This Month In County History

1845: Fort Severn to become naval school

August 12, 2005

The U.S. Naval Academy traces its history here to Aug. 15, 1845, when the Army ceded its old Fort Severn - then only 9 acres - to establish the Naval School at Annapolis.

The military college was established by Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft, who tapped Cmdr. Franklin Buchanan as its first superintendent.

The Navy's board of examiners wanted a curriculum that was "almost identically the same" as that of West Point, the Army's military college.

The school opened in October 1845, and was renamed the U.S. Naval Academy in 1850.

The academy now occupies 388 acres along the banks of the Severn River, near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. About 4,000 midshipmen live in the main dorm, Bancroft Hall.

Source: U.S. Naval Academy

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