was made that October 13th, the day that the first fleet of Continental ships was purchased, was the true birthday of the Navy.
The official observation of the birthday of the U.S. Navy was started by Admiral Elmo Zumwalt in 1972, creating a second Navy day of commemoration not too far before the first.
While clarifying the true date of the start of the Continental Navy was definitely a win for military historians, the celebration of Navy Day continued as it has been since they commemorate two different things.
The birthday of the U.S. Navy is important as it is the beginning of the formation of this essential military service in American history, while Navy Day celebrates all Naval members who have served as part of this country’s naval forces.
Although Navy Day has technically been combined into Armed Forces Day, many still recognize it on October 27th of every year.
Celebrate Both Days At the Museum of the American G.I.
Whether recognizing the official birthday of the U.S. Navy on October 13th or celebrating Navy Day on October 27th, a visit to a military history museum is a great way to do so.
With vehicles and weapons from all branches of the military on display and demonstrated at times in living history exhibits, these museums are a treasure for anyone interested in military history, young or old.
This October, come and celebrate the official and unofficial birthdays of the U.S. Navy and its many naval service men and women at the Museum of the American G.I.
Learn about important dates in the United States military’s history, see restored vehicles and weapons, and observe memorabilia and artifacts from different branches of the U.S. military, all presented in growing historical collections.
Find more information about exhibits and special events as well as ticketing info on the ticket information page.
Living history and military history museums such as the Museum of the American G.I. are unique learning experiences that are both entertaining and historical.
With a commitment to Preserve the Past, Honor the Veterans, and Educate Future Generations, visit the Museum of the American G.I. to see history come alive - call (979) 690-0501 for more information!