October 10, 1845
NAVAL SCHOOL FOUNDED AT ANNAPOLIS
Assisting in both the founding of the institution & its curriculum is Commodore Matthew C. Perry who strongly favored an apprentice system to train new seamen.
The Naval School has enrolled 50 students who will be taught by a compliment of 7 professors.
The curriculum for the midshipmen will include math & navigation, gunnery & steam, chemistry, English, natural philosophy & French.
The course of study will last 5 years with the 1st & last years being at school & the other 3 service at sea.
The 1st graduating class will graduate in June 1854.**
*George Bancroft (1800-1891) was born in Worcester, Massachusetts & graduated from Harvard in 1817. He earned his PhD from the University of Gottingen in Germany.
Professor Bancroft published a multi-volume History of the United States (1834-1874).
He served in President James K. Polk's cabinet as Secretary of the Navy (1845-46) & one month as Secretary of War.
Photo by Matthew Brady (1860)
Library of Congress Image
**In 1850, the Naval School became the UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY. The following year the curriculum was altered to 4 years with training on ships in the summers.
AUGUST 1, 1963
PRESIDENT KENNEDY SPEAKS AT NAVAL ACADEMY
***The USNA accepted women as midshipmen beginning in 1976. Today women make up 14% of the plebe or 1st year class. The young lady in the photo above is identified simply as "Mascot".