Capitol Hill Restoration Society

Washington Navy Yard – Celebrating 224 Years – Overbeck

Posted on March 28th, 2023

Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History announces a lecture: “Washington Navy Yard: Celebrating 224 Years in the Neighborhood” at Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital (921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE), Monday, April 24, 2023 at 7:30 pm. The speaker will be Samuel J. Cox, (SES), RADM,  USN (Ret.), Director, Naval History and Heritage Command and Curator of the Navy.

The Washington Navy Yard has been part of the Capitol Hill community for 224 years. At the April 24 Overbeck History lecture, Sam Cox, Director of the Naval History and Heritage Command, will explore the Navy Yard’s longstanding relationship with Capitol Hill. Founded in 1799, Washington Navy Yard sailors defended the city from the British in 1814. President Abraham Lincoln frequently visited the Navy Yard during the Civil War, and Army soldiers who carried the World War I Unknown Soldier across the base in 1921 trod the same path as Lincoln.  Stationed at the Navy Yard during World War I, Yeomen Charlotte Louise Berry, Ruth Wellborn, and Sara Davis were some of the first women to serve in the Navy in a non-nursing capacity. Civilian employees built ships during the early years at the Navy Yard.  Later, ordinance used in World Wars I and II was manufactured at the Navy Yard. Its workers lived on Capitol Hill. Their children went to Capitol Hill schools, including Eastern High School, and families attended church at Christ Church and elsewhere. Commodore Thomas Tingey and other Navy heroes are buried at Congressional Cemetery, and at dusk every night, Capitol Hill neighbors hear the bugle proclaiming the day is done. The Washington Navy Yard is proud to be one of Capitol Hill’s oldest neighbors.

Sam Cox is a retired two-star rear admiral. Since 2014 he has served as the 14th Director of Naval History and Curator of the Navy. He is responsible for the Navy’s official history programs, operational archives, Navy Department Library and the Navy’s collection of artifacts, photographs, art, weapons and display aircraft, and for the underwater archaeology program.  He is also responsible for ten official U.S. Navy museums, including the historic submarine NAUTILUS.

This lecture on the Navy Yard’s long history on Capitol Hill will be held Monday, April 24, 2023 at 7:30 pm at Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

As always, admission to Overbeck Lectures is free but a reservation is required due to limited seating. Reservations can be made after April 3 through the Hill Center web site ( Please note that seating will begin at 7:00 for those who hold reservations. We suggest that all guests arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the event. Available seats will be released to guests on the wait list beginning at 7:15 pm. If you are unable to attend, please notify Hill Center (202-549-1172) so that another person can attend the lecture.