boston navy yard

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Explore photographs of the First Naval District online through a partnership with the Digital Commonwealth! 

The First Naval District, a now defunct district, existed from 1915 to 1976. It was located at the Boston Navy Yard and covered Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. 

The National Archives at Boston provides access to and preserves the permanently valuable historical records of Federal agencies based in the New England states. 

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“Commandant notified. All ships notified to increase security watch; Civilian Guard Armed and all visitors cleared from yard, 1600 Stationed Civilian Guard (armed) on Yd post Office, 1500 All visitors barred from N.Yard, Guard doubled at pump House, Power house, civilian Guards on Gates, Pump House, & Power House armed, Browning Aut Rifle placed at Pump House & power House.”

Thousands of miles away from Pearl Harbor, sailors in Massachusetts were reacting to the Japanese attack. This entry from the log book for the Boston Navy Yard notes the measure that were taken when news of the attack arrived at 2:30 pm ET.

Image: Log entry from Record Group 181 Boston Navy Yard, Commandant’s Log, 7 December 1941. National Archives ID 1175011. (Transcription by Joseph Keefe, archives specialist at the National Archives at Boston.)