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Lectures

Our lectures cover a wide range of maritime topics. Catch a Maritime Connections staff lecture or Civil War Lecture by John Quarstein during the day. Experts and maritime authors lead lectures in the evenings. Maritime Connections staff lectures and Civil War Lectures are free with Museum admission. Evening lectures are $5 and free for members. RSVP for any of the lectures online to guarantee a spot.
Steven Callahan at The Mariners' Museum

Steven Callahan, American author and survivor of 76 days adrift at sea, speaking in 2014 at The Mariners’ Museum


Spring Lecture Dates & Titles

Lectures cover a wide range of maritime topics and are presented by nationally and internationally recognized authors, filmmakers, historians, scientists and other experts in their fields. Author lectures are followed by a book signing. Books are available in the Museum Shop and may be purchased the night of the lecture.

Tickets are required for all evening lectures

  • Adult and child tickets are $5 each.
  • Mariners’ Museum Member tickets are free.

Lectures begin at 7:00 PM  •  Doors open at 6:15 PM

Open for dinner before evening lectures!

Full menu is available from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Grab a meal, snack or cup of coffee before the lecture begins.  View the menu

Unless otherwise noted, lectures are held in the Main Lobby of The Mariners’ Museum and Park.

Become a Mariners’ Member
Attend select lectures for FREE!

To learn more about Member benefits like free admission to select lecture series programs, please visit MarinersMuseum.org/Membership.

Special thanks to our lecture sponsors:

Virginia Health Services logo
WHRO Public Media logo
Hunnicutt Lecture Fund logo

Notice About Reservations:

Members will receive free admission to our Lecture Series Programs with reservation. Reservations will be accepted online until 4:00 PM on the day of the lecture as well as available at the door. When placing a reservation over the telephone, leaving a voicemail does not guarantee that your reservation has been accepted. Reserved seating will be held until 6:55 PM (or 5 minutes before the program begins), afterwards seats will be available to all guests.


29 APR

Above and Beyond: Almost Armageddon at Sea during the Cuban Missile Crisis

Presented by Michael Tougias

Monday, April 29, 2019 • 7:00 PM

Above and Beyond: Almost Armageddon at Sea during the Cuban Missile Crisis

A Lecture Series favorite, Michael Tougias returns to tell his newest tale of high-stakes survival – this time, with a political twist. His book, Above and Beyond, chronicles the 13 harrowing days of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the US Navy’s role in the Cold War’s most traumatic moment. He recounts the near-disaster at sea during the US’s blockade of Cuba, the U-2 pilots who flew over the island, and President Kennedy’s decision-making. Would a Soviet ship or submarine test the 500-mile quarantine zone? And if so, would our naval ships risk world war by sinking a Russian ship or depth charging a sub? Tougias analyzes Kennedy’s choices, and examines how close our Navy came to attacking the Soviets.

Buy Tickets Here
"Above and Beyond" book cover

Above and Beyond book cover


Michael Tougias

Michael Tougias

Michael J. Tougias is a New York Times bestselling author and co-author of 28 books. Among his bestsellers are The Finest Hours (Disney Motion Pictures’ version opened in 45 countries in January 2016), Fatal Forecast, Overboard, King Philip’s War, and There’s A Porcupine In My Outhouse: The Vermont Misadventures of a Mountain Man Wannabe.

9 MAY

The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke

Presented by Andrew Lawler

Thursday, May 9, 2019 • 7:00 PM

The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke

What happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke? Founded in 1587, the colony was intended to establish England’s first foothold in the New World. But when its leader, John White, returned to Roanoke from a resupply mission, his settlers were nowhere to be found. They left behind only a single clue – a “secret token” carved into a tree. For 400 years, historians have speculated about what happened to the colony. But writer, correspondent, and author Andrew Lawler set out to solve the mystery. In the course of his journey, he encountered a host of characters obsessed with the colonists and their fate, and began to find out why the Lost Colony continues to haunt our national consciousness.

Buy Tickets Here
The Secret Token book cover

The Secret Token book cover


Andrew Lawler

Andrew Lawler (Credit: Photography by R. Plaster)

Andrew Lawler is author of two books and more than a thousand newspaper and magazine articles. A contributing writer for Science and contributing editor for Archaeology, he has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and others. His work has appeared several times in The Best of Science and Nature Writing.

Civil War Lectures

 

Please join John Quarstein, renowned historian and director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center, as he teaches about the intriguing maritime history of the Civil War. This long-running series explores the ships, personalities, technologies, and battles that would shape our nation for the next 150 years.

Civil War lectures are free with Museum admission, but reserving a seat is suggested as seating is limited. Reserve seats online –see each lecture below.

Become a Mariners’ Member
Attend select lectures for FREE!

To learn more about Member benefits like free admission to select lecture series programs, please visit MarinersMuseum.org/Membership.


