Upcoming Events

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Notable Events and Projects

In May of 1972, with President Bill Craver and his committee led by Paul Quattlebaum, Charleston Council hosted the National Convention for Navy League. Over 1000 members from almost every state, Puerto Rico, Canal Zone, Mexico City councils attended. The Main meeting location was the Gaillard Auditorium. Visitors were bussed to the meeting from the various hotels in Charleston. Members were given many tours including Middleton Gardens, the city, and Charles Towne Landing. A huge gala with dancing was held. Entertainment included selections from Porgy and Bess. Speakers included the Secretary of Navy, the CNO, Chief of Staff, Marine Corps, and others. The Secretary of the Navy invited several outstanding Navy Aviators who has just recently returned from combat duty in Viet Nam and these men were given a tremendous welcome by attendees of the convention. This National Convention was a overwhelming success, and for many years after it, this convention was praised by attendees at future conferences.

In March 1977, under President George Thorne, We hosted a Navy League regional convention, where members of councils in the Southeastern states attended. We also have hosted State meetings for the Navy League.

In April 1979, under President Herman Speisseger, the Council held a reception and barbeque for "Doolittle’s Raiders", that brave group of flyers who flew their bombers off a carrier in the Pacific and conducted a surprise bombing attack on Tokyo early in WWII. This group including General Doolittle were our guests at this event on the Yorktown.

In 1980, a project was initiated by President Edith Calliham to help refurbish an engine room on board the Yorktown, so that visitors could see some of the engineering spaces. Various fund raising projects including a huge luau, chaired by Vince Clifford, was held on the Yorktown. This event raised $2000 of the eventual $6300 collected and in September 1982 this project was completed and dedicated.

In 1987, under President Joe Good, a project to furnish 4 stained glass windows to the chapel at the Navy Hospital was undertaken and $2500 was raised for their purchase.

A Monte Carlo night was held in July 1989, under President Jerry Nuss, which raised $750 for the Shrine Hospital.

In January 1990, under President Jerry Nuss and Regional President Edith Calliham, the Regional convention was held here. Highlight of this convention was a public forum titled: "Soviet Perestroika-Implications for U.S. Sea Power." Lecturers included officials from Washington, D.C., the College of Charleston, and local Flag Officers

Of the over 300 councils in the world, each year about 10 are selected as "Outstanding Councils" and ten as "Meritorious Councils". Our council has been chosen as Outstanding in 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1989 and 1998, It has been chosen as a Meritorious Council in 1977, 1978, 1983, 1988 and 1997.

Twice we have had large Family Awareness events, in July 1980 and in June 1987. Families came to the Navy Base for a picnic lunch, rides on tug boats, visits to a submarine and a destroyer, tours of the Submarine Training Center which included operating the diving trainer, fire fighting exhibitions and other events.

Our Council has been involved in countless ship command changes. We have had outstanding speakers from many walks of life; senators, representatives, governors, ambassadors, Navy Secretaries, CNO’s, Coast Guard Chiefs, Marine Commandants, National Navy League Presidents, and many flag and general officers from the Armed Services.

In February 1986, past President Edith Calliham was responsible for a bill introduced in the S.C. Legislature that made the USS South Carolina the official flag ship of South Carolina.

In June 1989, we hosted 100 visiting Naval Academy midshipmen at a huge cookout on the Navy Base.

In 1989, after many aborted starts, we finally received our tax-exempt status as a 501(C) 3 organization from the IRS.

May 28, 1990 was declared Navy League Day in the City of Charleston, by Mayor Joseph Riley, Jr.

Some of our past Presidents have risen to higher levels of the Navy League organization. Dick Knight and Edith Calliham were National Directors, State Presidents and Regional Presidents. Edith rose to the Vice President rank and Treasurer of the National Navy League. Bill Craver, Ed McGrory, Jerry Nuss, Jim Strobel and Dave Morgan were National Directors. Bill Craver was appointed to the National Executive Committee.

In additions to the yearly awarding of Citadel swords and a Marine Biology Scholarship, we make many other awards each year to outstanding Marines, Sailors and Coast Guard personnel. Awards are made six times a year to outstanding enlisted and officers graduates of the Nuclear Power School, and others as necessary.

For many years we collected toys at Christmas time for the Crippled Children Society. We also collected "Toys for Tots", a Marine Corps program.

The Navy League had a large role in the commissioning of the Cruiser USS Cowpens in March 1991. We set up a welcome booth at our airport to give information to incoming attendees at this event.

Many Navy league members, including the Chairman, the Secretary and the Treasurer, were on the commissioning committee for the Frigate USS Hamilton, in June 1995.

We have sent members on cruises to aircraft carriers, destroyers and submarines on a space available basis. We have made trips to Kings Bay Submarine Base, Paris Island boot camp, Camp Lejuene, and other sites.

We have held education seminars for the local public on Sea Power events and status.

But in 1993, as many of you know, in spite of the tremendous work done by the "Save The Charleston Navy" Committee led by the Chamber of Commerce and comprised of many Navy League members, we lost most of the Navy presence here, including the shipyard, the Navy base, the submarines, the mine force and the destroyers.

On a plus side, we will still have a Sea Power presence with the Navy hospital, the Navy Weapons station, 2 large Coast Guard cutters, the enlarged old Navy electronics center, now called "SPAWAR", the Navy Nuclear Power School, and two nuclear power training units in the form of two former nuclear submarines, converted into shore stations for reactor training.