Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Annapolis and the Naval Academy

I wanted to visit the U.S. Naval Academy. I missed Westpoint, but have visited the Air Force Academy many times. Luckily I have a military I.D. and was able to get an on-base pass for parking. Otherwise, people visiting have to park outside the base and walk in to the visitor center. The Naval Academy is a 4-year university which educates and commissions officers for both the Navy and Marine Corps.

This is Dahlgren Hall, named for Rear Admiral John Dahlgren, was built in 1803. Over the years it has served many functions, some of which were an armory, host for commissioning ceremonies and an ice skating rink.

The Wright Brothers built the B-1 Flyer for the U.S. Naval Academy. It was delivered and assembled at the Naval Academy in 1911, where it was first flown by Lt. John Rodgers on 7 Sep 1911. The original flyer is in the Smithsonian, and this is an exact replica. The original was housed here for many years before being placed in the Smithsonian.

The scaled model of a 3 masted ship is hanging in Dahgren Hall.

Dahlgren Hall is now used as a basketball court, has a restaurant and can be used for other activities as needed.

This statue is a memorial to those who serve beneath the seas.

This is the Superintendent's quarters. Franklin D. Roosevelt stayed here and because of his wheelchair, they modified the lower floor to provide a bedroom and bath which was accessible to him.

The Naval Chapel.

Inside the Chapel.

Underneath the chapel is the crypt of John Paul Jones. He was removed from an unmarked grave in France and moved to this location over 100 years after his death in 1792. John Paul Jones was commanding the ship when he was given the first salute to the Stars and Stripes by a foreign power, back in the revolutionary war. He took the war to England and attacked their ships in their own waters. He is best known for his statement of 'I have not yet begun to fight', after his ship had been fired upon and was burning and the English asked if he was ready to surrender. He continued to fight and ultimately won the battle.

Bancroft Hall and the Parade Ground. Bancroft Hall has administrative offices, dorms and some classrooms, as well as a large ballroom. Because of the rain they cancelled the noonday parade. Parade formations are usually held daily prior to meals.

At the Naval Academy Museum they had lots of artifacts which were carved from whalebone by prisoners of war. Here is an example of some dice.

The French POWs also carved scale models of ships. Some of these models are over 300 years old.

Do you know why bathrooms in the Navy are called 'heads'? Years ago, when you were traveling at sea, there were no bathrooms as we know today. They would create seats at the front or head of the ship where you could sit. These seats were over the water, so everything dropped directly into the sea. It became common to say you needed to go to the 'head', whenever someone was going to the bathroom.

The is a wonderful example of a scaled ship carved out of bone.

This is one of over 100 models, built during the 17th and 18th century. This is the largest display of ship models, open to the public, in the U.S.


Gypsy Boho said...

Really informative post. Thanks.

Morshadow said...

I love the pictures of the model ships.

O. B. Sirius said...

I once attended a wedding at the Naval Academy chapel. Short ceremony, but interesting. One of the stained glass windows is a Navy Officer in uniform. I thought that was neat.