DEWEY DAY CELEBRATED WITH MOCK BATTLE AT LINCOLN PARK
Chicago, Illinois (JFK+50) One hundred years ago today, May 1, 1917, a crowd gathered at the northern yacht harbor of Lincoln Park here in Chicago to witness a 'battle' between a landing party and a defending party of bluejackets from the Great Lakes Training Station*.
The landing was made successfully forcing the defending infantrymen to retreat to higher ground. When the 'battle' ended shortly afterward, however, it was difficult to tell which side actually won.
This event was part of the Dewey Day celebrations commemorating the Battle of Manila Bay (May 1, 1898) won by Admiral George Dewey** in the Philippine Islands.
Following the 'battle' participants marched in a parade which included music by the Bluejackets Band.
*Naval Station Great Lakes was approved by President T. Roosevelt in 1904 & dedicated by President W.H. Taft in 1911. NSGL is the home of the USN's only boot camp & is the largest training station in the Navy. Its' college football team from the 1910s to 1940s was the Great Lakes Bluejackets.
**George Dewey (1937-1917) was born in Montpelier, VT & graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1858. GD served in the Union Navy during the Civil War & was attached to David Farragut's blockade fleet.
At the Battle of Manila Bay, GD sank or captured the entire Spanish Pacific Fleet in six hours. A popular phrase of the day became 'Let George Do It.'
"Army and Navy 'Battle' In Honor of Dewey Day, Crowds See 400 Clash as Jackies Force Landing at Lincoln Park" The Chicago Daily Tribune, May 2, 1917, www.archives.chicagotribune.com/