Monday, August 17, 2015

US Naval Academy

Having seen the Air Force Academy and West Point, we thought we should take the time to visit the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis while we were in the area.  Established in 1845, it is the second oldest military academy and has the same rigorous admission policies as the others.  During the Civil War, the campus was turned into an Army hospital, but it was returned to the Navy in 1865, shortly after the end of the war.

Anchors from the Navy's first armored cruiser in the War of 1812

Resident Hall for students
It claims to be the largest college dormitory in the world.

Dahlgren Hall

Interior of Dahlgren Hall

Hard to get a good picture because of all the trees surrounding it.

Interior shots of the chapel
This is arguably the most beautiful chapel in all the military academies.

Tiffany stained glass in the chapel

John Paul Jones' crypt in the basement of the chapel
Jones has been called the "Father of the United States Navy."

Dock area on the station

Sailing class in the harbor
New recruits were going through their "basic training" while we were there.

Bill the goat, Navy mascot
Interestingly, the Navy mascot was first a monkey, along with a cat.  The goat didn't become mascot until 1893.  The legend is that a Navy ship once sailed with a pet goat who died.  The officers preserved the skin to be mounted when the ship returned to port.  The young ensigns that were entrusted with the skin, on their way to the taxidermist, stopped at the Academy to watch a football game.  At halftime, for no apparent reason, one ensign dressed up in the goat skin, the crowd enjoyed it and Navy won the game.  A tradition was born!

The campus of the Naval Academy was much smaller than West Point or the AF Academy, but maybe that's because they do a lot of their training on ships - I don't know.  But it's a very pretty place and was definitely worth the time to visit.  If you get the chance, it's open to non-military, so take the time to at least tour the chapel.

Until next time...

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