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  • red telephone icon USS Constitution Museum
    617-426-1812 ext. 118
  • black telephone icon NARA Public Affairs Staff
    202-357-5300

Press Release
September 30, 2010

Setting the Record Straight: A Public Program on the Origins of the U.S. Navy

Boston, MA…What do Beverly and Marblehead, MA; Philadelphia, PA; Machias ME; Providence, RI; and Whitehall, NY have in common? They all claim to be the birthplace of the U.S. Navy. To unravel the complicated history of the early years of the United States Navy - and perhaps at last determine who deserves this distinction - the National Archives and the USS Constitution Museum are hosting a public program on October 13, at 5:30 PM.

The program is free and open to the public, and will be held at the USS Constitution Museum, located in the Charlestown Navy Yard, in Boston.

Using original documents from the holdings of the National Archives in Washington, DC, Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero, a native of Beverly, MA and a Navy veteran, and Trevor Plante, a senior archivist at the National Archives specializing in military records, will shed light on the various arguments made by each town staking the birthplace claim.

In a meeting in Philadelphia on October 13, 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the outfitting of two ships to intercept vessels from overseas sent to resupply British forces on American shores. On this, the 235th anniversary of that critical vote, the debate continues, for the other five cities above can likewise point to discrete events that some might say marked the beginnings of the United States Navy. Mr. Ferriero and Mr. Plante will offer up documents that represent some of the claims, and together tell the complex story of the beginnings of our Navy.

Can the controversy be settled once and for all? Come to the program and find out!

The working press is invited to attend. Please call the Museum 48 hours in advance for parking details.

For press information contact the USS Constitution Museum at 617-426-1812 ext. 118 or the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 202-357-5300.

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