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A Brief History of Annapolis
• America's very first naval school was established in 1845 at the Army post known then as Fort Severn in Annapolis, Maryland, at the behest of Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft.

• The first class of 50 midshipmen was taught by seven professors in fields ranging from mathematics and philosophy to navigation and gunnery.

• In 1850, the school was officially sanctioned as the United States Naval Academy and became a four-year program with additional training on ships each summer—a format that is still followed today. The original class of 50 students was expanded to 4,000.

• During the Civil War, the three upper classes immediately were ordered to sea, and the Academy was temporarily moved to Newport, Rhode Island, returning to Annapolis in 1865.

• In 1865, boxing became part of the Academy's curriculum.

• In 1933, Congress authorized the Naval Academy to begin issuing bachelor of science degrees.

• The first Brigade Championship began in 1942, starting a tradition that has continued for seven decades.

• In 1976, the Naval Academy began admitting women as midshipmen. Today, women form about 14 percent of entering plebes.

• In 2004, Maia Molina-Schaefer became the first woman to compete in and win the Brigade Championship.

• The motto of the Naval Academy is ex scientia tridens which means "from knowledge comes the trident,” or "from knowledge comes sea power.”

• Among famous graduates of the Naval Academy are President Jimmy Carter, Senator John McCain, presidential candidate H. Ross Perot, NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback Roger Staubach and NBA All Star center David Robinson.

• Among famous champions of the Brigade Championships are former Secretary of the Navy James Webb, retired Rear Admiral Thomas Lynch and retired Major General Charles Bolden, an astronaut.


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