Dignitaries and Visitors
Before the development of aviation, the Washington Navy Yard was one of the ports of entry into Washington, D.C. One example is the arrival of the Japanese delegation in May 1860. Foreign navies and militia would also visit and observe manufacturing and the training offered to officers and enlisted men. Following his Trans-Atlantic Flight in 1927, Captain Charles A. Lindbergh arrived that June at the Yard to an enthusiastic crowd of Washingtonians and President Calvin Coolidge who awarded him the Distinguished Flying Cross. During this time, the Yard held neighborhood events such as Navy Day celebrations, which included diving views and visiting ships. In 1931, the frigate Constitution, following her refurbishment, visited Washington, D.C. and was anchored off the Yard. U.S. Presidents have utilized the Yard to meet and greet foreign leaders and officials such as when President Franklin D. Roosevelt met King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in June 1939. President John F. Kennedy also frequented the waterfront on numerous occasions hosting visitors and inspecting innovations on ships. Since that time, the Yard has hosted numerous foreign leaders and is known for the impressive performances of the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard in the Leutze Park.
Image: NH 51119: Members of the Japanese Treaty Commision, May 15, 1980. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.