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Student Finds NPS History on Cannery Row
U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Brian H. Abel

Student Finds NPS History on Cannery Row

By MC2 Brian H. Abel

Lt. Sam Murphy, a student in NPS’ mechanical engineering program, shows off a couple of historic 1950s-era programs he found while browsing in an antique mall on Cannery Row in Monterey.

“They were on a wall display amongst a section with assorted magazines and photographs,” said Murphy. “I glossed over them at first, but then recognized the style on the covers and realized what they were. A closer look at them, and I realized how old they were and it was pretty striking. I believe one of the programs even showed that Fleet Admiral Nimitz was in attendance.”

Dated May 31, 1956, the Dedication of Buildings program, with then Secretary of the Navy the Honorable Charles S. Thomas and Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz on hand for the ceremony, honored the namesakes for the university’s academic quad, dedicating Herrmann, King, Root, Spanagel, Halligan and Bullard Halls.

The second piece, a Graduation Ceremony program for the NPS Engineering School dated June 18, 1953, honors the conferring of degrees for the university’s bachelor and master of science degree graduates, with then Secretary of the Navy the Honorable Robert B. Anderson offering the commencement address.

Murphy says he is not an avid antique enthusiast, but visits stores a couple of times per year just to see if there is anything that piques his interest. And he says it’s not the first time he’s come across interesting Navy history.

“A previous find of mine was a 1940 Blue Jackets Manual in Newport, Rhode Island,” he said. “This trip, however, was actually to find an analog weather station for my office at home.”

Murphy says he has decided to donate the programs to NPS’ Dudley Knox Library.

“The Dudley Knox Library welcomes contributions of historic documents and images about NPS history, as well as NPS students, faculty and staff,” said University Librarian Eleanor Uhlinger. “By preserving these materials and providing access to them through the Library's Special Collections & Archives, we preserve NPS history for future generations.”

The programs will be on display in DKL’s Special Collections and Archives, and can viewed in the NPS archive, Calhoun.


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