It seems like just yesterday (maybe not so much) that the Battle of Hampton Roads took place in, you guessed it, Hampton Roads.
The battle on March 8, 1862 turned out to be one of the most important naval battles of the Civil War. For the first time in history, ironclad ships were meeting in combat -- the CSS Virginia was one of them.
To mark the 150th anniversary, the Mariners Museum (100 Museum Drive, Newport News, Va.) is set to host a Battle of Hampton Roads Weekend.
Enjoy 19th century crafts and games, interact with Civil War "soldiers" or even try on the attire yourself. The event runs from Friday, March 9 through Sunday, March 11, from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. daily.
Other weekend activities include Union and Confederate encampment exhibits, artillery demos and infantry drills. Also making an appearance: the 53-foot Museum on Wheels, a mobile history museum that will highlight the perspectives of civilians who were involved in the Civil War and the toll it took upon them.
Friday's events include Student Living History Day, where students act out vignettes. For you adult-like folks, join local historians on a motorcoach tour ($120) of Civil War sites on the peninsula. The bus leaves the Mariners Museum at 9 a.m. on Friday.
On Saturday at 6:30 p.m., witness demonstrations from 19th-century plantation cooks and Union cooks on the deck of the USS Monitor. The event ($40) begins with judging by local food critics while you enjoy samples of the hearty foods like plum duff (steamed pudding), le pudding à la orange (bread pudding with rum-soaked oranges and Orgeat milk flavored with almonds and cinnamon).
Full conference admission is $170, but activities on the front lawn are free and open to the public with museum admission ($12).