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Thursday, March 01, 2007

On naming naval ships

I came across this Congressional Research Service white paper on the process by which U.S. navy ships are named. It is rather interesting as it clarifies why we used to name battleships after the states of the union and now we name certain submarines after the states of the union. Also, why are the aircraft carriers being named after presidents.

Here's a section of the first footnote:
A law approved in 1819 (Res. of Mar. 3, 1819, s1, 3 Stat. 538, No. 7) stated "That all of the ships of the navy of the United States, now building, or hereafter to be built, shall be named by the Secretary of the Navy, under the direction of the President of the United States" in accordance with rules specifying that ships of the first class were to be named after states of the Union, and second and third class ships were to be named, respectively, after rivers and principal cities and towns.

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