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Things to do February 4 -10, 2021

February 4th

Evening Lecture: VA. Waterways and the Underground Railroad

The Mariners’ Museum and Park - February 4; 7 p.m.


Presented by Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander, author and dean of the College of Liberal Arts, professor of history, and director of the Joseph Jenkins Roberts Center for African Diaspora Studies at Norfolk State University.

About the lecture:
From 1830 to 1860, the City of Norfolk was the center of maritime activities in Hampton Roads as the Port of Virginia. These waterways transported goods to points North and enslaved human beings to the Lower South to work on cotton plantations. Yet, these same waterways that condemned so many to hard labor, separating families and causing so much pain, were also used to secure freedom for thousands through a locally autonomous system that fed into a national underground railroad network. This network extended from Richmond to Hampton Roads and worked in concert with northern operations, transporting freedom seekers via steamships, schooners, and other coastal vessels to freedom in the North and in Canada. Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander will share online compelling stories, hidden for far too long, about individuals who secured their freedom via this vast network. Viewers are welcome to send her comments or questions, which she will answer following the lecture. 100 Museum Drive, 757-596-2222. Advance registration is required. Click here for more information.

February 5th

Civil War Lecture: Fall of Forts Henry and Donelson

The Mariners’ Museum and Park - February 5; Noon

Presented by John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center 

FREE. Advance registration is required. Join us for a virtual lecture with author and historian John V. Quarstein when he presents on the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson and how that made Ulysses S. Grant a Civil War hero. Viewers are welcome to send Quarstein any comments or questions during the presentation, and he will answer following his talk.

About this presentation:
At the Civil War’s beginning, Union and Confederate leaders alike recognized that control of the rivers leading southward from the north were critical to the control of states like Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Major General Henry Halleck ordered Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant to capture Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. With the support of Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote’s fleet of ironclads and tinclads, Fort Henry quickly fell on February 6, 1862. The next target was Fort Donelson. Foote’s ironclads proved not to be  shot-proof and the badly damaged Union squadron retreated. Grant surrounded the fort; however, the Confederates attempted to break out. After making a partial breakthrough, they retreated and their commanders, Major General John Floyd and Major General Gideon Pillow, escaped. This left Grant’s old friend, Major General Simon Buckner, in command of the fort. Buckner asked for surrender terms to which Grant merely said there were no terms, but unconditional surrender. That day, February 16, 1862, the Federals opened a pathway into Middle Tennessee and Grant became a legend. 100 Museum Drive, 757-596-2222. Click here for more information

February 7th

Bird Walk

Newport News Park - February 7; 7 a.m.

Join other bird enthusiasts and enjoy viewing birds in their natural habitat. No experience necessary! The group meets in Picnic Area 1, behind the ranger station at Newport News Park, but may drive to other areas of the park during the program. Dress for the weather, bring water and hand sanitizer, and don't forget your binoculars! When you get home, share your best photos with us on Instagram. Use #nnvirtualbirdwalk and #nnparks for possible feature! You can also post them here in this event. Co-hosted by the Hampton Roads Bird Club. For more information and special COVID-19 program instructions, visit https://www.hamptonroadsbirdclub.org/sunday-walks. 13560 Jefferson Avenue, 757-888-3333.

February 8th

Virtual Maritime Mondays

The Mariners’ Museum and Park - February 8; 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Hop online for a reading adventure every Monday!
Fun for both children and caregivers, enjoy an interactive book reading with Lauren T. Furey, manager of visitor engagement. Designed for children from 18 months to 8 years, Lauren takes you and your little champions on a journey to show how we are all connected to the world’s waters. Be sure to register in advance, and join us for a new book every week! 100 Museum Drive, 757-596-2222. Click here for more information.

February 9th

Hidden Histories

The Mariners’ Museum and Park - February 9; 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. 


Join The Mariners’ Museum on its mission to connect with one another as Lauren T. Furey, manager of visitor engagements, uncovers some “Hidden Histories” within our Collection. With the Museum galleries temporarily closed, our Interpretation Department took the opportunity to dive deeper into our Collection and discover more incredible stories to share! Viewers are welcome to send Lauren comments or questions during the presentation, which she will answer following the presentation.

About the program:
Hidden Histories will give names, agency, and interpretation of the unidentified Black people depicted in our Collection and allow us to tell a more complete history of our shared maritime heritage. Part of this program will engage the community in helping us gather names and personal stories to bring recognition, resulting in an expanded understanding of the richness of our local, national, and global communities. As we continue to tell our own story better and more fully, we will also be seeking stories that reveal the connections of Black Americans within our Collection. Come learn the origins of the Museum as we discover all the ways we are connected to one another. 100 Museum Drive, 757-596-2222. Click here for more information.


ENCORE! 25 Mics x LFAS Collaboration

Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center - February 9; 7 p.m.

On Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 7:00 pm, the artists of Light From All Sides are returning to our monthly free open mic for an evening of interactive fun. You don’t want to miss this inspiring evening with our host Nina Brewton, the guest curator Clayton Singleton, and various visual and performing artists involved in Light From All Sides. This event is free and is held online via Zoom Video Conferencing Software. Registration is available on Eventbrite but you can also join the 25 Mics Facebook Group for the meeting ID and password. 2410 Wickham Avenue, 757-247-8950. Click here for more information.