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Interesting US History
A Website Devoted to Interesting Events in U.S. History





January 30, 1862

The First American Ironclad Warship,
the USS Monitor is Launched

On this day in 1862, the first American Ironclad Warship, the USS Monitor, was launched in Brooklyn, New York. It was 172 ft long and weighed 987 tons.

She was the first warship with a rotating gun turret and became famous for the first-ever naval battle between two ironclads during the American Civil War. The famous battle occured on March 9, 1862 when she fought the ironclad CSS Virginia (which was built from the remains of the USS Merrimack).

Built mostly for river combat, the Monitor was not well suited for rough waters which was likely a factor in her untimely demise on December 31, 1862 in the Atlantic Ocean while under tow.

In 1973, the wreck of the Monitor was located near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Beginning in 1998, varioius pieces of the Monitor have been brought to the surface including the propeller, the steam engine, and the revolving gun turret. Also found were the remains of two trapped crew members.