More Maritime Stories

The exhibition Answering America's Call: Newport News in World War I commemorates the 100th anniversary of America's involvement in the "war to end all wars." The Great War, the defining event of the 20th century, indelibly hit home, transforming the city and her people forever. The exhibition gives voice to people from Newport News or who served here or passed through on their way "Over There." The wartime experience is displayed through personal effects, letters, photographs, newspaper articles, propaganda posters, and artifacts from the Museum's Collection as well as loans from other museums and private lenders.

Museum curators and archivists discovered a wealth of stories that simply could not be fully told in the exhibition, due to the confines and nature of allocated gallery space. So we are pleased to share some of our favorites with you here. Check back regularly as the staff will be adding more in-depth features.

Featured Stories

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    Red Cross Fundraising Quilts

    The US government formed the War Camp Community Service in 1917 to coordinate activities of non-governmental organizations such as the Red Cross. Known for its role in providing comfort to military members in Newport News and at installations across the country, volunteers were key to raising funds and morale among the troops.… Read More

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    Miss Lydia “Rose” Gould Weld

    The term ‘Renaissance Woman’ seems to describe Miss Lydia “Rose” Gould Weld to a tee. Consider this: Weld was one of the first women to graduate with an engineering degree from any college in the United States. In 1903, the then-male bastion, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), awarded her a degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering,… Read More

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    Lusitania and Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

    On June 7, 1906, Britain’s Cunard Line launched the world’s largest ship – RMS Lusitania. It was designed by Leonard Peskett and built by John Brown and Company of Clydebank, Scotland, beginning in 1904. After two years of construction, the impressive vessel measured roughly 787 feet and weighed more than 31,500 tons.… Read More

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    Battleship USS Virginia

    USS Virginia (Battleship No. 13) was a pre-dreadnought battleship. Laid down in May 1902 at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, and commissioned on May 7, 1906, Virginia was the lead ship of its class. Most of Virginia‘s career serving the Atlantic Fleet was focused on maintaining fleet readiness by conducting peacetime training exercises.… Read More

Together We Win poster by artist James Montgomery Flagg
"Together We Win" poster, artist James Montgomery Flagg, United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation, ca. 1918. (1962.0126.000001)

Life in the Camps

This presentation features photos, postcards, and handwritten personal messages about life in the US Army Port of Embarkation Camps on the Peninsula. Explore what it was like to be stationed at Camp Stuart, Camp Morrison, and Camp Hill. See the contributions made to the war effort by volunteers, the Red Cross, and the YMCA. Experience Victory through ships coming back home, massive troop homecoming parades, and jubilant celebrations in downtown Newport News.