A naval historian for the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) on Aug. 13 provides unique and inspiring insights into the life of U. S. Navy Sailors during the tumultuous time of the War of 1812.
Christine Hughes was helping the Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples commemorate the War of 1812 Bicentennial. She offered presentations that included “Life in the Sailing Navy” and “1812 Navy Battles,” which chronicled some of the highlights from the War of 1812 Battle of Lake Erie.
“I think the War of 1812 is an important event in naval history because our country didn’t have a navy before this time,” said Hughes. “This war was a turning point for our Navy because it helped congress recognize our country’s need for one.”
The War of 1812 was a military conflict between Canada, England and the newly independent U.S. as a way to preserve the U.S. economy, way of life and independence. In 1812, the United States declared war due to several reasons, including British attempts to restrict U.S. trade, the Royal Navy’s impressment of American seamen, and the United State’s desire to expand its territory. At the end of the war in 1815, the U.S. had realized the need for a navy to help keep the seas free for national commerce.
The NHHC website indicates that the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard are commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and The Star Spangled Banner from 2012 through 2015. In partnership with the International Council of Air Shows, the Navy League, the Naval Historical Foundation, and Operation Sail (OpSail), the Navy will be creating several events that will be observed across the country. Signature events are expected to take place in New York, Baltimore, Norfolk, New Orleans, Boston, Chicago, and Cleveland, and smaller events in other cities during 2012.
Highlights of the events will include Blue Angels air shows, visits by ships of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, international navies, and Tall Ships; demonstrations by the U.S. Marine Corps; band concerts; “Galley Wars” cook-offs; and more.