If you were among the thousands who packed Dahlgren Hall last June 7 to witness the commencement exercises of the Naval Academy's Class of 1946 with its record 1,046 members, you may have wondered about the size of the first graduating class and about the nature of their graduation ceremonies. It is the aim of this article to recapture some of the more interesting details concerning these exercises during the years 1854 to 1914.
1. Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr., Memoirs, New York and London, 1924, pp. 9–11.
2. Autobiography, New York, 1913, p. 14.
3. The speaker was James A. Hamilton, son of Alexander Hamilton.
4. Army and Navy Journal, June 12, 1869, p. 677.
5. Army and Navy Journal, June 16, 1883, p. 1037.