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


2018 Fall 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

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.


20 SEP

Enemy in Home Waters: How World War I Came Home to North Carolina

Presented by Tane Casserley, Research Coordinator, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary

Thursday, September 20, 2018 • 7:00 PM

Enemy in Home Waters: How World War I Came Home to North Carolina

When World War I began in 1914, neither the United States Navy nor American coastal shipping vessels were directly affected. By the end of the war in 1918, three German U-boats, U-151, U-140, and U-117, had sunk a total of 10 vessels off North Carolina alone. When the U-151 arrived off the U.S. East Coast in May 1918, it was the first foreign enemy naval vessel to invade U.S. waters since the War of 1812. World War I had come home to the United States. This is the story of the brave Americans that went up against Germany’s newest weapon, the U-boat.

Buy Tickets Here
NOAA divers explore the amidships area of the USS Schurz

NOAA divers explore the amidships area of the USS Schurz; the ship’s boilers can clearly be seen in the background. Photo: Tane Casserley, NOAA


18 OCT

Remember the Tampa! A Legacy of Courage During World War I

Presented by Nora Chidlow, Coast Guard Archivist at the U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office

Thursday, October 18, 2018 • 7:00 PM

Remember the Tampa! A Legacy of Courage During World War I

Nora Chidlow, an archivist at the U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office, will discuss the history of the Coast Guard cutter, Tampa, from the time she was built right here in Newport News in 1912, to her sinking in 1918 during World War I. Tampa was one of six Coast Guard cutters sent overseas for convoy duty during World War I, and the only one that never made it home. Chidlow will specifically focus on Tampa‘s crew who perished during the conflict.

Buy Tickets Here
USCGC Tampa (1912-1918), formerly Miami

USCGC Tampa (1912-1918), formerly Miami (NH 106706)


8 NOV

Black Flags, Blue Waters

Presented by Eric Jay Dolin, best-selling author

Thursday, November 8, 2018 • 7:00 PM

Black Flags, Blue Waters

Set against the backdrop of the Age of Exploration, Black Flags, Blue Waters reveals the dramatic and surprising history of American piracy’s “Golden Age” – spanning the late 1600s through the early 1700s – when lawless pirates plied the coastal waters of North America and the Indian Ocean. In this talk and slide presentation, best-selling author, Eric Jay Dolin, illustrates how American colonists at first supported these outrageous pirates in an early display of colonial solidarity against the Crown, and then violently opposed them. Dolin depicts the star pirates of this period, among them towering Blackbeard, ill-fated Captain Kidd, and sadistic Edward Low, who delighted in torturing his prey. Upending popular misconceptions and cartoonish stereotypes, Black Flags, Blue Waters provides a wholly original account of the seafaring outlaws whose raids reflect the precarious nature of American colonial life.

Buy Tickets Here
Black Flags, Blue Waters book cover

Black Flags, Blue Waters book cover


Author Eric Jay Dolin

Author Eric Jay Dolin

Eric Jay Dolin is the best-selling author of Leviathan and Brilliant Beacons. He and his family live in Marblehead, Massachusetts, from which the pirate John Quelch departed in 1703, and returned to in 1704, only to be hanged in Boston.


14 NOV

The New Golden Age of Oysters

Presented by Rowan Jacobsen, James Beard award-winning author

Thursday, November 14, 2018 • 7:00 PM

The New Golden Age of Oysters

Oysters, which were once so central to the economic and ecological health of our coasts, are again rising stars. Rowan Jacobsen, America’s go-to oyster guru, explains their unique appeal, the factors that make one oyster different from another, the recent breakthroughs in oyster restoration, and the central role the Mid-Atlantic is playing in their renaissance.

Buy Tickets Here
The Essential Oyster book cover

The Essential Oyster book cover


Author Rowan Jacobsen

Author Rowan Jacobsen

Rowan Jacobsen is the James Beard Award-winning author of A Geography of Oysters, American Terroir, The Living Shore, The Essential Oyster, among other books. He has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, and in The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, and elsewhere. He has also written for the New York Times. Jacobsen is the founder of the websites Oysterguide.com (for his opinions) and Oysterater.com (for everybody else’s), and is a longtime advocate for living shorelines and coastal restoration.

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.


11 AUG

The Sloop of War CSS Alabama in Combat

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

Saturday, August 11, 2018 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Although most remembered for its spectacular cruise capturing 65 Union merchant ships, the CSS Alabama was designed as a sloop of war and engaged two Union warships during its illustrious career. The first was the side-wheeler USS Hatteras on the evening of 11 January 1863. The Hatteras, a very successful blockader, fought the Alabama off Galveston, Texas, and was sunk in 20 minutes. The Alabama continued its cruising until the raider put into Cherbourg, France. There the sloop’s escape route was blocked by USS Kearsarge, culminating in the dramatic sinking of the Alabama in June 1864.