13 APR

Rear Admiral Louis M. Goldsborough, USN

Presented by John V. Quarstein, Director Emeritus, USS Monitor Center

Saturday, April 13, 2019 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Louis Goldsborough was appointed a midshipman when he was seven years old. During the Seminole Wars, he took a leave of absence to command a company of mounted volunteers. Besides being a fearless officer, always ready to fight our nation’s enemies, Goldsborough was also a noted scientific officer; and he served as superintendent of the US Naval Academy. During the Civil War, he was named commander of the North Atlantic Blockade Squadron. Unfortunately, his inability to understand iron plated warships and his ineffective efforts in supporting the 1862 Peninsula Campaign revealed Goldsborough’s inherent weakness when appointed to such a high-level leadership position.

RSVP Here

11 MAY

Last Days of CSS Virginia

Presented by John V. Quarstein, Director Emeritus, USS Monitor Center

Saturday, May 11, 2019 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

When President Abraham Lincoln orchestrated the capture of Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia, the CSS Virginia lost its base. This left the huge Confederate ironclad with few options. The warship’s commander, Flag Office Josiah Tattnall, decided to lighten the vessel to move the deep-drafted ship to Richmond. When it became clear that the ship could not pass several shoals in the James River, the Virginia was destroyed by its own crew during the early morning hours of May 11, 1862.

RSVP Here

15 JUN

Summer on USS Monitor

Presented by John V. Quarstein, Director Emeritus, USS Monitor Center

Saturday, June 15, 2019 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

In support of the 1862 Peninsula Campaign, the ironclad USS Monitor spent that extremely hot and humid summer on the James River. The vessel was guarding against any possible excursion by the ironclad CSS Richmond. Monitor‘s crew suffered terribly from the heat. Crew member George Geer noted temperatures throughout the ship “were just intolerable: 110 degrees in the storeroom, 127 degrees in the engine room, 155 degrees in the galley, and 85 degrees on the berth deck.” The ventilation system was inadequate to bring sufficient fresh air into the iron vessel. The officers and crew suffered beyond compare in their floating Hades on the James.

RSVP Here

13 JUL

CSS Hunley

Presented by John V. Quarstein, Director Emeritus, USS Monitor Center

Saturday, July 13, 2019 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Join John Quarstein, renowned historian and director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center, as he teaches about the intriguing maritime history of the Civil War. This long-running series explores the ships, personalities, technologies, and battles that would shape our nation for the next 150 years.

RSVP Here

10 AUG

The Siege of Port Hudson

Presented by John V. Quarstein, Director Emeritus, USS Monitor Center

Saturday, August 10, 2019 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Join John Quarstein, renowned historian and director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center, as he teaches about the intriguing maritime history of the Civil War. This long-running series explores the ships, personalities, technologies, and battles that would shape our nation for the next 150 years.

RSVP Here

14 SEP

Samuel Dana Greene, Hero of the USS Monitor

Presented by John V. Quarstein, Director Emeritus, USS Monitor Center

Saturday, September 14, 2019 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Join John Quarstein, renowned historian and director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center, as he teaches about the intriguing maritime history of the Civil War. This long-running series explores the ships, personalities, technologies, and battles that would shape our nation for the next 150 years.

RSVP Here

Maritime Connections

 

This is a new lecture series presented by The Mariners’ Museum and Park staff. Go behind the scenes of the Museum and explore our collection while learning about the work we do. This series will explore the ways our staff cares for our collection, designs our exhibits, brings objects to life, and helps us all to connect with the world’s waters. These lectures will be held on the first Saturday of each month.

Maritime Connections lectures are free with Museum admission, but seating is limited.

Become a Mariners’ Member
Attend select lectures for FREE!

To learn more about Member benefits like free admission to select lecture series programs, please visit MarinersMuseum.org/Membership.


4 MAY

The Forgotten Faces of the Titanic

Presented by Wisteria Perry, Interpretation and Community Outreach Manager

Saturday, May 4, 2019 · 10:30 AM & 2:30 PM

When the tragic tale of the Titanic is told, we often focus on the famous names: Astor, Guggenheim, Straus. But among the thousands who sailed on that fateful voyage, there are many stories that are overlooked. Wisteria Perry’s talk examines stories of passengers from all over the world, including China, Haiti, and Egypt, and also a few survivors who ended up here in Hampton Roads.


1 JUN

Capturing the Action in Maritime Photography

Presented by Sarah Scruggs, Curator of Photography/Photo Archivist

Saturday, June 1, 2019 · 10:30 AM & 2:30 PM

Expanding on The Mariners’ Museum’s current exhibition Seizing the Moment: The Evolution of Action Photography, curator of photography Sarah Scruggs will provide a brief history in the technical advancements that led image-makers to be able to stop action. View exciting action images from The Horace Havemeyer III Collection, which showcases featured photographers Edwin Levick and Morris Rosenfeld, as well as work by other contemporary photographers who depicted the evolution of marine photography from a documentary approach to more of an artistic perspective.