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1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

United States Naval Academy

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UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY , an institution for the

education of officers of the United States Navy, at Annapolis,

hfaryland, occupying about 200 acres on the banks of the Severn.

Its principal buildings are the marine engineering building,

the academic building (containing the library), the chapel,

the gymnasium, the physics and chemistry building, the auditorium,

the armoury, the power-house, the administration

building, Bancroft Hall (the midshipmen's quarters), officers'

mess and club, and Sampson Row, Upshur Row and Rodgers

Row, the officers' quarters.' By an Act of Congress passed in

1903 two midshipmen (as the students have been called since

1902; naval cadets " was the term formerly used) were allawed

for each senator, representative, and delegate in Congress, two

for the District of Columbia, and five each year at large; but

after 1913 only one midshipman is to be appointed for each

senator, representative and delegate in Congress. Candidates

are nominated by their senator, representative, or delegate

in Congress, and those from the District of Columbia and

those appointed at large are chosen by the President; but

to be admitted they must be between sixteen and twenty

years of age and must pass an entrance examination. Each

midshipman is paid $600 a year, beginning with the date of

his admission; and he must bind himself to serve in the United

States Navy for eight years (including the years spent in the

academy) unless he is discharged sooner. The coulse of instruction

is for four years-" final graduation " comes only

after six years, the additional years being spent at sea-and

is in eleven departments: discipline, seamanship, ordnance

an 1 gunnery, navigation, marine engineering and naval construction,

mathematics and mechanics, physics and chemistry,

electrical engineering, English, modern languages, naval

hygiene and physiology. Vessels for practice work of midshipmen

in the first, second, and third year classes are attached

to the academy during the academic year, and from early in

June to September of each year the midshipmen are engaged

in practice cruises. The academy is governed by the Bureau

of Navigation of the United States Navy Department, and is

under the immediate supervision of a superintendent appointed

by the secretary ,of the navy, with whom are associated thr

Commandant of Midshipmen, a disciplinary officer, and thc

Academic Board, which is composed of the superintendent and

the head of each of the eleven departments. The institutior

was founded as the Naval School in 1845 by the secretaq

of the navy, George Bancroft, and was opened in October ol

that year. Originally a course of study for five years was pre

scribed, but only the first and last were spent at the school

the other three being passed at sea. The present name was

adopted when the school was reorganized in 1850, being placec

under the supervision of the chief of the Bureau of Ordnancc

and Hydrography, and under the immediate charge of the super

intendent, and the course of study was extended to seven years

the first two and the lazt two to be spent at the school, thc

intervening three years to be passed at sea. The four year!

of study were made consecutive in 1851, and the practicc

cruises were substituted for the three consecutive years at sea

At the outbreak of the Civil War the three upper classes wen

detached and were ordered to sea, and the academy wa!

removed to Fort Adams, Newport, Rhode Island (May 1861)

but it was brought back to Annapolis in the summer of 1865

The supervision of the academy was transferred from the Burea~

of Ordnance and Hydrography to the Bureau of Navigatiot

when that bureau was established in 1862; and, although it wa:

placed under the direct care of the Navy Department in 1867

it has been (except in 1869-1889) under the Bureau of Navi

g? t ion for administrative routine and financial management

The Spanish-American War greatly emphasized its importance

and the academy was almost wholly rebuilt and much enlargec

' The old quarters of the superintendent, a colonial house, onc

the official residence of the governors of Maryland, was destroye~

m 1900. In 1909 old Fort Severn, a small circular structure wit!

thick walls, budt in 1809, was torn down.

See J. R. Soley, Historical Sketch of the United States Naval Academy

Washington, 1876); Park Benjamin, The Un$ed States Nasal

Icademy (New York, 1900) ; Randall Blackshaw, The New Naval

kademy," in the Century Magazine for October 1905.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'United States Naval Academy'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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