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U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)

Navy, Marine Corps Will Celebrate 250th Birthday in Philadelphia

by Secretary of the Navy Public Affairs
17 October 2023

Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro announced that the Navy and Marine Corps will celebrate their 250th Birthday in 2025 in the city of Philadelphia. Secretary Del Toro made the announcement on the U.S. Navy’s 248th Birthday, Oct. 13. 

“There is no place we would rather be to celebrate 250 years of our Navy and Marine Corps team’s service in defense of our nation, and we look forward to marking this incredible milestone in the city where it all began,” said Secretary Del Toro, during the Navy and Marine Corps Week Flag Raising and Birthday Proclamation Ceremony in the Mayor's Reception Room at City Hall in Philadelphia.
 

During his remarks, Secretary Del Toro thanked the citizens and government of the city of Philadelphia for welcoming Sailors and Marines for this year’s Navy and Marine Corps Week, which provided opportunities for service members to share their stories with the American public. Additionally, he thanked Philadelphia City Representative Sheila Hess and Camden, New Jersey Mayor Victor Carstarphen for providing birthday proclamations. 

“From the Battleship New Jersey in Camden to the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, your two cities preserve our nation’s storied naval legacy for thousands of visitors each year to enjoy, and I cannot thank you enough for supporting us in telling our Navy’s story,” said Secretary Del Toro.
 

While in Philadelphia, Secretary Del Toro visited the Museum of the American Revolution and toured both the Naval Foundry and Propeller Center (NFPC), which designs, manufactures, and repairs propellers for the U.S. Navy, and the Philadelphia Navy Yard Annex (PNYA).  

Also, during a ceremony at Independence Hall, Secretary Del Toro announced that a future San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock will be named USS Philadelphia (LPD 32), and the ship’s sponsor will be Philadelphia native Maureen Paparo, spouse of Adm. Samuel Paparo, the 64th Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Maureen Paparo grew up in the Oxford Circle neighborhood in Northeast Philadelphia, attended St. Martin of Tours Catholic School and Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls, and graduated from Villanova University. 

“As I said at the naming announcement for the future USS Philadelphia (LPD 32), Philadelphia has been a ‘Navy Town’ since the founding of our nation. From our Marine Corps’ humble beginnings at Tun Tavern to the 170 years of warship construction at Philadelphia Navy Yard, the bond between our Navy, our Marine Corps, and this city truly is special. And while our physical footprint throughout the Philadelphia region has receded over the years, our support for one another has not,” said Secretary Del Toro.
 

According to the Naval History and Heritage Command, “the Continental Congress's resolution to procure two armed vessels, adopted in Philadelphia, on Oct. 13, 1775, was the original legislation out of which the Continental Navy grew.  Within a few days of that vote, Congress established a Naval Committee, which directed the purchasing, outfitting, manning, and operations of the first ships of the new Navy, drafted naval legislation, and prepared rules and regulations to govern the Navy's conduct and internal administration.  Philadelphia was also the port where the purchase and outfitting of the first four vessels of the Continental Navy took place. Because the Continental Navy began in Philadelphia on Oct. 13, 1775, the Navy claims that date as its birthday. 

In 1972, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt authorized official recognition of Oct. 13 as the birthday of the U.S. Navy. Since then, each CNO has encouraged a Navy-wide celebration of this occasion “to enhance a greater appreciation of our Navy heritage, and to provide a positive influence toward pride and professionalism in the naval service.” 


 
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