Monday, January 30, 2012

USS Monitor website launched

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Monday launched a website highlighting the brief, but important, career of the USS Monitor, the little ironclad that could.

The unveiling of the website coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Monitor's first launch on Jan. 30, 1862.

The site includes information on the ironclad's construction, inventor John Ericsson, life on board, the Battle of Hampton Roads, anniversary events and the vessel's discovery and conservation.

“This is a momentous year for an influential piece of American history,” said David Alberg, superintendent of NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, in a statement. “We will continue to mark important dates throughout the year, including the Battle of Hampton Roads and the sinking of the USS Monitor, through special public events.”

The Monitor is best known for its stalemate battle with the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia off Hampton Roads, Va., on March 9, 1862. That confrontation marked the end of the era of wooden warships.

Photo of turret being raised in 2002 off Cape Hatteras, N.C., courtesy of NOAA.

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