Six Frigates…The US Navy Makes a Name for Itself

Today in History, March 27: 1794:

President Washington signs the Naval Act of 1794, ordering the construction of 6 Frigates capable of high speed and of holding their own against “ships of the line.”

After the Revolutionary War, America didn’t feel it needed a navy; after having several ships seized by Barbary pirates, and after abuses by the Royal Navy, the administration and Congress came to the realization that America needed a navy to protect it’s shipping.

Thus the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides, oldest commissioned US Navy vessel), USS Constellation, USS President, USS Congress, USS United States and the USS Chesapeake began their illustrious Naval careers.