Navy Birthplace in Dispute; 5 Towns Lay Claim

By Jay Lindsay | October 12, 2010 | 4:02 PM EDT

(AP) - Five communities are claiming to be the birthplace of the U.S. Navy, but resolution of the debate may soon be coming.

U. S. Archivist David Ferriero is headed to the USS Constitution Museum in Boston on Wednesday, the U.S. Navy's 235th birthday.

He'll bring documents detailing the claims of each of the communities: Marblehead and Beverly, Mass.; Philadelphia; Providence, R.I. and Whitehall, N.Y.

Ferriero plans to present the documents for public view, and says he may make a ruling on the true birthplace of the Navy.

His objectivity may be a bit in question, though. Ferriero is a native of Beverly.

But Ferriero says his true purpose isn't to settle the good-natured debate. He says he wants to educate people about the archives and the stories they can tell.