Wilmington, NC – November 19, 2020 – Battleship NORTH CAROLINA has opened registration for a new series of live online presentations that give people the opportunity to “Zoom in” with an expert on the Battleship.

“Meet the Showboat” consists of seven virtual sessions presented through Zoom, each of which lasts 30-45 minutes followed by time to engage with the presenter. The programs are free, but online registration is required. Details and a link to register are available at www.BattleshipNC.com/meet-the-showboat.

Battleship volunteers RDML Ron Henderson, USN, Retired; LtCol John Munn, USMC, Retired; CDR Charles Gore, USN, Retired; LCDR Mike Bowers, USN, Retired; and Alex Dydula lead the programs beginning in January on the Ship’s history, daily life, ship design and innovations, Marine Detachment, gunfire control systems, and the legacy of ships named NORTH CAROLINA.

“The series provides a detailed look at popular topics surrounding the Battleship. Each session allows people to learn from our expert volunteers about what sets the Ship apart, even if they aren’t able to visit us in person,” said Kim Sincox, Director of Museum Services. “We can’t offer the usual in-person programming because we are following safety protocols regarding Covid-19. The virtual presentations are an excellent introduction to our adult learning programs, which we will offer again on the Battleship as conditions allow.”

The Battleship received a NC CARES: Humanities Relief Grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council to support online programs including the “Meet the Showboat” series. Funding for NC CARES has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan.

In addition to this series, the grant also supports The Showboat Podcast, which released its first episode in October. The podcast can be heard at www.BattleshipNC.com/the-showboat-podcast or by searching for Showboat on popular podcast apps such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. Additional online programming backed by the grant also will be announced.

The schedule of Meet the Showboat presentations:

Meet the Showboat: A Brief History
Saturday, January 9, 2021, 2-3 p.m. EST
Battleship NORTH CAROLINA, aka, “The Showboat,” is the most decorated American battleship of World War II. RDML Ron Henderson, USN, Retired, introduces the operational history of this floating warrior, which established the role of WWII battleships.

City at Sea: Life Aboard
Saturday, January 23, 2021, 2-3 p.m. EST
Home to 2,000+ officers, enlisted personnel and a Marine Detachment, Battleship NORTH CAROLINA provided a place to sleep, eat, shower, check out books, watch movies and boxing matches, get a haircut, have your shoes repaired and more. Discover life at sea with RDML Ron Henderson, USN, Retired, a man who has “been there, done that.”

Engineered for Victory: Design and Technology
Saturday, February 6, 2021, 2-3 p.m. EST
A true engineering wonder of her day, the Battleship showcases an array of technological advancements. Discover design considerations and innovations that continue to amaze visitors from LtCol John Munn, USMC, Retired.

The Few, the Proud: BB55 Marine Detachment
Saturday, February 20, 2021, 2-3 p.m. EST
From their founding in 1775, Marines have performed vital functions aboard American naval ships. Follow LtCol John Munn, USMC, Retired, into the world of the Showboat MarDet: the men, the mission, the equipment.

Fire Control: The Mechanical Brains Behind the Guns
Saturday, March 13, 2021, 2-3 p.m. EST
The Battleship is a floating weapons platform, but the finest guns are of little use without the means to direct their fire accurately at the target. Fire control expert Alex Dydula will explore the Ship’s fire control equipment (directors/optical range finders, radar, computers) and how main and secondary battery plotting rooms operated.

Fire Control: The Human Element
Saturday, March 27, 2021, 2-3 p.m. EDT
Developing a successful approach to fighting the Ship effectively required a team of officers and enlisted men. They developed procedures and tactics based on lessons learned from engagements and adapted to evolving technologies. CDR Chuck Gore, USN, Retired, will introduce the gunnery department, its missions, and how tactics changed during the war years.

Legacies of the NORTH CAROLINA
Saturday, April 17, 2021, 2-3 p.m. EDT
Gracing the seas from 1824 to today, ships named NORTH CAROLINA provide insights into the traditions and innovations involved in navigation, propulsion, fire control (tracking targets and aiming guns), weapons, and daily life. Join LCDR Mike Bowers, USN, Retired, as he provides a peek into the workings of our Navy vessels and her crews over the centuries.

About the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA
The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is self-supporting, not tax supported, and relies primarily on admissions to tour the Ship, sales in the Ship’s Store, rentals, donations and investments. No funds for its administration and operation come from appropriations from governmental entities at the local, state or federal levels. Located at the junction of Highways 17/74/76/421 on the Cape Fear River, the Battleship is open daily. Visit www.battleshipnc.com or follow us on Facebook.com/ncbb55, Twitter.com/battleshipnc and Instagram.com/battleshipnc for more information. The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is a historic site within the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (www.NCCulture.com).

About the North Carolina Humanities Council
The North Carolina Humanities Council is a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Humanities Council supports through grants and public programs vital conversations that nurture the cultures and heritage of North Carolina. Learn more about the work of the North Carolina Humanities Council at www.nchumanities.org. Also on Facebook and Twitter.

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