“The USS Monitor and The Mariners’ Museum,” presented by Howard Hoege and John Quarstein.
Whenever you see a turret on a modern navy warship think of the iconic Civil War ironclad, the USS Monitor. Rated as one of the top five deadliest experimental warships in naval history, the Monitor is in the same league as today’s USS Zumwalt. The Monitor’s design was a combination of several pivotal changes in naval technology during the first half of the 19th century. So, when the ship needed a commander, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles selected scientific officer Lieutenant John Lorimer Worden for the task. Worden will captain the Monitor to fame when she fought the CSS Virginia (previously the USS Merrimack) during the Battle of Hampton Roads on 9 March 1862. Worden went on to be a rear admiral and the commandant of the U.S. Naval Academy. His legacy is the story of how new technology can be proven a success under the efficient and dynamic leadership of men like the beloved captain of the USS Monitor.
Stories such as Worden’s continue to be shared at The Mariners’ Museum and Park which “connects people to the world’s waters – to our shared maritime heritage – because through the world’s waters, we are connected to one another.” Named “America’s National Maritime Museum,” because of the depth and breadth of its collection, the Museum is able to tell stories of exploration, commerce, conflict, technology and innovation, inspiration, and recreation from multiple cultures around the world. It is the Museum’s goal to show how that we are, as a people and as individuals, a lot more alike than we are different.
Howard H. Hoege III is the President and CEO of The Mariners’ Museum and Park in Newport News, Virginia John V. Quarstein is the director of the USS Monitor Center at The Mariners’ Museum and Park.