The Corner

Dept. of Bad Ideas

The U.S. Naval Academy may get rid of the Herndon Climb:

The Herndon Climb is a signature annual event at the United States Naval Academy. Each May, a thousand first-year midshipmen surge to the top of a 21-foot granite obelisk coated with 200 pounds of lard. The first mid to the top plants a midshipman’s cap. According to legend — never yet fulfilled — that mid will be the first in the class to attain the rank of admiral.

In a Wednesday media briefing, the academy’s outgoing superintendent hinted that the institution may be reconsidering the Climb, an event that sometimes leads to minor injuries.

We’re training these midshipmen for war. We certainly can’t have them suffering “minor injuries.”

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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