RSVP Here

15 SEP

The Battle of Galveston

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

Saturday, September 15, 2018 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Learn about the epic battle between two wooden “cottonclads,” CSS Neptune and CSS Westfield, and six Union ships. Hear about the surprising defeat of a Union ship, USS Harriet.

When Major General “Prince” John Magruder was assigned commander of the district of Texas, he immediately sought to regain the fame he had achieved on the Virginia Peninsula as the “Hero of Bethel.” On 1 January 1863, Magruder organized a land and naval attack on the Federal forces occupying Galveston, Texas. Using two cotton-clads, CSS Bayou City and CSS Neptune, the Confederates were able to force the destruction of USS Westfield and capture the USRMS Harriet Lane. Galveston would remain under Confederate control until the war’s conclusion.

RSVP Here

20 OCT

USS Cairo

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

Saturday, October 20, 2018 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

One of the first Union ironclads constructed, USS Cairo was a City-class gunboat built at Mound City, Illinois, by James Eads. This class of ironclads gave the Union a tremendous advantage during operations along the Mississippi. The Cairo fought at the battles of Plum Point Bend and Memphis before being assigned to the Yazoo Pass Expedition. On 12 December 1862, Cairo became the first warship sunk by a hand-detonated torpedo.

RSVP Here

17 NOV

Rear Admiral John A. B. Dahlgren

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

Saturday, November 17, 2018 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Rear Admiral John Adolphus Bernard Dahlgren is known as the ‘father of American naval ordnance.’ Dahlgren was assigned to the Washington Navy Yard in 1847 as an ordnance expert, and served there until 1863. As commander of the yard, he would establish the Bureau of Ordnance. Dahlgren is most famous for his small boat howitzer design as well as his design of the cast-iron muzzle loading shell gun known as the Dahlgren gun. Named commandeer of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, he maintained the blockade of Savannah and Charleston until those ports were captured by land forces commanded by William T. Sherman.

RSVP Here

8 DEC

Last Days of the Monitor

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

Saturday, December 8, 2018 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Christmas Day 1862 was a joyful day for the Monitor Boys. Great food, cannon demonstrations and comradeship filled the hearts and minds of the heroes of Hampton Roads. Yet, that evening their thoughts turned serious as Capt. John Pyne Bankhead told them of the order sending Monitor south. They all knew their ship was unseaworthy, and some feared passing Cape Hatteras. The USS Monitor left Hampton Roads under the tow of USS Rhode Island on 29 December. It encountered a fierce storm on the afternoon of 30 December. Heavy seas overwhelmed the ironclad with only 47 of its crew of 63 surviving as Monitor sank in the early morning of 31 December. Indeed, the little ship that had saved the nation was no more.

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 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.


1 SEP

Meet the Objects Conservator

Presented by Assistant Objects Conservator, Paige Schmidt

Saturday, September 1, 2018 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

You are likely familiar with the impressive and high-profile conservation treatment of the USS Monitor by the Mariners’ Museum and Park’s skilled team of archaeological conservators. However, the Museum also houses more than 32,000 artifacts in the General Collection, including 18,000 three-dimensional objects, which also require the tender, love and care of conservators. Join Assistant Objects Conservator, Paige Schmidt, for an inside look at the conservation treatment, preventive care, and technical analysis of some of the institution’s treasured artifacts, and learn more about the stewardship of “America’s National Maritime” collection.

RSVP Here

6 OCT

Chemistry and Conservation: It’s Science!

Presented by Molly McGath, Analytical Chemist

Saturday, October 6, 2018 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Objects can tell stories, if one has the tools to listen. Chemistry has many tools that enable us to hear stories that are otherwise hidden to us. This talk will share how we use chemistry to listen to our objects.

RSVP Here

3 NOV

The Art of Paper Conservation

Presented by Emilie Duncan, Assistant Paper Conservator

Saturday, November 3, 2018 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Prints, drawings, documents, books, photographs and other historic artifacts made of paper require specialized care. Learn about the ins and outs of paper conservation and hear highlights from Emilie Duncan’s experiences in the field.

RSVP Here

1 DEC

America’s Cup Photo Collection

Presented by Sarah Scruggs, Curator of Photography/Photo Archivist

Saturday, December 1, 2018 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Sarah Scruggs teaches about the museum’s amazing collection of America’s Cup photographs.

RSVP Here