Retired diplomat visits museum to discuss War of 1812 | Kitsap Week
By JOHNNY WALKER
North Kitsap Herald Correspondent
April 13, 2012 · Updated 10:43 AM
KEYPORT — Laurence Kerr will give a presentation on the Navy’s first six frigates, including USS Constitution, April 21, 11 a.m. to noon, in the Naval Undersea Museum.
The presentation is being made in conjunction with the opening of the museum’s new War of 1812 Bicentennial exhibit.
The presentation will take place in the Mary Bonnin Room in the museum, which is located just outside of Keyport Naval Undersea Warfare Center. The event is free and open to the public.
Following the American Revolution, the United States’ Continental Navy disbanded, leaving the new nation without a credible sea power to defend its interests abroad. Signed into law on March 27, 1794 by President George Washington, the Naval Armament Act called for the construction of six frigates. The first of these, 44-gun USS Constitution, built in Boston, was launched on October 21, 1797.
Kerr will provide a presentation on these important six vessels that helped establish the United States Navy as a credible sea power, and draw connections to the legacy ships like the USS Constitution have on our history today.
Kerr is a retired career member of the Senior U.S. Foreign Service. His last assignment with the State Department (2002-05), at the end of 35 years of government service, was as assistant professor of strategic history and national security strategy at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. He has also taught military history at the University of the Americas in Mexico and was distinguished lecturer in the history of terrorism at the Inter-American Defense College in Washington.
Earlier, he served as deputy ambassador to Georgia, consul general in Chile and economic affairs minister-counselor in Mexico.
Kerr served in the U.S. Army from 1964 to 1974 as a troop commander in airborne infantry and special operations units.
He has a bachelor of arts in English and history from Miami University, a master of science degree in international relations (national security affairs) from Troy State University, and did advanced studies in politics at Catholic University.