On Saturday, January 8, we hosted 39 teachers for a program here at the museum. We happened to be one of the stops on a whirlwind tour titled “Defenders of the Chesapeake”, which was put together by our colleague Winette Jefferies from the Hampton History Museum. The agenda for the day was a behind-the-scenes tour of Fort Monroe and The Casemate Museum, a lecture about Ft. Wool and tour at the Historic Chamberlin, a drive down Chesapeake Avenue from Hampton to Newport News (with a stop at Anderson Park for a review of the actual Battle of Hampton Roads site), and finally ending here at the museum for a brief tour of the Monitor Center exhibition, including a special behind-the-scenes peek in the Batten Conservation Complex.
Our visitors came to see us thanks to a partnership between the Hampton History Museum, Newport News Public Schools, and a Teaching American History Grant titled “Voices Of A Nation”. They are currently in year two of the grant which encompasses five years of workshops, tours, and innovative projects for Social Studies teachers K-12. Their theme for this year highlights the Civil War era, which is great timing, considering all the commemorative events on the horizon.