Fleet Week in New York City as we know it now began in 1988. However, the first celebration of sailors docked at the Big Apple’s ports goes back more than 120 years to the Spanish–American War.

In 1898, Commodore George Dewey was hailed as the hero of Manila Bay in a city-wide celebration.

“Fleet Week is an unparalleled opportunity for the citizens of New York and the surrounding areas to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today’s maritime services,” according to the New York Navy League. “Each year, we plan many events to show our active-duty visitors, the local public and the national media how the Navy League values and honors those who uphold the traditions of the maritime services.”

Over the years, photographers have captured the events of Fleet Week and catalogued them for viewers. Here are some of the best.

Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.

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