We hope you had a safe and happy New Year’s celebration. We here at the Naval Historical Foundation are excited about 2012, as it promises to be a year full of commemorations of naval history. There will be an opportunity for the public to not only read and learn about the history of the U.S. Navy, but also to participate in once in a lifetime events all over the country. To kick things off, here’s a brief rundown on some of the major upcoming events, covering three distinct periods of history: the War of 1812, the Civil War, and the Vietnam War.
First and foremost are the bicentennial celebrations of the War of 1812. The U.S. Navy is going all-out to commemorate this defining event in its early history. The hub for communications and information on 1812 events is the Navy’s newly relaunched website www.ourflagwasstillthere.org, operated by the Naval History and Heritage Command. It has a historical timeline of the war, and a list of upcoming events. One of the central events of the year will be Operation Sail (OpSail), featuring parades of tall ships and visits by modern warships of the U.S. Navy, at numerous locations across the United States. Other major events are being sponsored by organizations such as Star Spangled 200, the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission. Be sure to check for other upcoming events in your area, and visit our Events Calendar to learn more.
The second major focus of commemorations in 2012 will be the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The Naval History and Heritage Command has been providing regular updates on their Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial website. The main focus of this site is a blog with news and stories about the Civil War. The Smithsonian is also maintaining a Civil War 150 website that is full of great information. And this spring, for those who are interested in cutting edge research on the war, the Civil War Navy Conference at the 10th Annual Battle of Hampton Roads Weekend will provide a venue for top historians and researchers to present their latest findings.
Finally, this year will mark the beginning of commemorations for the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration has launched a website, www.vietnamwar50th.com, which includes a detailed interactive timeline of our nation’s long war in Southeast Asia. The Naval Historical Foundation will have a strong focus on Vietnam as we look towards our next exhibit project at the Navy Museum’s Cold War Gallery, located at the Washington Navy Yard. We hope to have a major announcement on this front in early 2012. In the meantime, please visit our Cold War Gallery website at www.usnavymuseum.org for a virtual tour of the extensive exhibit that was designed for the Gallery, Vietnam War Afloat and Ashore. We’re also planning a series of stories on our blog about the Brown Water Navy in Vietnam.
We hope you’re as excited about 2012 as we are. Please check back frequently on our Blog and Events Calendar for more information as the year develops. And we’d love to hear from you if you know of a naval history event that you’d like to see publicized on our calendar. Please contact Dave Colamaria at [email protected] if you have an event you’d like to see publicized.