The Norfolk Historical Society

essays & artifacts
about the society
get involved
upcoming events

Insights and Artifacts
Summer 2006 Courier

Historical Opportunities

A top priority activity for NHS is education for school children. A year ago David McCullough told the Norfolk Forum that we cheat the next generation when we fail to provide them with a measuring stick (history) for all the human events that will surround their own lives. With so much American history at our finger tips, double shame on us in Hampton Roads if we don’t share these stories! That is how humans learn lessons.

The George Tucker Historical Essay is one ongoing NHS program that awards cash prizes to the region’s high school students for the best essays each fall. Bob Garris is leading this activity for 2006. Fort Norfolk is a many-faceted historic gem that few in the area have ever seen. NHS is working with Norfolk Public Schools to increase visitation by school classes. Steve Forrest has written a grant proposal to develop photos, text and videos for displays at the fort. The concept is to make this a project for gifted and talented students in Norfolk’s middle and high schools. Funding might come from the “Save Our History” program.

Among the extended series of coastal fortifications to protect our
harbor, the “Half Moon Fort” at Town Point was built a century before Fort Norfolk, and Fort Monroe came fifty years afterwards. If
Norfolk’s new Cruise Ship Terminal is named for the nearby Half
Moon Fort, it will shine a spotlight on this story of a long forgotten
conflict with the Dutch. And NHS is actively involved in efforts to protect the extraordinary national historic values at Fort Monroe, now vulnerable under BRAC. Old Point Comfort is becoming a magnet for private development and we fear Willoughby Spit might be its model. The first NHS event at the Taylor-Whittle House (our new office) was a book signing on April 30th for the Civil War Journal of Lt. W. C. Whittle, Jr. About 45 members of NHS and the Hampton Roads Naval Foundation (event co-sponsor) enjoyed wine and cheese in the garden. We learned about Whittle’s career on the CSS SHENANDOAH from ODU Professor Alan Harris, who edited this journal.

NHS will present our first Norfolk History Museum Lecture on Wednesday September 13th, at the Chrysler Museum’s Kaufman Theater. The story of the early days of the Portsmouth Naval Hospital, important to our region for two centuries, will be shared by Professor Harold D. Langley, Smithsonian Institution Curator Emeritus of Naval History and author of A History of Medicine in the Early U. S. Navy.

Mark your calendars also for Thursday October 5th, the FHH/NHS bus trip to Historic Jamestowne (APVA and Park Service) and Jamestown Settlement (State). We aim to preview some new exhibits and facilities for 2007, and we expect a sell out.

— Louis Guy, President


You Are Here: Home > Essays and Artifacts > Insights from The Courier > Summer 2006 > Historical Opportunities
Copyright © 1999 - 2007 Norfolk Historical Society.