USNA Museum and Monuments

    History is Happening at the USNA!

    Immerse yourself in the world of the Academy and feel the spirit! Uncover treasures at our museum, view moving films and engage with interactive displays. Explore monuments scattered throughout the Yard that will take your breath away. Visit today!

    U.S. Naval Academy Museum

    Discover seafaring stories throughout the Navy’s history with fascinating artifacts, videos, and audio that bring to life the legendary journeys of the men and women who have served our country at sea. Explore the history of sea power, the development of the U.S. Navy, and the role of the U.S. Naval Academy in training the officers destined to lead America’s sailors and Marines, all on two floors of engaging exhibits. Prepare to be awed by the largest ship model collection in the world - a must see! Located in Preble Hall, the museum welcomes more than 100,000 visitors annually from all over the world. Admission to the museum is free. Contact the museum directly at 410-293-2108 or museum@usna.edu. Come see us soon!


    Hours of Operation:

    Monday, Wednesday-Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Tuesday: Closed to the public
    Sunday: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


    Herndon Monument

    This iconic monument has graced the Academy's grounds since 1860 and has symbolized the completion of "Plebe Year" for almost one hundred years. The historic Herndon Climb is the moment when the Plebes become Midshipmen, Fourth Class. First, the class must work together (sometimes for hours) to replace the dixie cup cover set atop the 21-foot structure with an upperclassman's cover — after the monument has been smeared with about 50 pounds of vegetable shortening.


    Cited as a memorial to remember the heroism of one of the Navy's early leaders, Commander William Lewis Herndon, the monument has become the site of an ever-evolving set of traditions and customs held dear to the Brigade of Midshipmen.


    The Jeannette Expedition Monument

    The Jeannette Monument was erected to memorialize the men who perished in the Jeannette Arctic Expedition in October 1881. Its design is based on a cairn that a recovery crew built to mark the remains of the explorers in the arctic.

    The plaque on the monument reads: Commemorative of the heroic officers and men of the United States Navy who perished in the Jeannette Arctic Exploring Expedition. 1881. The ice on the cross is a reminder of the frigid environment in which they were lost. This is the largest monument at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery.


    The Mexican-American War Monument

    Dedicated to the memory of four fallen midshipmen, the marble Mexican-American War Monument featuring four cannons is the longest-standing monument on Naval Academy grounds. It is also called the Clemson Monument. None of the memorialized midshipmen actually set foot on the then-new Annapolis campus, but their bravery and sacrifice was integral to saving the fledgling Naval Academy.


    This striking monument was given as a gift to the young U.S. Naval Academy by its midshipmen in 1848.


    The Tripoli Monument

    The Barbary Wars were the first real test abroad for the new United States Navy. This war involved the U.S., Sweden, the then Kingdom of Sicily against the Barbary States of North Africa. This two part war was where many of our early naval heroes cut their teeth and learned their craft.


    The Tripoli Monument remembers the early Navy heroes who died at Tripoli to protect Americans. One of the earliest military memorials in the U.S., it has stood as a tribute to their sacrifice for over 200 years.


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