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Exhibit Theme

Creating a Department of War

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An Act to establish the Executive...
Image Caption

An Act to establish the Executive Department to be denominated the Department of War, June 27, 1789, with Senate annotations

The Department of War, established in 1789, oversaw all military affairs until Congress created a separate Navy Department in 1798. The National Security Act, passed by Congress in 1947, designated departments for the Army, Navy, and the Air Force. A National Military Establishment, renamed the Department of Defense in 1949, administered these departments.

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.