Navy cadets with swordsIt’s a much better name than the Philadelphia Naval Asylum, where America’s future Naval Officers were trained until October 10, 1845, when the new Naval Academy opened in Annapolis, Maryland, making today


Since renamed the United States Naval Academy and called “Annapolis” by most people, our world famous naval academy has turned out a whole lot of famous football players, and some dandy sailors too.

Unlike it’s older US Army counterpart, West Point, Annapolis hasn’t exactly educated a Who’s Who of famous Americans like Edgar Allen Poe (a dropout), George Custer, Dwight D. Eisenhower and U.S Grant. Basically there’s Admiral Chester Nimitz, Bull Halsey, President Jimmy Carter and a bunch of other guys.

Cadets are called Midshipmen and go to school for 4 years to learn how to tie knots in ship’s rigging, repel boarders with swords, conduct naval warfare (none of which they need to know anymore), and beat Army in the annual Army-Navy football game (required).

By all accounts it’s a fine university and a credit to the nation, and has one of the snappiest looking uniforms out there. Every year, Annapolis graduates another class of brilliant youngsters, tomorrow’s admirals and presidents. Our Navy will be fine.

• Suggested Activities: Memorizing the Seven Seas – Aegean, Adriatic, Mediterranean, Black, Red and Caspian Seas, plus the Persian Gulf (It’s an old list)

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