National Maritime Day

National Maritime Day is observed next on Thursday, May 22nd, 2025 (334 days from today).

How many days until National Maritime Day?


May 22nd every year is National Maritime Day in the United States. It reflects the Americans gratitude for the maritime industry and its benefits to the country. It also recognizes ships and crews that have held a special place in the nation's history.

The United States Congress established National Maritime Day in 1933 to honor Marine Merchants. (It also commemorates the first steam-powered transoceanic voyage when the American steamship Savannah set sail from the port of Savannah, GA in 1819.) What is Merchant Marine? Think of it as an agency of the Navy; it doesn't receive the first payment, but it will handle the crisis and save the day. Even with everything going smoothly, Merchant Mariners are quietly working behind the scenes to help ensure that the program continues and that US imports and exports get where they need to be.

At present, National Maritime Day celebrations have expanded to include the entire maritime industry and domestic water trade, as well as the brave men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving the country. Service aboard the Merchant Marine. So let's congratulate these brave Americans this May 22nd!

History of National Maritime Day

National Maritime Day is celebrated on May 22nd, the day the American steamship Savannah sailed from the United States to Great Britain. This event marked the first successful transatlantic voyage using steam propulsion. On May 20th, 1933, Congress proclaimed May 22nd as National Maritime Day. During World War II, more than 250,000 members of the United States Marine Corps served their country, with more than 6,700 killed, hundreds held as prisoners of war, and more than 800 ship sunk or damaged.

In 2006, the Maritime Bureau partnered with the Association of American Port Authorities, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the United States Waterway Council, the United States Coast Guard, and the Ocean and Gas Administration. the National Archives and other organizations related to the maritime industry to raise awareness of the Nation. Maritime Day and of the entire maritime industry.

The President is required to issue a statement each year calling for: everyone to observe National Maritime Day by flying the flag of the United States at their homes or other appropriate places; and government officials to fly flags over all government buildings on National Maritime Day.

Why National Maritime Day is important

  • It reflects our identity of a nation

There is something interesting about the word “maritime”. Our country was founded by men who risked their lives and hands on arduous sea voyages, and it has been defended ever since, in war and in peace, by the Americans at sea.

  • It celebrates cooperation between civilians and the military

In peacetime, the Merchant Marine uses a variety of ships including ferries, towboats, towboats, and charter boats to transport goods and passengers between countries and within the United States. In addition to providing goods, Merchant Marine also provides humanitarian assistance and supplies to support civilian research projects in remote localities.

  • It honors lesser known soldiers

The Merchant Marine also played an important role in times of war. It is tasked with providing personnel and material for the army, and its officers may be designated by the Department of Defense as military officers. Without the Merchant Marine, the army would not function as smoothly as it does today.

How to celebrate National Maritime Day

  • Adopt a ship

K-12 teachers can contact the Propeller Club of America to find out how their classroom can adopt a ship. The crew of that ship will correspond to the class throughout the year. Students can explore a variety of topics, including geography, history, math, science, transportation, foreign and domestic trade, through the lens of life aboard the Merchant Marine. .

  • Attend a celebratory service

If you live some distance away from the port city, chances are you'll be able to attend a memorial service or other celebratory event. Bring a picnic and enjoy the soothing ocean breezes as you learn about the importance of navigation to our nation. You can even tour a ship or talk to people who have served on a ship.

  • Visit the museum

Going to Kings Point, N.Y. to visit the American Merchant Marine Museum, which offers exhibits relating to all things maritime - including the history of the Merchant Marine program, the American Merchant Marine Academy and proud heritage of seafaring Americans.


National Maritime Day has been observed annually on May 22nd.


Monday, May 22nd, 2023

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024

Thursday, May 22nd, 2025

Friday, May 22nd, 2026

Saturday, May 22nd, 2027

Founded by

United States Congress on May 20th, 1933

Also on Thursday, May 22nd, 2025

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