Do you know what today is? Go on; take a guess what today is. I’ll give you a hint, today is a birthday. Still don’t know? Okay then, I’ll just have to tell you. Today is the 234th birthday of the US Navy! Yep, that’s right all you history buffs, on this day in 1775 the Continental Navy was established by the Continental Congress; the legislation authorized the Congress to build, fit out, man, and dispatch two armed vessels to interdict British merchant ships carrying munitions to the British forces in America. Over the course of the Revolutionary War, the Continental Navy grew to about 50 ships, with 20 or so active at the Navy’s maximum strength.
Now, I am going to take you on a journey through time where we will mark significant, but oft overlooked, facts on the history of what became the United States Navy. There has been a lot of grumbling recently about the “liberals” trying to destroy our armed forces and, therefore, rendering our nation impotent in its defense. This is not a new revelation, people! I would be willing to bet that most people don’t know that after the Revolutionary War, the Congress either sold off or dismantled what ships were left; it being deemed that a Navy was not needed now, in a time of peace. Smarter heads prevailed, however, and when the Constitution was ratified in 1789, there was legislation calling for the Congress to stand up and provide a navy. So, in 1794, the War Department ordered the building of six frigates. The War Department was in charge of the Navy until the Department of the Navy was established in 1798.
Despite arguments to the contrary by the Marine Corps, the Navy was, in fact, established before the Marines. We know this is true because we know the Congress first enacted legislation to outfit two warships on October 13, 1775. We also know that almost a month later, on November 10, 1775, the legislation was extended to stand up two Marine battalions. Just as the Congress dismantled the Navy after the Revolutionary War, they disbanded the Marines. In fact, ever since the Revolutionary War, we have evidence that proves the Congress, at the end of each major conflict, has tried to shrink the armed forces. It’s not hard to see it, everybody knows how the military was gutted in the 1970s after Vietnam…it’s almost as if our Congress refuses to learn its lessons!
The rest of the world would like nothing better than for the US to fall in stature, however, which is precisely why we must continually lobby and harangue Congress to not cut funding for defense. There is simply too much riding on the line to allow sharp cutbacks in funding. We must be ever-ready to defend our nation regardless of the cost. (There will be another post soon discussing the oxymoron that is the US Congress and its parties) So, to wrap this up for today, we say Happy Birthday to the US Navy and wish for many more! Until next time, farewell and following seas!