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Celebrations now known as Fleet Week date back more than a decade in NYC

History of Fleet Week celebrations in NYC
History of Fleet Week celebrations in NYC 01:30

NEW YORK -- As we celebrate the return of Fleet Week, let's take a look back on its history. 

Although it didn't officially begin until the 1980s, its roots go back much further. 

It's a big welcome back for the New York tradition that began more than 100 years ago. As CBS2's Mary Calvi reports, it was in 1898 -- just after the Spanish-American War -- when a commander was celebrated as a hero. Commodore George Dewey was honored with a grand ceremony.

Almost 100 years later, the festivities that we now know as the official Fleet Week parade ships through New York Harbor. The first was in 1982, timed to coincide with Memorial Day Weekend. 

Year to year, the celebration has grown to where thousands of sailors are invited into the city. For many, it's a first. 

Fleet Week is considered a training mission, but costs the Navy several million dollars to fuel docks and secure the ships. The boost in morale is considered priceless to the sailors. 

This is the first year back after a pandemic pause caused the stoppage of Fleet Week, but now it's better than ever, giving New Yorkers a chance to get up close to the military members. 

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