One hundred and fifty years ago today, on March 9, 1862, the first prophetic battle between ironclads — the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (aka Merrimac) — took place at Hampton Roads, Virginia. The encounter ended in a standoff, but naval warfare was forever changed.
Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) is the 4.6 mile-long (7.4 km) Hampton Roads crossing for Interstate 664 in the southeastern portion of Virginia in the United States. It is a four-lane bridge-tunnel composed of bridges, trestles, man-made islands, and tunnels under a portion of the Hampton Roads harbor where the James, Nansemond, and Elizabeth Rivers come together. It connects the independent cities of Newport News on the Virginia Peninsula and Suffolk in South Hampton Roads and is part of the Hampton Roads Beltway, a circumferential interstate highway which links the seven largest cities of Hampton Roads.
What is this!? On my way out of the Pollard Memorial Library I noticed this case. Upon further inspection I found that it’s a part of the original Monitor. One of the first ironclad ships ever built and it famously battled with the confederate ironclad the Merrimac during the Civil War. These two ships fought to a draw and were later ingloriously sunk. However, they both were state of the art in their day and revolutionized naval warfare. Interesting piece of History here in Lowell!