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Lectures

Our lectures cover a wide range of maritime topics. Catch a Maritime Connections lecture by our staff or a Civil War Lecture by John Quarstein during the day. Or attend an evening lecture led by experts and maritime authors.

Maritime Connections Lectures and Civil War Lectures are free with Museum admission. Evening lectures are $5 per person, and free for Members.

RSVP for any of the lectures online to guarantee a spot, as seating can be limited.

Larry E. Tise


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.


14 DEC

Major General John Bankhead Magruder

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

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

FREE with $1 Museum admission

Known as “Prince John” for his courtly manners and flamboyant dress, Major General John Bankhead Magruder achieved great fame for his defense of the Virginia Peninsula in 1861 and 1862 against tremendous odds. He became known as the “Master of Ruses and Strategy.”

The lecture will be held in a classroom in the Monitor Center. Reserving a seat is suggested as seating is limited.

RSVP Here


2020 Lectures


4 JAN

CSS Manassas

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

Saturday, January 4, 2020 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

FREE with $1 Museum admission

The icebreaker Enoch Train was captured early in the war by the privateer CSS Ivy and was then transformed into the ironclad ram CSS Manassas. Commissioned on September 12, 1861, the ram was the first Confederate ironclad. Manassas fought at the Head of the Passes on October 12, 1861, and was destroyed by USS Mississippi during the Battle of Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip on April 24, 1862.

The lecture will be held in a classroom in the Monitor Center. Reserving a seat is suggested as seating is limited.

RSVP Here


11 JAN

Contraband of War Decision

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

Saturday, January 11, 2020 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

FREE with $1 Museum admission

On May 24, 1861, three slaves — Fred Baker, James Townsend, and Sheppard Mallory — escaped from building fortifications at Sewell’s Point and went onto Fort Monroe to claim their freedom. Major General B. F. Butler refused to return the slaves to their owner, Charles King Mallory, and named the men as “Contraband of War.” Butler’s astute political decision began the Civil War’s evolution from a war between the states to a conflict about freedom.

The lecture will be held in a classroom in the Monitor Center. Reserving a seat is suggested as seating is limited.

RSVP Here


15 FEB

Gustavus Vasa Fox

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

Saturday, February 15, 2020 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

FREE with $1 Museum admission

Gustavus Vasa Fox was appointed midshipman in 1838 and served during the Mexican War on the brig USS Washington. He resigned his commission in 1856 to go into wool manufacturing. Fox volunteered for naval service just before the Civil War erupted. Fox took command of the steamer Baltic in an effort to take supplies to the besieged Fort Sumter, but arrived too late. He was only able to return the garrison to the North after the fort’s surrender. Fox was named Assistant Secretary of the Navy on August 1, 1861, and played a major role guiding the US Navy to victory.

The lecture will be held in a classroom in the Monitor Center. Reserving a seat is suggested as seating is limited.

RSVP Here


7 MAR

Did CSS Virginia Win the Battle of Hampton Roads?

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

Saturday, March 7, 2020 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

FREE with $1 Museum admission

History has it that the Battle of Hampton Roads ended in a draw on March 9, 1862. However, the mere existence of CSS Virginia posed a major threat to the Federals’ land operations during the Peninsula Campaign and helped to cause the Union defeat outside of Richmond in early summer 1862.

The lecture will be held in a classroom in the Monitor Center. Reserving a seat is suggested as seating is limited.

RSVP Here


Evening 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 either the night of the lecture or in advance online.

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 6:00 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.

 

 

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

Lecture Dates & Titles:


12 SEP

The Ghost Ships of Archangel

The Arctic Voyage That Defied the Nazis

Presented by William Geroux

Thursday, September 12, 2019
Lecture begins at 7:00 PM

William Geroux, author of The Mathews Men, returns to the Museum to share yet another emotionally gripping maritime history, The Ghost Ships of Archangel. In 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill agreed to send Joseph Stalin’s army supplies in hopes of bolstering the Russians until a European invasion could be mounted. That June, the 35 cargo ships of convoy PQ 17 set sail for the Soviet port of Archangel, carrying $1 billion worth of war materiel. Days later, the fleet was ordered to disband, quickly becoming prey for the Nazis. This extraordinary tale of survival and shifting alliances during World War II, traces the nightmarish voyage of four Allied ships into the ice floes of the North Pole.

