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Hampton Roads History Lectures

Join us for a FREE virtual Lecture

Select Fridays at 12 p.m. (ET)

Take a look back in history as John V. Quarstein, noted historian, author, and director emeritus of USS Monitor Center, along with special guest speakers, share significant events about our nation’s history and examine their direct ties to the Hampton Roads region.

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History of Newport News’s Victory Arch

Friday, November 12, 2021 • 12 PM  (ET)

Presented by John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center

About the presentation:
Newport News had played a tremendous role in supporting the Allied World War I victory. The Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation sent and received hundreds of thousands of American soldiers to and from the Western Front. The Newport News Welcome Home Committee decided to construct a Victory Arch in downtown Newport News in honor of those returning soldiers. The arch, featuring the inscription, “Greetings with love to those who return; a triumph with tears to those who sleep,” welcomed home more than 400,000 men during WWI and even more during the second World War. The arch still stands as a memorial to those soldiers who served our nation in times of need.

Image credit: Parade through the Newport News Victory Arch. E.P. (Ellis Parker) Griffith, Newport News Victory Arch.

Naval Intelligence in Hampton Roads: 1861-1862

Friday, November 19, 2021 • 12 PM (ET)

Presented by John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center

About the presentation:

As the North and South began to build ironclads, rumors were leaked about the various ship construction programs. There was not an effective naval intelligence service during the Civil War. Yet, one successful participant was Major William Norris, CSA. Another was seamstress and Union spy Mary Louvestre, a free Black, of Norfolk. She sent secret messages to Union commanders at Fort Monroe about the USS Merrimack’s transformation into the ironclad CSS Virginia. The Union nor the Confederacy needed to rely on such clandestine information as northern and southern newspapers provided ample material, usually in a boastful manner. All antagonists had to do was to obtain a copy of The New York Times or Mobile Register to find all they needed to know about ironclad development.

This lecture is also part of our Civil War Lecture Series.

Image credit: Flag Officer Louis M. Goldsborough, USN. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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Header image: Hampton Roads, Virginia, from official state map published in 1859. Public Domain.