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Author Topic: Your Obscure History Lesson Of the Week  (Read 1501 times)

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Offline aupointillimite

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Your Obscure History Lesson Of the Week
« on: March 02, 2007, 12:50:32 AM »
This shall be the only one... but I found it interesting, if only because it occurred a mere 10 miles from where I grew up in Virginia Beach.

Plus, I am a giant nerd for history, so you're going to have to deal.

This week marks the 145th anniversary of the first battle between two ironclad ships in the history of naval warfare.  It was called the Battle of Hampton Roads.  "Hampton Roads" describes both the body of water in Virginia where the battle took place, it's where the mouth of the James River meets the Chesapeake Bay (the James is same river which Richmond straddles and which gives me nasty sore throats every summer I insist on swimming in it) as well as the cities located in the area.  Hampton Roads is not known for roads in the way you're thinking... or in the way anyone's thinking apparently.  We've been trying to figure out exactly what the name's meant for more than 300 years and are no closer to an answer than anyone was in 1700, so it's just sort of stuck... but that is neither here nor there, really....

Yes... it was this week 145 years ago that the battle between the CSS Virginia (even though almost everyone calls it the Merrimac after the US ship the Confederates dredged up and plated with iron) blew several wooden Union ships out of the waters of Hampton Roads and could potentially have poked some nasty holes in the Union blockade of the Confederacy (and altered the outcome of the American Civil War)... if not for another ironclad which arrived, quite literally, in the nick of time, the USS Monitor.

They met in the waters of the harbor, duked it out for hours in a very fierce battle... and were unable to any serious danger to the other.

It was perhaps the most frustrating finish ev-ar... like hot sex that doesn't result in orgasm... and neither ship saw notable action for the remainder of the war... but the battle changed the face of naval warfare, and indeed of all sea-going ships everywhere, forever.

Of course, there's a bridge-tunnel (bridge-tunnels are rather unique to where I grew up in Hampton Roads... low bridges that become tunnels so Navy and civilian ships can go over the tunnels) named the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel after the battle.  It's the alternate route for when the other bridge-tunnel is backed up... which happens about eighteen times a day. 

And I, for one, am proud that the Battle of Hampton Roads took place where it did because if not, the name of the alternate route would have had to have been The God Damn It, The Fucking Regular One's Backed Up Let's Take The Other One Bridge-Tunnel.

And that would be inappropriate.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2007, 03:56:34 AM by aupointillimite »
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline Bucko

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Re: Your Obscure History Lesson Of the Week
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2007, 03:02:10 AM »
Loves my history, baby. Thanks for today's lesson.

Brent
(Who wonders if Benj ever refers to the War of Northern Aggression)
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: Your Obscure History Lesson Of the Week
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2007, 03:05:24 AM »
Loves my history, baby. Thanks for today's lesson.

Brent
(Who wonders if Benj ever refers to the War of Northern Aggression)

I don't... nor do I know anyone who is.

Virginia is petitioning very earnestly to be the newest member of the Northeast (The South won't have us), so those of us in the urban areas (read that as "70% of the population) think that term's really funny... in a retro kind of way.   ;)
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline Bucko

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Re: Your Obscure History Lesson Of the Week
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2007, 03:27:56 AM »
The first time I heard the expression I couldn't stop laughing. It so perfectly encapsulates the feeling so many of us northerners have for our sensitive cousins to the south.

With a big hug,
Your Buckles
(Who owns a photo of an ancestor displaying his Civil War wounds)
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: Your Obscure History Lesson Of the Week
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2007, 04:08:29 AM »
The first time I heard the expression I couldn't stop laughing. It so perfectly encapsulates the feeling so many of us northerners have for our sensitive cousins to the south.

With a big hug,
Your Buckles
(Who owns a photo of an ancestor displaying his Civil War wounds)

Benj understands this feeling extremely well... since he is, by his own monickering, a "Southern Yankee."

My mother is from DC, and my father is a Jew from the Lower East Side.

I live in what is technically "The South" but which isn't "The South" by cultural definition anymore.  I live in an American, Southern, postmodern enigma of a city... attributes which are made all the more deliciously sweet by its history as the capital of the Confederate States of America.  I live three blocks from Jefferson Davis' grave, for Chrissake... seriously.

And the more I think about it... I realize that might be what keeps me here... it fits me perfectly for those exact reasons.

I like it here... it's my home... but it's definitely not steeped in that "moonlight and magnolia" tradition that the rest of our Southern brethren and our Northern cousins expect.

We straddle a hell of a lot of lines... and we're confused and pissed about that. 

Like me.
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Your Obscure History Lesson Of the Week
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2007, 07:21:12 AM »
Benj understands this feeling extremely well... since he is, by his own monickering, a "Southern Yankee."

My mother is from DC, and my father is a Jew from the Lower East Side.

I live in what is technically "The South" but which isn't "The South" by cultural definition anymore.  I live in an American, Southern, postmodern enigma of a city... attributes which are made all the more deliciously sweet by its history as the capital of the Confederate States of America.  I live three blocks from Jefferson Davis' grave, for Chrissake... seriously.

And the more I think about it... I realize that might be what keeps me here... it fits me perfectly for those exact reasons.

I like it here... it's my home... but it's definitely not steeped in that "moonlight and magnolia" tradition that the rest of our Southern brethren and our Northern cousins expect.

We straddle a hell of a lot of lines... and we're confused and pissed about that. 

Like me.


 With your lineage I guess that makes you a Debujew. ;) One question, how the hell does a nice Jewish boy from the lower east side end up a midshipmen?


« Last Edit: March 02, 2007, 11:08:58 AM by Dachshund »

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Your Obscure History Lesson Of the Week
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2007, 11:17:29 AM »
I always felt thoroughly Southern growing up in Virginia... but then that was ages ago.  Helps that my mother's accent is as thick as anything in Georgia, and the ancient family homestead of my grandmother sat right on the border with North Carolina.  That part of Virginia is still quite unapologetically Southern.

Then again even DC in the 80's still maintained some backwardness.  I won't even touch Richmond and their lime-aids.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

 


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