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Welcome aboard!

right-shoulder arms The United States Naval Academy, occupying 338 acres on the south banks of the Severn River in Annapolis, Maryland, is a four-year undergraduate college which trains young men and women as officers in America's armed forces. Upon completing their greuling four-year tour of duty at The Yard (these youngsters are officers in the United States Navy) graduating Midshipmen are awarded Bachelor of Science degrees. Diplomas are awarded in ceremonies held at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Following the conferring of their degrees most candidates are sworn in either as Ensigns in the United States Naval Reserve or as Second Lieutenants in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Some Midshipmen, however, opt to change service affiliation upon graduation and are sworn in as Second Lieutenants in either the United States Army Reserve or the United States Air Force Reserve. Commissioning ceremonies for these graduating Midshipmen are held in Memorial Hall in Bancroft Hall following the commencement exercises and Navy/Marine Corps swearings-in.

The seasons in Annapolis, while distinct, are neither as subtle as those in the deep South and Southwest, nor as harsh as those in the far North and New England. Because of this noticable yet gradual changing of seasons The Yard is a grand place to walk or bicycle through almost year 'round.

Please refer to this map as we take our tour so you can "get your bearings"!

Buchanan House
Buchanan House
Map key 12
Our tour will begin with Buchanan House. Completed in 1906, Buchanan House is the residence of the Superintendent of the Naval Academy. Located at the corner of Blake and Buchanan Roads, Buchanan House is one of a group of buildings in the Beaux Arts style - the "new" Naval Academy - designed by noted architect Ernest Flagg in 1895 and begun in 1899.

USNA Chapel Chapel interior

The Cathedral of the Navy

The Naval Academy Chapel (map key 11), directly beside Buchanan House, is another of Ernest Flagg's buildings. The cornerstone for the present chapel was laid in 1905 by none other than Admiral Dewey. Its original design, 120 feet square, was in the shape of a Greek cross and held 1600 worshippers. In 1940 the nave was extended, resulting in today's chapel in the shape of a Latin cross. The basement of the chapel houses the crypt of John Paul Jones.

Zimmerman memorial bandshell

The Zimmerman Memorial Bandshell
Map key E

The bandshell, located on the right-hand side of Chapel Walk as one looks toward the Severn River, was built in 1922 and is named for former Naval Academy Bandmaster Marine Leiutenant Charles Zimmerman. While Zimmerman's name is not generally known outside Navy circles, one of his songs is: in keeping with a personal tradition wherein he wrote a march honoring each graduating class of Midshipmen, Zimmerman penned the march for the Class of 1907 - the words of which begin "Anchors aweigh, my boys..". The bandshell is used for concerts during Commissioning Week and Parents' weekends.

Herndon monument

The Herndon Monument
Map key D

Named for Commander William Lewis Herndon, who went down with the mail steamer Central America in 1857. The 21-foot-tall obelisk, erected in June 1860, is located on a grassy area just across the street from the Naval Academy chapel, opposite the Zimmerman bandshell on Chapel Walk. The Herndon Monument Climb, a tradition begun in 1955, is one of the most popular Commissioning Week events and marks the beginning of Commissioning Week festivities. In the event, officially known as the Plebe Recognition Ceremony, the members of the third (sophomore) class apply grease, lard and anything else they can think of to make the granite monument's sides slippery and - hopefully - unscalable. They then place a blue-rimmed plebe "dixie cup" cap astride the monument's peak; the plebes (freshmen) have to attain the top of the monument and replace the plebe cap with a regular Midshipman's "cover". Tradition holds that the lowly plebe who performs the feat is the first Admiral to come out of that class.

We have not yet begun to show you the Naval Academy...hitch a ride with the Blue Angels to zoom from page to page!

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Annapolis National Cemetery
Mike's railroad page

Last updated Monday, October 17, 2005

All photographs © by Michael Calo, Annapolis, Maryland
Some information obtained from USNA page "The United States Naval Academy: 150 Years of History"
Blue Angel graphics and USNA seal obtained from the U.S. Naval Academy HTML Resources page

DISCLAIMER: The contents of this page are not now, and never have been, officially associated in any way with, or approved, edited or overseen by, any individual, division or agency of the United States Naval Academy, the United States Navy, the Department of Defense or any other branch of the United States Government, nor with any group or organization which is in any way associated with the United States Naval Academy, the United States Navy, the Department of Defense or any other branch of the United States Government.