We spent the day in Annapolis, Maryland, home of the Naval Academy and a whole lot of history. It was a beautiful day — finally some reasonable weather. We ate at a little seafood place called Cantler’s Riverside Inn where the boats come in every day and drop off fresh crabs. We got to sit outside on the water and enjoy our meal (we now have a great deal of appreciation for the price of hand picked crab after doing it ourselves). We walked around the downtown area. It is very cute with a lot of buildings and businesses that go back to the 1700s. It is nice to see people living and doing business in the old buildings rather than tearing them down.
We visited the Maryland State House which is the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use, dating to 1772. The capitol has the distinction of being topped by the largest wooden dome in the United States constructed without nails. It is also where George Washington famously resigned his commission as commander in chief of the Continental Army on December 23, 1783. We got to see the actual letter in George Washington’s handwriting. From November 26, 1783 to August 13, 1784, Annapolis was the capital of the United States. The pictures below show the outside, the House chambers, the Senate chambers and then a view of the dome while walking down Main Street.
Bigger history lesson – Less well known, but important nonetheless, is the historic event that occurred on February 2, 1781 when Governor Thomas Sim Lee, in the presence of the members of both Houses of the State Legislature, signed and sealed the “act to empower the delegates of this state in Congress to subscribe and ratify the Articles of Confederation.” The decision established the requisite unanimous consent of all thirteen states for the formation of a Perpetual Union. This was the final act of formation of the United States of America as a nation. The approval of the much awaited law also removed any doubt about the resolve of the states to unite during the Revolutionary War. In 1861, the fact that “the faith of all the then thirteen States was expressly plighted and engaged that [the Union] should be perpetual” was considered of major importance by President Abraham Lincoln when declaring the secession of the southern states from the Union to be illegal.
The United States Naval Academy was established in 1845. Leslie was instantly in love with Bill the Goat and had to have her picture with him. They actually have a live goat, but we did not get to see it. The second picture shows the inside of the chapel on the campus It was very pretty and many of the classes had donated stained glass windows with Bible passages that referenced the sea. We also went to Bancroft Hall (next two pictures) which is the largest single dormitory in the world, and is home for the entire brigade of 4,000 midshipmen. It contains over 1,700 rooms, 4.8 miles of corridors, and 33 acres of floor space. All the basic facilities that midshipmen need for daily living are found in the hall. It is referred to as “Mother B” or “The Hall” by Midshipmen. We were only allowed in the atrium so we did not get to see much, but the building in quite impressive.