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CALL FOR PAPERS: GUNS FROM THE SEA III – Ordnance Society Conference

The Ordnance Society’s third Guns from the Sea conference will be held 4–5 September 2015 at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Conference papers presented the latest ordnance finds found in or from the sea, as well as significant historical research into ship-borne ordnance and conservation techniques.

Guns from the Sea will be carried out over 2 days and be split into 3 sessions per day with 2 lectures per session. A conference dinner will be held at the historic dockyard on Friday evening.

Themes to be covered by the 2015 conference include:
• Recent finds recovered or recorded in or from the sea,
• Historical research into ordnance recovered from the sea,
• Conservation techniques for historical ordnance recovered from the sea,
• Conservation techniques for historical ordnance still on the seabed,
• Experimental archaeology related to guns from the sea.

Paper proposals may be sent to mcelvogued@googlemail.com.

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NMHS Presents Tim McGrath’s Give Me a Fast Ship 28 February

Join the National Maritime Historical Society for Give Me a Fast Ship: The Continental Navy and America’s Revolution at Sea with Author Tim McGrath

Saturday, 28 February 2015
Continental Breakfast is at 10:30 am. Presentation begins at 11:00 am.
Hendrick Hudson Free Library, 185 Kings Ferry Road, Montrose, NY 10548

Fast Ship CoverAuthor and historian Tim McGrath takes us back to 1775 with America on the verge of revolution and disastrous defeat in his Give Me a Fast Ship, the epic tale of war on the high seas and the definitive history of the fledgling American Navy.

America in 1775 was on the verge of revolution—or, more likely, disastrous defeat. After the bloodshed at Lexington and Concord, England’s King George sent hundreds of ships westward to bottle up American harbors and prey on American shipping. Colonists had no force to defend their coastline and waterways until John Adams of Massachusetts proposed a bold solution: the Continental Congress should raise a navy.

The idea was mad. The Royal Navy was the mightiest floating arsenal in history, with a seemingly endless supply of vessels. More than a hundred of these were massive “ships of the line,” bristling with up to a hundred high-powered cannon that could level a city. The British were confident that His Majesty’s warships would quickly bring the rebellious colonials to their knees.

They were wrong. Beginning with five converted merchantmen, America’s sailors became formidable warriors, matching their wits, skills, and courage against the best of the British fleet. Victories off American shores gave the patriots hope—victories led by captains such as John Barry, the fiery Irish-born giant; fearless Nicholas Biddle, who stared down an armed mutineer; and James Nicholson, the underachiever who finally redeemed himself with an inspiring display of coolness and bravery.

Meanwhile, along the British coastline, daring raids by John Paul Jones and the “Dunkirk Pirate,” Gustavus Conyngham—who was captured and sentenced to hang but tunneled under his cell and escaped to fight again—sent fear throughout England. The adventures of these men and others on both sides of the struggle rival anything from Horatio Hornblower or Lucky Jack Aubrey. In the end, these rebel sailors, from the quarterdeck to the forecastle, contributed greatly to American independence.

Tim McGrathMeticulously researched and masterfully told, Give Me a Fast Ship is a rousing, epic tale of war on the high seas—and the definitive history of the American Navy during the Revolutionary War.

The Public is invited. Please contact the National Maritime Historical Society at 914-737-7878, ext. 0, or email NMHS@seahistory.org if you plan to attend. A $5 to $10 donation is appreciated. If you would also like to join NMHS and the speaker for lunch following the presentation, it is $22 prepaid, with cash bar. Reservations required.

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NMHS Recruiting: Membership Coordinator

The National Maritime Historical Society is seeking a Membership Coordinator to provide administrative support to the Membership Director and, as needed, to the Communications Director, to prepare membership materials and correspondence, maintain the membership database, provide excellent member service, support membership events and assist with other administrative duties as may be required.

Please click here to see the job posting: Membership Coordinator: Part Time, Peekskill, NY.  Candidates should send their cover letter, resume and salary requirements to nmhs@seahistory.org.  Please apply by  15 Mach 2015 to be considered.

Founded in 1963, the National Maritime Historical Society is a non-profit organization with over 8,000 members and a mission to raise awareness of our nation’s maritime heritage through publications, educational programs, historic ship preservation, sail training and maritime events.

