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Backgrounder: key facts on Annapolis, U.S. Naval Academy
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13:04, November 27, 2007

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The U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, has been under the international spotlight as representatives of more than 40 nations, territories and international organizations will convene here Tuesday to negotiate peace in the Mideast.

Annapolis is the capital of the state of Maryland. It is situated at the mouth of the Severn River which flows into the Chesapeake Bay, about 56 km east of Washington D.C.

The city was founded in 1649 by European settlers and was later named after Princess Anne of Britain. It became a city in 1708.

The city served as the temporary capital of the United States from Nov. 26, 1783 to Aug. 13, 1784 and it was here on Dec. 23, 1783, that General George Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.

Annapolis is famous for its abundance of 18th century houses and earned a reputation of the "America's Athens." The names of several streets -- King George's, Prince George's, Hanover, and Duke of Gloucester, etc.-- date from colonial days.

Well-known old buildings in the city include the Maryland State House. Built in 1772, it is the oldest in continuous legislative use in the United States.

The city is also famous for the U.S. Naval Academy, where the peace conference will take place in its tightly-secured compound. Founded in 1845, the academy is the pride of the city and often is referred to simply as "Annapolis."

It has some 4,500 students, who will become officers of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps in the future. The campus has some of the most famous buildings in the east U.S. coast, including Bancroft Hall, which allegedly is the World's largest dormitory.

The peace conference will take place in the Memorial Hall, which is part of the Bancroft Hall. Alumni Hall, capable of holding an entire brigade, will serve as the media center.

Graduates of the academy include 4,000 admirals and generals, one president, 19 members of Congress, five governors, 73 Medal of Honor recipients and two Nobel Prize winners.


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