Washington Navy Yard: Celebrating 224 Years in the Neighborhood

April 24, 2023
Samuel J. Cox is Director of the Naval History and Heritage Command with responsibility for US Naval historical programs, archives, and museums.

The Washington Navy Yard has been part of the Capitol Hill community for 224 years. At the April 24 Overbeck History lecture, Sam Cox, Director of the Naval History and Heritage Command, will explore the Navy Yard’s longstanding relationship with Capitol Hill. Founded in 1799, Washington Navy Yard sailors defended the city from the British in 1814. President Abraham Lincoln frequently visited the Navy Yard during the Civil War, and Army soldiers who carried the World War I Unknown Soldier across the base in 1921 trod the same path as Lincoln.  Stationed at the Navy Yard during World War I, Yeomen Charlotte Louise Berry, Ruth Wellborn, and Sara Davis were some of the first women to serve in the Navy in a non-nursing capacity. Civilian employees built ships during the early years at the Navy Yard.  Later, ordinance used in World Wars I and II was manufactured at the Navy Yard. Its workers lived on Capitol Hill. their children went to Capitol Hill schools, including Eastern High School, and families attended church at Christ Church and elsewhere. Commodore Thomas Tingey and other Navy heroes are buried at Congressional Cemetery, and at dusk every night, Capitol Hill neighbors hear the bugle proclaiming the day is done. The Washington Navy Yard is proud to be one of Capitol Hill’s oldest neighbors.

Admission to the lecture is free but a reservation is required. Places can be reserved through Hill Center three weeks before the lecture.

Past Lectures