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Join NMHS for A Dream of Tall Ships with Authors Peter and Norma Stanford

Join the National Maritime Historical Society for
A Dream of Tall Ships
with Authors Peter and Norma Stanford

Friday, 20 February 2015 at 5 pm
Antipodean Books, Maps & Prints, 29 Garrison Landing, Garrison, NY 10524

Please join us on Friday 20 February from 5-8 pm for a talk and book signing with Peter and Norma Stanford, authors of A Dream of Tall Ships: How New Yorkers came together to save the city’s sailing-ship waterfront.  Refreshments will be served.

ADOTSforprintA Dream of Tall Ships is the lively account of a great urban adventure beginning in the 1960s with two New Yorkers committed to creating a maritime museum in Manhattan’s old sailing-ship waterfront – the South Street Seaport Museum. Entranced by the old brick buildings of the Fulton Fish Market neighborhood and aware of the rush of new office-building construction in Lower Manhattan, they moved to save the old buildings as a historic district, and breathe new life into New York’s old Street of Ships.

The idea of recreating the old sailing-ship waterfront inspired young and old, rich and poor, Wall Streeters and blue-collar workers, seamen, firemen, policemen and teachers to work together to found a museum showcasing the streets and ships that built the port, which built the city, which built the nation.

Peter Stanford was a founder and first president of South Street Seaport in New York and co-founder of the National Maritime Historical Society. Under his leadership, the Society began publishing the distinguished quarterly magazine Sea History. Other NMHS publications included such works as the International Register of Historic ShipsThe Peking Battles Cape Horn, and The Skipper and the Eagle.

To register, please call (914) 456-9698 or email nmhs@seahistory.org.
We look forward to seeing you there!

 

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Liemba Added to  Rotten Tomatoes Site in Conjunction with Indican Pictures North American Release

Liemba DVD CoverOn Saturday, 15 November 2014, the National Maritime Historical Society was honored to present Filmmaker John Billingsley and his documentary Liembafeaturing the world’s last surviving steamship and one that still serves the communities of Lake Tanganyika in central Africa.

In conjunction with its Indican Pictures North American release, Liemba was recently added to Rotten Tomatoes, a website devoted to film news and widely renowned as a film review aggregator.  If you joined us on the 15th or have already had the opportunity to view the film, we encourage you to rate and comment on Liemba in the audience review section.  If you haven’t seen the film yet, you can also view a trailer there. For more information, go to the Indian Pictures website.

Built in 1913 in Germany and originally named the Graf von Götzen, the armed transport ship controlled the lake for the German Empire during World War I.  As the Germans retreated, the ship was scuttled.  Raised by the British Navy in 1924 and re-named Liemba, she went back to work as a ferry serving the British protectorate of Tanganyika.  Deep in what was once considered the darkest heart of Africa, on one of the world’s largest and most pristine lakes, the Liemba doggedly perseveres, ferrying passengers and cargo up and down the remote eastern shore.  For the past century, the ship has served as the primary means of travel, and a critical avenue of commerce, for soldiers, traders, missionaries and migrants alike – the geographical link between east, central and southern Africa.

The Liemba has witnessed many sea-changes in Africa’s history, from the era of European colonialism, through African independence in the 1960s and up to today’s emerging global marketplace. This documentary film uses the story of the steamship to bring that history to life while also taking the audience on a present day journey on the oldest operational passenger ship in the world.

To find out more about the film and view a trailer, visit Liemba.

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CALL FOR PAPERS: 17th International Congress of Maritime Museums

The 17th International Congress of Maritime Museums will be held 1–6 November in Hong Kong, in coordination with the Hong Kong Maritime Museum.  One day of the program is planned around an excursion to Macao and the Macao Maritime Museum. The theme of this year’s conference is Connections; two keynote speakers have been confirmed thus far: Mr. Koji Sekimizu, secretary general of the International Maritime Organization (IMO); and Mr. Xu Zuyuan, director of the Shanghai Chinese Maritime Museum. For information about submitting paper proposals, email Dr. Nigel Rigby, chairman of the Program Committee, ICMM, at nrigby@rmg.co.uk.

