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Mariners’ Museum Battle of Hampton Roads Lectures schedule

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NEWPORT NEWS, VA—The Mariners' Museum and Park will offer six historical lectures during the Battle of Hampton Roads weekend March 9 - 11. The talks will cover everything from the history of the 1862 USS Monitor, to technology in the Civil War.

Historian and author, John Quarstein, will kick off the lectures by discussing the post-Civil War transition from iron to steel in naval warfare, and the technological advancements that followed in “The Age of Iron,” lecture. Quarstein is also a director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center.

The second lecture - “A Conversation with Abraham Lincoln” - will describe Lincoln’s fascination with technology and its role in the Civil War. George Buss, a renowned portrayer of Abraham Lincoln, and Jonathan White, acclaimed historian and educator, will lead the talk.

Next, attendees can learn about the emergence and successful implementation of torpedoes in the Civil War by the United States and the Confederacy, during the “Infernal Machines of the Civil War,” lecture. Michael Kochan, co-author of two Civil War-themed books, will give the presentation.

During the “Creative Science and Technology in the Civil War,” lecture, Charles Ross - professor of Physics at Longwood University - will discuss how scientifically literate men implemented their knowledge on battlefields between 1861-1865. Ross has written three books on science and technology in the Civil War.

Later on, during “The Pet of the People: How the Monitor’s Form Captured the Public’s Imagination,” attendees will learn how the public became enthralled by the Monitor. Dr. Anna Gibson Holloway will lead an illustrated, poetic, and musical lecture. Holloway is Director of Museum Services for SEARCH, Inc., a national cultural resources management firm with offices in the Washington, DC area.

Finally, in “The Monitor in the Movies,” people will learn what Hollywood gets right and what is fabricated when it comes to the Monitor’s appearance in films and television. Dr. Jonathan White will lead the lecture. He is associate professor of American Studies at Christopher Newport University and author or editor of eight books.

Schedule at a glance:

  • The Age of Iron” - Saturday, 9:30 a.m., Huntington Room
  • A Conversation with Abraham Lincoln” - Saturday, 10:45 a.m., Huntington Room
  • The Infernal Machines of the Civil War” - Saturday, 12 p.m., Huntington Room
  • Creative Science and Technology in the Civil War” - Saturday, 1:15 p.m., Huntington Room
  • The Pet of the People: How the Monitor’s Form Captured the Public’s Imagination" - Saturday, 2:30 p.m., Huntington Room
  • The Monitor in the Movies” - Saturday, 3:45 p.m., Huntington Room

The Mariners' Museum and Park connects people to the world's waters because through the water – through our shared maritime heritage - we are connected to one another. The organization is an educational, non-profit institution accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and preserves and interprets maritime history through an international collection of ship models, figureheads, paintings, and other maritime artifacts. The Mariners’ Museum is home to the USS Monitor Center, and is surrounded by the 550-acre Mariners’ Museum Park, the largest privately maintained park open to the public in North America. The Mariners’ Museum Library is the largest maritime library in the Western hemisphere. Because of the Museum’s world-class collection and its reputation for high-level exhibits and programs, in 1999, the U.S. Congress designated The Mariners’ Museum as one of only two maritime museums that comprise America’s National Maritime Museum. For hours and information, visit, call (757) 596-2222 or write to The Mariners' Museum, 100 Museum Drive, Newport News, VA 23606.

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