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This Day In History, July 16th, 2022 – “David Farragut”

Article audio is made possible by CAST11 Prescott Podcast Network. A Talking Glass Media production.

It was just 160 years ago today, July 16, 1862, when the United States Navy got their first ever Rear Admiral, David Farragut. Those of you who are interested in naval history definitely have this man in mind at all times, and so should every American, for he is a true success story. Born to a naval family, his mother died when he was young, and his father sent him to live with a family friend, American naval officer David Porter. In fact, David Farragut was actually named James, but took the name David in honor of his foster father. David joined the navy as a midshipman at the age of nine, can you imagine that?

So-far in this column, we’ve remained in 1862, trying to keep with the 160-year anniversary. Farragut actually lived in Norfolk, Virginia, which of course seceded during the Civil War, yet David remained true to the Union. He was the man on deck that captured New Orleans in April of 1862, and later in 1864 during the Battle of Mobile Bay, he famously uttered “Damn the Torpedoes”, and won the day, which we’ll get to in two years’ time. Now, you might be asking yourself, it’s 1862, and Farragut is the first ever American Rear Admiral? How can this be? Well, it’s simple, the new U.S. Navy wanted to avoid the old terms of the Old World. So, officers which would technically have been Admirals were called “Flag Officers”. However, on this date, David Farragut earned the rank of America’s first-ever Rear Admiral, and he would continue to reach Admiral.

What was happening yesterday, on July 15th?

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