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NMHS Presents Jerry Roberts’ British Raid on Essex 14 February

Join the National Maritime Historical Society for
The British Raid on Essex: The Forgotten Battle of the War of 1812
with Author and Historian Jerry Roberts

Saturday, 14 February 2015
Continental Breakfast is at 10:30 am. Presentation begins at 11:00 am.
Hendrick Hudson Free Library, 185 Kings Ferry Road, Montrose, NY 10548

Roberts_Jerry_British-Raid-on-EssexJoin us as author, historian and Sea History magazine contributor Jerry Roberts presents the dramatic history of the largest single maritime loss of the War of 1812 and one of the most destructive actions in Connecticut history, in which a British landing force guided by a well-paid American traitor burned twenty-seven American vessels, including six newly built privateers. In spite of the significant losses involved, the British raid on Essex has been virtually left out of the history books—the  forgotten battle of the forgotten war. Jerry Roberts provides a definitive overview of the event and includes a wealth of new information drawn from recent research and archaeological finds.

The Public is invited. Please contact the National Maritime Historical Society at 914-737-7878, ext. 0, or email NMHS@seahistory.org if you plan to attend. A $5 to $10 donation is appreciated. If you would also like to join NMHS and the speaker for lunch following the presentation, it is $22 prepaid, with cash bar. Reservations required.

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SS United States Conservancy Announces Preliminary Agreement

The SS United States Conservancy (SSUSC) has announced that it has entered into a preliminary agreement in support of the redevelopment of SS United States. While few details are available at this time, the SSUSC issued a press release announcing the agreement on Monday.

Designed by William Francis Gibbs and built by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, SS United States was subsidized by the US government with the understanding that she would be repurposed for troop transport should the need ever arise. Strict US Navy standards were observed, including compartmentalization to combat flooding and dual engine rooms for redundancy in case one of them was rendered inoperable. Designer Gibbs also went to great lengths to prevent the threat of fire; no wood was permitted in any of the public rooms, with the famous exception of the grand pianos and the catering crew’s butcher blocks.

United States undertook her maiden voyage on 3 July 1952 from New York to Le Havre and Southampton, and on that voyage set a record for the eastbound crossing by a liner, earning the ship the historic Blue Riband for her achievement. The ship enjoyed a decade of prestige, hosting statesmen and celebrities on the Atlantic. The 1960s saw a decline in ocean travel, and in 1969 she was removed from service. She changed hands multiple times since retirement, and has been berthed in Philadelphia since 1996. The SSUSC purchased the United States in 2010, and has been looking for partners to develop the ship as a multipurpose venue. This new announcement might signal the first step in a new incarnation for the historic liner.

ssus_05

Photo courtesy SS United States Conservancy

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Mayflower II in Mystic for the Winter

Plimoth Plantation’s Mayflower II, a 57-year-old replica of the ship that carried the Pilgrims to this continent, arrived in Mystic, CT, on Sunday, 14 December. Once the ship is settled in, Paul Haley of Capt. G.W. Full & Associates will be carrying out a full marine survey to evaluate her condition; the ballast material will be removed completely for the first time since the vessel’s launch in order to get a good look at the bilge area. Once the full extent of Mayflower II‘s refit needs have been evaluated, the first stage of work will begin, at the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport. In the spring, she will return to Plimoth Plantation, returning to Mystic for further work at the end of the 2015 season. Plimoth hopes to have all of the work completed in time for the 2020 anniversary of the original Mayflower‘s journey to North America.

Mayflower II in tow

Mayflower II in tow to Mystic, CT.
Photo: Kristen Oney – Plimoth Plantation

 

 

 

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Last Chance! CBMM Will be Closing Two Exhibits Soon

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum has announced that it will be closing two exhibits: Push and Pull: Life on Chesapeake Bay Tugboats and Navigating Freedom: The War of 1812 on the Chesapeake. Both floors of the Steamboat Building, which currently houses these exhibits, will be used for the upcoming exhibition A Broad Reach: 50 Years of Collecting, commemorating the museum’s 50th anniversary. The exhibition will have a private opening on 22 May, the date of the museum’s founding in 1965, and then open to the public on 23 May.

Visitors have until 5 January to see the two retiring exhibits.

 

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