marines in history

Happy Presidents Day from your national marine sanctuaries! 

Our first national marine sanctuary, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, protects the wreck of the USS Monitor, pictured here. 

During the Civil War, the idea of the USS Monitor was born amidst a nation in turmoil. After discovering the Confederate Navy was constructing an impenetrable ironclad in Hampton Roads, Va., President Lincoln called for a naval board to propose construction of an ironclad vessel to lead the Union Navy. The president visited the ironclad – which has been called “Lincoln’s secret weapon” – after it was constructed, on July 9, 1862. 

(Photo: NOAA)

Royal Marine Commando, 1944 - 1945. This Commando wears a camouflage windproof smock, similar to the garment issued to airborne troops, and the green beret that was adopted by all commandos, while around him are details of badges, weapons and equipment. Art by Graham Turner. 

February 19, 1953

After being hit by enemy fire during a combat mission, Ted Williams safely crash lands his Panther jet at the Suwon’s K-13 Airbase in Korea, skidding along the air strip for nearly a mile before coming to a stop. The plane is a total wreck, but the Marine reservist, who quickly evacuates the burning aircraft, suffers only minor injuries

February 18, 2009

After considering playing for Atlanta, a location which is closer to his family, Ken Griffey Jr. agrees to a one-year deal with the Seattle Mariners. The 39-year-old outfielder joins a list of superstars, Babe Ruth (Boston), Willie Mays (New York), and Hank Aaron (Milwaukee), to choose the city where they played with their first team as the place to end their major league career.