Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Marine Music & Nuclear Submarines

This is one in a series of posts on the history of the United States Navy.

On this day in 1800, the United States Marine Band gave its first concert in Washington, District of Columbia. This was the first in a long and continuing tradition of great musicians providing music to the public, including such luminaries as John Philip Sousa, who led the Marine Band from 1880 - 1892. This tradition continues today, as "The President's Own" band continues to provide superb music for all State occasions and many public concerts.

And also on this day in history in 1951, the first contract for a nuclear-powered submarine was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics. This award paved the way for the Navy to enter the nuclear era with the launch of the U.S.S. Nautilus (SSN-571) in 1954. Today, Nautilus, named for the famed submarine in Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in which he predicted nuclear power among other things, can be found at Groton, Connecticut, near the huge submarine base of New London, Connecticut.

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