• 50 Years - A Million Thanks
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Quotation by JFK

Historical Perspective

The United States Navy was born to combat British forces in the American Revolution. In 1775, Congress resolved: "That a swift sailing vessel, to carry ten carriage guns and a proportionable number of swivels ... be fitted, with all possible dispatch ... for intercepting such transports as may be laden with warlike stores and other supplies for our enemies ..." (Continental Congress, Friday, October 13, 1775).

Since then, the United States Navy has grown to incorporate one of the largest collection of warships, aircraft carriers, and submarines in the world.

This year marks the 6th International Naval Review (INR). The first INR took place in 1893 as part of the Colombian Exposition to mark the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's landing in the New World. In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt reviewed the procession, which was held in conjunction with the Jamestown Exposition celebrating the 300-year anniversary of the founding of the first settlement. Jamestown's 350th anniversary was celebrated with another INR in 1957. In 1976, a special bicentennial INR was held on Earth Day and incorporated the first-ever Operation Sail. The last INR took place in 1986 and was held to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Statue of Liberty.

Navigational ToolThe JFKThe Hue CityThe ConstitutionThe Boise This year's INR is being described by the U.S. Navy as "A Celebration of Sea Power for the Millenium" and is dedicated to social strides and national growth through technology, education, and volunteerism.

The Twenty-One-Gun Salute
As President Clinton and other dignitaries pass in review on the USS Hue City, each ship will fire a one-gun salute. At the end of the review, the President will receive the traditional twenty-one-gun salute.

The practice of firing gun salutes has its origins in early times, when a ship entering a friendly port would discharge its cannons to demonstrate that they were not loaded.

Since then, cannon salutes became part of customary greetings and were exchanged between ships and forts on shore. The navy officially regulated the salute in 1818 when it declared: "When the President shall visit a ship of the United States's Navy, he is to be saluted with 21 guns." Twenty-one was the number of states in the Union at that time.

Today, the twenty-one-gun salute is offered to the President and heads of state and is also a tradition on Washington's birthday and the Fourth of July. President Clinton will receive a twenty-one-gun salute this Fourth of July, prior to viewing the parade of tall ships.


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