1936 1¢ John Paul Jones and John Barry
Army and Navy
Issue Date: December 15, 1936
First City: Washington, DC
Quantity Issued: 104,773,450
Founding of the U.S. Navy
The U.S. Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, established on October 13, 1775. The Continental Congress authorized the procurement and dispatch of two armed vessels to cruise in search of ships supplying munitions to the British Army in America. The Continental Navy numbered approximately 50 ships during the course of the Revolutionary War.
John Paul Jones was among the original slate of Continental Navy officers. As First Lieutenant on the flagship Alfred, Jones was the first to unfurl the Grand Union flag on a Continental warship. On February 14, 1778, Jones and French Admiral La Motte Piquet exchanged gun salutes, marking the first time that the American flag was officially recognized by a foreign government.
The Continental Navy was suspended at the end of the Revolutionary War, and reestablished in 1789. Jones is widely considered the father of the U.S. Navy for his spirited response, “I have not yet begun to fight,” as he faced almost certain defeat during a sea battle.