Theodore Roosevelt: Commencement Address to the Naval Academy

Most commencement addresses are fairly forgettable exercises.  I have sat through three of them, high school, college and law school, and I confess I can remember almost nothing about them.  I guess they are a rite of passage, but few rites of passage are so universal and so universally ignored.

One hundred years ago, President Roosevelt, on May 2, 1902, gave the commencement speech at the Naval Academy.  Although he served in the Army during the Spanish-American War, the Navy, without a  doubt, was TR’s favorite service.  He wrote the seminal history, at that point, of the naval war of 1812 as a young man, a book which still may be read with much profit.  He was convinced that in the 20th century naval power would be the decisive factor in World history, a belief greatly supported by his enthusiastic reading of Dennis Hart Mahan’s The Influence of Sea Power Upon History (1890).  Roosevelt would greatly enhance American naval power during his term in office.  Here is his address: (more…)

Published in: on May 15, 2012 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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