A veteran journalist, Geroux wrote for the Richmond Times-Dispatch for 25 years. His work has appeared in The New York Times and The Associated Press. A graduate of the College of William and Mary, he lives in Virginia Beach.
 
FREE for Members, $5 for guests
 

RSVP Here

Author: William Geroux


To purchase The Ghost Ships of Archangel today, click here!


3 OCT

The First American Coloring Book(s)

Theodore de Bry – America: The Complete Plates, 1590-1602

Presented by Larry E. Tise

Thursday, October 3, 2019
Lecture begins at 7:00 PM

On a trip to London in 1588, renowned engraver Theodore de Bry met artist John White and mathematician Thomas Harriot, both recently returned from Sir Walter Raleigh’s mission to explore the “new found land of Virginia.” Inspired by White’s watercolors of North American Indians and Harriot’s maps of the Carolina coast’s barrier islands, de Bry published Grand Voyages, a series of exploration narratives illustrated with his own copper plate engravings. De Bry invited many European artists to hand-color the engravings that essentially became America’s first coloring books. Never before have these “complete plates” been published in one exquisite, oversized volume, co-authored by Larry E. Tise.

Tise, now a Philadelphia-based historian, spent the last decade traveling across Europe and America, examining all known and accessible copies of de Bry’s books in libraries, museums (including The Mariners’ Museum), and private collections. Tise holds a PhD from the University of North Carolina, and was a history administrator for many years.
 
FREE for Members, $5 for guests
 

RSVP Here

Author: Theodore de Bry


To purchase The First American Coloring Book(s) today, click here!


21 NOV

Bygone Beacons

The James River Lighthouses and Their Lightkeepers

Presented by Larry Saint and Karla Smith

Thursday, November 21
Lecture begins at 7:00 PM

Larry Saint and Karla Smith are co-authors of Screwpiles: The Forgotten Lighthouses. Published as a fundraiser for Suffolk River Heritage, the book is the result of years of extensive research, interviews, and writing about the lighthouses of the Chesapeake Bay, James River, and North Carolina Sounds.

FREE for Members, $5 for guests

sold out

Authors: Karla Smith (left), Larry Saint (right)


To purchase Screwpiles: The Forgotten Lighthouses today,
click here!


Special thanks to our lecture sponsors:

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

Hampton Roads History

 

Join John V. Quarstein, a noted historian, author, and director emeritus of USS Monitor Center, in a new lecture series as he dives into significant events in our nation’s history and examines their direct ties to the Hampton Roads region.

These lectures will be held on select Saturdays, and will be located upstairs in the Monitor Center Classrooms.

Hampton Roads History Lectures are free with $1 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.


16 NOV

Operation Torch

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

Saturday, November 16, 2019 · 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

“Operation Torch” was the first Anglo-American amphibious invasion of World War II. It was meant to open a second front against the Axis Powers in North Africa. The Western Task Force was comprised of troops commanded by General George Patton with Rear Admiral Henry Hewitt in charge of the naval forces. This attack force, including 34,000 men and 86 million tons of supplies, left Hampton Roads on October 24, 1942. The Western Task Force landed in French Morocco on November 8, 1942. The attack was the largest overseas invasion force to leave the US during the war and was eventually successful in driving the Axis out of North Africa.

RSVP Here


Maritime Connections

 

Go behind the scenes of The Mariners’ Museum and Park in this new lecture series presented by Museum and Park staff, 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 in the lower lobby of the Museum.

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.

 


7 Dec

An Inside Look at Toys Ahoy! A Maritime Childhood

Presented by Erika Cosme, content and interpretation developer

Lecture begins at 10:30 AM & 2:30 PM

Come hear what it takes to create a capitivating exhibit at The Mariners’ Museum and Park with Erika Cosme, content and interpretation developer for the Museum. Cosme will take you down a different kind of memory lane, providing interesting tidbits, highlights and challenges as the project lead for the Museum’s newest exhibit, Ahoy! A Maritime Childhood