Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
USS Monitor: America's First Ironclad
USS Monitor Trail
— Monitor National Marine Sanctuary —
Launched on Jan. 30, 1862, at the Continental Iron Works in Greenpoint, N.Y., the USS Monitor made history as the Union Navy's first ironclad warship. It fought the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia in the first-ever clash between two iron-clads at the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9 — an encounter that signaled the start of a new era of naval warfare. The Monitor's short but historic career came to an end on Dec. 31, 1862, when it sank in a storm off Cape Hatteras, N.C., with the loss of 16 sailors.
In 1975, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) designated the USS Monitor's wreck site as the nation's first national marine sanctuary. Over the years, NOAA and partners have undertaken several recovery operations and retrieved artifacts for conservation. When the U.S. Navy divers recovered the ship's iconic gun turret in 2002, archaeologists discovered the remains of two sailors inside.
USS Monitor Center — at — The Mariners' Museum
In 1987, NOAA selected The Mariners' Museum as the principal repository for the conservation
In 2007, in partnership with NOAA, the museum unveiled the USS Monitor Center. At the heart of the exhibit is the "Ironclad Revolution," a melding of Monitor artifact, original documents, paintings, personal accounts, interactive exhibits and immersive environments designed to appeal to all ages.
On July 9, 1862, as the ship docked in Virginia on the James River, James F. Gibson took the only known photos of the Monitor and her crew (above). Monitor National Marine Sanctuary is located approximately 16 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C.
On March 9, 2007, NOAA and its partner, The Mariners' Museum, opened the doors to the new $30 million, 63,500-square-foot USS Monitor Center, including a full-scale replica of the Monitor.
Erected by Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, U.S Department of Commerce; The Mariners' Museum.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Education • Environment • War, US Civil • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is March 9, 1862.
Location. 37° 3.22′ N, 76° 29.334′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Museum Drive, 0.3 miles south of Lakeside Drive, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 Museum Dr, Newport News VA 23606, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Admiralty Pattern Anchor (a few steps from this marker); US Navy Admiralty Pattern Anchor (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Spanish Bronze Gun (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Spanish Bronze Gun (about 600 feet away); Leifr Eiriksson (approx. 0.4 miles away); Waters Creek (approx. half a mile away); Estelle and George Abernathy (approx. half a mile away); Captain Christopher Newport (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newport News.
Additional keywords. USS Monitor: America's First Ironclad
Credits. This page was last revised on August 3, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 26, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 86 times since then. Last updated on August 3, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on February 26, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.