This Day in Coast Guard History – October 13

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

1775-This is the date that the Navy recognizes as it's "official" birthday.  The United States Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which the Continental Congress established on 13 October 1775 by authorizing the procurement, fitting out, manning, and dispatch of two armed vessels to cruise in search of munitions ships supplying the British Army in America. The legislation also established a Naval Committee to supervise the work. All together, the Continental Navy numbered some fifty ships over the course of the war, with approximately twenty warships active at its maximum strength.  After the American War for Independence, Congress sold the surviving ships of the Continental Navy and released the seamen and officers. The Constitution of the United States, ratified in 1789, empowered Congress "to provide and maintain a navy." Acting on this authority, Congress ordered the construction and manning of six frigates in 1794, and the War Department administered naval affairs from that year until Congress established the Department of the Navy on 30 April 1798.  In 1972, however, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt authorized recognition of 13 October 1775 as the Navy’s birthday

Happy Birthday Navy!  There is no official motto for the U.S. Navy.  However "Non sibi sed patriae" (Not self but country) is often cited as the Navy's "unofficial" motto.

1883-Between 4 and 5 o’clock in the afternoon, a small sailboat, owned at West Hampton, New York, capsized In crossing the bay with one man on board. Three of the crew of the Petunk Station (Third District) sprang into a skiff, rowed out, rescued the man, and towed the boat ashore.

1988: The first U.S. merchant marine World War II veterans received their Coast Guard issued discharge certificates.  Congress gave the merchant mariners veterans' status and tasked the Coast Guard with administering the discharges.

1995: The cutter Ida Lewis was launched, the first of the new 175-foot Keeper class buoy tenders.

(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)

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