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Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to the Merchant Marines!

The history of the Merchant Marines finds its way back during the Revolutionary war. Private armed and unarmed ships were issued a “Letter of Marque” commissioning the ships to become private spies and to prey on enemy ships. Therefore the men who manned these vessels were history’s first US Merchant Marines. Thus from those beginnings and even up to the present the Merchant Marines have been a vital part of support for the nation’s armed services. During WWII they had transported explosives and supplies across treacherous waters often with out the ability to defend themselves from enemy attacks. National Maritime Day is May 22nd. Each President declares the proclamation of this important day from the first proclamation which was on May 20,1933.

1 comment:

Allison Tara Sundaram said...

In our new exhibit, On the Water, we have a section about the Merchant Marines. We recently put up a post on our O Say Can You See blog where a staff member, whose father was a Merchant Marine, talks about how she say the exhibit with her family. We hope you'll take a look at the blog!

Allison Tara Sundaram
National Museum of American History